Cheaper by the inch
Any dealer worth his or her weight in inner tubes has probably explored all kinds of gimmicks to sell tires.
Let's see, there's the ``buy three, get one free'' deal. And of course, everybody's favorite: ``We'll beat every competitor's prices.'' Affordable Tire Co.'s Web site notes it ``started in business selling only used tires to enthusiastic customers'' who have taken ``advantage of our affordable way to travel.''
The one-outlet dealership in Hallie, Wis., is owned by Bob Risberg and has been in business about 15 years. It does sell ``just about everything'' in new tires-Regul is its bread-and-butter brand-an employee told Marketplace. But things get interesting when considering a purchase of used tires from the company. Affordable Tire prices its used tires at $1 per inch for common sizes such as 13, 14 and 15 inchers.
The company's Web site says ``thousands of used tires on hand makes us the largest in the area and certainly we have the best selection of hard-to-find sizes. Light truck and high performance tires are a little higher because of the much higher new purchase price. Large truck and rear farm tires are inexpensive and are priced with the amount of remaining tread and the condition of the carcass in mind.''
As its name indicates, Affordable Tire says, its ``new tire prices are affordably priced because of our extremely low overhead.'' We've heard of buying sub sandwiches by the inch, but not tires. Touche.
This 'n that
Poker, anyone?-A Danish proverb says, ``life is not holding a good hand. Life is playing a poor hand well.'' And in the immortal words of Kenny ``The Gambler'' Rogers: Ya gotta know when to hold `em and when to fold `em.
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Words of wisdom-Famous philosopher ``Unknown'' noted, ``at the feast of ego, everyone leaves hungry.''
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Sorry, that's classified information-We got a chuckle from what were purported to be some ``actual classified ads'' reprinted in the ``On the light side'' column in the Treadmarks newsletter of the Mid-America Tire Dealers Association. Made us get out our wallet for some of these bargains. For instance:
* ``1 man, 7 woman hot tub-$850/offer.''
* ``Tired of working for only $9.75 per hour? We offer profit sharing and flexible hours. Starting pay = $7-$9 per hour.''
* ``Joining nudist colony! Must sell washer & dryer $300.''
* ``Hummers, largest selection-`If it's in stock, we have it!'''
* ``Free Yorkshire Terrier, 8 years old, hateful little dog.''
* ``Nice parachute: Never opened-used once.''
* ``German shepherd 85 lbs., neutered, speaks German, free.''
And our all-time favorite:
* ``For sale by owner: Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica. 45 volumes. Excellent condition. $1,000 or best offer. No longer needed. Got married last weekend. Wife knows everything.''
`Desk cleaning for dummies'
You run a busy, hectic dealership, right? No time for such namby-pamby stuff like cleaning your desk.
So, after building into a precarious mound over the past few months-or is it years?-your little slice of a disorganizational nightmare now qualifies as a U.S. ``Superfund'' site, complete with toxic waste dump signs. If you're anything like Marketplace, you're almost positive that, somewhere below all that indispensable junk, essential stacks of old issues of Tire Business and perhaps a half-eaten sandwich or two, beats the heart of a clean work surface just crying to escape before it's completely smothered.
Well, Jeff Mayer, author of ``Time Management for Dummies,'' has some advice for those of us who are inundated with the daily flotsam and jetsam of life. Noting ``if you've got a messy desk, you're wasting time,'' he offers some suggestions about attacking that burgeoning landfill site in your office:
* To clean your desk, first schedule an appointment with yourself. Give yourself 60 to 90 minutes without interruptions.
* Pick a pile on your desk. Pick up the first piece of paper. Look at it and ask yourself what it is, why you have it and why you need it.
* Throw it away if you can't come up with any great answers.
* Continue through the pile. Don't get ``cleaner's remorse''-and don't make copies.
* As you go through your papers, keep a master list of things you need to do. Review the list every day and decide what needs to be done that day and the next.
We've added a few suggestions of our own:
* Contact your local fire department before deciding, in total frustration, to ``just torch the whole damn thing'' and start from scratch.
* Always wear a hardhat when bringing in a front-end loader to dispose of desk-top clutter (and don't get sidetracked admiring the neat tread patterns on the loader's industrial tires).
* Wear a face mask and rubber gloves to protect vital parts; or just encapsulate the entire desk in hermetically sealed, industrial-strength plastic and roll it out to the curb for the next garbage collection day.
* Seal all useless, throwaway stuff-old flyers, junk mail etc.-in large envelopes, making sure neither your name nor address is on any material. Then send it back to some annoying junk mail purveyor, sans the proper postage.
There, don't ya feel better already? Oh, one last thing: Don't eat anything before tackling that cleaning marathon.
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk