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Trying online tires

December 22, 2010 - Ron Deuter
In shopping for a new set of tires for my vehicle, I researched and decided on two particular tires by two different manufacturers that I felt would best meet my needs.

Upon visiting a couple of tire shops in town I learned it wouldn’t be as easy as simply requesting the tires I researched and selected. At the three shops I visited I was told they couldn’t get the tires I wanted in my size. They were on backorder with no date known on when they would be available.

All three shops tried to sell me other brands of tires. One tried to sell me the tire I wanted but in a slightly different size which was more commonly available. Another guy, who I actually purchased tires from a couple of years ago for another vehicle, seemed like he barely even heard of the brand he sold me on two years ago, as he was too busy trying to push a different tire to me this time.

So I went online. Within a few minutes I had a set of the tires I wanted in my size ordered and en route to my front door.

My cost online included a UPS ground shipping fee of $78. But even with the fee I was still under what I was quoted at the local shops for tires I didn’t want. Even when the tires arrive I and take them to a big box place to get them installed, I’ll still be a tad bit cheaper than what I would have paid at some of the tire shops. Plus, the big box place is going to include free lifetime rotation and alignment with my installation fee.

I’m left wondering why the local shops couldn’t order the tire I wanted, or at least provide a date when they think they could get them when I could just go online and get them no problem. Do they get special deals from manufacturers to push a certain tire? Whichever manufacturer is offering the best dealer deal at any given time gets the most promotion? Or do the manufacturers limit what they offer straight to the dealers in an effort to move certain tires?

I don’t know the answer, and perhaps I’ve wasted too much time in purchasing tires, but I do know it was very easy to go online, get what what I want and save a little cash.


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