Jared Kugel, Founder/CEO of Tire Agent, Tells How He Makes the Best Tires Affordable

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 9, 2022

Jared Kugel, founder and CEO of Tire Agent, knows that winter can be fun, but it is also often a difficult season to drive. A lot of that comes down to the quality of the tires a car uses. In fact, many drivers simply don’t understand how important tires are for both safety and performance, or how much money good tires can help to save over time in both fuel and maintenance costs.

Tire Agent is a leading online retailer of tires. It offers consumers great buying options for new tires in an online platform. Kugel understands how important tires are for safe driving, and how to make it convenient and affordable to buy new tires when it’s time. Tire Agent is an authorized retailer for the majority of top-tier brands, which it offers for sale with flexible payment plans with a proprietary product called PayPair.

Grit Daily was able to talk to Jared Kugel, and learn more about what has made Tire Agent so successful in a market that is extremely competitive.

GD: Besides funding a new venture, what was the most challenging thing about taking Tire Agent into the marketplace?

Jared Kugel: Trying to change consumer behavior is always difficult. In our case, it’s educating consumers that buying tires online with Tire Agent.com in many cases can be a better experience than what they are used to or what they imagine. Much like how many consumers have migrated to purchasing mattresses online, which traditionally have been in-store; tires are gradually going in that direction as well. When it comes to buying tires online consumers can make a more educational and unrushed decision, choose from a larger selection, and utilize a variety of flexible payment options. Customers love the Tire Agent experience. We get a lot of customers recommending us to their friends/family so thankfully it hasn’t been as challenging for us as it may be for others. Like any business, you have to listen to your audience and constantly evolve; that’s the key to growing.

GD: There are already a number of national tire retail chains. Do you view this as a hindrance to your business, or was it good that there was such a large existing market for tires.

Jared Kugel: I see this as a good thing. The replacement tire market is massive and proven to be able to sustain a large number of competitors. We welcome the competition because it motivates us to innovate and to never be complacent. Our goal when entering the tire & wheel space was to differentiate ourselves from legacy retailers. Consumers didn’t need just another retailer of tires & wheels, we’re building lifelong relationships by providing a unique set of services not found anywhere else.

GD: There are persistent reports of a looming rubber shortage. As an industry insider, what is your view of the situation?

Jared Kugel: A lot of these issues are resulting from supply chain challenges; including container shortages, and bottlenecks at ports across the US. The result of this has been unfortunate price increases across the supply chain which ultimately is being passed down to the consumer. Tire manufacturers are doing their best to manage any additional price increases.

GD: The vast majority of car owners are impacted on inflation. Given the probability of price hikes going forward, do you think it is a good idea to buy tires now?

Jared Kugel: Given the amount of price increases by tire manufacturers due to supply chain challenges in 2021, the longer consumers wait to purchase new tires the more expensive the product becomes. There are many indicators signaling further price increases in 2022 so people may want to consider getting tires now. For people who need tires but have struggled to afford them, our alternative payment product, PayPair, is a great solution.

GD: Please tell us more about PayPair. How large a part of the business is it?

Jared Kugel: PayPair helps reduce the stress of paying for new tires and wheels upfront by connecting consumers with alternative payment options. After answering a few short questions during checkout our customers can compare multiple offers that break payments down into weeks, months or years. PayPair is a very strategic aspect of our business. As consumer adoption of pay over time and alternative payments methods within e-commerce grows, Tire Agent has been at the forefront, providing our customers with a multitude of options for all credit types.

Tires aren’t the kind of thing that most people think about everyday – but they are one of the most important things in the life of any driver. Jared Kugel created a new way to access tires for both consumers and businesses. With great brands, new ways to pay, and a convenient platform, Tire Agent.com is ready for more success in the coming years.

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Nicholas Ross Say is a news desk editor at Grit Daily. An award-winning journalist, he covers the daily startup beat. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has lived in South America and South East Asia. At present, Nicholas lives in Southern Vietnam where the Sun shines, and the noodles flow like wine. He's written for Blockonomi and Coin Journal, among others.

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