Sonic Electronix founder, CEO and president Nathaniel Victor responds here to the proposal by Al & Ed’s Autosound that retailers call their suppliers to complain about online discounters. (Yes, we are aware that Al & Ed’s has a new price matching service).
Al & Ed’s is one of the top retailer/distributors and Sonic says it ranks number 3 in online traffic in car electronics. We’re presenting their statements as evidence of a problem that has taken on new urgency as competition in car electronics heats up. The opinion missing so far is one of a supplier and we don’t think we’ll get one that addresses the issue head on. We’ll hear about the actions being taken against transshippers, but not about the temptation to turn a blind eye when a key account moves goods sideways.
Like drugs in professional sports; transshipping and selling below MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) are hard to stamp out because they produce instant results. As always, it’s the small, honest specialist that gets hurt the most. Our only advice is that which we promote here day in and day out—get tech savvy and be the shop that can help anyone who walks in the door with a smartphone, iPod, or widget to link it to his radio. At least that’s expertise that is hard to sell online. (A new Ford TV ad claims, “The Ford Fusion is like a smartphone on wheels.” )
Here’s Nathaniel’s statement verbatim:
It is with great pride that I can state to you that over the past decade, Sonic Electronix has been established as a well-known destination for purchasing car electronics and researching industry-leading information. As mentioned, we currently do over $30 million in sales and our traffic ranks in the top 3 of our industry; however, our growth with brands and delivering their product message is what we are most fond of. We are authorized and directly representing over 70 brands. As par for the course, we follow MAP pricing and deliver specific brand messages for all of our direct lines. Additionally, we are diligently working to establish relationships with the few remaining brands that we are yet to be direct with.
As it so often does, it seems our success in building a recognizable name has bred its share of contempt. It may come as no surprise that according to quantcast.com, our website generates 50 (fifty) times the amount of website traffic as compared to Al and Eds website; whose owner just so happens to be the voice of the previous article. Ironically, he is also the creator of “lowestpricecarstereo.com” which devalues brands with an automatic lowest price on their own Al and Eds website. Devaluing brands is something we are strongly against. Our main focus is to legitimize the industry and revolutionize the way car audio is purchased online, which will involve retail stores across the USA. No amount of mudslinging will dissuade us from devoting our time to caring for the brands and customers we proudly represent.
We are quite confident that manufacturers who invest resources to establish a partnership with our company will see that what we excel at marketing their brand and promoting their products in an honest and forthright manner. I look forward to leading our company and the industry into the next decade with growth and success for all who partner with us. Feel free to reach out by phone (661.295.3626) or email (nvictor[a]sonicelectronix.com) to discuss this matter further. As always, we have an open door policy for discussions pertaining to manufacturer relationships.
Sonic Electronix, Inc.
UPDATE. Some of the comments on this story have been removed because they were personal in nature.
Photo: Nathaniel Victor of Sonic Electronix