Re: good car audio shops - becoming a thing of the past?
If there is a portion of the world's economy that still retains some semblance of capitalism, it is indeed the consumer electronics industry. What is called capitalism today is more often than not, mercantilism and all too often, it's salted heavily with socialism and fascism... especially in the west.
There is a phenomena that stems from free market capitalism called creative destruction and what that means is that as technology improves, that which is old gives sway to that which is new. We see examples of creative destruction in history, such as the introduction of the automobile and the subsequent destruction of the horse drawn buggy industry.
Were the buggy manufacturer's angry that the horseless carriage changed their modus operandi? Most of them were. After all, these noisy contraptions were taking their profits. But what if, rather than complain and lobby the state, they had actually sat down as honest entrepreneurs and thought out some way to compete rather than complain? Well... some of those companies would now be auto manufacturers who had been in business since the early 19th century. But we don't see those companies, because they bItched and complained instead of conforming to the progress of humanity.
We see this same creative destruction at work today with the record industry, who's executives have become accustomed to raking the lion's share of an artist's gross earnings. Were those executives overpaid in 1989? Probably not. But with the technology we have at our disposal today, anyone can produce and market their art for next to nothing with only an inexpensive computer, an internet connection and some due diligence. So for sure, those guys are overpaid today. And for sure, they are dying a slow and necessary death in the marketplace.
As for car audio, I don't like to install stuff that people buy from other sellers but if I don't, I alienate a large portion of the market. So what do I do to save that business and keep my profits? I don't have a retail location that costs me $6000.00 a month whether I sell a head unit or not. I don't commit to buying volumes that, if I don't meet my sales, force me to buy new product when the old hasn't moved. I don't spend money on expensive advertising media that is, like the record industry, in the throes of death and, I don't complain that things aren't the way they used to be.
And what I do is, act as more of a car audio consultant than a suit and tie salesman. Sell the the knowledge I have to people who want to pay for it and, not be angry with the people who don't want to pay for it.
Owner, Audio Anarchy, LLC
2915 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA