Not many people are aware of the difference between tire wholesalers and wholesale tire distributors. Depending on your business needs, it may make more sense to open an account and develop a relationship with one type of company over another, so it’s important to understand what separates these types of businesses.
Tire distributors. Unlike regular wholesalers, wholesale tire distributors are direct with the manufacturers whose products they stock and sell. This means that they receive the tires directly from companies like Bridgestone, Continental, Michelin, and others. Because they work directly with the manufacturers, they often carry the full lines of each tire in all sizes. Inventory selection and availability is always an advantage when working with a distributor.
Another benefit offered by wholesale tire distributors is the ability to join rebate programs. Since distributors help manufacturers promote their products, they are allowed to extend generous offers to customers who buy large quantities of tires. Programs like Bridgestone’s TireStarz program gives money back to every dealer that meets their numbers for the month. Enrolling in a dealer program is an excellent way to save lots of money, widen profit margins, and get an edge over local competitors.
Tire wholesalers. Tire wholesalers can sell you tires at wholesale prices, but they do not have a direct relationship with the tire manufacturers themselves. These types of businesses are more independent, and may only stock certain special deals. A wholesaler may only carry parts of a manufacturer’s line instead of the complete selection of models.
“Shotgun” tire wholesalers. A “shotgun” wholesaler typically works with businesses like gas stations or car dealerships that may have immediate need for wholesale tires to be delivered multiple times per day. Some shotgun dealers can even deliver tires within an hour of placing the order! These types of businesses work exclusively with specific customer accounts that have locations close by.
Brokers. Tire brokers typically don’t stock any tires. Instead, they send trucks to distributor warehouses to pick up tires, which are then drop shipped to their final destination. Brokers can help individuals who need bulk quantities of tires at wholesale prices, but don’t have any connections or active accounts in the industry.