Online Tire Dealers Are A Threat?

Messages
3,028
Location
Idaho
Thread starter
https://www.autosphere.ca/tirenews/tires-articles/2019/12/06/sound-the-alarm/
Quote
...Richard Bender, President of the Tire Dealers Association of Canada (TDAC) is sounding the alarm about online tire vendors and how they threaten the well- being of bricks-and-mortar tire retailers. ...The problem, as Bender describes it, is the fact that consumers buy tires from online vendors, and then they expect the local tire retailer to install them at a cost that doesn't allow that retailer to cover all the overhead, make a profit, and stay in business. ...He knows of a tire dealer who has a very simple solution to this problem. "I spoke with a very successful dealer who only does wheels and tires," Bender says. "I asked him what he does when a customer walks through the door with a set of tires he bought online and wants the tires installed. His solution—he hits the customer with a sticker shot, and tells them it will cost $225 to get them installed and balanced. He's only had about eight or ten customers get really upset and accuse him of trying to rip them off. His answer: ‘No, I'm just trying to protect my business.'" And perhaps that's a stand all traditional tire retailers need to make in order to discourage that kind of clientele, and the subsequent race to the bottom. "Tire dealers, from my experience, will always have their customers," Bender explains. "But there's also a segment of the population that's very price conscious and they'll go out of their way to save themselves $20. Those aren't the customers you want."
 
Messages
4,084
Location
Kansas
I enjoy getting tires at my dealership. Free nitrogen,free rotation and two year roadside. I'd have to charge at least 150.00 at a minimum. Alignment,air/nitrogen,balancing, AND time. After thinking about it;225.00 is reasonable.
 

JTK

Messages
12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
The way tires go though the "middle man" before small mom and pop shops can get their hands on them, I don't think they've made much on the tires themselves in a long time. It's the $20/tire mount and balance that brings a little bit in. ~$80 for 20min worth of work.
 
Messages
1,503
Location
CA, USA
Are they even making money on that? IIRC AT charges $76 for lifetime rotations/balancing. If the customer never returns, I can imagine AT making money off that, but if you come in every 5-8K like you are supposed to, its hard for me to see how that can generate any profit at all.
Originally Posted by JTK
It's the $20/tire mount and balance that brings a little bit in. ~$80 for 20min worth of work.
 
Messages
271
Location
Northeast Georgia
Local tire shop here welcomes walk-in customers with tires they purchased elsewhere. He's never complained about it one bit. Of course he has other services that make him money to cover the overhead. Last 2 times I was there, I had the wheels and tires off the vehicle....took them up there in my truck. Literally took 2 employees 15 minutes to mount and balance 4 tires...for $40. That calculates to $160/hr. He says he does enough of them to justify the service.
 
Messages
1,330
Location
Washington for now
tires are one of the few items i prefer to buy at a shop like DT. changing tires and balancing is something that can not be done by the average person at home unless they have the machinery. As for charging a high price for people that don't buy the tires from them , i have no issue with that. they are under no obligation to me to give me a good price and i am not under any obligation to go to their store
 
Messages
4,084
Location
Kansas
Originally Posted by JTK
The way tires go though the "middle man" before small mom and pop shops can get their hands on them, I don't think they've made much on the tires themselves in a long time. It's the $20/tire mount and balance that brings a little bit in. ~$80 for 20min worth of work.
I was visiting with a guy today at the hardware store and was looking for a diesel oil that Amsoil sold. Then he was kinda shocked at the sticker price which tells me he's cheap or behing the times. I've kinda pondered how much these specialty oil mfg. could make if they cut out the "middle man". Somethings are nice to have a guy in between and other times it seems to just create havoc and slow down the entire transaction. I think in the scheme of things that free market will dictate what goes and what doesn't. Never seen a dollar bill with moving lips but it sure speaks the loudest.
 
Messages
1,518
Location
SW Ontario Canada
This is why I get my tires at Costco. Great prices, excellent after sales service, and if I need a repair away from home, they are all over North America. Same deal for car batteries.
 
Messages
1,152
Location
USA
I don't mind paying more when I buy at a brick and mortar dealer but I better get VERY good (read that as fully competent) service which sadly is often lacking at these places even at inflated prices.
 
Messages
2,235
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
I follow that price level as well, as I deal with european cars so the tires are much much tougher. TireRack just notified me of a shipment of 275/35/22 and 315/30/22 runflat snows for an 18 X5. Im charging $200 to mount and balance those. They are going to be extremely tight, not looking forward to it.
 
Messages
2,504
Location
IL
I do business with only ITD, Independent Tire Dealers. Places like Firestone or Wal-Mart "express" are a last effort and only used if I need the work done now...(I don't trust those bozos) To patch a tire: ITD: $17 Walmart $10 But ITD's if you call at 8am they usually can get you in the same day, but back in the 90's there were more tire shops and you could literally drive right in and leave with 4 new tires without an appointment. Today it's like you have to make appointments for tires, no if's, ands, or buts.
 
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Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
Originally Posted by JTK
It's the $20/tire mount and balance that brings a little bit in. ~$80 for 20 min worth of work.
Uh huh .. Never mounted a tire in your life, have you. First, place protective cover over seat. Drive car into bay. Put car on lift. Remove all 4 wheels. Use cart or roll all 4 wheels to tire machine. Mount wheel on tire machine. Remove valve stem. Break beads. Lubricate beads. Triple check for TPMS sensors. Remove tire from wheel. Grab new tire. Lubricate beads. Check for inside / outside or directional marks. Mount tire. Inflate to set beads. Replace valve stem. Inflate to spec. Do again 3 times. Roll wheels over to balance machine. Check for weights, and remove. Mount wheel on balance machine. Take measurements for width. Spin wheel. Mount weights as directed. Spin wheel again. Zero's , good. If not, do it again. Do 3 more times. Roll / cart wheels back to car. Install wheels, checking for directional tires proper orientation. Snug wheels down. Use torque wrench for final tightening. There is NO WAY you can do this in 20 minutes, ever. Most flat rate shops pay 1.5 hours for a tech to mount and balance 4 tires.
 
Messages
1,728
Location
Cincinnati, USA
Quote "He's only had about eight or ten customers get really upset and accuse him of trying to rip them off". I wouldn't get really upset, would just end the phone call and go elsewhere, had long ago accepted that some people think they're worth far more than they are, but at the same time yes, that is a ripoff, particularly when it's usually the grunts making $20/hr that are doing the work. That must not register in his mind, that most people are not going to buy tires online to save money then pay a premium for installation, let alone extras they don't need. It's not even remotely reasonable to force upon customers what they don't want then try to justify it. I've never needed lifetime anything on a vehicle, nor road hazard, and to me $100 to mount, balance and stems (without TPMS) is on the high-average side. This is fact, I can and have bought online tires and saw rates from at least a half dozen shops that were $100 or less. The solution is really simple. Either you want the business or you don't, and you set your rate accordingly to compete against everyone else. I can see someone wanting to pay maybe as much as $75 additional for lifetime rotation, "IF" the shop makes an honest effort to get the tires rotated quickly while you wait rather than having to drop the vehicle off or wait in excess of a half hour, but that should be an additional option that is waived for those who would rather DIY. If they really want to sell tires then they need to streamline their business so they can compete with online sellers. This should not be that hard to do when they can realize savings in shipping many tires at a time rather than a set of 4 at a time like online sellers do. On the other hand if you have a long term relationship with a shop that has treated you right, I can understand not wanting anyone else to touch the vehicle and paying a bit more for them to do you right again.
 
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Messages
2,995
Location
Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted by Kira
It was even worse when no sales tax was collected on online purchases.
No sales tax collected on on-line sales here, like Ebay etc. Don't know how that has anything to do with it?
 
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Messages
1,728
Location
Cincinnati, USA
^ Because then local sellers were charging sales tax which raised the total price for buyers in US states, buyers that weren't declaring their online purchases w/o tax added on, on state tax returns so they never paid tax on it. eBay does charge me state sales tax, and annoyingly it has been a separate charge so every CC statement I get the purchase price charge then some # of cents tax as a separate charge, unlike anywhere else that just charges the total of the two.
 
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Messages
920
Location
D/FW Metroplex
I haven't gone to a pro/franchised tire shop in ages. I purchase new from TR, and when they are delivered the next day (no extra charge), I clean them up and apply my tire dressing of choice that week to make them look good. Then I take them to the local used tire place to have them mounted and balanced for $15 each. That is so much more preferable to the old way I used to have to do the new tire thing...muuuuuch more preferable!
 
Messages
8,935
Location
MA
Most tire dealers around me will price match the online price. Only reason to get a tire online is if the local tire dealer doesn't sell it. I'd rather just get some tires from Costco. When they have a sale, they're cheaper than the online tire stores. Plus their mounting and balancing charge includes a 5 year road hazard warranty. Tirerack only throws in a 2 year road hazard warranty. The price match tacks on the sales tax on top of it though so buying online is only for the real cheap skates who don't want to pay for the operations of government.
 
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