TIRE DEALER TIPS FROM THE TIPSTER and/or C. Y. A. Insurance
Every minute, of every hour, there is approximately 700 used tires being changed somewhere in the USA. Add in the rest of the growing world vehicle populace with countries like China and India’s escalated car growth recently and that’s a lot of rubber rolling around. The United States currently has the largest amount of tires on the ground and this number is growing every year which increases the used tire market and customer awareness of the benefits of good quality used tires.
“The Tire Team” here at Carolina Used Tires are committed to the success of our clients after the sale and will work with them on specific goals and be there to answer their questions, to insure that commitment is real day after day, tire after tire. The “Tire Tipster’s” goal is to share common sense knowledge and good ideas that will help our tire dealers build their bottom line with operational control, efficient time management, profit and loss awareness and reasonable risk management.
Our mission statement is simple: “If Your Selling A lot of tires, Were Selling A lot of Tires”
GOT A TIP FOR THE TIPSTER, PLEASE SEND IT TO: tipster@CarolinaUsedTires.com
Note: If The Tipster Does Use One of Your Tips, He Will Send You A $50 Check For Helping Out
Used Tire IDing If your selling used tires, you should be tire IDing every tire out the door. This simple, quick process gives You! the used tire dealer, real control over your operation. Whether you’re selling 100 used tires a month or thousands of used tires, this technique allows the tire dealer to know exactly when their tire went out the door. The entire process of writing your shop initials and the date inside the tire takes less then three seconds but that tire ID is there for the duration of the used tire life. Think of it as a manually inserted UPC lable inside the tire.
The Benefits of Used Tire IDing: used tire business identification
used tire warranty verification
used tire wear history
used tire inventory control
used tire price and size verification
POS point of sale verification
Used Tire Warranty One of the best tools in your arsenal for growing your tire business has to be the used tire warranty. The used tire warranty shows your customer your confidence in the product that you are selling and your professional responsibility to stand behind your tire service for a reasonable period of time.
The used tire warranty is “piece of mind” for your customer and clearly a value added bonus to the deal but the final decision to give a warranty and/or the extent you are willing to cover in a warranty is a decision that should be based on your customer base and the retail demographics you are working with along with the monthly volume of tires you sell now and hope to sell in the future.
Many dealers will at first stay away from a used tire warranty thinking they will have to endure continuous repair service from road hazards and/or dealing with a dishonest customer. Selling used tires in a questionable condition is another reason some dealers won’t give a used tire warranty which puts both the tire dealer and the customer at risk.
The good news is that Carolina Used Tires sells as it leader item the 100% Re-Sell used tire Learn More which will help you sell more tires and be able to offer your customer a trouble free warranty. Regular SP (scrap percentage) used tires sold by reputable wholesalers should also be considered in offering a used tire warranty to your customers after an initial tire inspection.
The extent of the used tire warranty coverage can be simple or overdone but doesn’t need to be and should only be about the used tire itself. See this warranty example Learn More to get an idea what the tire warranty should cover to be effective. The used tire warranty does not need to be presented to every customer but should be posted in a conspicuous place in your tire shop so that your customers can read it at will.
Many dealers in an effort to build business will cover anything that happens to the tire during the warranty period. The existent the tire dealer is willing to cover the warranty can be a per incident situation or across the board deciding for all their customers to do road hazard tire repair for a limited time after the sale. The used tire warranty we recommend covers the used tire in a fair and responsible way to both the used tire customer and the used tire dealer. The used tire warranty should always be used in conjunction with the used tire ID process and a verifiable sales receipt.
The used tire warranty is a potential customer selling point for not only the tire you’re selling that day but for future tire business down the road. Used tire volume dealers will tell you that it’s a great new and old customer incentive and that they wouldn’t be where they are today without it. The feed back we receive from our dealers on warranty returns is less then one tire out of 500 where there was actually some type of verifiable tire failure.
Used Tire Inventory The key to used tire inventory management is not only about keeping track of what tires you have in stock and learning how to keep your tire inventory rotated but concentrating on the quantities of certain size tires that seem to sell at a slower pace then other sizes. The key is to focus on your entire inventory but make customers aware of certain tire and rim sizes you have the most of, with used tire specials or cross referencing tire sizes. Also offer specials when your customer needs two or four tires to move that inventory out the door. Remember that when a two or four tire sale is possible, staggering and/or changing the tire to a compatible size is sometimes possible and will help you move inventory as well.
Dealers will often tell us that they can only sell 14 or 15 inch tires and can’t sell the other tire sizes. The reality is that all tires sell, some sizes faster then others depending on the demographics you’re working in and the effort you make as a dealer to move out your entire inventory. Volume dealers will stay in the mid 90% flow of moving their inventory in and out the door week after week.
The used tire business market has changed dramatically over the years to where now all income classes will search out and find deals on good used tires from reputable used tire dealers to save money and keep budgets on track. This is especially true in a recession or a slow grow economy.
Keep in mind that the reusable thousands upon thousands of used tires in the recycle flow are mainly coming from a tire change off a rim from somewhere. That tire ex-change is coming from multiple rim sizes that everyday utilize more 16, 17 and 18 inch used tires in correlation to more and more late model cars and trucks on the road replacing the older vehicles with 14 and 15 inch rims. Part of this process is better understood by realizing that 16 inch and 17 inch tire rims have been on the road for over 16 years and 13 years consecutively while 13, 14 and 15 inch tire rim sizes have already or are in the process of phasing out all together. The used tire recycle flow is a direct reflection on what is actually moving in the used tire business and the current vast majority recycle market is 16 and 17 inch used tires.
Another inventory winner is to separate your used tires mix loads by the A and B grades, Low Profile and LT’s from the majority C grade where applicable. Also pulling sets and pairs out of the mix used tire load when applicable is another great way to diversify your inventory out the door.
Used Tire Signage Letting customers know your in the used tire business can be a fine line between over done and not enough. The used tire dealer that portrays and maintains his business as a professional operation will out sell his competitors every time. Remember your over all tire competition includes new and used tire retailers and building customer confidence in used tires is a main business priority for growth. Many used tire dealer sell new tires also and this same business mentality applies as well. The key is to make your business stand out to potential customers without losing your professional character.
One of the best ways to let the public know you’re the tire guy is to take advantage of signage opportunities around you.
Existing stationary lighted pole marquee signs or wall signs next to the road do great at bringing in tire traffic but if you have to install one first, the initial cost, zoning and permits may be a financial investment factor to think about.
Take in consideration windows if your tire store has them, they make quick inexpensive signs to let people know what you sell and for how much. Store windows are generally out of the control of zoning departments and are great eye catchers.
Using tire storage semi-trailers or trucks for double duty is another great way to display your business name and/or used tire products. When the tire storage trailers are positioned towards your road traffic they become custom giant bill boards that shout your used tire message 24/7.
Road side signage is a lesson in grabbing your customers attention for a moment while they are driving by your place of business.
This type of signage is formulated by things like the size, color and font style of your sign text along with the speed limit allowed for traffic that passes your tire store.
The formula success of your sign displays are measured by the retention of information the driver understands as they pass by your tire store.
To make your signage effective, keep the message short and direct. One of the most effective signs for used tire sales will display the following three statements.
“USED TIRES” “ALL SIZES” “$00 Installed and Balanced”
If your city or county zoning departments don’t have any objections to board type painted A frame signs that you can place next to or at the front of your used tire business, Go For It! Remember two tips, have the signs created by a professional (cost is minimal) because that sign is a direct reflection of your everyday business standards and keep the sales message short and sweet. Trying to cram a lot of text on the sign board becomes a blur of words, can confuse your customer and is a waste of time and money. Banners, Flags, Flashing Lights, tire sleeve’s all have there place and can be a positive attractant for business, but remember that too much can be the difference between looking like a professional used tire business or a road side circus / flea market.
Used Tire Pricing Here is where the debate continues with the way used tires used to be sold and how there are sold today. The used tire business has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry world wide and is a domineering staple in many countries far out selling new tires on a yearly basis.
Used tires used to be sold twenty years ago in the past with a pound per pound mentality that big tires should sell for more money then smaller tires. Keep in mind that 20 years ago in the USA almost all cars and trucks rolled on mainly two rim sizes 14’s and 15’s with some 13’s in the mix. Any other rim sizes during that time were considered custom rims for specific purposes.
That was then and this is now. Today car and truck manufacturers around the world produce vehicles with standard rim sizes of 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. In the USA the main manufacturer rim sizes accompanying new cars and truck over the last 10 years have been 16, 17 and 18 inch rims in the millions. This does not include millimeter sizes or the popular low profile sizes from 22 inch up to 36 inch rims. Because of the tire rim size diversity taking place over the last two decades, the way used tires are now sold has changed as well.
The ability to purchase set tire sizes in volume is not possible in today’s wholesale markets with any dependable consistency. A real used tire wholesaler knows that even if the considered popular used tire sizes were available to sell individually it would not be with any reliance because the popular used tire sizes change constantly day by day in the recycle flow. Today’s hot seller could be next week’s dud! If this happens regularly, it is a clear indication that you are not marketing correctly your business location or your entire used tire inventory because the variable market for all different tire sizes is there but you’re not reaching it and getting your market share.
Here some tips on how to price and grow your used tire market share.
Buying your used tires in a volume mix allows you to pay one price across the board but receive a base C grade with additional grades and sizes that can be separated out
Create a base selling price for your used tires at a C grade level $25, $30, $35, $40 etc.
Sell all C grade tire sizes from 14 inch to 20 inch for the same price per tire
Always include installation but decide if you will sell the tire balancing separately
Offer tire balancing as an option with a used tire warranty
Only offer a used tire warranty if the used tire is balanced
Sell you’re A and B grade, Low Profile and LT used tires at a higher price
Separate pairs and sets from a mix load and sell for more money
Offer discounts on two or more tire purchases, pairs, sets and tire balancing
Heavily discount your slower moving tire sizes by selling a complete change of 4 used tires at one time
Used Tire Marketing Since there are now over haft a dozen active tire rim sizes a standard used tire dealer must inventory and sell, it’s very important the used tire dealer understand the demographics and the available used tire market they are operating in.
All those thousands of different cars and trucks with different tire and rim sizes passing your tire business all have three things in common.
(1) There rolling on a vast variety of different tire and rim sizes (that’s why all used tires sell)
(2) New tire and used tires are terminal rubber products that will eventually wear down and need to be replaced. Add in road hazards, driving habits, road conditions, vehicle mechanical conditions, state inspections and the elements from Mother Nature and that may be sooner before later.
(3) They are all riding on “Used Tires” even the new one’s they just installed which are just as vulnerable to all the conditions mentioned above.
Used Tire Marketing Tips
Marketing all your used tire inventory and tire services to potential customers is how you grow and become successful in the used tire business.
Understanding your tire demographics is it Urban, Suburban, Rural or a mix of two or all three? Don’t guess, there are DGA studies done everywhere in the USA. Check with city or county agencies or a local real estate office for information about area demographics.
DOT Traffic Count – exactly how many cars and trucks are passing your used tire store on a daily basis? Traffic information is free, check with your local DOT office and find out what’s really going on.
Do some area retail homework - competition is a good thing when utilize correctly. It enables you to tap in to the established customer draw and define your prices, products and service to potential used tire customers.
Get your used tire message out – utilize your location with the right signage and tire display. Utilizing inexpensive local media like radio or Craig List to get started or for special sales can work but concentrate on your local drive-by customer base first.
Most of the used tire retail business is based on price, availability and service in that order. Your tire stores reputation is a major word of mouth bill board that can be seen as good or bad but remember good service produces good customers but not all customers are good.
Used tire business is a “Team Effort” - Have your employees inform your customers about tire discounts, tire specials and available tire services but make sure everyone is on the same page everyday and no side deals are made.
Used Tire Service Customer confidence in your tire service and used tire inventory is a day to day challenge. Educating your customers about used tires, especially to customers that are new to the idea of buying used tires is key to driving your used tire business forward.
Your over all appearance goes back to the standard business rule of first impressions. If your used tire business looks run down, with dirty walls, floors, over flowing trash cans, illegible hand painted signs, disorganized tires, scrap tire piles and scattered equipment during a slow time, your potential customers may think that this is what they can expect from you as a product and service provider.
Even the busiest used tire volume dealers will make sure their tire shop is in order during operations and after a busy day, to be ready for tomorrow. Running a standard used tire store or building into a high volume used tire store require several key elements including operational efficiency, tire equipment maintenance, used tire inventory management, dependable used tire resources, reliable retail check and balance system for transaction, on-going training for tire installation and balancing procedures and a “Tire Team” dedicated to your company goals.
Used Tire Service Tips
In a Standard or Volume used tire shop, make sure your team is trained and cross trained for different task. Use the most experienced labor in the most difficult jobs.
Explain and maintain shop rules for safety and work procedures. No one should deviate from the established rules unless the manager and/or owner have approved first.
Have one person responsible for used tire assessments and/or decisions on quality, grade, price or installation procedures.
Educate your team on company rules, practices and policies they must follow daily for a safe work environment
Educate your team on current prices, specials and sales tactics so customers wont be confused
Make sure everybody on your team is talking the same language when it comes to tire sizes, tire ratios, tire brands, tire damage and repairs Learn More
Teach your team responsible customer service and encourage them to educate your customers on regular used tire awareness and maintenance like improper tire wear, visible tire damage, proper tire inflation and tire rotation.
Used Tire Display Depending on your local zoning ordinances with concerns to used tires, a tire display may or may not work for you. Stacking used tires outside your tire store will help let customers know your in the business but this should be done on a controlled and limited scale with scrap tires only unless you can bring the good tires in at night.
Never keep used tire inventory out in the open so you wont invite UV damage, hold rain water, attract rodents and insects and open yourself up to theft and vandalism.
Any tires use in a stack attractions should be anchored or secured so under severe weather they cant be knocked down and/or roll into traffic.
Some used tire dealers will actually display different type of tire damage from customers tires that were changed out to help educate awareness to other customers about the different things that can happen to their tires.
Scrap tires for disposal should be collected daily and stored in an a specific area, truck or trailer and disposed of a on a regular bases.