Retail

Tariffs help boost used tire sales for one dealer

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The U.S. government’s tariffs on Chinese-made passenger tires are helping to boost demand for used tires sold by Champtires LLC, a Pennsylvania dealer that specializes in sales of premium used tires.

The West Mifflin-based company, which originally sold used tires only online, recently opened a store that offers used and new tire sales and installation in Pittsburgh. It is the company’s second retail outlet.

Spokesperson Shilo Rea says the company's focus is high-quality premium used tires but affordable new tires are also available online and at the two retail stores.

Rea says the high costs of new tires as well as the tariffs will help the used tire market.

“We’re seeing that more people are looking for more affordable tire options. The Chinese-made tires are cheap but they also are lower quality. I think the tariffs are good for sellers of high-quality used tires.”

Used tires account for about 80 to 85% of the company’s overall sales, according to Rea. She says every tire that enters the Champtires warehouse is inspected. “We’re selling tires that have a lot of tread life, are high quality and are affordable.”

Champtires' new retail and tire installation center is located at 1319 Washington Blvd. in Pittsburgh.

Since 2009, Champtires.com has been based in West Mifflin, Pa. The company first operated only as an e-commerce solution for drivers across the U.S. by providing low cost, high quality used tires. Two years later, it added retail and installation services for Pittsburgh-area customers at its West Mifflin location.

"Opening the Washington Blvd. store will let us easily offer different tire options for Pittsburgh drivers," says Brad Rea, owner and president of Champtires.com. "We have attracted drivers from across the region to our West Mifflin location, and the new store will just make it more convenient for customers in the East End and northern suburbs."

Roughly 40% of Champtires.com's business comes from local sales. While the company sees an opportunity for that to increase, it remains focused on selling tires online.

"New tires can be extremely expensive, and we have found that consumers want to save money where they can. Our prices -- especially for our used tires -- can't be beat," Brad Rea says.

The company says drivers who need to replace one, two, three or a whole set of tires can save up to 80% off of the cost of new tires by choosing used tires. Champtires.com has approximately 10,000 used tires in its inventory at any time, allowing the company to match brand names and tread levels to drivers' existing tires.

"We air test and inspect every tire that enters our warehouse. Buying premium used tires is a cost-effective and safe option for drivers," says Rea. "If you have ever bought a used car, you also bought and drove on used tires."

The company says opening the Washington Blvd. location has already created three full-time jobs: one manager-level and two customer service positions.

Champtires.com will hold a grand opening celebration at its new location on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 3 p.m. For more information about Champtires.com, visit www.champtires.com.

For a breakdown of the rates assigned by the DOC, see “UPDATED: DOC affirms tariffs, increases rates for nearly all tire makers.”

Read what dealers are saying about the tariffs at “Dealers wait, weigh in, on tariffs” and leave a comment!

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