Tire rack vs. Discount tire?????

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Oct 28, 2002
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
After shopping both on the web - it appears "Discount" tire is more expensive than Tire Rack. And I'm not talk just $1 difference - sometimes $12-15 for the same tire! I do like Discount tire because they are right "down the road" in Bellingham - no freight charges. With Tire Rack - I have to have them UPS'd and then find a place to mount them.......
I have looked at Tire Rack a few times. I did the math and found that once I got done with shipping, mounting, balancing, etc..., it wasn't all that great of a deal. I could go to the local tire store and get all of this included plus lifetime road hazard, rotations, and balancing for a similar price. If you don't have to pay shipping, you may be able to get a deal. Shop around locally and se what the tire shops can do for you. I have found that they are like a car dealership - you can get a better price if you haggle a bit.
I think TireRack is superior for ordering speciality tires for high performance cars. However when it comes with run of the mill tires that are in stock at tire dealers that is where your local retailer excels. I never find the tires I desire in stock at retailers. They have to special order them so the bargain is not there. TireRack customer service is superior also if you have issues with a tire or sometimes if you don't like it. There knowledge of tires is second to none. I have called and the sales people will tell when they have not tried a tire but also tell you downfalls of tires and assess your needs based on their experience. I know of no tire retailer who actually tries them on a test track, they push what is best profit margin/in stock. I only have one experience with Discount Tire Direct and was not impressed at knowledge level. However it may have just been bad luck.
Yo Pablo, I've been to the discount tire store a few times, and you can haggle them down easy. I've done it on some goodyear eagle f1 tires, they wanted $147 a piece at the store. From looking at what the tirerack wanted, which was $128 per tire, I said I'll give you $135 a piece today. The deal went through, But I had to wait a few days to get them because they dident stock them. If they have a store in your area, try it out.
I've been a long time customer of Tire Rack..for like 10yrs now. Bought my 1st set of alloys/tires set from them for my old '90s Civic. Both current cars rides on rubbers purchased from them(Continental ContiExtremes/Passat, Kumho Ecstas Supras/190E) a year ago. Both tire models are hard to find and cannot be found in any tire retailers around here..That time I brought the tires to my nearby Costco(still allowed then)and have them mount/balance. With shipping and all factored in, I always came out ahead vs local tire shops $$ wise. Should I buy another set of tires..I still have my independent neighborhood VW/Audi shop to do all the installation/balancing(Hunter 9700)at a discount. To me, TR is a great value! [Cheers!]
Discount Tire started with the first store in Ann Arbor, MI. It's a good place even though they torqued the wheel on my BMW and broke the bolt in the wheel hub. Noticed it the next day and they made it right. I'm sure Tire Rack would do the same thing. They are both good to do business with. [Burnout] I'm sure you can deal with both on price, if a store is nearby or more desirable. They'll both treat you right, like everything else, it depends on who you talk to. [Cheers!]
I have used Tire Rack once, so far, and will likely do so again. I think it's best to look there for the tires you desire, but well before you need them; periodically, there are sales or rebate/gift card offers. To make Tire Rack competitive, though, you need to have a trustworthy, inexpensive, local, garage to mount your new tires. Luckily, I can have my tires mounted and balanced, with new stems, for $15 each. Oh, and you need a way to get your new tires to the garage (ie. minivan or pickup), or have them delivered straight to the garage.
I've purchased several sets of tires from The Tire Rack. Always better prices, great service, and questions answered either from e-mail or phone call. My local tire stores have good service, but the prices and selection are rather limited. Never tried Discount Tire online, but I did try them at an outlet store. They were ok for the most part, but a year after I had some tires mounted on new rims, I noticed they didn't put my center caps back on my stock Honda rims when they put them into the new rim boxes. I was VERY upset but didn't even bother telling them since it was a year later when I discovered this and I'm sure they wouldn't do anything about it. It cost me $100 to get replacements from the Honda dealer. I admit that I should have checked the old wheels after they boxed them up, but I still won't return them any business. They really should have caught that.
You will save a $50 at most if you do your rotations and balancing..Do you have a balance machine? If you dont then you will probaly lose money. I ordered through tire rack once, I did it once to try it.I wont do it again though, but try it just to get it out of your system.
With Tire Rack - I have to have them UPS'd and then find a place to mount them.......
Pablo, I have the Tire Rack ship my tires directly to my local tire installer. The Tire Rack will give you a list of contract shops.
mori - thanks - they listed a place right over in Ferndale with good "reviews". Cool. It seems with all said and done I can save some decent cash by having them delivered and installed via Tire rack.
I have had good experiences with both the Tire Rack and Discount Tire....It pays to shop around! Sometimes one will beat the other. My best experience is while talking to one of their Rep's on the phone rather than buying on line only. I'll do my search on line, and then call the toll free #...The Rep's seem to be willing to negociate even further with just a little please & thank you. They'll often throw in a little something extra such as lugs/locks, or road force balancing, or hubcentric rings, or something! This seems to work for me wheather I'am buying tires & rims, or brakes and other accessories.
I've bought 14 tires from Tire Rack in the past 90 days. All were drop shipped to a local installer who mounted and balanced them for about $10-15 each. TR is great for saving money (most of the time) and they specialize in stocking odd-sized tires, but you have to balance their price against obtaining local service in case of a problem. Some local dealers may not be too accomodating if you have a problem with a tire not purchased from them. If you travel a lot use your car for work (delivery driver, courier, travelling sales rep, etc), you might be better off buying tires from a national chain that can offer warranty services at any location. This is where buying from WalMart can be compelling; any of their stores can take of you if you have a problem. If the local store or national chain can be price competitive with TR or other online sources, you might want to consider buying from them instead and cover all your bases.
I wouldn't let a Walmart "tech" within a seven mile perimeter of any of my vehicles....including tires. One time they couldn't even handle an oil change I had them do on a rental car. They didn't screw the filter down tight enough and used an improper amount of oil.
Originally posted by Islandvic: tire rack does not have 100's of locations that will fix/rotate/balance your tires.
excellent point and one worth recalling when you have a gashed tire and need a replacement other than your spare. Ask me how I know.... It's why I use Discount Tire exclusively.
If I do go local for tires..I'd prefer Costco. Mounting and balancing(unlimited rebalancing). Same goes for free tire repair, rotation and road hazard warranty..all inclusive of the tire price.
I received 2 defective tires from Tire Rack (not blaming them) - inconvenient but solved quickly because I actually went there. If I had mail ordered them, the installer would not have been able to replace the defective tire same day which would be a major hassle for me. I love Tire Rack but if Discount were closer to me, I'd probably spend the extra $ due to my experience above.
The only time that TireRack was advantageous to me was when I was a service advisor at a car dealership. I could have a tech (one of the few "trusted" techs) mount and balance 4 tires just by picking up a nice lunch. I saved about $16 per tire on this particular one, and paid about $8 for mount/balance.
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