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Tire Rack? Is that the name of a tire store?

I need to buy a set of tires for the Corolla, and the normal place I buy tires doesn’t stock that size anymore. So I was thinking of Tire Rack, hearing it advertised on Car Talk on occasion, thinking I’d like to support the show so I’ll patronize that vendor. But I got to thinking, I don’t recall ever seeing a Tire Rack store in these parts. An internet search on Tire Rack brings up a list of “installers”, most of those store names I recognize, but no stores named simply Tire Rack. There’s a Tire website but that appears to be where you buy tires online and have them shipped to you or your installer. What am I missing in my understanding about the nature of Tire Rack?

Tire Rack is online only. You buy the tires from Tire Rack ships those tires to a shop local to you that is an affiliate. Different shops have different rates for mounting and balancing, but those are disclosed to you when you are picking out which shop to mount and balance your tires.

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Yep, think Amazon only for tires. You won’t find any local Amazon stores either.

Ok, thanks, I understand the concept at least. My oh my how times change … :wink:

The Tire Rack local installers are drop ship points for your new tires instead of your house or apartment. Makes getting those new Miata tires to the installer much easier.

I started using Tire Rack about 3 years ago. I buy tires on Monday, they arrive at my mechanic on Wednesday, and are installed by Friday. My regular shop is one of their installers that shows up when you search in my zip code. Tire Rack also shows the cost for each authorized installer. I know exactly what it will cost for ties on the rim and out the door befor I buy the tires.

The selection is also outstanding. The cost isn’t lower than a local tire store, but the ability to get the tires I really want rather than the best of what the local store has is a big plus. Using a shop I know and trust is also a big plus. I wish I’d started buying tires on line years earlier.

The home page of Tire Rack seems pretty explanatory how it works: you choose tires-they ship to you or an installer. Where is the mystery?

With all the tires shops in San Jose, I’d find one I like. Might well save money, too. Yelp likes “Tire Merchants”.

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I have found Discount Tire Direct to be a good source and they provide free shipping.

Like I said before, the Goodyear dealer I use can get anything I want and prices are competitive. I have no interest in messing around with ordering tires on the internet. I go down and get a quote and can have them on the next day at the quoted price. What could be simpler?


I doubt that one could save much buying from Tirerack, there are too many local sales going on all the time everywhere, but they do have an excellent reputation and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from them. I like the option of having a very wide variety available and of getting a “tire and wheel package” delivered to my door completely mounted and road-force balanced. Other than price comments from people who thought they’d save a ton of money, I’ve never read or heard a bad word about them.

Have you tried Discount Tires ?

…or, if you have the tires mounted on their own dedicated wheels, you can have them shipped to your home so that you can install them yourself. In fact, that is the approach that I used with two different cars when it came time to buy winter tires.

Yup! And, in the days before most tire retailers carried a good selection of winter tires, Tire Rack had–probably–8 different winter tire models from which I could choose. Nowadays, it is pretty easy to find winter tires at a brick & mortar store, but I don’t think that any of them can equal the selection that is offered by Tire Rack.

If you have a tire dealer in town that you like and trust, use them. I’m not enthusiastic about the five chain stores in my area and the only independent tire dealer I’m aware of is about 30 miles west.

A chain store can be honest and competent. It depends on who works there, just like any independent store. @bing, your Goodyear is a good place to shop, but the one around the corner from my daughter is not according to her. She found out through experience, not by rumors.

There’s a local independent tire shop in Nashua N.H. I’ve used for over 20 years.

Their prices are equal or better than Tire Rack.

You can get any tire you want. Just call them asking for the tire size/brand/model you want, and they’ll have it for you the next morning.

I imagine many local independent tire shops offer the same.

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That’s not entirely true.

I think that’s the same one I use…and they are also a Tire Rack partner. But their prices are very good and they know what they’re doing.

Tire Rack is good if you live in a place that has a sales tax. Buying from Tire Rack - you don’t have to pay sales tax. But here in NH where there is no sales tax Tire Rack just isn’t worth it.

Of course there are situations where it is worth it even if you’re in NH.
One was cited above. I’ve bought 4 tire/wheel packages that were delivered to my house while I was at work. Price was better than local store and I didn’t have to wait around.

Just the other day I got a new set of tires at a local establishment. Made the selection and appointment online. Showed up at my appointed time and waited for 45 minutes before it was even driven into the shop area…

I’m surprised it’s better then a local price…because of the added shipping costs. I’m sure that wasn’t cheap.

It can be pretty reasonable depending on where shipping to because they have depots and if one is close, doesn’t cost so much. They also had sale pricing, similar to local store. But I didn’t HAVE to get an alignment to get the “deal” which, if you don’t want/need can offset those savings (e.g. buy 3 get one free if you accept our package which includes $80 alignment…)