A few months back, my beloved and I needed to get new tyres for our car. Our car still had its original factory tyres on it, 6 years and almost 50,000 kms after it came out of the factory… So, it was time!
The last time I purchased a new set of tyres for a car was roughly 5 years ago. Back then, we probably just took it to Kmart Tyre and Auto, assuming they would do a good deal… So, I really had no idea where to start.
However, after some serious research and phone negotiations with tyre providers, here’s what I’ve learned about how to get the best deal on tyres:
The standard price is not the price you should pay!
I looked at four or five different tyre companies for tyre prices. I started out by researching their websites for prices, so that I had an idea of what each company charged for the tyres I wanted.
When I called them to try and negotiate a better deal, the prices I was given over the phone didn’t align with the advertised prices on their websites. I had to quote these prices to them…
The lesson I learned from this was to never call or go to the tyre shop without having looked up their website for advertised deals first.
Buy 3, get one free deals aren’t always the best value
We’ve all seen the “Buy 3, get one free” deals that tyre companies often have. I, like many people, thought this would surely be a good deal… However, when I looked at the tyres included in these deals, I realised that these deals weren’t great value.
Through my research, I realised that the price charged for each individual tyre included in the buy 4, get one free deals were quite high in comparison with advertised prices of these tyres elsewhere. So, even though one was free, if you’re paying an extra $50 per each of the three tyres you do pay for, you’re not getting much of a deal.
Welcome online tyre sales companies
As part of my research, I discovered that that online car sales company, Carsales.com, now has a tyre company too, called Tyre Sales. Additionally, I also discovered similar sites, including Tyroola and Tyre Right.
Tyre Sales, Tyroola and Tyre Right operate as online warehouses distributing cheaper tyres to consumers. Through their websites you can order tyres to a local mechanic for professional installation. If you choose the professional install option, you can have your wheels aligned at the same time.
In my research, the online tyre businesses were cheaper than all of the physical tyre stores for most tyres. Additionally, they offered promo codes… So, are really worth considering.
Unfortunately, we were in a hurry to get our tyres before going on a road trip. So, there wasn’t enough time to get tyres delivered from the online companies. As a result, we did the below instead…
Find the business that price matches online businesses
If you’re not confident in the capabilities of online tyre suppliers, don’t have time to wait for tyres to be sent out, or would just rather stick to using a bricks and mortar store… Then try to find stores which price match online businesses.
When I purchased my tyres, I researched our local suppliers (Kmart Tyre and Auto, Bob Jane T-Marts, Beaurepaires and Jax Tyres), and then compared these against the online stores. The online stores were consistently the cheapest (as they should be). So, I then researched whether my local suppliers had a price match or price beat policy for online tyre suppliers (Bob Jane T-Marts did!).
Once armed with such information, I was able to move into the next phase… Negotiations!
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate… Win, win, win!
Note: The joy of having multiple tyre suppliers in my area, is that I had leverage for negotiating. So, this next step may not work so well for you if you are in a rural or regional area and don’t have access to multiple tyre suppliers.
Once you’ve managed to get an online price, you want to call the tyre company that beats online prices (Bob Jane T-Mart’s) to get a better price from them, that you can then use as leverage to negotiate with local tyre stores. Then it’s time to make a few calls…
From here, call each of your local suppliers to request them to beat the price you’ve been given from another shop. You’ll need to keep ringing around between these businesses quoting the best price the other business has given you in order to get the best deal.
When I purchased my tyres, I was able to negotiate between two businesses until one of them tapped out due to the price going below their “no deal” amount for the tyres… That’s when I knew I was getting a really good deal.
As a result of the negotiations, I saved $70 per tyre and $280 on the set of four tyres… A pretty good saving for a total of about 45 minutes of work.
If there’s one thing I learned throughout the process of buying tyres… It’s that you should take the initial cost quoted with a grain of salt!
Like many things you buy, there is usually a decent mark up on cost price. Now, there’s nothing wrong with mark up… It is necessary for a business to make a profit and keep its doors open! But, there’s reasonable mark up and there’s excessive mark up… And, that’s what your research and negotiations will sort out for you.