I want to make a clear distinction here between low-quality online car stereo stores and companies that you have no business dealing with. In the latter camp are companies that flat out rip you off. These companies simply want to separate you from your money. These are scumbag operations and they need to be avoided like the plague.
The handwriting is on the wall when you dare to do business with those companies because you will get ripped off all day, every day. Now, in most cases, you’re not dealing with flat out rip off websites. Such websites that rip you off flat out are few and far between.
What you should be more concerned with are low-quality online car stereo stores that end up producing a disappointing sales experience. If you think about it, given the larger number of such transactions, these are the companies you should worry about more. Otherwise, you’re in for a rough ride. You really are. Why?
You end up wasting a lot of time filling out an online customer support ticket, picking up the phone to call, making sure that you send the product back, and that you get your money back. You’re also tracking the customer support ticket as it winds its way to the online store. There is just so much to track and focus on, that it’s really not worth your time.
If you’re like the typical American, time is a luxury for you. You have other things to do, other things to think about, and other places to be in. This is why it’s really important to avoid low quality online car stereo stores from the beginning. This increases the likelihood that you would not have to go through the time, hassle, and headache of lousy after sales service. Be on the lookout for the five danger signs below. Consider yourself warned.
Sign #1: Very limited number of recognizable brands
You know you’re dealing with a company that may not be on the up and up if all they list are a few brands. If they have a very limited selection, it may indicate a low-quality operation.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a deal killer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is not worth doing business with. However, it does give one serious reasons to suspect the professionalism, as well as the commercial focus of the company.
If they really want to earn money online by selling car stereo equipment, they should think like regular retailers. They should at least offer a decent range of recognizable brands.
Sign #2: Very limited models
Assuming that the company does offer recognizable brands, if they only offer limited models, they should also give you a reason to pause. A company that offers very limited models for a very limited amount of brands really doesn’t offer much selection.
The whole point of going to an online store to buy stuff is that you’re looking to buy things that make sense, as far as your particular set of circumstances go. The last thing that you want is to feel that your arm is being twisted to buy a certain model that might not fit your needs because there are no other options available.
You’re just cruising for a bruising if you do that. You’re just positioning yourself to get ripped off, or worse yet, feel ripped off. In many cases, they are one in the same.
Sign #3: Outdated merchandize
As you probably already know, the car stereo world moves very quickly. Technologies come and go, certain technologies have certain improvements, and really, to maximize the value of your hard-earned dollars, you want cutting edge technology. You want at the very least up to date merchandize.
Now, if you are buying from an online car stereo store that only stock merchandize and product lines that are a few years behind, you’re really playing the game to lose. Now, this doesn’t mean that the website is a complete rip-off. If they’re offering steep discounts, then this might make sense.
However, if the outdated merchandize that they’re selling is offered at a premium price or at contemporary prices, then you might want to think twice. You’re not really getting much of an edge shopping from that website, considering their limited models, their limited selection, as well as their outdated merchandize. You probably would be better off doing business with another establishment.
Sign #4: Heavy return, restocking, or return shipping fees
Another danger sign of a low-quality online car stereo store involves return fees. If you notice that the company charges really high rates for returns and restocking or return shipping and handling, something is definitely off.
Now, keep in mind that under U. S. law, companies are entitled to charge a restocking fee. However, if they add on many different terms or they max out the legal amount of allowed for restocking, this should give you the impression that the company is somehow, someway penalizing people for having the nerve to want to return merchandize.
Do you see how this works? This is anti-competitive behavior. This is also anti-consumer behavior. If you spot this, then this should be a big black eye against that company.
As I mentioned before and as I mention repeatedly, just because this company exhibits one negative sign, this doesn’t mean that you should not do business with the company. However, this is a major blow against that company.
Sign #5: Very few ways to reach the company
One of the biggest headaches of dealing with an online store is getting a hold of them. If they make it hard for you to reach out to them by restricting their phone in hours or restricting point of contact to just one option, then you know something’s up.
Don’t play that game, seriously. If something does happen and you need to get a hold of somebody, you only have yourself to blame if you choose to do business with a company that insists on only one way or a limited way of reaching them. The rule of thumb here is quite simple: the more contact options, the better.
Also look for very liberal phone support hours. In other words, steer clear of companies that expect you to call within a very narrow timeframe. As much as possible, insist on 24-hour, 7-day support.
Keep the five danger signs above in mind when looking to buy from online car stereo stores. There are just so many pitfalls to keep track of. However, these five danger signs should cover you adequately so you don’t end up doing business with a company that may be a headache to deal with if something goes wrong with your order.
Do yourself a big favor and cut out all the guesswork by doing business with a tried and proven online car stereo source like Car Stereo Warehouse and other top-notch and highly reputable online vendors of high-quality car stereo equipment.