Car Audio’s Second Chance

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car stereo

By Ata Ehdaivand


One thing that’s kind of neat right now is there’s a lot of customers giving car audio a second chance.  It’s up to us dealers to get it right.


A lot of customers, they have been burnt in the past. But they are bored now and have money. They had a system before and they’re like, “Man, let me just do this. I heard about this new CarPlay piece.”


It’s a unique opportunity for the industry.  I have customers come in and say, “Last time I had this done blah, blah, blah.  My car battery would die. Or all these different scenarios people had issues with years before.   But a lot of guys are my age, 45, and the kids are old enough so they don’t need day care or they are off to college and they don’t have the expense of a child, plus boredom and it opened them up to stuff they used to do.


I think it’s a perfect time for retailers to learn about new products. I really feel like car audio now is easier than ever.  Manufacturers have spent a bunch of money to make things plug and play.  There’s tech support for anything you can think of and customers willing to spend.


And it’s time to under promise and over deliver.   In my stores, if we’re going to put in a head unit that normally we had down for a half hour we’re telling people at the point of sale, we will likely have your car for two days. It’s something I learned back at Myer Emco that was ingrained in me, as it was a high end store with high end customers: no one gets mad if you do better than you promised. So, you set yourself up for failure when you say you can get it done in ten minutes.


Ata Ehdaivand on car audio
Ata Ehdaivand of Absolute Electronix

It doesn’t make any sense to try to jam ten cars in the bay in one day. It will wear your guys super thin and you’re not going to do your best work.


Everyone’s in a two or three week backlog. So, consumers are in a position where they just have to deal with it.  A kid came in and wanted a 5-channel amp installed. I said, “Hey man, I can’t do it till next Saturday,” and he walked.  But if I can’t do the best job for him, why even do it?  I get the money, but then there’s your sanity.


I can’t speak on anything but my own experience , but in my experience, every single job that I screwed up was because, when I worked at Myer Emco where I was a commissioned employee, I was either trying to do way too much or just rushing.


Some of our customers are new people too.  We need to make the most of our clients.  Just understand, money is one form of currency, and time is another.



Ata Ehdaivand is the Owner of Absolute Electronix, MD and Founder of the Mobile Electronics Syndicate, a Facebook Group for the 12 volt industry.

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  1. I’m sorry, but this is probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while. tell the customer to leave the car 2 days for a radio install? Do you even still have customers?

  2. Man if I told my customers getting a radio installed they could come back in 2 days for their car I don’t think I’d have any customers anymore…

  3. Ata,
    Thanks for giving a voice to the enthusiasm that is carrying the industry forward.
    Personally, I am not as quick to attribute the cause of consumer apathy to poor installation experiences, as I am to an industry practice of underselling the customer either directly or by failing to educate them as to what is possible. (Absolute Electronix being an exception, of course)

    Further, as we are both salesmen, I too believe that we need to manage expectations in such a way that leaves the customer validated in the purchase decision, and not disappointed.

    Success from here out lies in building a customer base that we are connected to, communicating what is possible, and fulfilling the need that we create through that process.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to post this. Every reminder makes this industry stronger and more profitable.

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