If you are looking for a car stereo online, you have your work cut out for you. You really do. The problem is not one of selection. Let’s just get that out of the way.
In fact, there are too many online car stereos out there. For every high-quality online store like Car Stereo Warehouse, there are many fly by night or low-quality outfits out to make a quick buck. That’s the reality that you have to deal with. That’s the reality that you have to prepare for. Otherwise, it’s just too easy for you to get ripped off of your hard earned dollars. You worked hard for your money. Don’t you deserve full value for the cash that you worked so hard for?
If you believe in getting the most bang out of every buck you spend on a car stereo through an online store, you need to listen up. You need to pay attention to the following information because they spell out the five hallmarks of a quality online car stereo store.
Make no mistake about it, there are quality establishments out there like the Car Stereo Warehouse, but for every quality company, there are many more that simply exists to suck up the heard earned cash of unsuspecting consumers. Don’t be another victim. Don’t join the sad and sorry statistic of people going online looking for good deals, only to get ripped off. This happens all the time. The good news is that you don’t have to join them. Here are the five hallmarks of a quality online car stereo store.
Hallmark #1: Solid selection
A real high-quality outfit would stock major brands. This is non-negotiable. If you go to an online store for car stereos and all you find are cheap knockoffs or “unknown brands” or “OEM units,” you know you’re at the wrong place. It’s anybody’s guess where those parts came from. It’s anybody’s guess whether those units are what the store claims them to be. You’re simply rolling the dice doing business with such an outfit. You would be better off looking for a company that has a solid selection of major internationally renowned and recognized car stereo brands.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should completely shun online stores that feature up and coming brands. As you probably already know, in the world of car stereos, there are established brands and there are up and coming brands. It’s okay to look at a company that features up and coming brands. But they must also mix it with established international brands.
Hallmark #2: Full details
If you really want to make a bad decision, you make a decision based on faulty details. In other words, the information is not complete. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. When you are making any kind of decision, make sure that you have all the facts in one place. This is a key hallmark of a truly quality online car stereo store.
They pack a lot of information on their pages so you could increase the likelihood that whatever call you make is an informed decision. Make no mistake about it, the more information you have at your disposal, the more you can make an informed decision. In many cases, it just takes too much time, effort, and hassle to rewind your decision. It’s much better to get things right the first time around.
Insisting that you have all the details that you need to make a truly informed decision is definitely a step in the right direction. In fact, it’s non-negotiable. This also includes clear pictures. The moment you see pictures that are mislabeled or pictures that are edited in such a way as to give you a false impression, you need to turn around and head the other way.
In other words, shut down the window and look for other online stores. They’re playing games and you don’t have time for such shenanigans.
Hallmark #3: Clear return and refund policies
Now, this is where the rubber meets the road. You have to understand that when you buy stuff online, you take a lot of risks. This goes with the territory. This is not going to go away anytime soon. After all, this is very different from walking into an offline store, handling the merchandise yourself, feeling it out, looking at the box, and having a living, breathing, flesh and blood human being to talk to. Instead, you’re looking at the screen and making a snap judgment as to whether you’re going to spend up to several hundred dollars on something that you haven’t manually handled.
Do you see what could go wrong here? Do you see all the variables that are at play? This is why you need to insist on clear return and refund policies. Now, it’s one thing for an online store to spell out such policies clearly. It’s another for these policies to actually work in your favor. What’s important is that you are fully aware of the policies in the first place.
This way, you don’t have to buy from them if you don’t like the policies. If you don’t like the terms, you don’t have to go through with your purchase. That’s what’s so awesome with an open market economy.
Unfortunately, not all online stores play by the rules. They often pull all sorts of tricks to try to trick you into thinking that the refund policies are clear, when it turns out that they’re hiding a lot of nasty terms in the fine print. Don’t fall for such tricks. You have to look at the terms and make sure that they are spelled out in plain English.
Second, make sure that there is no guesswork involved. The terms must accommodate all the common issues that happen after the sale is done. Finally, the store should have a quick and easy system for handling refunds and return. If only some of these, or even none of these are present, you need to walk away and look for a better option.
Hallmark #4: Multiple views
You have to understand that when you’re buying online, you’re not actually manually handling the merchandise. This is very important. It seems quite obvious, but a lot of people shop online in such a way that they are oblivious to this.
They think that they just can take the store’s word for it. Well, you can do that. But believe me, having to go through the refund process is like pulling teeth. Do yourself a big favor and make things easier on yourself by insisting on multiple views. Look at all the information and specifications listed for every car stereo in the online store’s inventory and see if they are easy to cross reference with other models and brands.
Also make sure that when you look at the pricing of the different models, that they are very easy to cross reference with other online stores. The more information you have at your disposal, the higher the likelihood that you will make a truly informed decision. This does not only apply to pricing, but also applies to features and specifications.
Hallmark #5: Quick and clean payment system
Now, this is the part where you whip out your credit card and you’re ready to buy something from the online car stereo store. Websites like the Car Stereo Warehouse have this system down cold. It’s very easy to go from the shopping cart, all the way to the payment page.
However, if you notice that there’s some sort of friction or they’re trying to upsell you too many different things, you might be at the wrong place. You don’t want to be in a situation where the online store is trying to pull all sorts of tricks. This should give you pause if you feel that you’re being made to jump through many hurdles so they can “upsell” you of stuff you don’t really need.
At the very least, the shopping cart must be easy to work with, it must be very easy to make changes, and when it comes time to actually making payment, there are many different payment options supported.
Keep the five hallmarks above in mind if you want to make sure that you’ll make the right call. Thankfully, there are websites like Car Stereo Warehouse that embody all these five hallmarks and more.
Keep in mind that these five hallmarks just offer the basic framework for a quality online store. They’re just the beginning point for a truly quality online store for car stereos.