The price of some retailers may be a little bit cheaper because of bulk purchases or for some special discounts. If we put these two on one side, the other possibilities are being produced on another country, or the worst one: being stale.
We all know that tread (design) and the quality of tire compound of a tire play an effective role on roadholding, but what about the freshness??
Not sure about the time, one day I was talking with the boy who was balancing my wheels. One topic lead another and he finally told me how to read the codes on a tire to determine the production date. In fact everyone in the industry keep this to their selves but I decided to share this with you, if you keep it to yourselves :) After going into all these unnecessary details I feel like you're saying: "Oh, Shut Up!!"... OK, then.
Tire Manufacture Date - The Production Code
Photo on the right belongs to a Toyo Proxes T1-S. The production code on all tires are not equal but you will see a special code in an ellipse shape on at least 80% of all tires on the market, and that will help you find tire date of manufacture.
The "last 4 digits" on the ellipse tells us tire manufacture date. The first 2 digits is "PRODUCTION WEEK" and the last 2 digits is the "YEAR". Assuming there are 4 weeks in a month, we can say that this tire was manufactured by the end of March 2003 (12=12th week of the year, 03=Year 2003).
5000 means 50th week of year 2000, which means December 2000.
We have learned that, so what?
If the retailer knows that you know how to read this code, and you requested newer tires "if it is possible", there is a chance that you will get a fresh set of tires. I think I was lucky while I was buying my Toyo's. The boy on the store told me to wait a few days for the new set to come, and I had 1203 tires instead of 3502's, almost 8 months fresh tires. That was in June 2003, so I bought tires that are 2 - 2.5 months old. Not so bad, I think. :)
That's all. Buy fresh tires, not those waited on shelves for years.