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So right now we currently use townfair tire as our wholesale tire supplier. I contacted tirerack and set up a wholesale account and the prices are so much cheaper. I can get the same exact tire shipped to me with all costs for about 25 dollars cheaper a tire. Does anyone else use tirerack ? I'm just wondering if I should be bringing this up to my wholesale contact at townfair and seeing if he could change my pricing or what not. How are people competing in the tire market? i just can't seem to get good pricing on them.

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You should be able to buy tires locally cheaper than you can buy from the TireRack. I do buy some tires from TireRack but not very frequently. I can usually sell tires and 90% of the time beat what some one pays by ordering from TireRack, Our town is only about 120,000 and is some what out in the middle of no where. However, I have seven warehouses that I can purchase from plus the local Firestone and Discount Tire stores wholesale to us. I do not know all the distributors in your market but here are three that I deal with that have warehouses near you: TCI 508-824-1685, ATD 508-613-1000, and Carroll 877-218-4737. Call them and see what they can do.

I use TCI, ATD, and Carroll here in South Carolina and they treat me right.

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I buy exclusively from ATD. Now, you can say putting all your eggs in 1 basket can be a bad thing. However, there is an upside as well. If you spread your purchases out between several suppliers, you aren't as important a customer to any of them. But if you concentrate your purchases with 1 supplier, you are as important a customer to them as a customer many times your size that buys from multiple suppliers. Additionally, most good suppliers will reward that kind of loyalty.

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I buy exclusively from ATD. Now, you can say putting all your eggs in 1 basket can be a bad thing. However, there is an upside as well. If you spread your purchases out between several suppliers, you aren't as important a customer to any of them. But if you concentrate your purchases with 1 supplier, you are as important a customer to them as a customer many times your size that buys from multiple suppliers. Additionally, most good suppliers will reward that kind of loyalty.

 

http://www.moderntiredealer.com/uploads/stats/facts-section16.pdf

 

Page 12 is interesting.

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Sparker, You bring up a very interesting topic, Tire Rack forced ATD into internet tire sales called Tire Buyer. I personally feel TR lost ground because of the cost of tire shipping. So to answer your question you should definetly have all options open, most will agree the tire business is lower profit than repair and maintence . I actually restructured my tire sales 5 years ago and just went to fair pricing great service , you will never win the lowest guy in town guy. You should just get a copy of the price and text or email it to your supplier. It is a game that has been played for the last 30 years. Get on a tire program if possible, I personally dont like them although it does bring some $$$$ onto the bottom line. I have been a Michelin Mast guy for 30 years. I am also on programs with Cooper , General, Goodyear and Toyo. The Michelin Mast program is argubally the best one out there. I have some serious issues with the Michelin program although unfortunetly it is the best one for the average size independent. Most all guys that have been in this business for years will tell you the tire business is one crazy business. PS / I bought 32- 205/55r16 China built tires last week for $10.71 each, the bottom line tire's have been elevated in quality, big time. After all these years I still do not understand some of the crazy things in the tire business. Good Luck

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Another thing that will really hit Tire Rack is if and when congress gets around to passing the fair marketplace act which will force Tire Rack to charge sales tax. Right now that is our biggest disadvantage when competing with them on price. The fact that one of the biggest web based retailer [Amazon] has started to charge sales tax on all sales most likely will hasten the implementation of this legislation.

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TIre Rack makes up part of their mark up on shipping charges. Their lowest price to the consumer is offset by the price they charge on the shipping they add to the tire.

 

I have learned to play them by comparing prices and have a big sign out front that says "Shopping for Tires OnLine? We have better Deals Come In Now!" I usually save them $20 to $40 bucks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tire Rack is the devil, I am a TR installer and it stinks. As others have said you can usually get better pricing locally plus you can return something if the customer doesn't show. On some things though like closeouts and certain performance stuff TR kills it, which kills our bottom line. Tires are the only thing we allow the customer to supply. This is mostly because many customers have snow tires to change every year, can't really say any other tire is different because its the same job. I do all I can to discourage customers from using TR. They wouldn't be able to be in business if not for us so why treat us so poorly. I'm thinking of adding a drop ship handling charge for customers that have tires shipped to us. TR won't like it but I could care less.

 

Margins on tires here sink, we are in the 20-25% margin range plus install to stay competitive. We are a Yokohama Advantage dealer and make some on the back end through that plus on cheap china tires we bump the margin up to 30-33%. We try hard to recommend against them though even though that's what most of the local competition is installing.

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Sparker, You bring up a very interesting topic, Tire Rack forced ATD into internet tire sales called Tire Buyer. I personally feel TR lost ground because of the cost of tire shipping. So to answer your question you should definetly have all options open, most will agree the tire business is lower profit than repair and maintence . I actually restructured my tire sales 5 years ago and just went to fair pricing great service , you will never win the lowest guy in town guy. You should just get a copy of the price and text or email it to your supplier. It is a game that has been played for the last 30 years. Get on a tire program if possible, I personally dont like them although it does bring some $$$$ onto the bottom line. I have been a Michelin Mast guy for 30 years. I am also on programs with Cooper , General, Goodyear and Toyo. The Michelin Mast program is argubally the best one out there. I have some serious issues with the Michelin program although unfortunetly it is the best one for the average size independent. Most all guys that have been in this business for years will tell you the tire business is one crazy business. PS / I bought 32- 205/55r16 China built tires last week for $10.71 each, the bottom line tire's have been elevated in quality, big time. After all these years I still do not understand some of the crazy things in the tire business. Good Luck

If I may ask, where did you find the china made tires at? I have a lot of customers interested in those and I do not have a source

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I go for 25.00 to $35.00 per tire mark up with an alignment, higher mark up if no align but we sell a lot of tires.

Tires & align is the most profitable job you can do in a shop per hour.

1.0 to 1.5 hour job for most cars if you have lower paid techs to do the job.

Dave

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All the wholesalers tend to have some line of Chinese tires: Westlake, Crosswind, Goodride, etc.

I have been selling a butt load of Westlakes with a great margin and an alignment with nearly every set. Easy Sell for the folks wanting a lower priced tire. We sell a lot of mid-range tires, also, so we are able to serve a wider demographic on tires and alignments vs. general repair work.

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All the wholesalers tend to have some line of Chinese tires: Westlake, Crosswind, Goodride, etc.

I have been approached by the westlake/Nanyang but they are only a few bucks cheaper then my Mastercraft line so I didn't see the point. The original poster said numbers that made my head spin. Would love to purchase tires that cheap.
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My buy price on a mastercraft mc440 size 225/60/16 is 54.00 the same size in Westlake brand is 49.00 it just doesn't make since for me to sell a Chinese tire that's only 5.00 cheaper

You do know that the MC MC440S are imports as well don't you? Mexico. However the reason I'd go with them over the Westlakes, Ironman, or whatever is that the MCs are backed by Cooper. We sell the Fuzion line which is back by Bridgestone and are at about the same price as the MCs.

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Cheapest in that size I have is a Federal SS557 at $49, the Westlake is $58 to me. Some recent consolidation in my region has left me on a single tire supplier (Mavis purchased CRS & Banner Tire), which I am not very happy with and need to setup a new relationship. There are not many other suppliers that service my area here with hot shot deliveries.

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Rather than cater to the bottom feeders isnt it just better practice to sell a higher quality tire like a cooper or a name brand and just train our managers to be better sales people? I mean when you price out a water pump, starter, or alternator are you routinely looking for the cheapest lowest quality part? I try to not compete with the low end hack shops of the town.... and unfortunatly there is too many of them but they can fight over the bottom feeders.. .just my 2 cents

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