You’re read the title, glanced at the author and thought “man, what a hypocrite”. If you’ve missed the show, I’m the eternal opponent to selling and purchasing used tires for many reasons.
They have been used and stored in unknown conditions, so you’re buying something unknown. Yeah, you can inspect the tires or have someone else do that for you, but at the end of the day, it’s a used tire.
If you’ve been reading some of my articles on the subject, you’ll know that even though I’m against it, there are some situations where I can understand that. Relatively new tires that haven been driven too much and stored properly are one of the several exceptions.
Let’s say that you have a set of tires that fall into the “safe” category and you want to sell them. The first thing that comes to mind is where, the second is how.
Lucky for you, today I’ll answer those questions.
Where to sell used tires?
There are multiple ways where you can sell tires. The first and easiest is to offer them to friends or neighbors. Next up, you have plenty of online websites that can help you find a new home for them. Regardless of where you sell them, there is some prep work involved, which I’ll explain later on in this guide.
When should you think about selling your used tires?
Okay, to spare myself from getting crucified, let’s talk about the situations when you should consider this.
There are two aspects you should look at: age and tread depth. I spoke a while ago about how the age affects the performance, so for a more detailed explanation check out that guide. In short, the older the tire is, the worst the performance is.
If your tires are over 4 or 5 years old, don’t sell them. Around that time, they are already near the end, so it may be unfair to sell them in that shape. With that said, someone could probably get one season of performance out of them. This also means that you should sell them for cheap. It may not be financially good for you, but it’s fair for the buyer.
The newer the tire, the longer it will last. So, if you purchased the tires last year and changed them shortly after, you have a set of relatively newish tires.
As for the tread depth, it’s pretty simple. From the factory, each tire has a maximum depth and as you drive it, the depth reduces. Your tires could be 2 years old, but if you’ve driven 70,000 miles with them, then the tread depth is near the legal minimum.
When you combine both aspects, you have some thinking to do. It is important that they are not too old and have usable tread depth. As I mentioned, selling old and useless tires to someone is unfair, so refrain yourself from doing that.
You have other options if the tires you have are too old. You can donate them to a zoo, recycle or repurpose them for other uses. I have an in-depth guide on that, so check it out.
Another important thing to note is how you stored the tires. If you drive a set of winter and summer tires, proper storage is something that can prolong their lifespan. If you’ve kept the tires somewhere in your yard, exposed to all the elements, then the lifespan is shortened. These aren’t the worst tires on the market, but, again, it would be unfair to someone to sell them in that shape.
Where to sell the tires?
Depending on what you want, there are different places to sell tires.
The simplest route is to see if a friend of a neighbor would want them. Ask around and pass on the message. It’s not a sure win, but you may get lucky, especially if the tires are from the “common size” group. Mentioning that you have tires for sale is the easiest approach. There’s no messing around with posting ads or taking pictures, etc.
Next up, we have the option most people are going for–placing an ad. The possibilities are endless, so you have a lot of options here. You can post them on eBay or cragslist, Facebook marketplace is also a good option. Speaking of Facebook, check out some groups from your area and post them there. There are also some specialized platforms like Sell My Tires, which seem to work pretty well.
The last option you have is to take them to a local tire shop. Call a few of them to find out if they’re open to purchase used tires. Regardless of which shop accepts this, they will want a technician to inspect the tires before paying for them. This means you’ll need to take the tires to them and they’ll decide if they’ll purchase them or not.
United Tires is the name that comes to mind. There are multiple locations across the states, so if there’s one near you, check them out. They usually purchase used tires, refurbish them if possible and resell them.
How to prepare the tires?
Preparing the tires is half of the selling process. If you want the tires to look presentable and sell faster, you’ll need to put in some work.
The first step to preparing them is to give them a proper wash. Some people won’t be too interested if the tires were dirty, but it gives people the impression that you cared for them enough to give them a bath.
With the wash process out of the way, it’s time for the photoshoot. Photograph them from multiple angles. Whoever looks at the ad will see much more from the tires, so he or she will know the condition the tires are in.
If you’ve already measured the tread depth, take a photo of the gauge. The gauge in the photos gives the ad some credibility, as most people will ask you to remeasure them.
Is it legal to sell used tires?
Now we’re asking the real question, but there isn’t a specific answer. Each state in the US has different laws about selling or buying used tires. To verify if you can do it in your state, check with the local DMV. Technically, there isn’t a law preventing you from selling used tires, at least not that I know of, but the requirements differ.
One thing that is illegal across the entire US is selling recalled tires. Manufacturers sometimes have defective batches, which is why they have recall campaigns. They take in the suspicious tires and replace them with new ones. Often users are notified about this and head over to the tire shop that sold them their tires.
If the model you have is part of a recall campaign, you cannot sell them. You can, but it is against the law. Tires that were part of a recall campaign will need to be recycled. Repurposing is an alternative to this.
The US Tire Manufacturers Association has a section for Tire Recall Lookup. If you’re not sure if the model you want to sell has a recall, you can find the information on the website.
What if the tires are too old to be sold for normal use?
You may think the tires are good, but ones you inspect them, you figure out that they’re not. The age could be an issue, or maybe the tread depth or maybe both. Regardless of the reason, these are tires you shouldn’t sell to anyone, at least not for road use.
You can repurpose them, as I mentioned previously, or you can “sell” them to a company that recycles tires. Selling them sounds good, but the difference is that here, you won’t get nearly as much as you’d get if the tires were good to be driven.
There are some companies across the country that buy old and useless tires and either recycle them send them off for recycling to a different company. The profit is there for both sides — you and the company, but don’t expect to get rich.
Many companies take the tires off your hands and spare you from taking them to a location. You should do the math and decide if this is worth it for you in terms of profit, or you just want to get rid of the old tires. Ask around and call several companies to get the information you need. The conditions aren’t identical with each company, so your mileage may vary.
The article initially started off as a guide on where to sell used tires and ended up in a complete guide on how to sell used tires. Regardless of that, before you even start the selling process, you need to be real about what you’re trying to sell.
Old or worn down tires should be recycled or reused, as they are not safe to be driven on the roads. I’ve seen plenty of people selling 10-year-old tires that I can comfortably say are slicks. The biggest problem is that they’re not selling them for cheap, which is one of the many reasons I’m against this process overall.
Yes, there are exceptions and if you’re at least a half-decent human being, don’t sell tires that are too far gone to be even called tires. Recycle them or use them as flower pots. Not everyone is as versed in the tire language as some of us are, and some people may not know what kind of hazard they’re paying for.
If the tires are good enough, then yes, you can sell them at a normal price. You can follow my guide on how and where to sell them and get a fair price.