At least three top car radio manufacturers have provided dealers/distributors the option, on select occasions, to chip in on air freight costs to receive car radio shipments faster.
Dealers and/or distributors are offered a choice to buy decks at about $10 to $20 above the normal sheet cost for each product in order to circumvent sea travel and delays at sea ports.
Again, this is by no means a regular practice, but it has been offered on select occasions.
Most retailers are jumping at the chance to participate in the programs, according to one vendor and several dealers we polled.
One supplier recently offered a program on single DIN head units where retailers can pay an extra $10 per unit for air freighting, retailers said.
Tom Sweere of Beach Autosound, CA said he hadn’t been offered a deal but would be happy to pay the extra price. “You can’t ask the vendor to take all the pain, especially since, in the end, it will be the end user who pays.”
Kelly Kirschner of Performance Auto Sound, WA said he’d be happy to take air shipping deals. “We’re just trying to load up with whatever we can because we don’t know what’s going to be available going forward.”
But not all dealers like the practice. Sound of Tri-State, DE said it would prefer if manufacturers simply add the air freight cost to products rather than offering it as a separate upcharge since it causes an accounting problem. “Vendors should put it into the cost and up the MAP because it’s just harder for us to keep track of our costs. At the end of the day, whatever their cost is, they should put it into their goods and adjust the cost appropriately,” said President Mehdi Narimanian.