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Old 09-13-2015, 09:59 AM   #21
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I have frequently bought tires online through TireRack and had them mounted and balanced locally.

$300 difference is outrageous. Ask them what they charge to mount and balance tires and do a 4-wheel alignment. Around here, to mount and balance 4 tires runs from $30-70 depending on the shop and a 4-wheel alignment runs $80-100. DS had 4 tires we bought from TireRack mounted and balanced at our local garage for $60 a month ago.

A couple times I have found that a local shop was comparable to the all-in cost of buying tires online and having them mounted locally but the results have been mixed.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:28 AM   #22
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Have a zillion local and chain tire stores nearby, plus Costco and Sams Club. I have been most satisfied with cost and service at Sams Club. You can order online with tires shipped to the store, buy from stock at the store, or have the store tire center order. The later has many tires available for order that are not listed on the sams website.

Brother usually does tire rack, with a local shop to install. Works ok, unless there is a problem with the new tire, then gets complicated. He likes complicated

To me , tires online and shipped is something I would not do, unless you are in a rural area with limited choices , or retailers who gouge, because they can.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:29 AM   #23
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To me, Michelin sells more sizzle than steak. Yeah, the tread lasts forever, but I've found that the rubber compound they use delivers less-than-ideal traction in wet, cold weather once they've worn in a bit. Granted, my experience was with a high-torque rear-wheel-drive car ('95 BMW 540i, with Energy MXV4s). But after 50K miles I was fed up with them.

BTW, my MXV4s also developed cracking where the tread meets the sidewall. Looked like this (not my tires, but this is what they looked like):
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:44 AM   #24
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To the OP, Amazon may pay about the same wholesale cost for the, but is selling on a razor thin margin,or even a loss, to build market share , and quash all competitors.

The fair cost comparison would be calling a retailer in the nearest large city, and compare to your local garage price for tires with install as a package.

Local will be higher, but what has Amazon or tire Rack done to employ folks or pay business taxes in your community ?
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:50 AM   #25
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Yes, the difference between Amazon and Tire Rack is significant for the Michelin tires I am looking at...........about $200 (for 4 tires). Tire Rack charges about $30 per tire for shipping, and Amazon will ship for no added charge, so that is a big part of the difference.

You are right that the dealer connection is missing when ordering through Amazon, and that is a bit of a concern. I'm not sure that the garage I usually do business with will want to mount and balance the tires if I just buy them myself and bring them to them, so I might have to go to another place for that, if I go the Amazon route. Still not sure what I will do.
You could check which tire shops in your area are on TireRack's recommended list, and then take your Amazon tires to that shop. I really don't think the shop would care where the tires come from, I think that being on that list just means they are open to doing the work on tires you supply.

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I don't buy tires on-line since to me the savings is just not worth the hassle. ...
What hassle? I often find that on-line places are easier to deal with than many B&M stores, that might feel you are a somewhat captive audience. But whatever works for you.

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Old 09-13-2015, 11:11 AM   #26
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I've bought several sets from Tire Rack over the years. It amazed me to find the tires sitting in my driveway, less than 24 hours after placing the order a couple of times. But that kind of service comes at a cost, and the shipping cost for online purchased tires seems to have increased from what I remember, tipping the scales back to obtaining locally. So the last couple sets I've bought locally from a shop I trust and who did the installations for me. Interestingly enough, one of those sets was a not so common size, and not readily available through their regular source, so they ordered them from tire rack. They told me that a local distributor has a lock on somewhere around 95% of the tires sold in this locality, so that was a definite outlier.

About nine months later, I had a slow leak in one of them and found a metal roofing screw embedded in the tire tread. Tire manufacturer advises not to repair (high performance tire), and though I was SOL and would need to buy a new one. Looked though paperwork and found the tire warranty info, called the installer and they ordered a replacement without even questioning it and installed for free. I mention that as it might be difficult to get warranty coverage service though a third party installer, so just another thing to think about.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:28 AM   #27
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Bought from Discount Tires; they price matched Tire Rack which had the lowest price.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:30 AM   #28
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For one car we had I needed winter tires and wheels and ordered both from TireRack. They were delivered... mounted and balanced... and just needed to be put on the car. I thought that was pretty cool.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:31 PM   #29
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My usual go to for tires is Discount Tire, may not be the absolute lowest cost vs online, but the customer service is great. Any road hazard is dealt with no hassles and generally no cost. This is especially good for my trailer tires, which talk to anyone with a trailer and trailer tires just do not hold up. I have used the warranty for them several times.

OP, back to your question, mount and balance should be around $15-20 per tire. Check Wal Mart for the mount and balance if you do go online purchase.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:49 PM   #30
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Have used Discount Tire, Costco and Tirerack. The last purchase was at Costco because it is was replacing a previous set bought there. Not sure what the others do, but Costco gave me a full credit for early tread wearout. They were 60k tires and had the safety strip showing at 45k. Because I had all the rotation done at Costco there was no hassle with getting the credit. DSIL had opposite experience when he could not show any evidence of regular rotation.
So, a consideration maybe which vendor offers the most convenience for keeping up with rotation. FWIW, Costco tire mgr told me they do a lot of early wearout tread credits. He commented that a lot if not most of the tires mfg products do not make their warranty tread life.
For that reason, probably will stay with Costco even though Discount Tire seems to be a bit less expensive but the nearest store is 80 miles away. Versus, we are in Costco at every two weeks.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:27 PM   #31
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I've shopped tirerack.com in the past, usually just to get an idea of what I should be paying. My local Discount Tire store has always been able to match or beat the delivered price plus install, often with a slighter better quality tire and longer warranty. Customer service is always very good. I have a long history with them and all my cars are in their system, including my kid's cars. I like stopping in to get my tires rotated, inspected, or just a pressure check. If I have any problem at all before the warranty miles are used up (like uneven wear due to alignment), they always figure out a way to get me the prorated credit and a new set of tires. I just like doing business with them.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
Have a zillion local and chain tire stores nearby, plus Costco and Sams Club. I have been most satisfied with cost and service at Sams Club. You can order online with tires shipped to the store, buy from stock at the store, or have the store tire center order. The later has many tires available for order that are not listed on the sams website.
+ 1 for Sams.
Last set of Goodyears were special order (on sale) which took 4 days.
Mounting and lifetime balance/rotate and I was out the door at a price no one could touch.
Remember, if you have tire pressure monitoring on your vehicle, some dealers will toss in some extra charges.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:26 PM   #33
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To the OP, Amazon may pay about the same wholesale cost for the, but is selling on a razor thin margin,or even a loss, to build market share , and quash all competitors.

Local will be higher, but what has Amazon or tire Rack done to employ folks or pay business taxes in your community ?
Right, I understand that, which is one reason I'd prefer to buy the tires from my local garage. But when I saw that the difference would be several hundred dollars, it made me cringe. I would definitely get the tires from the local garage if their price was slightly higher.........maybe even $100 higher, for the tires plus mount/balance. But several hundred dollars makes me feel like I am getting taken to the cleaners, and I don't think I can agree to that. I'm probably going to order the tires through Amazon, and take them to a different local car repair guy, to have them mounted and balanced. I know he will do it for a fair price, and will do a good job.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #34
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Another Discount Tire fan here - they have gone above and beyond for me several times and their prices are usually OK (not the lowest but not the highest). So they get my tire business.
Plus they rotate and balance for the life of the tire... you do not have to pay every time.... I factor that into my decision....
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:12 PM   #35
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Regarding Costco...one of my friends owns a successful garage and has told me that as an independent business he often will pay more for tires from the manufacturer than the retail price at Costco. He is often asked to price match, but to do so means taking a loss.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:48 PM   #36
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Bummer that you do not have a Costco in the "neighborhood." I like the tires they are willing to handle and the prices always seem reasonable (considering) and the installation is also reasonable (not cheap, though). Any issues, and I just stop in (check pressure, check wear, repair most nails, etc.).

I'm just guessing that most independents will want to charge an arm and a leg to install "Amazon" tires. Selling you the tires is their main profit center most likely - not standard installation. But YMMV.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #37
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Some years ago, In support of my retail management career, I spent some time with the Firestone tire national sales manager, going through the Firestome manufacturing plant and taking the short course in the construction, classification, testing and value rating of tires. A general study of in depth valuation of tires, based on planned use.

Since the use of our family cars does not involve high speed, off-road, or excessive heat , cold, or ice, my own decision on tires goes to the lower end, lower price range. I expect about 40,000 miles and 10 years per tire.

As to tire age, drying out and weakness that comes with low or no use is something I've never seen, so I don't buy into the salesman's pitch about age.

One slow flat in the past 25 years.

Basically, it's Walmart or Sears for me... rotating and guarantees available without problem in most areas where we'd travel. Even though both of our cars... Town Car and a Cadillac , are heavier I see no reason to go with the top of the line tires the basic construction is essentially the same... steel belts and tire carcasses and manufacturing process essentially the same.

And so, price and a sale are my criteria for purchase. With the installation, balancing, extended warranty and old tire disposal fee, my last set of four tires cost $350, including sales tax.

For those who have different needs, this website gives some basic information on tire ratings... and may help with understanding the rating codes.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=35
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:24 PM   #38
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I just had 4 Michelin Defender tires installed on DW car at Town Fair Tire each tire was $25 cheaper than Tire Rack price. They charged me a total of $83 for mounting/wheel balance and new stems valve.

Unfortunately this chain is only available in the 4 states of MA, CT, NH and Maine. So if you live in one of these states check them out.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:57 PM   #39
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Some years ago, In support of my retail management career, I spent some time with the Firestone tire national sales manager, going through the Firestome manufacturing plant and taking the short course in the construction, classification, testing and value rating of tires. A general study of in depth valuation of tires, based on planned use.

Since the use of our family cars does not involve high speed, off-road, or excessive heat , cold, or ice, my own decision on tires goes to the lower end, lower price range. I expect about 40,000 miles and 10 years per tire.

As to tire age, drying out and weakness that comes with low or no use is something I've never seen, so I don't buy into the salesman's pitch about age.

One slow flat in the past 25 years.

Basically, it's Walmart or Sears for me... rotating and guarantees available without problem in most areas where we'd travel. Even though both of our cars... Town Car and a Cadillac , are heavier I see no reason to go with the top of the line tires the basic construction is essentially the same... steel belts and tire carcasses and manufacturing process essentially the same.

And so, price and a sale are my criteria for purchase. With the installation, balancing, extended warranty and old tire disposal fee, my last set of four tires cost $350, including sales tax.

For those who have different needs, this website gives some basic information on tire ratings... and may help with understanding the rating codes.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=35

I had a tire blow while sitting in a driveway from dry rot due to age.... the guy across the street thought it was a gun shot...

We had both tires on our boat trailer blow up on the same trip.... and they both had lots of tread left...

Age does make a difference... but I also think that using them helps prevent premature aging...
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:50 AM   #40
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I have really soured on Costco for tires due to an incident last year with a neighbors SUV. She needed tires and I suggested costco. Everything was great until she got a nail puncture. Slow leak, we went to the Costco tire center to get it fixed.

The tire center manager of the day said it would be about 4 hours, several cars ahead in line, ok , fair enough. Me: " Can we leave the tire and come back when it's done ? " Costco tire manager: " No, we cant work on your vehicle out of sequence " Me: you cant just grab a floor jack and air ratchet , pull the leaking tire, and put on the spare ? " "Costco manager : no, that is our policy". Ok, can I take it off in the parking lot, and leave it ? Costco : Sure ", and he wrote up the ticket.

Kind of chicken dung to spend as much time explaining "Policy", as just swapping the spare out. Pretty sure the guy was just following orders from headquarters.

Several hours pass, Costco calls the neighbor, says the tire is fixed. She went to pick up the tire and get the spare swapped out , They then told her it would be 3 or 4 hours to take the spare off, and bolt on the repaired tire.

Another 3-4 hour wait wait for a 5 minute task ? Sheer corporate stupidity with a capitol S. This would never happen at Sams club or any tire place I have come across in 40+ years of driving.

Not worth a letter, but i'l never buy tires at Costco again. I'm afraid this is the type of crap taught in management schools by people who have no place in their twisted minds for common scene.

Would love to be face to face with a Costco corporate executive , for a little chat on a business cancer called micromanagement .
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