December Merchant Spotlight: TireBuyer


November 24, 2015

Jason Cheung, Fraud Operations Manager TireBuyer

The MRC Merchant Spotlight recognizes extraordinary eCommerce merchant members making significant contributions to the industry, utilizing innovative processes, experiencing high sales volume and maintaining a low fraud rate among other accolades. This month we asked TireBuyer how they remain a competitive player in the industry and what makes them so successful. Here's what they had to say:

What consumer benefits do you offer that set you apart from your competitors?

TireBuyer is a division of American Tire Distributors, the largest tire wholesale distributor in North America. ATD operates over 115 warehouses across the US with over 5 million tire and wheel products in stock from all major brands. Because of this inventory and distribution capability, TireBuyer offers consumers an incredible choice of products at very competitive prices. In addition, TireBuyer has partnered with nearly 9,000 professional tire installation shops nationwide. By leveraging the integrated installation network and the strong distribution capabilities of ATD, TireBuyer is able to offer fast, free delivery on most orders directly to the consumer's selected local installer.

What processes do you have in place that protect against fraud, account takeovers, chargebacks, etc.?

We use dedicated fraud mitigation tools and different levels of search/verification services. We utilize a variety of systems (i.e., reliable services that validate information for a value oriented rate, as well as more thorough tools that provide on-demand searches at a slightly higher price.)

Rather than wait for disputes to arrive by mail or fax, we use online tools provided by AMEX, PayPal, eBay, our merchant acquiring bank etc., to respond immediately to chargebacks and inquiries.

To combat fraud, friendly fraud and unfounded customer complaints, we almost always supply supporting information (e.g., customer service notes and photos, social network information and public information from search tools). We also supply a short statement about why we should not be held liable for the dispute and clear guidelines about what the supporting information represents.

We certainly aren't able to win every dispute, but do win a majority of them or force them to arbitration stages, due to the amount of evidence we consistently provide.

We only represent disputes where we believe fraud, friendly fraud or unfounded complaints are being argued. If we think the claim is actually justified, we accept responsibility. Customer service is our primary concern and we don't try to win at all costs. It's very hard to regain trust once you lose it, therefore we act carefully and thoughtfully.

We also work closely with our customer service team and train them to be aware of fraud and gaming, while still maintaining stellar customer service.

How do you benefit from MRC membership? What MRC resources do you rely on?

MRC membership benefits us in multiple ways, especially with the new website launch.

The annual conference is a major benefit for TireBuyer. It allows us to meet merchants in all verticals, whether directly related or not. There is so much to be learned from other merchants, regardless of their business. Valuable takeaways from MRC Vegas include:

  • Best practices in handling shipping and returns, and what thresholds merchants apply based on different qualifiers
  • Payment gateway, fraud tools, search tools and other software experiences including how they might apply to specific businesses
  • Understanding the importance of transcending traditional roles and responsibilities (i.e., why fraud managers should learn payment processing, how an accounting group that is informed about fraud can incorporate certain tactics in fighting disputes, etc.)
  • Attending large and small scale presentations from other merchants, law enforcement, security experts, etc.
  • It's great meeting other professionals and building relationships at conferences and regional networking events, but even more valuable is being able to leverage these relationships when need be. Unexpected circumstances often arise in this industry, and having resources to tap into is extremely helpful.
The online MRC Resource Center which contains presentations, whitepapers, etc., is a highly relevant and valuable tool. It provides a wealth of information that I can reference at any time and pass on to my team as well as senior leadership, so they stay updated on industry trends, techniques and processes.

The Committees and Communities area is a resource I'm just beginning to tap into. I see it as an opportunity for merchants to collaborate and share ideas beyond MRC conferences. We work in a rapidly evolving industry, and an information-sharing network that consistently facilitates relevant conversation is necessary for professionals to continue growing. Beyond the annual conferences, MRC also provides:

  • Frequent articles and industry updates for payments and fraud
  • A mixed network of merchants and vendors to connect and converse with
  • Ability to gain a more thorough understanding of technology and concepts (e.g., device fingerprinting, behavior analytics, decreasing interchange rates, increase of mobile device usage, etc.)

As an eCommerce retail company, what are your strengths?

TireBuyer has a vast inventory of name-brand products, a dense national network of professional installation shops, extremely fast and in most cases free delivery and a superb customer service rating by consumers. TireBuyer is a Google Trusted Store, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and has won the BizRate Circle of Excellence Award for outstanding customer service for the past 4 consecutive years.

Your website has testimonials claiming delivery and installation of tires within 48 hours. What is your secret to processing payments and delivering the product so quickly?

By having more than 115 warehouses across the U.S. and an in-house fleet of delivery trucks, TireBuyer and ATD are able to deliver products directly to a consumer's selected local tire installation shop very quickly and in most cases, free of charge.

In offering a product online that most people buy in store, how do you overcome customer acquisition challenges?

We make an effort to be very clean, clear and transparent with the entire web experience, including product information, pricing, policies and overall usability. Our consumer ratings, reviews and trusted credentials enable the consumer to trust TireBuyer for an excellent online shopping experience.