Dos and Don’ts for Selling Wheels and Tires Online

How To Sell Wheel and Tires Online

While recently trying to sell a car, I wrote an article about common sense tips for selling a used car. Because, frankly, many people are really bad at it. And while shaking my fist at clouds the other day (and looking for 17″ wheels for our Forester XT), I noticed people are also really bad about selling wheels and tires online. So here are some dos and don’t for selling wheels and tires online.

Don’t: Only Show a Stack or Pile of Wheels

Four wheels and tires

If this is your only image of selling a set of wheels and tires, you’re essentially selling me the top one. Heck, you’re barely doing that. This isn’t helping sell an entire set. Like, hey, good to know there are four of them but, uh, could we see them?

Do: Take Multiple Photos

Four American Racing Jeep wheels for sale.

If you have more than one wheel and tire for sale, make sure you take a photo of, you know, all of them. Start with a group photo that basically says, “Hello potential buyer. Here are the items I’m attempting to sell for your use.” I know, I know: it takes some effort to lay them all out and you just might have to restack them when done, but you’ll up your chances of actually selling the setup.

Jeep wheel with Yokohama tire

I also advocate taking individual photos of each one that shows curb rash, bends, or other wheel imperfections.

Don’t: Try to Sell Dirty, Dusty, or Muddy Setups

Dirty Mamba wheels

No one wants to buy your filthy wheels. Showing off dirty wheels for sale makes you look lazy and all of your relatives look lazy. It also makes people wonder if you took care of them, and you probably didn’t you filthy beast. By now you might be getting the idea: it could take a wee bit of effort to sell your wheels and tires quickly and for top dollar. Do us all a favor: wash your wheels.

Do: Clean Your Wheel and Tire Setup, Take Good Photos

Clean three-spoke wheels

You wouldn’t sell your car without washing it—unless you’re one of those heathens—so, giving your wheel and tire setup a wash before selling is a good idea. Get the road grime, dirt, mud, and stains off. Give ’em a wash and they’ll be more appealing to buyers. Also, don’t take photos of your wheels when wet. This can often hide scrapes, scratches, and other imperfections. Be sure to take good, clear, detailed photos as well. You do want people to see them right?

Don’t: Use “Universal Fitment” Language

Universal bolt pattern wheels

News Alert: There is no “universal” bolt pattern for cars, trucks, and SUVs. Not all cars are 5×114.3 or 4×100 or any other bolt pattern. If you don’t know the bolt pattern, either do some research and figure it out or simply be honest and say “not sure of the bolt pattern.” FYI you can actually measure bolt patterns with a tape measure of another measuring device—technology is amazing. Yeah I know, more work. But do you want to sell these things or not?

Do: Be Specific About Your Wheel and Tire Specs

MB Wheels and Yokohama tires

After you’ve washed, dried, and photographed your wheels and tires, make sure your listing has all the specs listed. Every wheel and tire listing should include the following specifics:

  • Wheel Brand: MB Racing Wheels, or Reika, or Cragar, or whatever the brand is.
  • Wheel Diameter and Width: 15×7 or 16×8, etc.
  • Wheel Offset: +40, -19, or whatever. You can also list backspacing which is the same idea as offset.
  • Wheel Bolt Pattern: 4×100, 5×114.3, 6×139.7, etc. If the wheel has a dual-drill pattern, list both.
  • Tire Size: 195/50/15, 225/85R16, 33×10.50 — the sizes are literally on the side of the tire. Worst case scenario? Take a photo of the sidewalls!
  • Tire Date Code: Not everyone does this, but you can list the date code if you know how to read it. BFGoodrich has a good post on how to read DOT identification on its website.

I also love to see photos of the specs when available. These wheels are clearly 15×6.5.

No need to guess on the offset: its clearly marked +38 or ET 38. FYI, ET is an abbreviation of the German word Einpresstiefe which translates to “insertion depth” and is common with regards to offsets.

Is this a lot to list? It looks like it, but it really isn’t. Anecdotally, I hate it when someone is selling a set of wheels, tires, or both and doesn’t give me the specs. I’m not about to drive across town (or farther) to go check them out if I don’t know if they’ll fit.

Don’t: Take One Obsucre Photo And Tell People You’ll Post More Photos Later

Listen, I get it: You want to get your listing up and get your stuff sold quickly. Yeah, you’re too busy to wash, dry, and photograph all of those wheels you’re selling … FOR $1,200 FREAKING DOLLARS. But if this is the only pic you take and you tell people “More photos later,” you can be assured your inbox isn’t going to be flooded with offers.

Don’t rush this. Get your ducks in a row and take pics of all the things you’re selling before posting just the back of the wheel, or something obscure like the above image.

Take Your Time, Do Your Research Before Selling

Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015

Selling wheels and tires isn’t rocket surgery; certainly, it’s easier than selling a car. But putting some effort into the process can help sell your stuff faster and for more money. So get as much info as you can about the setup. Wash and dry the stuff, take good photos—and plenty of them.

Quick tip: You’ll probably get people asking if a certain wheel will fit a certain make or model. If you’re not 100% sure without a shred of doubt, I’ve found it’s best not to provide this information. Sure, a 2005 5×100 Scion tC wheel has the same bolt pattern as 2005 Subaru Forester. But the hub diameter is smaller on the Scion than the Subaru and it won’t fit without modification. Let the buyer do the work and take the chance. You don’t want to tell them a setup will fit and when the buyer gets the wheels to the car they don’t. They’ll probably want their money back or at least be disappointed. And let’s face it, you’ve already disappointed enough people in your life. So as a buyer, go into this knowing whether or not a wheel and tire will fit properly.

With these tips, you should hopefully sell your rolling stock easier, faster, and for more money. So good luck, and don’t be a lazy bones. Now sell, sell, sell!

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