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Old 03-28-2016   #1
 
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Default Clarion.. The new way to sell?

The times they are a' changing...... So today I read where Clarion is pulling out of doing business with brick and mortars and going to sell only thru the internet. I guess the writing is on the wall about who is actually buying products and it certainly discounts the role of the 12 volt Car audio specialist in this equation. How does those who work in the shops feel about this? Is this how the industry will devour itself and become a labor only endeavor? There is more than enough blame to go around as to who might be the "culprit" might be, but I contend it's really nobodies "fault" and this was inevitable as the internet grows ever larger it eats up whole industries and shits out completely different versions of business models that once were. The question is Okay what now? I'd be interested to read how others feel so please feel free to chime in.
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Old 03-28-2016   #2
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

yeah it sucks, but at the same time who the hell is buying newer clarion stuff anyway? people who are shopping on the internet anyway. on top of that, how many brick and mortar places were actually pushing clarion? i only know of one, and theyre 5 hours away from me. not even sure if they were "pushing" them too.


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Old 03-28-2016   #3
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Well...it's only Clarion Corp of America...but i love the wild assumptions they state about how this is how it's gonna be with all manufacturers soon and blah blah. We'll see, but look what happened to MTX!!!

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Old 06-22-2016   #4
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mekelbwer View Post
How does those who work in the shops feel about this?
What shops? In the UK Car audio is dying a death and has been for many years. In my home town of Plymouth we had many Car audio shops including Turnballs, which one ex-employee told me had 27 employee's. The last time I went to Turnballs, they had 3!
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Old 06-23-2016   #5
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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Originally Posted by mekelbwer View Post
The times they are a' changing...... So today I read where Clarion is pulling out of doing business with brick and mortars and going to sell only thru the internet. I guess the writing is on the wall about who is actually buying products and it certainly discounts the role of the 12 volt Car audio specialist in this equation. How does those who work in the shops feel about this? Is this how the industry will devour itself and become a labor only endeavor? There is more than enough blame to go around as to who might be the "culprit" might be, but I contend it's really nobodies "fault" and this was inevitable as the internet grows ever larger it eats up whole industries and shits out completely different versions of business models that once were. The question is Okay what now? I'd be interested to read how others feel so please feel free to chime in.
Unfortunately the writing's been on the wall for a LONG time. I had a great career in the '80's and '90's working for mid/high end shops and a premier manufacturer. I have a family to support and saw price points and margins drop annually. I got out, but still follow 12V as an enthusiast.

You might also say internet sales damaged almost every brick-mortar category. If you think about where you could go 10 years ago to buy a product but now find yourself limited to just a couple locations with limited selection, or none at all, which forces you to buy from your keyboard.

Whatever happened to the 7909, PQ-20, and 320 i/s?

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Old 06-23-2016   #6
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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Originally Posted by Mr12voltwires View Post
and saw price points and margins drop annually.
Really? I thought the margins were fine when I looked into it. As for price, JL have just had yet another price hike on some of their more popular products ... for no apparent reason other than they can ... it would seem!

I don't think the ability for the consumer to buy direct from the manufacturer leads to a cheaper price for the end user. I think it simply means that they cut out the middle man (car audio/hi-fi store) because most of them have gone out of business anyway.

I put it down to two things. Shrinking market and a flood of new brands. Back in the day you knew where you stood. In the UK it was Blaupunkt, Clarion, Kenwood, Sony, Pioneer maybe a few others. Nowadays there's a new brand popping up every weekend. OEM Car audio have stepped up a bit. In my friends BMW X5, the system is very admirable. Same went for my brother in-laws rental Clio last weekend. Sure the bass reflex speakers are gimmicky, but it was impressive all the same. Then you have the likes of Linn, Meridian, Naim B&W coming into the game. OK it won't tame a serious enthusiast, but for the average consumer it'll do. Then you have the bragging rights of such a 'Named' system in your car.

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Fact is music is being consumed at a rate never seen before, but people listening habits have shifted from Car audio and home audio. For me, I put that partly down to bad/poor sales/buying experiences. How many home audio demo's did i go to, where I wasn't allowed to listen to my own music, but instead was subjected to music that I wouldn't want to listen to until i'd been dead for a good number of decades. My experience of having to deal with the local car audio store, left me with much the same feeling.

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Old 06-23-2016   #7
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

At least our industry has a large labor chunk to it. And as long as you've got physical locations to do the labor, their will always be a need to have at least some product on hand for those instant gratification folks (WAY more common than you think).
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Old 06-24-2016   #8
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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Originally Posted by mekelbwer View Post
The times they are a' changing...... So today I read where Clarion is pulling out of doing business with brick and mortars and going to sell only thru the internet. I guess the writing is on the wall about who is actually buying products and it certainly discounts the role of the 12 volt Car audio specialist in this equation. How does those who work in the shops feel about this? Is this how the industry will devour itself and become a labor only endeavor? There is more than enough blame to go around as to who might be the "culprit" might be, but I contend it's really nobodies "fault" and this was inevitable as the internet grows ever larger it eats up whole industries and shits out completely different versions of business models that once were. The question is Okay what now? I'd be interested to read how others feel so please feel free to chime in.
A lot of this is Clarion's own fault. They've been producing a consistently mediocre product for too many years now. The brick and mortar retailers haven't been moving their products because their products were boomerangs. When customers are upset because their brand new $1000 double din headunit functions worse than a Texas Instruments graphing calculator it reflects badly on the retailer, even if it's not their fault.

In an age where a $300 tablet can function almost flawlessly, has a 4K resolution screen, and almost no lag or latency, Car audio headunits are like the autistic step children of the electronics world. Consumer tolerance for bad displays, glitchy software and laggy GUI's is at an all time low. If Clarion had made a better product, they wouldn't be having the sales issues.

Frankly, selling strictly online is to their advantage. There won't be anyone between the customer and the product to show them how bad it is and to tell them "Let me show you this Pioneer unit."
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Old 06-24-2016   #9
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Quote:
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A lot of this is Clarion's own fault. They've been producing a consistently mediocre product for too many years now. The brick and mortar retailers haven't been moving their products because their products were boomerangs. When customers are upset because their brand new $1000 double din headunit functions worse than a Texas Instruments graphing calculator it reflects badly on the retailer, even if it's not their fault.

In an age where a $300 tablet can function almost flawlessly, has a 4K resolution screen, and almost no lag or latency, Car audio headunits are like the autistic step children of the electronics world. Consumer tolerance for bad displays, glitchy software and laggy GUI's is at an all time low. If Clarion had made a better product, they wouldn't be having the sales issues.

Frankly, selling strictly online is to their advantage. There won't be anyone between the customer and the product to show them how bad it is and to tell them "Let me show you this Pioneer unit."
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Old 06-24-2016   #10
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx1136 View Post
A lot of this is Clarion's own fault. They've been producing a consistently mediocre product for too many years now. The brick and mortar retailers haven't been moving their products because their products were boomerangs. When customers are upset because their brand new $1000 double din headunit functions worse than a Texas Instruments graphing calculator it reflects badly on the retailer, even if it's not their fault.

In an age where a $300 tablet can function almost flawlessly, has a 4K resolution screen, and almost no lag or latency, Car audio headunits are like the autistic step children of the electronics world. Consumer tolerance for bad displays, glitchy software and laggy GUI's is at an all time low. If Clarion had made a better product, they wouldn't be having the sales issues.

Frankly, selling strictly online is to their advantage. There won't be anyone between the customer and the product to show them how bad it is and to tell them "Let me show you this Pioneer unit."
So true!! This is why I ditched my double din Pioneers and went tablet and optical! I never looked back! Why would I pay a company $1200 for a unit that worked half as fast or good as my 300 tablet. Even my phone has more technology in it then their so called flagship units
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Old 07-30-2016   #11
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Feels like we'll have more consolidation in the market. I mean people are buying cars for the new "technology". No one wants to get another radio these days.

The future looks like add-ons that allow amps and subs to be hooked up. Well, that's the current status also!
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Old 08-09-2016   #12
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Business is great. It's changed and shifted for sure. Those of us that have moved with the times are thriving. Clarion is been irrelevant in the B&M for a long time. We have many many more vendors/manufacturers that provide better products and support than Clarion did.

I hope Clarion has fun being in the same playground as Blaupunkt .
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Old 01-18-2017   #13
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Well, sometimes, the brick and mortar shop tried to push the stuff that they can get the most profit margin or required the most complicated install (labor charge) or just because they have an old stock that they need to get rid off...
especially if they think their customer is not well informed... which most customer are not as well informed before the internet era...
and if the customer do not know much about the market price, they will jack up the price... (which fortunately not easy to do anymore because it is so easy to find online market price now)

In fact just 3 years ago when I was doing sound dampening install at a Car audio shop,...
the installer (owner) told me that the Dynaudio Esotar2 430 midrange and 110 tweeter were so overpriced and it's not worth their price, actually he say, no Speaker worth that price...
in the beginning I thought... hmmm, he maybe telling the truth here...

Until half an hour later when he told me the cost he charge to install a midbass on the kick panel are... $1,800 which is more than the price of the Esotar2 midrange (or tweeter)...
That's when I realized he is trying to get as much money from the total budget I have allocated for the entire system ... so he is trying to make me buy less expensive Speaker so I can have more money to pay him (installation cost)...
Later, he also said he have a customer who had a bunch of Audison Thesis amp that the customer buy himself and ask him to install but he complain the customer is so stingy when it came to installation cost then he keep repeating about how install is the most important thing compare to equipment...

I mean I totally understand that tuning and install can make lot of difference but once I hear his complain (and his reasoning),... it really wake me up that... everybody is just taking care of their own interest...,

In South East Asia, the hype was passive xover is better than active...
well because those installer in South East Asia can only get so much margin of selling active xover setup while they charge like 3 or 4 times the price of an active xover for their "secret sauce" passive xover setup...

so I actually like the idea of audio equipment manufacturer doing direct sales to customer,
and for Car audio installer to focus on doing great install without bias.
This will prevent conflict of interest.

Imagine, if I am just naive customer, I would had bought that installer advice and will forget about buying an Esotar 2 110 tweeter...
Wow, I will then missed a chance to own one of the best tweeter in the world... just because someone want to get more piece of the pie (my total budget)...

I also see another trend where equipment manufacturer is making their product more user friendly so when they sell direct to customer,
the customer don't have to depend on pro installer to setup their system...
For example Zapco new upcoming Gen V DSP with RTA and auto tuning function... this is inline with direct sales or online sales strategy...
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Old 01-18-2017   #14
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrywhopper View Post

I hope Clarion has fun being in the same playground as Blaupunkt .
Regardless of the new tech products, I'm with you, I can't get the feeling of 80's brands like Clarion and Blaupunkt playing in my dad's Saab 900 turbo. And look how well Saab is doing nowadays lol.

Quote:
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so I actually like the idea of audio equipment manufacturer doing direct sales to customer,
But where are the benefits? There seems to be a fallacy that buying direct from the factory will negate the need for a middleman, and so the manufacturer can pass the saving onto the customer..... really? Obviously some haven't seen the price of the Legatia SE series for example! The brand that must not be named do direct sales as well, but the savings are hardly groundbreaking given the overblown nature of the prices in the first place.
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Old 01-18-2017   #15
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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But where are the benefits? There seems to be a fallacy that buying direct from the factory will negate the need for a middleman, and so the manufacturer can pass the saving onto the customer..... really? Obviously some haven't seen the price of the Legatia SE series for example! The brand that must not be named do direct sales as well, but the savings are hardly groundbreaking given the overblown nature of the prices in the first place.
Here are the benefit:
a. For me as customer, buying direct from factory means, everyone will get the same price buying the same item. That is what I feel more fair.
If you use middleman, the final price that you get depend on how good you are at negotiating or how good the middleman at convincing you.

This is the same as buying Car at this moment,
Website like TrueCar tried to make the price (invoice price and profit and available incentive) accessible to regular customer so they won't get crazy mark up by the dealer.

b. If everybody is doing direct sales, then the competition directly among manufacturer will drive down the price but everyone still pay the same price for the same item.

c. Even if the manufacturer don't really pass the saving, they can use that saving to finance more R&D for better product instead of competing with other manufacturer to give as much discount/commission to the middle man to push their product.

d. or the manufacturer can have more money to Build a great customer support or after sales service team, because many time when you buy your equipment through middleman, and something goes wrong, they would just told you to go straight to the factory...

so what is the advantage of paying middleman when the benefit they gave you was the rush of the negotiation process and hoping you get better deal than anyone else. (which mean you pay more for sure anyway)?
I mean long time ago brick and mortar shop use to mean lot of showroom display that you can test how it sound (although it did not represent how will it sound in your car)... but at this time, most brick and mortar do NOT stock much and most of their stock is inside sealed box and can't be tested anyway...
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Old 01-18-2017   #16
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Your vision of the Car audio industry is so distorted that I am not even sure how to respond.

I will say this...
CAVEAT EMPTOR - As consumers we have a responsibility to know what we are getting into and to understand the value associated with specific goods and services. Failure to research and understand what it is you are paying for is not the fault of the seller.


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Old 01-18-2017   #17
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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Your vision of the Car audio industry is so distorted that I am not even sure how to respond.

I will say this...
CAVEAT EMPTOR - As consumers we have a responsibility to know what we are getting into and to understand the value associated with specific goods and services. Failure to research and understand what it is you are paying for is not the fault of the seller.
I totally agree with your Caveat Emptor,...
there is a saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me...

but the reason why customer is paying the seller (middleman) a profit is to help the customer choose what they need...
unfortunately no seller can be totally free of their own interest...

so if we the customer have to make sure that we won't be tricked into buying something that will not suit us the best and have to do our own research,... then we don't really need a middleman and better buying direct....

I had explain in detail the benefit of buying direct,
please tell me what is the benefit of paying the middleman then...
that can outweigh the benefit of doing through research yourself and buying direct...

I am not against paying a good installer/tuner (at fair market price of course), that job is a work of art... and training and experience...

but for buying the equipment itself,
I think customer will be better serve by buying direct as long as they
are willing to do research as your cavaet emptor suggest...

I mean, if you are a regular customer, who you trust more,
your self doing your own research online
or asking to a Car audio shop about some equipment that they might not even represent while they represent competing brand?

hmmm I want to add, my vision at car audio industry might be distorted with protecting my interest as end user,
but since I am just an end user so I look it purely from my interest as end user...
but if I am a car audio shop owner, I will look it the opposite way of course and if I am a car audio shop owner, I will hate direct selling...

Buying car audio equipment at car audio shop is the same thing as buying car at dealership, if you can buy direct to manufacturer like Tesla and cut the dealership that would be better...
actually dealership provide service for car...
while car audio shop, when the audio equipment break down, they told you to ship it directly to manufacturer....
so even car dealership have advantage in that..

and I use to be car salesman just few years ago...

so the car and audio shop should better morph/evolve more into FABRICATION Service and not selling equipment...
which I think most are doing now...

Anyway, I am not here to have long debate, this forum is titled DIY MA,.
and as a DIY and an end user this is my opinion (and my interest) and I think the market is going in that direction...
sooner or later, most of the stuff will be sold online...
I understand that it is bad for the brick and mortar shop owner,
but if that is the market (customer) prefer, and that is the direction it will go...
We can have a long debate here but it won't make a different so... I think that is it from me

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Old 01-18-2017   #18
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Hate to sound snobby here, but at best i find it an uphill struggle to convince those not in the know not to buy those Vibe speakers in favour of a pair of Morel's or Hertz. .... you know, the kind of people who boast about having 4 speakers plus the two 6x9's on the shelf for a total 720 watts of power. but not understanding that sound is measured in dB.

As has been said education is the key, but for the most part it seems to fall on deaf ears. I'm not here to say that one brand or product is more worthy of consideration over a lower end or cheaper brand, but those examples and names given (above) are from my own experiences, not from conjecture!
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Old 01-18-2017   #19
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

I'm probably going to regret this... but I tend to be a glutton for punishment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
I totally agree with your Caveat Emptor,...
there is a saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me...
This is somewhat a good start. I prefer to position myself in such a way that there is less of an opportunity to be "fooled" at all. A good place to start is by doing the research necessary to find a place to provide the goods are services you need whose goal is to serve the customer, not to "fool" them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
but the reason why customer is paying the seller (middleman) a profit is to help the customer choose what they need...
unfortunately no seller can be totally free of their own interest...
The role of the "middleman" as you call him, if he is filling his role properly, is far more than a point of sell. If it was simply that, I agree with you. If all I am getting is a point of sale, I have an Amazon Prime account. However, a good Car audio shop regardless of size should be a whole lot more than a point of sale. In any business, the interest the "seller" should be the interest of the buyer. If it isn't the seller ultimately loses his buyers and will no longer be a seller.

I must also state that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING A PROFIT. Profit is not a bad word. Whether this is the manufacturer, the distributor or the reseller/installer. Profit is how companies stay in business and remain a source for our goods and services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
so if we the customer have to make sure that we won't be tricked into buying something that will not suit us the best and have to do our own research,... then we don't really need a middleman and better buying direct....
Your view of the relationship between those in the Car audio industry and their customers is very adversarial. I have been to shops that would provide me with the same perspective. However, over time I have taken it upon myself to "caveat emptor" and seek out other options. These "middlemen" that you demonize can be an outstanding resource. Yes, even for DIYers like me. They have vastly more experience than most of us, and I have found that the good ones are more than willing to share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
I had explain in detail the benefit of buying direct,
please tell me what is the benefit of paying the middleman then...
that can outweigh the benefit of doing through research yourself and buying direct...
You also seem to be quite concerned about price points. And while a direct purchase model virtually guarantees the same price for everyone, it certainly doesn't guarantee the best price for anyone. When you look at how the car audio industry works specifically, the "good" companies tend to focus on brick and mortar product sells with either direct sales or single source (i.e. Crutchfield) online for those that don't have a local dealer. You can almost be guaranteed a better price through your brick and mortar (additional middlemen) than you will ever see from those authorized online options. Why? Because they protect the shops that support their brands.

And the quality brick and mortar shops will also help guide you in your decision making process. It doesn't relieve you as your responsibility as a "buyer" to educate yourself, but rather becomes a part of that education. They also provide a "buffer" for the manufacturer. The car audio industry is small. It can be difficult enough for a manufacturer to have to enough support staff (you know some of these brands are virtually or even literally one man shows?) to support "educated" retailers. There is no way they would or could take on the headache of dealing with all of their "uneducated" (potential) customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
I am not against paying a good installer/tuner (at fair market price of course), that job is a work of art... and training and experience...
There are quite a few guys out there that are focused more on install than product sells. I would definitely say that they are the exception and not the rule. Almost every single shop (from the big chains to the one man show) still rely on product sells to keep the doors open. It might not be a large revenue source for them either. But the product can get people in the door and ultimately lead to an install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
but for buying the equipment itself,
I think customer will be better serve by buying direct as long as they
are willing to do research as your cavaet emptor suggest...
As mentioned, a direct sales model can work, but it certainly isn't in the interest of everyone. And judging by most of your posts, it isn't even what you want. What you are looking for is the best price, which you think comes by elimination of the middlemen. Not the case. The best price tends to come from a manufacturer who doesn't control their product distribution chain. That is when you see product showing up on Amazon and ebay from unauthorized sellers for a fraction of retail. The direct inverse is what you see happen with a direct sells model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
I mean, if you are a regular customer, who you trust more,
your self doing your own research online
or asking to a car audio shop about some equipment that they might not even represent while they represent competing brand?
I consider myself moderately educated on car audio. Enough that I could make all of my own purchase decisions without consulting anyone else and be completely satisfied. However, I don't. Why? Because I have resources at the end user, competitor, retailer, distributor and manufacturer level that I may seek advice from. And believe it or not, there have been many times that I have received advice that is contrary to the individuals perceived self interest? Why? Because I assume they are intelligent enough to know that providing good advice to me now, rather than trying to make a quick buck will keep me coming back as a customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
hmmm I want to add, my vision at car audio industry might be distorted with protecting my interest as end user,
but since I am just an end user so I look it purely from my interest as end user...
but if I am a car audio shop owner, I will look it the opposite way of course and if I am a car audio shop owner, I will hate direct selling...
Again, in a good shop, their self interest is their customers interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
Buying car audio equipment at car audio shop is the same thing as buying car at dealership, if you can buy direct to manufacturer like Tesla and cut the dealership that would be better...
actually dealership provide service for car...
while car audio shop, when the audio equipment break down, they told you to ship it directly to manufacturer....
so even car dealership have advantage in that..
I don't necessarily agree with your blanket statements. There are plenty of instances where a local shop can address a service issue directly. In some cases without ever getting the manufacturer involved.

There are also some manufacturer direct sells companies in car audio as well. Some better than others. Some, I don't think I'll ever do business with. The sells model does not make the company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
and I use to be car salesman just few years ago...
I considered going into car sales years back, but the wife said no way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
so the car and audio shop should better morph/evolve more into FABRICATION Service and not selling equipment...
which I think most are doing now...
Industries of all types have had to adapt with the times. This will continue to happen. I don't see direct sells taking the place of local retailers any time soon. Also, get ready to pay a lot more for your fabrication and installation services if these companies no longer have product sells as a revenue stream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW Alpina View Post
Anyway, I am not here to have long debate, this forum is titled DIY MA,.
and as a DIY and an end user this is my opinion (and my interest) and I think the market is going in that direction...
sooner or later, most of the stuff will be sold online...
I understand that it is bad for the brick and mortar shop owner,
but if that is the market (customer) prefer, and that is the direction it will go...
We can have a long debate here but it won't make a different so... I think that is it from me
This site is called DIY MA, and the original mission circumvented the car audio industry entirely. Things have changed. Car audio has changed. And the number of people willing and more importantly CAPABLE of DIYing a car audio install is shrinking every day.


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Old 01-18-2017   #20
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

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Originally Posted by rton20s View Post
I'm probably going to regret this... but I tend to be a glutton for punishment.

This is somewhat a good start. I prefer to position myself in such a way that there is less of an opportunity to be "fooled" at all. A good place to start is by doing the research necessary to find a place to provide the goods are services you need whose goal is to serve the customer, not to "fool" them.

The role of the "middleman" as you call him, if he is filling his role properly, is far more than a point of sell. If it was simply that, I agree with you. If all I am getting is a point of sale, I have an Amazon Prime account. However, a good Car audio shop regardless of size should be a whole lot more than a point of sale. In any business, the interest the "seller" should be the interest of the buyer. If it isn't the seller ultimately loses his buyers and will no longer be a seller.

I must also state that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING A PROFIT. Profit is not a bad word. Whether this is the manufacturer, the distributor or the reseller/installer. Profit is how companies stay in business and remain a source for our goods and services.

Your view of the relationship between those in the Car audio industry and their customers is very adversarial. I have been to shops that would provide me with the same perspective. However, over time I have taken it upon myself to "caveat emptor" and seek out other options. These "middlemen" that you demonize can be an outstanding resource. Yes, even for DIYers like me. They have vastly more experience than most of us, and I have found that the good ones are more than willing to share.

You also seem to be quite concerned about price points. And while a direct purchase model virtually guarantees the same price for everyone, it certainly doesn't guarantee the best price for anyone. When you look at how the car audio industry works specifically, the "good" companies tend to focus on brick and mortar product sells with either direct sales or single source (i.e. Crutchfield) online for those that don't have a local dealer. You can almost be guaranteed a better price through your brick and mortar (additional middlemen) than you will ever see from those authorized online options. Why? Because they protect the shops that support their brands.

And the quality brick and mortar shops will also help guide you in your decision making process. It doesn't relieve you as your responsibility as a "buyer" to educate yourself, but rather becomes a part of that education. They also provide a "buffer" for the manufacturer. The car audio industry is small. It can be difficult enough for a manufacturer to have to enough support staff (you know some of these brands are virtually or even literally one man shows?) to support "educated" retailers. There is no way they would or could take on the headache of dealing with all of their "uneducated" (potential) customers.

There are quite a few guys out there that are focused more on install than product sells. I would definitely say that they are the exception and not the rule. Almost every single shop (from the big chains to the one man show) still rely on product sells to keep the doors open. It might not be a large revenue source for them either. But the product can get people in the door and ultimately lead to an install.

As mentioned, a direct sales model can work, but it certainly isn't in the interest of everyone. And judging by most of your posts, it isn't even what you want. What you are looking for is the best price, which you think comes by elimination of the middlemen. Not the case. The best price tends to come from a manufacturer who doesn't control their product distribution chain. That is when you see product showing up on Amazon and ebay from unauthorized sellers for a fraction of retail. The direct inverse is what you see happen with a direct sells model.

I consider myself moderately educated on car audio. Enough that I could make all of my own purchase decisions without consulting anyone else and be completely satisfied. However, I don't. Why? Because I have resources at the end user, competitor, retailer, distributor and manufacturer level that I may seek advice from. And believe it or not, there have been many times that I have received advice that is contrary to the individuals perceived self interest? Why? Because I assume they are intelligent enough to know that providing good advice to me now, rather than trying to make a quick buck will keep me coming back as a customer.

Again, in a good shop, their self interest is their customers interest.

I don't necessarily agree with your blanket statements. There are plenty of instances where a local shop can address a service issue directly. In some cases without ever getting the manufacturer involved.

There are also some manufacturer direct sells companies in car audio as well. Some better than others. Some, I don't think I'll ever do business with. The sells model does not make the company.

I considered going into car sales years back, but the wife said no way.

Industries of all types have had to adapt with the times. This will continue to happen. I don't see direct sells taking the place of local retailers any time soon. Also, get ready to pay a lot more for your fabrication and installation services if these companies no longer have product sells as a revenue stream.

This site is called DIY MA, and the original mission circumvented the car audio industry entirely. Things have changed. Car audio has changed. And the number of people willing and more importantly CAPABLE of DIYing a car audio install is shrinking every day.

Hello,
you raise a lot of good point, some I agree some I disagree,
I do appreciate your comment.

but just one think I want to be clear,

I wasn't voluntarily or even dream of becoming car salesman
but at that time, I just return to this country, and had no job and my savings is running low and I have 2 sons and a wife I need to support here...

Your wife give you good advice though...
If possible, never work as car salesman... unless you just have to survive...
I am lucky that I am able to get out
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Old 01-18-2017   #21
 
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Largest local audio shop is all clarion all the time. They have monstrous clarion boards followed by a focal board then a tiny pioneer board. The focal board is stocked with only the top lines powered by gladen/mosconi and the pioneer board is off in the corner and has two amps 6 decks and I believe 6 pairs of speakers and 1 sub.

They sell clarion hand over fist in this city. And while radio is in the name you'd be hard pressed to find a guy working at their largest location that knows his head from his ass when it comes to any level of processing.

They move a ton of clarion because their store is store is set up to do so; You can buy this clarion package for $1000 or this set of focal speakers for $1000.

I don't b&m because it isn't really am option here. Despite a 900k population. There just doesn't seem to be a sustainable market for a little shop.



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Old 01-20-2017   #22
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

From what I have seen Clarion USA and Clarion CA are two completely different beasts. It doesn't surprise me to hear that about your local shop.


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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

That wouldn't Suprise me. Alot of companies vary big time once they cross the border

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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by street.terror View Post
Largest local audio shop is all clarion all the time. They have monstrous clarion boards followed by a focal board then a tiny pioneer board. The focal board is stocked with only the top lines powered by gladen/mosconi and the pioneer board is off in the corner and has two amps 6 decks and I believe 6 pairs of speakers and 1 sub.

They sell clarion hand over fist in this city. And while radio is in the name you'd be hard pressed to find a guy working at their largest location that knows his head from his ass when it comes to any level of processing.

They move a ton of clarion because their store is store is set up to do so; You can buy this clarion package for $1000 or this set of focal speakers for $1000.

I don't b&m because it isn't really am option here. Despite a 900k population. There just doesn't seem to be a sustainable market for a little shop.



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Default Re: Clarion.. The new way to sell?

The owner of one of my local shops told me over a year ago that Clarion was on their way out, just never caught on here in the states.

The same shop owner carries a certain brand due to how much of a discount they get on the back end after they hit specific sales quaotas, they dropped another brand due to not getting as good of a price break.

I know 25 years ago when I sold electronics when manufacturers would give additional bonuses to sell their products we would try to push people to them.

I do still try to support B&M however some of the sales people I have talked to it's almost comical what they tell me. Often times i try to deal with the manager to hopefully get a better price and no BS.
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