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How to Buy Cheap Custom Rims

As told by

Reprinted with permission

I've purchased many sets of cheap custom rims over the past 15 years and started off like a lot of people, going to the local tire shop and looking at the custom rims on display.

My first set of cheap custom rims weren't exactly what I wanted. They were aftermarket rims none the less. It was my second set of aftermarket rims that really opened my eyes to getting cheap custom rims that I really liked.

I went to the local Discount Tire and was looking through the catalogs they offered on aftermarket rims. I was asking about prices and they all seemed pretty expensive. Then the associate had a suggestion about calling the manufacturer to see if they had any factory blems as he called them.

They're also know as factory seconds. He called and they had a few sets of blems and they were in my bolt pattern and the price was immediately cut in half.

Now let me explain in case you are new to custom rims. Factory blems, blemished rims, basically have a flaw in them. Most of the time these flaws are in the chrome wheel plating. These blemishes are usually on the face or back of the wheel and not very noticeable. That was the case with these new chrome rims I ended up purchasing.

They had what looked like a burn mark on the back of each rim. The chrome plating on the faces of the rims was perfect. They were the cheapest custom rims any of my friends in town had ever heard of. I traded that car about 6 months later for another car, and the search was on again for some new cheap rims.

My new car was a lowrider with hydraulics, it already had custom wire rims, not my favorite type of wheel, but the smartest choice for a car with hydraulics. Since I had a lowrider, I picked up the magazine every month to see what was new on the lowride scene. In the back of the magazine there are a lot of ads for cheap rims.

Almost all the cheap rims in those ads were from stores in California. The wire rims they were selling were easily half that of the prices at Discount Tire.

Finally I called and ordered a set of 14×7's with tires mounted for $399. The shipping was about $100 (this was the late 90's by the way, I know they're much cheaper now). Over the next 5 years that was how I bought my cheap rims, out of the back of lowrider magazines.

These stores would compete so much for my business, I could get cheap customs rims by using them against each other. The last time I bought any as a matter of fact, I was getting brand new rims for $239 with tires mounted and balanced and shipping for $85. Yes, these were knock-offs, not bolt-ons.

Now we're in the new century, so I've been using the internet to track down the best deals on custom rims. I started out doing searches on Google and it led me to sites like this with some pretty good ads.

Most of the time I was led back to the same few companies:, and Ebay. Ebay was always the winner when it came to price, but to get the cheapest overall cost I had to break up the package.

I had to do this because a lot of sellers would have a great deal on custom rims but not on the tires, and vice versa. My first set of cheap custom rims from Ebay were a set of chrome 24's without tires and they cost about $1,500 with shipping.

I looked all over Ebay but couldn't find a great deal on tires, the shipping was too high. I went online to old faithful Discount Tire and they had the tires for a little more than Ebay, but they mounted them for free and there was no shipping charge.

I'm glad that I did buy those tires at Discount Tire because they came with a free roadside warranty, which came in handy a few times. For smaller custom rims, 22" and smaller, Ebay is the clear winner in how to buy cheap custom rims and it's how I do it to this day. I've bought (5) sets of custom wheels on Ebay since 2004 and happily recommend them for buying cheap custom rims.