Here's the story, I'll keep it as brief as possible. A few months ago I went to the garage to get an alignment done and replace two Sumitomo HTR tires that were going smooth. Yeah, that's a good word, smooth. I told the garage owner he may as well replace the four tires and keep them balanced and he said it wasn't necessary right now because the two remaining tires were fine. That was my first mistake because I should have pushed the issue and forced my money on him. That was then and this is now!
Needless to say, those two 'fine' rear tires are now smooth and the Goodrich Radial T/A front tires are still beefy with nice deep tread. I like good tread depth because I travel the highway about 75 miles a day for work and I don't need rain issues. Okay, all well and good, just call him up and have him order me two more Goodrich Radial T/A P185/70 R14's. Right? If I splashed water on a live electrical circuit I'd have better luck! "Oh, I'm sorry," I'm told by the helpful girl at the garage, "those tires are discontinued and there isn't anything similar for your car available"! Now I'm really ticked off! I asked her what we could do since these tires are still in excellent shape and she said I could take time out from my workday and go there to look at tire 'pictures' and pick something close. In a pigs eye!! I said thanks and ended the call. I wasn't going to get mad at her since it wasn't her decision about the tires before.
Let's skip ahead! I went to Tire Kingdom and they had nothing appropriate but they could order me 'something close to my size' and I said thanks, I'll call you. I went to Topline and had the same results. My next step was to do a search on the Internet. I figured it was probably cheaper to go straight to the source. You can probably guess the result there as well, only worse. Way back when I had to decide on the Sumitomo HTR tires the other choice was the Pirelli P4 tire. The HTR's were on sale at Sears so they got the nod. These tires were not a good investment for all my highway driving.
Is there a silver lining? Let's find out. I figured the Pirelli's should still be available so let's see the price on them now. I saw listings on the regular search engines from $ 115 to $ 73 per tire and that was going to be the deal breaker again on the P4's. Too much money! One last tire web search I saw a recommendation from a happy person talking up this this search site that wasn't biased towards paying advertisers, so I checked it out. I never heard of ShopWiki but then again nobody ever heard of me before and now I have page rank on Google. I did a search for the Pirelli P4 P185/70 R14 and to my chagrin, the P4 price was $ 52 per tire. I almost had an accident in my chair when I saw that. I got out the Discover card with the lowest balance and placed the order. The screen said 2 were available immediately and the other 2 would ship when their order came in. I can deal with that since I needed 2 right away.
The bottom line is this, don't give up looking for a better deal because there's usually one out there, if your persistent. I don't care if you go to Goodrich, Firestone or if your really stupid, a shopping club that gets tires like the lower grade stuff that that big box store sells. Be the smart consumer and save when you can, after all, surfing the net is free, over paying for merchandise isn't.