With many stores, a reach that spans several states, and no shortage of advertising and promotion, NTB is an auto service chain that most people have at least heard of before. If you are in the market for new tires and there is a store near you, NTB is certainly an option. So should you buy your tires at NTB? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Since they offer more than just tires, what about the other services and products they sell? In this article, we will take a look at buying NTB tires or other services.
My Most Recent NTB Experience
I live and work within a short drive from an NTB location. I have had more than one occasion to use them, one of which was fairly urgent, and I have compared their prices to other local tire dealers when shopping for new tires. The last time I went to an NTB, it was after coming out of work around 7 o'clock on a weeknight to discover a flat tire. In my rush to get to work on time, I had hit a curb pretty hard on my way in. I did not really give it too much thought since I was running late and way more worried about getting to my job. I took the tire off, noticed some serious damage to the sidewall and put the donut on. Given the late hour and the lack of a full sized spare, my choices were limited if I wanted to solve the tire problem right away. The NTB near me is open until 9pm on weeknights. I knew that because of the damage to the sidewall I was looking at having to buy a replacement tire. The guy at the counter was friendly and helpful. Once I gave him my tire size as written in the owner's manual he gave me several options for getting a new tire. He did not try to up sell me anything extra or services too hard, but did tell me about a special they were running on some high tech wiper blades. I think the counter guy could tell I just wanted to get this taken care of and get home after working all day and coming out to find a flat after my shift. It was not very busy so I was the only one in their little waiting area. I got the whole thing taken care of in about an hour and the price was about what I expected.
Would I Recommend NTB Tires or Other Services?
Based on my experiences, I cannot say I would recommend them over anyone else. While my dealings with NTB have all been generally positive, they really have not done anything to distinguish themselves or motivate me to recommend them without any reservations. I have been there for oil changes and I picked up a new car battery there once, but in shopping for new tires I have always been able to find more competitive pricing or tires on sale. NTB does carry brands like Firestone, Goodyear as well as others and they usually have many in stock so you may be able to find tires available at NTB that other tire stores do not have available. NTB does advertise price matching, subject to terms and conditions of course, but I have never felt motivated enough to try to take them up on it. Every visit has included an attempt to sell me additional stuff, which seems pretty much standard for any type of car service center, but some people find it extremely annoying. If you cultivate a relationship with a local tire dealer or service center, you are less likely to get the hard sell and may even be able to negotiate price a little. The chain places like NTB are not usually open to haggling and relationships can be difficult to establish as turnover often tends to be higher. NTB has proven themselves to me to be competent, but not outstanding. Frankly, what keeps me going back is convenience as I live and work pretty close to one. In general, I would not avoid them, but I would not go out my way to give them my business either. It is worth considering them when you are shopping for tires, batteries or looking for basic routine maintenance like an oil change. They do run frequent specials, are open both earlier and later than a lot of places, and you can find coupons on their website. You cannot browse NTB tires in stock at locations near you or schedule any sort of service appointment through their website, though. Make sure you shop around and compare prices with other chains like Walmart and Pep Boys as well as discount tire stores in your area. You might also want to buy tires online for maximum savings if you do not mind arranging for delivery and installation yourself.
National Tire and Battery, or NTB as it is more commonly known, is a highly visible chain of auto service centers with locations scattered throughout several states. The brand was created in 1997 when big national retailer Sears acquired and merged National Tire Warehouse with Tire America and added the B to represent their popular Diehard line of batteries. In addition to selling vehicle tires, wheels, and batteries, NTB also offers a wide range of additional services. These services include oil changes, lube jobs, brake service, alignment, and more. In the latter half of 2003, Sears sold the NTB business to TBC Corporation, the company behind Big O Tires and Tire Kingdom among others, for $260 million. In 2005, TBC was purchased by Sumitomo Corporation of America, which is the largest subsidiary of the Japan based Sumitomo Corporation. As of today, TBC Corporation still functions as an independent company of Sumitomo.