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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed Johnson View Post
    Oh, I'm sorry. I mean I agree with you and that was well written. I was looking on the smd sight and I think I saw your video with the ct sounds amp and the white pick up. If it was, did your truck ever get recovered?

    Ah, lol. I missed that one. And thanks. :-)

    I did get the truck back but obviously, sans electronics.



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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Full Tilt View Post
    You're preaching lol
    Yeah I get it now. Being an atheist and all, I suppose that one flew right over my head. :-)



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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbeljefe View Post
    Ah, lol. I missed that one. And thanks. :-)

    I did get the truck back but obviously, sans electronics.
    That's good that you got your truck back. I'm assuming the CT amps are missing as well. I was wondering if you would go back and buy another or go with a different brand? My sounds shop in Chicago just got a shipment of these amps and I'm thinking of trying one out.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed Johnson View Post
    That's good that you got your truck back. I'm assuming the CT amps are missing as well. I was wondering if you would go back and buy another or go with a different brand? My sounds shop in Chicago just got a shipment of these amps and I'm thinking of trying one out.
    Yeah, they got all the electronics in the vehicle.... even the trailer brake controller, lol. And when I rebuild it, it will be all CT Sounds amps and speakers. I'll run the Exo subs and either 4 1400.1s or one 7000.1.



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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3kgtAudio View Post
    I am current owner of a car audio / home theater shop in AZ, we have always focused on quality and value, I have never cared that some dude on craigslist is underbidding me by a huge margin, and we had a good deal of success and tons of happy customers over the years. However, It has been a disturbing trend in the last year or so in regards to the car audio side of things, there have been several 'hack' shops popping up all over the place, killing the market totally. We are competing against shops that are making $20 on a deck install(including the deck), $75 on a remote start installation, and no regard to quality or customer service, yet people go to them in droves! And yes they are hack shops, I have seen and fixed their work many times. They only care about moving product and getting that sale and having you in and out as quickly as possible.

    However, in the home theater side of the business we have been very successful, and we find that customers prefer quality and recognize that hiring an experienced tech that can give them a top notch job is worth a few extra bucks. So naturally, we have been focusing our efforts in that arena.

    Here is my take on it, the average car audio consumer seems to think in regards to car audio that they should always choose the best deal - they do not see the value of experience and paying someone who is a true skilled professional, who charges based on what they need to make on a job. A 'fair' price is not paying someone pennies to do a skilled labor job, and quite frankly car audio and security is a fairly complex field, quite a bit more so that people realize.

    Bottom line, as a shop, I simply will not dip down to where we are barely scraping by just to get jobs in the door, I feel like I cannot offer a quality service at that level, I personally would rather throw in the towel than conform. And let me say our prices are very reasonable, but we are constantly losing bids to these 'hacks'. It ***** to say this, and I see other real deal shops around going through the same thing, many of them close. So IMO, if this trend continues by some point the 'old school' or good shops are going to be gone.

    So, I know this is a car audio forum, and most people here are going to be a little better educated in regards to what it really takes to do a good job, and what a fair deal is, but any other pro's out there feel the same way? Is there really no need for us anymore and are people truely happy with mediocre service? Hack shops and the home of the $1 dash fire have really de-valued this industry. Is the lowest possible price always going to be the winner at the end of the day?

    Anyways, thats just my rant, I love cars and love to work on them, but it just doesn't pay the bills anymore.
    What's your address I would like to come check it out sometime i do all my own shit but I like looking at nice good quality shops



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  6. #51
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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by des343 View Post
    I agree with beatin..your already losing out on TONS of sales because people are getting on cl buying used or getting things cheaper online...I'm not saying don't make ANY profit but how bout not be so worried about profits and be more worried at giving the customer the BEST possible deal u can! This will make people happy keep them coming back, this will make people be more willing to have you do the install instead of trying to find someone cheaper..what makes you entitled to make such a profit off the equipment you know..ya labor sure that's where the money is at..
    But it STARTS with getting people coming in to buy your products FROM YOU...
    Keeping the customer happy doesn't pay the bills all the time though, especially when they expect online pricing and super cheap install.


    Theres a fine line going too cheap, becomes working at near minimum wage, and thats not enough to keep the lights on. There is a minimum profit margin that must be met to be worth it. Some shops around here literally do pay their techs near minimum wage just to give the customer a cheap install, and thats not good for either the tech or the customer, that inexperienced low paid tech is not going to do a good job consistently. When your talking about brining in your $20,000 car is it really worth going to the lowest possible deal?

    Theres a lot of preaching going on here, but how many of you have actually owned a business or shop? What the 'consumer' thinks would be suicide for a business most of the time.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loudmp5 View Post
    What's your address I would like to come check it out sometime i do all my own shit but I like looking at nice good quality shops
    In Phoenix, 40th Street and broadway next to Napa auto parts, new location for us.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by des343 View Post
    I disagree a shop should be more focused on making money on the work they do than the profits from the equipment matching online pricing still leaves a good bit of room for profit all the same..as o stated imo most audio especially the JLs and Sundowns and (more quite a long list Imo) are far overpriced as it is I don't buy those products new by any means I will NEVER own a sundown product for example until I find then at a worthy reasonable price...I'm certainly not going to pay a premium to a shop for equipment that has quite a premium even at their lowest retail price ...
    Your assuming there is more meat on the bone than there really is, people see an online price, and don't realize how close that is to what we pay. Most shops don't match online pricing, just because they cannot. Also, local reps will step in real quick if you start advertising below MAP. You can give someone a deal on paper, but if you start blatantly ignoring their rules and advertising it all over the place, they can and do remove your dealer agreement. I had Autopage threaten me a couple times, even though I was pricing out to be competitive.

    And you will pay for quality, JL audio does some of their MFG in the US, and they are well price protected, I wouldn't call them overpriced, just people are over'spoiled' into thinking everything should be cheap. I can whine all day about how I think a Covrvette should cost the price of a Scion, but at the end of the day the Vete is still a well built performance car, I can't expect it to be priced 'within' my grasp.

    Heres the way it breaks down for us..and I have shopped around and other than hack shops we are lower than most.

    Amp install - $65
    Deck - $40
    Double Din - $75
    Alarm - $60
    Remote Start $125

    Etc. Thats just what we need to make on labor, just based on how long it will take on average. Product profit needs to be at an average 20% or so at a minimum.

    What happens though, I hear customers getting quotes on stuff like a 1 mile range alarm / remote start installed for $275, for an alarm we would pay $200 dealer cost on, thats too low, considering we would have on average 3 hrs on those installs. Then that makes the consumer think, 'I should be able to get my 1 mile range alarm / rs for under $300'. Despite my warnings, buyer is too focused on their wallet and we never even get a chance to get the customer in the door because these 'cheap' shops talk a good game up front but then do a crap install. But its ok though, eventually these hacks **** off enough people, and they get sued and go out of business, kind of like weeds they pop up all the time. Its all a self defeating cycle, our expenses keep going up, value of the dollar goes down, yet people on average are expecting way too much for their money.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Advertise!!!!!

    and explain this in your ad




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Side Show View Post
    Anyone wanna chime in and give me some tips/hints when starting my own online car audio business, later wanting to expand to a store.
    I have a tip - Don't bother, if AU is anything at all like the US.

    Unless you have massive capital, you won't be able to compete with other online pricing. Once you see that what you will pay for said product at direct dealer pricing vs. what you can sell it for you will see what I mean. Been there done that. Even at the highest tier discounts for doing for example a $5 - $10k buy in, your margins are very thin, if they exsist at all

    And, to make it worse, these MFG's will come after you and shut you down if you advertise under map. The large online places like Sonic are getting around it somehow, its all 'grey' market. They probably scoop up lots from other places when they go out of business, or buy discontinued models largely, or they have some backdoor deal with manufacturers.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by amayseng View Post
    Advertise!!!!!

    and explain this in your ad
    We do, a lot, and being the old school minded good guys doesn't seem to stand a chance against cheapness.

    In reality whats probably going to happen is downsizing the car audio side of the business, rent a cheap shop near my house and do referrals and custom jobs only, and focus more of our daily efforts towards commercial and residential installs.




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3kgtAudio View Post
    We do, a lot, and being the old school minded good guys doesn't seem to stand a chance against cheapness.

    In reality whats probably going to happen is downsizing the car audio side of the business, rent a cheap shop near my house and do referrals and custom jobs only, and focus more of our daily efforts towards commercial and residential installs.
    It doesn't seem like your prices are too far out of hand. We have a few audio places in Tulsa that have different levels of installs for 369, 569, 769, etc. That seems to the trend now. At 369 you get a couple QPower 12's or Kenwood 12's, a prefab box, an SSL 3000 watt powerhouse (LOL), and a Kenwood or Pio HU with AUX and USB all installed. That's cheap! And yeah it's all garbage but to a 17 year old kid that just wants noise this will do the trick. Problem is you see people with Escalades and Audi's in there! They've spent 60k on a car and got a garbage install and garbage equipment. I don't get it... I buy my own equipment myself and install it and buy my boxes from pro-rabbit (he's local and does GREAT work). If I couldn't install my own stuff my option is these places or Car Toys that will absolutely rip me off on equipment and install. What's the consumer supposed to do?




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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    I own and operate a computer store, and I can definitely feel your pain. Everyone comes in and wants online prices or tries to get a ton of free advise and don't buy anything. I just had a business buy a custom computer and then ask why they shouldn't go to Staples....?? Staples doesn't sell custom anything or know their products for that matter.
    Despite all this, I have had the best year financially. Mostly from good customer service, customer referrals, and radio advertising. Having a strong belief in God, and doing the right thing helps tremendously, but I won't preach.

    Nobody should be expected to compete with online pricing. A lot of stuff is being grey marketed in from China, sometimes direct to the consumer (ebay). Sometimes I can beat online retailers, if you look at some of the ones who charge close to MSRP.

    What the consumer doesn't realize is the retailer must buy $5,000+ worth of merchandise to get a "discount" on products. I cannot afford to buy $5,000 worth of goods at a time.
    You don't get 5 subwoofers for dealer pricing (in most cases). If Joe-shmo can buy the same $200 woofer and have it shipped for "free", how is the dealer supposed to make any money? Shame on the manufacture! This is why "dealer networks" were created. To supply local markets with product and keep the burden of customer services (yes I said burden), off of the manufacture. The manufacture supplies goods, not holds the customer's hand with advise, or help in the event of a failure. If the product was installed by the dealer, then the manufacture covers the warranty of the product only.

    If online retailers were forced to charge retail (as some are), then the local dealers can charge the same price or less, and still make money. The customers who do not need customer support or advise can simply buy online. The manufactures makes more money and can afford to spend more on R & D or marketing. Some of the products I sell "retail" are less than online, because of ethical manufacture pricing.

    I think part of the problem is the tax systems for businesses. The way our taxes are setup, a manufacture can import product from China for less than it costs to manufacture product in the US. Worse yet, it can be cheaper to drop-ship from China than to distribute in the US. This is not right and is the major reason we are losing so many jobs overseas. Major manufactures are laying off workers and people are forced to work at Walmart and McDonalds for min wage...or go on Welfare and create more problems.

    Some people call this "capitalism" and feel the public has the right to wholesale pricing..... I call it communism.



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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Some people call this "capitalism" and feel the public has the right to wholesale pricing..... I call it communism.
    Oh yeah, because I got my Audio Technix Strato 15's directly from the manufacturer for 55 bucks less than retail, I'm suddenly a Communist.

    F*ck off.



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    Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beatin' View Post
    Oh yeah, because I got my Audio Technix Strato 15's directly from the manufacturer for 55 bucks less than retail, I'm suddenly a Communist.

    F*ck off.
    Yes. You have demonstrated this several times in your posts....
    "a. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people." If everyone is allowed the same equally shared pricing, the only people making a profit is the government (taxes) and the manufacture is left with 5%.
    Maybe socialist would be a better fit?



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