questionsbuying tires: do you go online, or in person?

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And I'll start- I have bought tires online twice, for two different vehicles. I haven't lately, though, because as I have looked around lately I've noticed businesses/locals suffering due to online shopping. No, this doesn't affect my Woot! addiction with random items, but for general things it has made me think twice. I do still use sites like tirerack.com to check prices, but I haven't purchased from them in a while.

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I do price comparisons on line, but I always BUY the tires in person.

There are some things that I just don't buy on line.

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I always went to Benny's. Feels like total crust, tires might be stolen, and the guy installing them looks like a convicted felon, but the price is right!

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The two times I've bought tires I've done it in person. The first time I shopped around to a lot of different locations to try to get the best price. I ended up back at the Discount Tire where I started out. The second time I just went to Discount Tire. I didn't even think about buying tires online.

How much does mounting generally cost if you don't buy tires at the same location? Is the savings enough to make it worth it?

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@theslt: Same here. I had to buy new tires late last year.

Checked around online for coupon codes and sales. Compared tires. Checked Woot to see if tires.woot was a site yet (Give it time...).

Found the best deal. Called a shop that was closer to see if they would match the pricing. They wouldn't so I drove to the other shop about 10 minutes away and got a great deal. Well, a great deal for a tire store which means I only got slightly taken advantage of instead of royally.

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I use a local guy for tires. saving $30-50 on tires doesn't save me anything in the long run. Everytime I have an issue with my tires (leaks, weights, balance, rotation) I go back to the same place and the guy doesn't charge me a penny. I take my work and personal vehicles there. When I have a job that I don't have the time to do myself or can't do, I take it to him. Good rates and good work. I'd be a fool to cut him out of his minor earnings on tires.

I asked him about doing the mounting for internet purchases, he said he doesn't like to deal with the "web" people. I laughed, but he has a point.

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I check out what Sams Club has in the size tires I need. Then I do all the price comparison and reviews online. They have always been very competitive in pricing.

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You have to comparison shop and I always start at The Tire Rack online. You can buy tires and wheels they will mount them ship them to you generally cheaper than you can buy them locally. If you just buy tires that have a network of installers that you can take them to to have them put on your car.

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For the past 8 years or so all my tires have come from tirerack. Even with the shipping and mounting charges it has always been a better value. My previous car had odd sized tires so the local selection was minimal. Tirerack always had multiple choices and that is what got me started with them.

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Discount Tire (I think it's national? But at least regional to the southwest) will match internet pricing as long as you factor in shipping and can prove it...

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Online, i got my Yokohama's for like 100 bucks cheaper and shipped free to my house and when i took my car in for inspection they just swapped them out.

tirebuyer.com

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@ecriscit: I, too, go to a locally owned, actually a little Mom and Pop business. I've gone there for years. They have the best service and they care about their customers. Sure, the Sams and Discount Tires have cheaper prices, but it's just not the same:

"Where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came."

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I can usually find tires online shipped cheaper than I can get them from suppliers.
I work for a dealership and we don't get much of a break. It's sad.

Discounttires.com is where I have gotten my last 2 sets and a bunch of friends have too.
This has nothing to do with the Discount Tire chain stores. This is it's own separate company.

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I also go to the local place. They can usually get the tires as cheap if not cheaper than anywhere else, and I can "just stop by" for a rotation anytime. We get all our work done for both vehicles there and they charge very fair rates and know our vehicles well. Also, they are located in our very small community, which doesn't have a very large tax base, so I try to support as many local businesses as I can when it makes sense. There aren't that many, and here most of them are cheaper than the alernative so it is easy to do.

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Once you factor in shipping and the mounting/balancing fees, it's almost always cheaper to buy them in person. I bought tires once online from Tire Rack and they did come out cheaper in the end, but sometimes it's a pain to find a shop that wants to even deal with tires that you didn't buy from them. My suggestion would be to only buy tires online if they're on sale and only if you truly know what you're buying.

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I have bought from warehouse clubs/local vendors. My last two cars (which were trucks) had common sized tires. The market was competitive, so it was easier to buy them locally. If you have a vehicle with odd sized tires it may be sense to deal with the PITA of buying them online.

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I, uh, didn't even know you could buy tires online. I don't think I'd do it, though, just because I have to maintain the masculine facade by walking around the shop, making interested noises, and distrusting the mechanic.

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@gatzby: Pretty sure you can buy anything online if you look enough. :)

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Check out tire racks certified installers. (There's one 1/2 mile from my house)
You buy the tires they can ship to the installers shop , you set up an appointment , They install and done ...
Saved me $200 over the locals on a set of tires

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I buy so much stuff online and I never even thought of buying tires online. Holy Smokes Batman what a great idea !

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For my nicer carm tirerack.com is great. I have them shipped to my local guy for installation.

For a regular, Costco works too.

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Oh, oh, maybe we should start watching for tires.woot.com?

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I check prices online and then take the cheapest to discount tires and make them beat it like MJ.

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My local mechanic actually referred me to Tire Monkey to buy tires. They shipped them to my local garage and my mechanic put them on my car. Prior to this I always bought tires in person, but this did work out. For me it ended up being the same price and really not much different from buying them in person. I don't know if its like that everywhere though.

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@first2summit: I agree, I bought my last set of Tires from TireRack.com. I was a little sceptical at first but I pulled the trigger, bought them, had them shipped to me. Installed at wally-world and save a LOT of money over them same tires locally. The tire reviews there were excellent. I will buy from there again in say.... 50,000 more miles

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I just stop by my BIL's service station and say "I need a new set of tires". He mounts them and I pay him. Done.

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I go down the street to Tire Americal...they have the best deals.

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Honestly,
Buying tires online is done in one phone call. Most online tire shops such as wholesaletireonline.com have a tire finder app. This just helps you find the tire right for you. Usually you can see the price, and then you can call to buy or buy online with a credit card etc.

Truly fast and simple.