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Online tire purchase experience?


gogriz91

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I also have been shopping on line as well. Someone had posted that you could take the tires to a local Costco and they would mount and balance. NOT TRUE , I went there yesterday and asked and absolutely not. I have found what I want for tires on line , but by the time you add shipping and what is charged for mounting and balancing it is hardly worth the trouble. That is so far. If you come up with a good alternative pass it on. I found Falkins and Sumitomo tires for 45 to $46.00 but by the time the dust clears and you drive down the road. you are looking at $375.00 to $390.00 for a set. Maybe more if the installer charges extra for mags. Gary

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I've bought about 6 sets of tires through the years from Tirerack.com without any problems. It can get expensive getting them mounted though so compare prices with shipping and mounting and ballancing before ordering.

Some tire places won't mount them either. It probably isn't worth the hassle if there is a problem for some of them. I haven't heard from anyone that had a problem with mail ordered tires though as it probably wouldn't be as smooth as dealing with having the same place supply and mount the tires.

-Trevor

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I bought a set of Falken's from Vulcan Tire online. Very easy and fast shipping not to mention a very good price. In my case, the cost of the tires + shipping + local mounting and balancing ( $10 ea. ) at a used tire place was about $10 cheaper per tire than the local places were willing to sell them for. Now, I'm all for buying local when feasible, but when they want over $40 more for a set of tires not including sales tax and mounting and balancing and not lowering the price to be competetive made my choice easy. Now, warranty issues may be a problem, should it arise, but I would expect those to be handled by a local distributor of the brand.

Mark

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Now, warranty issues may be a problem, should it arise, but I would expect those to be handled by a local distributor of the brand.
As long as your warranty issue is cut and dried, you may be OK. But if it's questionable, don't expect a dealer that you didn't buy from to help you argue your case with the distributor.
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I have been buying tires from TireRack for years. UPS ships them to my tire guy. It costs me about $40 to get them mounted and balanced. I wouldn't go to the TIRES-R-US store. Go downtown to a private tire buster and get to know him. Manny and Javier service my tires and we gab about Formula One racing as they are from Columbia where it is a big deal. They were on the TireRack recomendations list. Seriously. This is the way to go. I regularly buy tires from TireRack and have them mounted for half what I would pay at TIRES-R-US.

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I've had a horrible experience with Tire Rack....more so the tires they sold me. I bought a set of General UHP tires back in the spring. All of them took a ton of weight to balance out. 2 of them where out of round. I called and told them about this. They said to send them back (at my expense) and they would look at them. Well....lets see I'D HAVE A CAR WITH NO TIRES!!! The tires where $65 each so I just wound up buying another 2. Those didn't balance well either so I wound up spending more money having them road force balanced. Instead of running my business, I had to run around for 2 days screwing around getting tires balanced. So 6 tires at $75 (after shipping) $450 + $200 in installs = $650!!!!! My next set is just coming from a local shop. What do you really save? Maybe $100?

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But if it's questionable, don't expect a dealer that you didn't buy from to help you argue your case with the distributor.

That's another reason I bought online. When I did have a legitimate problem with a tire (tread separation), a local dealer would have nothing to do with it. I was left to deal with the district manager on my own anyways. This has happened to me on a couple of occasions with different "dealers" so if I have to go direct anyways, why give the business to someone who won't even help with the product they sold me when it's defective?

Mark

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I've also been buying tires and wheels for years from Tirerack.com with no problems. No problems with the local Les Schwab Tire Store mounting them either.

I've had a horrible experience with Tire Rack....more so the tires they sold me. I bought a set of General UHP tires back in the spring. All of them took a ton of weight to balance out. 2 of them where out of round. I called and told them about this. They said to send them back (at my expense) and they would look at them. Well....lets see I'D HAVE A CAR WITH NO TIRES!!! The tires where $65 each so I just wound up buying another 2. Those didn't balance well either so I wound up spending more money having them road force balanced. Instead of running my business, I had to run around for 2 days screwing around getting tires balanced. So 6 tires at $75 (after shipping) $450 + $200 in installs = $650!!!!! My next set is just coming from a local shop. What do you really save? Maybe $100?

bkelly--sounds like the main problem is with the tire manufacturer, not Tirerack. Yeah, they asked you to pay to return ship them--I'd do the same if it was my business. But if they found the tires were defective did they offer to refund the return shipping, plus replace the tires at no additional cost?

Bob

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I've bought lots of tires from both Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct. I've also bought brake rotors from Tire Rack. Tire Rack has been great. I've never had any problems and have always received the tires within a day or two. Discount Tire Direct was good, but not nearly as seamless as Tire Rack. They don't tell you that tires are out of stock until after you order them. I waited several weeks for my Hankooks and I had the same problems with Michelins for my wife's 4Runner. With Tire Rack, I simply order online and wait for them to show up, but now I always call Discount Tire Direct and have them check stock before placing an order.

One thing that Tire Rack does for sure and Discount might do as well is drop ship. If you have a local place that you trust to mount and balance, ask them if they accept drop ships. If so, have Tire Rack ship them directly there so you don't have to deal with the tires at all. Tire Rack's website lists local tire stores in your area as well, so you can simply choose one of them and drop ship with confidence.

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Tire Rack has been good to me. The only thing is to find a local installer who won't rip you off on the install and balancing. Call them up and talk to them - they are very knowledgeable about tires. And read the reviews online too. Very helpful.

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I can't see me taking my car into the local second hand tire shop in a converted gas station to save money. Also I realise that a business that is selling tires will charge extra to mount a set of tires that they didn't sell. I would do the same if it were me. This is logical and a sound business practice. I want them computer balanced and done right. So far I haven't found a tire dealer that has the Sumitomo HTR H4 . When I do most likely I will buy a set. I have found a installer that will mount and balance for $18.00 ea. Tire Rack wants $46.00ea + shipping $38.00 = $102.00 ea. And what Arne said I cant expect the dealer that didn't sell me the tires to represent me if I have a issue with the tires. This is what I was alluding to when I posted to gogriz91. To look at the total picture. Just like the guy selling H-4 headlights on EBay for $9.99 + shipping. Yeah the shipping is $38.00. LOL When I finally have my tires installed I will post it. LOL Gary

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I can't see me taking my car into the local second hand tire shop in a converted gas station to save money.

I want them computer balanced and done right.

Tire Rack wants $46.00ea + shipping $38.00 = $102.00 ea.

1-I can see your point if your talking about the stereotypical used tire shop. However, at least in my town, the "used tire" shop has equal or better equipment than the new tire dealers and does similar volume. (sells new tires too) They have been around longer than I've been here (12yrs) and have a great reputation and very fair pricing and don't care where you got the tires from, it's $10 to mount and balance. All I'm saying is don't dismiss a business just because of a stereotype, check them out! I will say that I take the wheels to them loose as it does save me a couple of bucks each.

2-I myself prefer static balancing. Dynamic balancing just doesn't seem to work as well IMHO. If I had a dollar for each time I had to have a "computer" balanced tire rebalanced due to a vibration, I would be able to buy lunch! (this was at new tire dealers BTW, haven't had an issue at the used tire place yet)

3-The Falkens I got at Vulcan were $44 ea. and shipping only ran $55 for all 4 tires IIRC.

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General UHP

'Nuff said...

I've bought probably 100 tires from Tire Rack over the years and always got exactly what I ordered, delivered on time for about $10 per tire. That's cheaper then the sales tax here in CA. I've got a local Big O Tire store that mounts and balances the tires for $10 each if they are "normal tires". My race tires are mounted and balanced for $20 each because it takes two guys to get a new 285/30-18 V710 stretched over a 10" wide rim.

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The thing about ordering online, is that you can get tires sometimes that the dealers can not.

For me, I was looking for a high performance tire for my 14" rims. I called everyone in the Santa Cruz area and all that they could get for me was economy tires. Looked online, and the only place that I found some were on TireRack.com. Plus they were $30 cheaper then what I was being told over the phone for economy tires.

Then I bought them! $248 for 4 high performance 50,000 mile tires, with added full coverage warranty, and shipping. I would say not bad at all.

215/65R15s for my S10 cost me $400 at the store. That was on the cheaper side of things too, and doesn't include extended/full coverage warranty.

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The thing about ordering online, is that you can get tires sometimes that the dealers can not.

For me, I was looking for a high performance tire for my 14" rims. I called everyone in the Santa Cruz area and all that they could get for me was economy tires. Looked online, and the only place that I found some were on TireRack.com. Plus they were $30 cheaper then what I was being told over the phone for economy tires.

Then I bought them! $248 for 4 high performance 50,000 mile tires, with added full coverage warranty, and shipping. I would say not bad at all.

215/65R15s for my S10 cost me $400 at the store. That was on the cheaper side of things too, and doesn't include extended/full coverage warranty.

Same as my experience. Finding 14" or 15" performance tires locally wasn't easy. Bought Yokos for my son's 280Z from Discount Tire. Good experience.
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I will be picking up 4 Bridgestone RE9560AS 205/60/15 s from the Tirerack Distribution center on Friday

( http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Potenza+RE960AS+Pole+Position&partnum=06HR5RE960PP&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=3 )

The total is $337.82 adding m&b, and I am at 377.82, which is almost $85 less than the same tires from the place that will be mounting and balancing them.

I'll have about an hour in in picking them up and dropping them off-less time than waiting for them to be put on-the last time it took just shy of two and a half hours...

Will

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Just my to cents, Tire Rack has been great for me as well. I just called a couple of good shops in the area and asked them if they would mount my tires. All but one shop said they would be glad to do it. They couldn't beat Tire Rack's prices and didn't blame me for buying from them. Anyways, I will get off my soap box now.

Brad

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I'll throw in here too. Tire Rack has been great to me, I've bought four sets from them so far. They will recommend a local installer for you, call them in advance and make sure they won't charge you a ridiculous amount to mount & balance (the guy we use is $10 a tire).

I'm very happy with the service and the tires I've bought.

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We purchase race tires on line several times a year and Tire Rack has been one of the best to work with. We also use a local America's Tire shop in Chino Hills to mount up the new tires and also have the tires swapped around on the rims then balanced to try and get the most out of the tires. Helps even the wear on them as we do this about every couple track events. Usually cost $40 to $50 for a set of 4 mounted and balanced.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Well, I am finally getting around to installing the Western wheels that I've had in my living room for a while.

I had my eyes, heart, and wallet on the Sumitomo HTR H4's (195/70HR-14), but in doing my prepurchase research (through Tire Rack & Sumitomo), I found that the appropriate sized tires were not designed to fit a 14x7" rim, only 14x5-6.5".

Curious as I was about that last .5" and if it really mattered (it is just a quarter inch difference per sidewall, after all), I called up Tire Rack to inquire.

Apparently it is indeed a matter of concern, otherwise Sumitomo would have specified that it would fit my particular application, and that it would most likely be a bad thing to use them.

So, I asked about several other sizes and how they would effect my speed (all that they had that would fit required more revolutions to cover a mile-not good).

I asked about about comparable tires-both in quality and price, and the person I was speaking with suggested Yokohama AVID T4 (P215/60TR-14). The revolution per mile difference is negligible, and the price was just a bit higher.

The whole conversation was quick, easy, and pleasant.

I am having the tires drop shipped at a recommended installer, and I hope that the installers are equally easy to work with.

FWIW

post-11908-14150801582385_thumb.jpg

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