Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

The Reality of Tire Shopping

A deeper look into why things are the way they are - with tire shopping that is.
The reaility of tire shopping: It either sucks or it can be a cinch.

Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of light shed.  Some reassurance that what you're experiencing is in fact not just an isolated incident but a universal issue.  And that's the intent here.

Since we're such advocates of making the world a better place by way of turning the detested duty of tire shopping into a money and time saving opportunity, we were compelled to create a synopsis of the realities of tire shopping and acknowledge/ask/answer some of the major questions stemming from it.  After all, this is this very topic that plunged us into the creation of Tire Sniffer in the first place.


Defining the issue:

A lack of knowledge (a.k.a - ignorance) is the prime suspect for causing the "suck" experienced in tire shopping.  You don't know what you don't know and there's nothing or nobody out there making darn sure that you get started off on the right foot. (except for Tire Sniffer of course).

With so many tire choices, online and brick & mortar shops can only carry so much product.  Those doing the selling can only know so much.  Both leave the consumer at a disadvantage for consistently ensuring that they wind up in the right tire for their driving and budget needs. Speaking of budget, this is first and often only priority when it comes time to open that wallet.
(We show you how to establish a rock solid budget, here.)

  • If they're only selling high cost products and you need the best but cheapest thing out there, you don't benefit.
  • If their selection or knowledge of better products within your budget is inadequate, you don't benefit.
  • If they are only familiar with a very limited amount of tire models, you don't benefit.
  • If they want to sell you what benefits them, you don't benefit.
  • If their prices aren't competitive or on point, you don't benefit. (which is why you're on a wild goose chase)
  • If they cannot satisfy the basic needs of their customers, neither of you benefit.

It truly goes on & on & on.  This is the reality of tire shopping, my friends.  A simple but widespread disconnect between seller, consumer and the very product they're both engaged with. 



"It's hard buying something unfamiliar and it's even harder to sell something unfamiliar to someone who ultimately needs what you're selling.  Quite the paradox."



Before you even begin:

If tire consumers were made aware of a few key points BEFORE they did any shopping/research at all - the shopping process would literally be free from the pitfalls caused by ignorance whereby finding the best tire at the best price would be a veritable piece of cake.

Here are some of those major key points:

  • Online prices are not equal to prices in retail shops - Here's why.
  • There is extreme value in the services and warranties that the retailer provides it's customers AFTER the point of sale.
    See what those valuable benefits are, Here.
  • Buy your tires online and you can kiss ALL warranties goodbye in the name of penny pinching.  Don't think you need it?  You'll burn those tires in half the time and find yourself dropping another few hundred bucks for a new set instead of getting another 30k miles.
  • Your local retailer has or can get what you need same or next day.

From a consumers perspective, it's a well know fact that tire shopping sucks.  Now, why is that - because they're expensive?  Because it's time consuming?  Or is it because you'd rather spend you're day or weekend with friends and family at the game, going out or simply doing something other than tire shopping?  Maybe it's because you don't know anything about tires and you've got no idea where to start? It wouldn't be surprising to say it's probably all of those things, and more.


Bring on the hastiness:

Haste:  Done or acting with excessive speed or urgency; hurried.

For most people, when they're forced to do something they do not want to do, it immediately sucks.  Now tell them they have to spend a bunch of money while they're at it and take away many hours/days of their time to do it and that's a recipe for an upside down smile.  There's no enjoyment in tires!

With the Internet's ability to 'instantly gratify' consumers with instant accessibility to information and services, as consumers we're enticed and rewarded by some of our keen online shopping ventures.  But when it comes to tire shopping - jumping online is a bit like throwing water on a grease fire - things aren't gonna work out like you think.


What the tire consumer truly wants:

  • They want all their tire options
  • Tire prices
  • The best they can afford for the cheapest amount
  • To know who's got the best deal
  • The power of choice
  • And they want to get it over and done with asap without spending a bunch of time trying to figure that all out.  

It's really just that simple.  In reality, acquiring those simple things is not so simple... like, at all.

For a great majority, the tire shopping process isn't very enjoyable.  Why?
Most simply do not know where to start, where to go, what they need, what to spend, what's good, what to look for, caught up on mileage ratings, brand names, ignorance, ignorant information from others, misconstruing online information or just plain feeling overwhelmed by the difficulties of obtaining straight-forward, trusted, unbiased information they can use to make a sound decision.  In addition to that, knowing it's going eat up your time and nice little chunk of money when it's all over, its no wonder why people generally do not like it.

Consumers are dealing with a product whose industry, on a purchasing level, is so antiquated and mis-understood that todays consumers are unable to acquire the product in a manner that falls in line with the standards of todays buying and shopping capabilities.  That standard being:  They expected the same accessibility to essential tire information with the simple, convenient, speedy self-satisfying shopping and buying experience for those tires as they have with most every other recurring product purchase.  Problem is, there just isn't a way to do it.


The Tire Retailer:

To succeed, they must, in some way, satisfy the customer - obviously.  Because of that thing called the internet we mentioned, each one potential customer walks or calls in either seeking information they couldn't find online, pricing they couldn't find online, or they are starting fresh and looking to you for quick but accurate answers to their tire needs.  Perhaps they are at some point in their mission of finding out what they need, establishing a budget, price checking you with the shop across the street/town or a "matter-of-fact online price".  If the customer isn't satisfied, they walk out the door and on to the next guy.

But convincing and satisfying customers is no easy task.  The shitty part about it is, consumers need to satisfy themselves, to a greater degree, before the retailer can realistically hope to make the sale!  And, if we circle back around to what we mentioned above, customers have one heck of a time gathering the info they need to satisfy themselves.  Yet another paradox.

Retailers are battling customer demands, a low-margin product, a lack of product resources and an overall lack of sales support/resources geared towards the one thing that matters - selling a damn tire.  Salespeople are in constant conflict with customers who have their guard up, skeptical with your prices and hunting to beat down the tire market thinking that for some reason, there's some huge markup on tires that they feel they need to negotiate price.  Eventually, consumers either convince themselves, surrender and wave the white flag, or somewhere along the line a salesperson legitimately satisfies the needs of the customers and a sale is made!

Either way, the reality is, consumers and retailers are generally on two completely different wavelengths making it tough for anyone to succeed.


Where does that leave us?:

Having said all that, how then does anybody get a set of tires on their car?  Well, because there's no way around the reality of how the tire shopping process goes.  We all deal with it and work our way through it the best we can and look forward to the happy times that lie ahead once we've finished this dreaded chore.  Hopefully we haven't missed the birth of a child, world peace or anything like that.

This is the reality we've lived with for almost 20 years in the retail tire industry.  Everybody is trying to do the best they can and it is what it is.  But, things came together, the stars aligned, and we decided to build a platform that "took the suck out of tire shopping" for both consumers and retailers.  (Read about us and how Tire Sniffer came to be, Here.)  Our solution to the realities of tire shopping is Tire Sniffer.

We've had the pleasure of taking the suck out of tire shopping for so many customers & retailer and look forward to helping tons more.  If you are in the market for tires, we hope that you've stumbled across this article, blog or site and are ready to let Tire Sniffer do the heavy lifting for you and your tire needs.

If you're just getting started or perhaps you've ran across Tire Sniffer in mid-tire-shopping stride, be sure to check out a couple articles below that'll have you knocking out your tire shopping in no time flat.

***Now, this reality is not everybody's experience.  Many find success without any frustrations at all and to that we say, congratulations.  But with our tire retail customer experience and the fact that there are 214 million licensed drivers in the United States and just under 250 million replacement tires sold in 2014, there's a good amount of those 214 million drivers who could use a little help, and that's who we're here to support along with providing retailers with a resource to assist them in their sales.