Sometimes I want what I want now. Not tomorrow or 2 days from now. If you have a tire tread separation and you don’t have a spare, or as in my case, both of my front tires separated at the same time, you need tires now! Especially if this is your only means of transportation.
When a situation arises like the one above, you have no choice but to buy tires locally because waiting is just not an option. I’ll tell you my favorite choice and then at the end of this article if you know a great tire store in your local area, feel free to share there name, city and state below.
Where I Buy My Tires
Costco is my first choice when buying Michelins or BFG’s. For a couple of reasons, price and warranty. Most independent tire dealers simply can’t compete with them because Costco buys in huge volume. They don’t have to make a lot of money per tire like a small shop does, they make their money in rebates from Michelin, BFGoodrich and Bridgestone.
When I Used To Be A Tire Dealer
I tried going head to head with Costco in the tire business for a few years. It’s not for the weak at heart I can tell you that. The only way the small tire dealer can compete against them is on service. I’m sure there’s some bigger chain stores that can, like Sears or Les Schwab in the Pacific Northwest. So you might be able to get them to price match Costco for the same tires and get better service. I say that because at our local Costco tire department you better plan on leaving your car for 3 to 5 hours. They’re always busy.
Buying Cheap Tires Locally Is Always The Smart Thing To Do
But if I need a cheap no name tire in a certain size for one of my customers vehicles, I call one of my local independents and get it from them. If you just need a cheap set of tires for whatever reason, there’s no sense in buying them online. You’ll most likely be able to buy them for the same price locally as you would online by the time you pay the shipping. Plus, you can get them now and not have to wait for delivery.
When Buying Online Is The Right Thing To Do
The only time you really benefit from buying tires online is when you’re either looking for something in particular that you can’t get in your local area, or you need tires that are over $150 each. When you start looking at spending over $500 for tires then it starts being worthwhile to source them from the Internet.
A good example of this is one of my customers wanted a set of Hankook V12 evo’s for his Dodge Charger and nobody sold them locally. His only choice was online in this case. Sears sells them in some areas. Just not here. There’s probably other major chains that carry them, I just used Sears because I know they carry them and this is about where to buy offline.
Supporting Your Local Tire Dealer
Another thing to think about, the upside to supporting your local tire guy is the money is spent in your community. And if you have a problem he’s right there to help you. This is really glossed over a lot when it comes to buying tires online. Because you’re pretty much screwed by the freight and downtime if you have to ship a tire back to the online retailer. Plus, you get to pay the labor to dismount, remount and balance. The only time this might be worthwhile is if you’re talking tires that cost over $200 a piece.
I know from my own personal experience as being a tire dealer, if a guy came in and had a problem with a tire I sold him, I’d be inclined to even lose money on a warranty issue just to keep my customer happy. Because I have in the past. I guarantee that is never going to happen with an online retailer. The only exception to this is DiscountTireDirect.com, you could go to one of their local stores and get service if you needed to.