questionswhy do people buy tires from tire rack online?

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I have ordered tires from Tire Rack once. I'm not sure they saved me any money in the long run. I have since bought the same tires locally and didn't have to wait for shipping.
The appeal is that you can get something relatively obscure for your car and you can feel special about it.

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If there's a particular tire model I'm after, then TireRack can be the better deal. Otherwise, the local mom-and-pop does better with the (cash) pricing.

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I don't understand the appeal myself. My local service station has equivalent prices, plus my money stays in town.

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Just as above. If you live in a rural area, your tire choices are limited and prices may be higher. Driving 60 miles to a larger town adds expense and you may still need to special order your tire.

Tire Rack provides a greater choice, prices are in line. If their is a dealer with a Tire Rack agreement, you can get what you want at a better than fair price. Please recall, a few years ago you were at the mercy of local stores. Places like Tire Rack have leveled the consumer's playing field.

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I've always hated tire rack because they can order tires the same as what it costs there but we make no money selling them, (the service made a little but parts gets jacked) I've probably missed out on 40-50 dollars this year (in my paycheck) because of tire rack. Can't stand them, I've never had a customer come back for warranty work done on their Tire Rack tires but I got a feeling it would be a lot of phone calls and a lot of paperwork. Oh well I'm venting now. I guess I'll just leave it at me not liking them.

Wait, Tire rack doesn't include installation, but it does include mount and balancing? What other installation is there? removing the tires and putting them back on? I always thought that was included in the whole price of the tire job...

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If your rims are less than 17" local would be cheaper but local places are usually more for the larger tires. I've bought a decent amount of tires for my car on tire rack because my 215 45 17s are much cheaper with shipping than buying local. It's hard to get tires for less than $120 each local for my car but my last set were clearenced for like $80 a pop shipped.

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I know this is a pretty old thread but thought I'd offer my answer since it is different from those already here.

I have purchased from tire rack before when I wanted a better selection of tires, with user reviews of those tires. To me the reviews are the big value there, it is seldom hard to find a review of a tire I am interested in that was written by someone with both a similar car and in a similar climate.

Tire rack can also be useful if you want to buy a tire/wheel package (say for seasonal use). You can order them mounted, balanced, and ready to go.

So basically, if I am looking for recommendations, I go to tire rack. Same if I want a tire/wheel combo where the labor of mounting/balancing doesn't make a difference. I have also had times when I have purchased through them when my local sources couldn't get the tire I wanted. On the other hand, if I just want tires for our boring AWD wagon I'll just call a local shop and consider it good.