My car needed to be inspected by the end of the month so I would not accrue a tax, er, I mean "fine", but I needed new tires since they probably wouldn't pass inspection.
I did what Kate did for her car a few years ago, bought them online and have them shipped to the house then have them installed by a qualified mechanic so they are balanced correctly and wear evenly. This whole exercise is supposed to save a few dollars since there is a big mark-up when you get them from a tire specialist such as JustTires.
I got my tires online from Tirerack.com and paid $113 per tire. These were (Michelin Latitude Tour [235/70R16]) decent tires that were rated high for rain, run smooth and wear well.
I took them to JustTires in Fairfax City and waited for about ten minutes just to speak with the salesman. The guy said they could do it, but to leave the car, they would get to it by 4pm. This is a Sunday at 10am. There were two customers sitting in the waiting area. I asked why it would take that long and why couldn't I wait and he said that since I hadn't bought the tires there, they would install them at their leisure. People who don't buy their tires there go to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to installation.
This didn't seem fair; they sell a product and they provide a service. When the customer only chooses to use their service they are treated in this manner?
Fine. I decided to take my business elsewhere. I went to Merchant's Tire and Auto Center, about a half a mile away. They installed my tires, did an alignment and the state inspection as well. They did it with no waiting, in less than an hour and it cost much less than what JustTires wanted to charge.
I decided that maybe I was being rash, I mean maybe JustTires cost less, maybe I was missing something since I never even asked how much their tires cost. So I went in the next day and gave a different guy the specs on my tires. He quoted me $170 a tire, about $680 total for the four tires, plus another $100 for installation.
Remember, I paid only $113 per tire at Tirerack.com. The installation at Merchant's was only $58, so I had enough money left over to get a full alignment ($100), the State inspection and still had $115 left over - and I didn't have to wait. Thanks JustTires, if your policy was any less rational, I wouldn't have saved all this money.
The kicker to all this is my last name is Goodyear.