by Elayne Kling
I get a lot of phone calls about buying tires. People want to know if we sell them; and, if so, should they get them from me or would they get a better deal just buying them online.
The truth about tires is that there is an extremely small markup on them and it barely matters where you get them. If I ask one of my local tire guys to “give me a better price” they will cut $1 or $2 off the price. When I search online at my wholesaler’s website, by the time I add the shipping in, it comes out to the same price as my local wholesaler. The only difference is that online I get more choices. Sometimes those choices will include closeouts, which in the tire world can mean versions that didn’t wear well, so be careful about that, try to read the reviews.
The other thing to look out for when purchasing tires is less about the price of the tire and more about what other incidentals are the shops charging you for. How much do they charge for mounting and balancing? Do they charge you a recycle fee for your old tires? Do they try to sell you new rims?
Some shops will try to get some other income from you because they can’t make much on those tires. Then, there are those big corporations that will give you a “free” tire if you buy three. I see some of those receipts and trust me, they manage to charge for a few extra’s to make up the difference.
I’m not advising against due diligence, I’m suggesting that you take it to your trusted mechanic and take his advice on the subject. They will either sell you some tires or suggest a place to get them from….and guess what, that’s probably the easiest route as well.