WINTERSVILLE, Ohio-Don Snyder often bragged that his son would never break his one-store record of selling 714 tires in a single day. Well, he can't say that anymore.
Doug Snyder, president of #1 Snyder Wholesale Tire & Electronics, smashed his Dad's 1975 standard by selling 1,714 tires during the company's first annual 24-hour ``tirethon'' April 28 at its Wintersville retail location.
The total set a U.S. record for one-day, single store tire sales and will be recognized in the Guinness Book of Records, the younger Mr. Snyder said. No previous record officially exists, he added.
The final tally surprised even Mr. Snyder, 30, who originally set a goal of 1,000 tires. But after achieving that early on, he upped the ante by 500.
``I was gonna be pleased with 1,000 let alone 1,700,'' he said following the exciting but tiring event. ``We didn't get done mounting tires until 3 a.m.''
#1 Snyder kicked off the tirethon at 12:01 a.m. and ended it 24 hours later. Mr. Snyder said he was nervous about whether customers would respond. But that evaporated once he arrived at the dealership and saw about 100 cars waiting for the midnight opening.
The promotion drew the attention of Lee Fiedler, president of Kelly-Springfield Tire Co., #1 Snyder's major tire supplier, and Bruce Magner of Summmit Tire & Battery Inc. in Brandon, Fla., both of whom attended the event.
Mr. Fiedler said he had heard about Mr. Snyder's ads and aggressive promotions. ``I'm very impressed with the way he is drawing cars and people in from a long way away,'' he said.
To build excitement, #1 Snyder began running radio commercials in mid-March explaining the dealership was ``getting ready for the largest tire promotion in the history of the U.S.''
Mr. Snyder then contacted the Guinness Book of Records, which agreed to recognize the event.
A week before the tirethon, #1 Snyder began running TV commercials featuring Mr. Snyder and his daughter, Kristen, 12.
The dealership also inserted a 12-page flyer touting ``very aggressive'' tire sales specials in seven newspapers with a total circulation of 210,000.
Among those specials were 12 P155-R 12 tires on sale for 95 cents each and Kelly Navigator 800S tires for $49.99 or $64.99 each, depending on the size.
The promotion worked. #1 Snyder sold tires every hour of the tirethon, beginning with 198 during the 12 a.m. to 1 a.m period and ending with 58 from 11 p.m. to midnight.
The dealership even sold eight tires between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Store Manager Mark Scott sold 807 tires himself.
To handle the extra work, #1 Snyder closed its wholesale division for the day and put the four employees to work in the service bays.
The company also used employees from its second store in Calcutta, Ohio.
Although a record breaker, the sale was not designed to make money.
Mr. Snyder spent $20,000 on the promotion and lost about $4,000.
``But what we'll gain from the business and all the publicity, it will mean a profit within the next 60 days,'' he said.
#1 Snyder offers ``good service and good prices everyday,'' Mr. Snyder said. His philosophy is: ``You don't need to advertise to do business. You need to advertise to do a lot of business.''
He added: ``The biggest things all tire dealers need to remember to be successful is to sell yourself first and allow yourself enough of a profit so that when a customer has a problem you can take a loss and still be profitable,'' he said. ``But most importantly, you can satisfy that customer.''
At the conclusion of the tirethon, Mr. Snyder and his daughter announced they were donating $10,000 to start the Doug and Krissy Youth Foundation to benefit youngsters in the surrounding Ohio Valley.
#1 Snyder, in addition to tires and full automotive service, sells a broad line of electronics components such as TVs, VCRs, car stereos, telephones, CB's and radar detectors.
In addition to the two retail stores and wholesale division, the company operates a manufacturing division, Bulldog Securities, which produces auto alarms. Don Snyder, who retired from day-to-day involvement in the dealership in 1978, runs that business.
Founded in 1960, #1 Snyder also employs Doug Snyder's sister, Tammy, an assistant tire and electronics sales person, his brother, John, who serves as president of Bulldog Security, and his mother, Lora Fay, who is secretary and treasurer of all operations.
The dealership sells primarily Kelly, Summit and Sonic brand tires.
The dealership, excluding Bulldog Securities, posted revenues of $13 million in 1994.