I know I am not the only one in the world that gets frustrated when it comes to finding tyres for my car, I don’t just rock down to Bob Jane T-mart to get my new set of tyres – maybe its because the tyres on my car cost in excess of $300 each but that aside, unless your time is worth $200/hour you can save yourself a few hundred on the same set of tyres if you shop around.
No offence to Bob Jane T-mart, actually what am I saying, full offence to Bob Jane T-mart, not only did they screw up the alignment on my car and the price they quoted for the tyres I was after (Bridgestone Potenza RE070) was a good $90 more per tyre than what I found elsewhere, but they were bloody rude too! I tried Beaurepairs and whilst they were a lot friendlier, they were definitely not cheaper! So where should you go?
I wouldn’t be posting this if I was going to recommend a tyre store somewhere. Trust me I am not going to recommend a tyre store to buy tyres from – this is a blog, not a car magazine. I am going to recommend these blokes : CheapTyres4u.com.au. Yes, you can buy tyres online and they can post it to you anywhere in Australia for around $30 for 4 tyres. No, if your thinking I am getting paid to write this, your wrong, I am not even getting a discount on the tyres I am buying, I am only writing this because I am getting so sick of tyre shops treating me like an idiot, telling me that when I buy cheap tyres they are probably rethreads or not new, or there is something else wrong them or even better, that I don’t need high performance tyres and I should perhaps go with Wanlis…
I have called up 6 stores in Brisbane and none can get the tyres for the same price as these guys. Infact, they are so cheap that the tyre store near my house laughed at me when I said can you beat their prices. They can laugh all they want but laughing at your potential customers doesn’t go a long way when it comes to getting business. Trying to match the price of tyres from CheapTyres4u.com.au and from a local tyre store, I got the following response:
The price they are selling 225/45R17 for, is less than we can buy them for. Our supplier is able to come down five dollars a tyre, which we can pass on to you…. I would also take into consideration possible freight costs from NSW, as well as our supplier not honouring any claims made to them, when it wasn’t product that they sold.
Well, so much for matching prices. I asked the owner of Cheaptyre4u.com.au why they are so cheap?
I buy a lot of tyres in bulk, thus getting a discount. A lot of other places do this but do not pass the deal on. I am passing on the savings in the hope that i can create the volume. I am always on the lookout for what is coming up and always trying to find the best deals so that i can pass them on. All tyres that we sell are brand new with no catch. At the moment as far as fitting we are limited to the Sydney metro area. But we can knock a few bucks off and freight tyres when necessary. Hopefully as more outlets come on board, fitting can be more widespread. said Barry from CheapTyres4u.com.au
You know, there are lots of people out there who still refuse to give their credit car details over the internet, they think its unsafe, yet they are more than willing to call up on the phone line and either give their details to an operator or punch it in over the phone network. I am not going to write an article about internet security, and how you can protect yourself from having your credit card details stolen, but the point is, we are in 2006, as a member of the Y Generation I really can’t stress the importance of the internet and online shopping to the older crowd.
Looking through forums, through online shops, you are always sure of getting the best price or close to it. It should be obvious why goods are so much cheaper online, because you cut out the middle man. Why go from wholesaler to tyre shop than to customer when you can go wholesaler direct to customer? And more importantly a wholesaler which has no proper shop front and operates solely over the internet. The older generation prefer to have that personal contact when it comes to buying or selling things – no one seems to trust anyone over the internet! Sure its more risky than going down to bob jane and paying for some tyres at RRP, but when it comes to a proper business with an ABN, how risky can it be? All the tyres sold on CheapTyres4u.com.au are brand new and come with manufacturers warranty.
All tyres we sell come with a manufacturers warranty. This is usually done on a pro rata basis. Usually a manufacturer will inspect the tyre, so it is back in their hands, and process the claim themselves. We do whatever we can to assist our customers. Barry from CheapTyres4u.com.au
Only recently did I purchase an exhaust system from a car forum member and he would not sell me the exhaust till I had called him and talked to him directly – even though I was going to put the money through to his bank account. I guess there is nothing wrong with a bit of personal contact when it comes to buying things, and all online sellers should provide a phone number on which you can call them and query them. However, don’t be annoyed if they are not as happy to talk to you on the phone as they might be to answer your emails. The whole reason you are getting cheap deals is because they have cut staff and facility costs, so having to man multiple phone lines to answer questions only increases their costs. So people, I beg you, give the internet a chance. There are still so many people who refuse to take up eBay when it comes to buying everyday things. I have bought everything from clothes, cameras, to car parts from eBay and I have sold a great deal as well.
Speaking of eBay, I can’t say I have ever bought tyres from eBay. Finding the right tyre on eBay can be a little difficult, most of the time the tyres you will find on eBay tend to be either Nanking or Wanli, both of which are rubbish if you are after something that will actually grip and not scream every time you go around a corner. Nevertheless, if you are not after performance tyres for your car, then eBay is a good place to start looking, just type in the tyre size into the search box and see how you go.
Obviously there are some draw backs from buying your tyres online, for a start, you can’t have them here and now when you buy them, you have to order them, wait 3-4 business days and pay for postage – nevertheless this sometimes applies to your everyday tyre shop too! Secondly you have to trust the seller to make sure you actually get what you paid for, when it comes to actual online tyre stores (e.g. CheapTyres4u.com.au) this should be no issue, but when buying of eBay, the usual rule of thumb eBay point system and feedbacks are essential for making the right choice. If the feedback is too low or if the add doesn’t look professional or if just doesn’t feel right, make sure you go through paypal (offers far better protection than regular EFT) and make sure you call or email the person prior to the sale and get some details.
Furthermore, once you actually get your tyres, you have to consider balancing, scrap fee, cleaning where the bead seats and new rubber valve stems and offcourse, alignment. So you’d be looking at around another $150 todo this. Most tyre stores throw in this as part of the deal (although most don’t give you a free wheel alignment) when you get 4 new tyres, but don’t be fooled you are already paying for it! Its always worth checking to see which method is actually cheaper, if buying from a tyre shop works out cheaper when you factor in postage, fitting and alignment then go for it, but most of the time, the cost difference between online purchases plus store fitting and alignment still works out cheaper than buying it all from your local tyre shop.
The lesson here? Unless you have a dealer account with a tyre wholesaler, you can find the tyre you are after cheaper on the internet than you will ever find it in a tyre store.