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Old 5th May 2015, 19:58   #16
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Honestly, I think the decline of such shops is a good thing. Sorry for generalising, but the work done in such shops is usually shoddy, especially with electricals. This makes the cars dangerous for the owner, and the people around. Therefore cars now, which are already kitted to the brim, are safer as chances of short circuits etc are lower.

However, car companies have started charging exuberant amounts for the top of the line, and the base models are basically bare bones. With that, you have a warranty that gets void with any modifications from anybody outside. So, you either live with that bare bones car, or spend a bomb to buy the well kitted one.

Honestly, I am waiting for the day when like in more developed nations, we'll be able to customise our car completely with options.
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Old 5th May 2015, 20:14   #17
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
Sure one can buy discounted audio systems and alarm systems but they still need to be installed. This is where the accessories shop scores. I had the oppurtunity to buy a usb player for my civic, i researched online and went straight to my accessory shop and got what i wanted. They even installed it for free.It's only the smaller stuff or labor free product market which will be impacted.
Snapdeal offers free home installation for any car audio above 4k, plus they give warranty for the install. The online marketplace is here to stay, and bigger sellers like snapdeal/amazon/flipkart will corner it (shopclues was the first mover, and paytm offers tremendous vfm, but both of these are not as user friendly for returns etc as the big three)
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Old 5th May 2015, 20:22   #18
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Quote:
Originally Posted by prakhar1998 View Post
Honestly, I think the decline of such shops is a good thing. Sorry for generalising, but the work done in such shops is usually shoddy, especially with electricals.
...
However, car companies have started charging exuberant amounts for the top of the line, and the base models are basically bare bones.
Exactly my sentiments. I have had horrible experiences with 2 different accessory shops, both supposedly of repute. One was when my Amp/speakers would give a horrible sound when starting the car. They could never diagnose and fix it inspite of multiple visits. The other was when the shop didn't give me the owners manual after fitting the audio system, saying that it was misplaced.

Yes, these could be specific instances, and I should have been more careful in the 2nd case. But from a personal standpoint, I would prefer to deal with the manufacturers directly. With the advent of integrated audios and other features directly from the car manufacturer, the majority should mostly have a hassle free ownership.

Hopefully, the competent shops will survive and provide better service going forward. That's how capitalism works
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Old 5th May 2015, 21:32   #19
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Agree PearlJam/prakhar1998, I believe local shops will always push growth for black market/malpractices as we will always have uninformed buyers looking for cheap deals (usually without bill), also its scary to see an innocent 15yr old boy peeling wires with his teeth and playing with your new car - these days car electronic systems are much more complex compared to what we had in 2005-10 and a single wrong twist can result in a disaster.
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Old 6th May 2015, 00:43   #20
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

While e-commerce has made big dent, shops that offers customization and do a good job at it will continue to do well. Example Anwar/TopGear in Bangalore.

The OEM music system and speakers are just plain crap, example: the ones in my Honda City and i10 Grand. Auto companies use the cheapest speakers, the ones on the honda city looked and felt like an ice cream wafer. Another thing if you drive above 80 on the highway the tire noise will overshadow the music. Cranking up the music will just distort it because they are of such poor quality.

If you want a good sounding entertainment system, with touch screen head unit, amplifier, sound deadening, reverse camera etc. then you have to visit an accessory shop. You can buy your music system online but you will still need a skilled professional to install one.
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Old 6th May 2015, 00:51   #21
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Interesting article. And quite unfortunately, seem true too.

I do see Milan Subway running at half-capacity that what it used too.
Same goes for Sion Koliwada - earlier the cars used to occupy half the roads.

The one adda at Borivali West - near Chamunda circle still seems to be buzzing. People around there seem to be least concerned of warranty and demand a lot of bling.
Neon lights, loads of chrome and weird accessories!
Seat covers and carriers seen most often.
&
yes, lot's of second hand cars getting 'modded' - rather getting ready to make an appearance in the 'W&W' thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilp View Post
Good article. I've been ordering stuff online for a while now due to the following factors:

(1) Wider selection and easier availability of difficult to procure parts: To use an example, the remote cases of my car keys got damaged. ASS would do the repair only if I was willing to change the locks. Lamington road had only one shop which kept it, but they were out of stock. The shop at Dadar Kabutarkhana insisted that I change and reprogram both the keys. Gave a last shot at Amazon and bought two cases from Flipkeys. Watched the video and changed it myself.
Dadur Kabutarkhana store - Asher keyhub? Pulin Asher?
He doesn't have the right knowledge or sources.
Couldn't procure keys fobs for me either.
Got better stuff off eBay & AliExpress !


Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Online for me any day -[list=1]
  • Digital Pressure Gauge & a lot more

Will I visit a shop even if a Product is only marginally cheaper than buying online? - Well no.
Could you share the link to that one please? And your review of it?
I got an analogue one from ShopClues during one of their Flea market sales.
Works ok.
But now thinking of getting a digital.
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Old 6th May 2015, 08:30   #22
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Yes the big three are making a dent in the local shop business, but these shops are also gearing up to meet the competition from them. For instance the place where i went to buy a USB double din for my Civic offered me a 18k touchscreen Pioneer unit for just 12k. At these discounts the consumer is the winner. I would still prefer to buy my audio stuff from these shops where one can expect good support in case something goes wrong down the line. Having to buy from Amazon etc and if something goes wrong means contacting them and wait for them to arrive and take care of things. In case of a accessory shop i can simply drive upto the place and request to fix the issue pronto.
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Old 6th May 2015, 08:32   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Dadur Kabutarkhana store - Asher keyhub? Pulin Asher?
He doesn't have the right knowledge or sources.
Couldn't procure keys fobs for me either.
Got better stuff off eBay & AliExpress !
Yes, Asher. All I wanted was to change the top part of the case because of the broken buttons. Max to max, change the batteries. He insisted that I change both the keys. Left with no option, I told him to go ahead. Then he tells me he doesn't have it in stock, and I'll have to wait for two months. I just walked out. Sheer waste of an hour.

In comparison, DIY after buying the cases off Amazon took 20 minutes total (including time spent to buy the batteries from a nearby shop). Cost incurred was 25% of what Asher quoted. In the age of ecommerce and self learning channels like YouTube, these guys really need to up their act if they want to stay in business.
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Old 6th May 2015, 08:41   #24
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Hi

Thanks for interesting reading.
For a while even I thought that all car accessories shops would close for the reasons cited in this thread. However its not the case.
Reasons are as follows:

1. Mass Mover Cars (for example- Alto, Nano, Wagon-R). These cars are still sold with bare essentials and value buyers head to accessories shop for rest of the things. I go to Karolbagh as well as Kashmiri Gate in Delhi. I did not find crowd or cars lesser than few years before.

2. Second-Hand Car Market- As soon as one buys a second hand car, he/she rushes to accessories shop. Seldom does he/she would go to a dealer. Moreover the second hand car market has increased 10 folds.

3. Changing Trends in Accessories - Today accessories are no longer limited to music system, seat cover or mats. We have dedicated chrome shops, alloy wheels shops, OEM ICE replacement with touch screen DVDs with navigation. Seat covers have been replaced by designer seat jackets and mats have been replaced by 3M tailor made cut to size mats.

4. Emergence of Market for Car Care- Car care shops similar to 3M have mushroomed and they are the same accessories guys.

On the whole, I believe the car accessories market has increased. While it may give some hick ups to small time accessories shops, guys changing in line with market demand are still doing well.

Last edited by Wanderers : 6th May 2015 at 08:45.
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Old 6th May 2015, 10:49   #25
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

I think the accessory business isn't doing that well because the car sales aren't up all that much, only 3 companies have reported better sales in the last month. The economy hasn't really been growing compared to the stock market expectations of a year ago and naturally car sales aren't up by all that much. The accessory business will still be around because of the manufacturer tendency to fit third rate stuff in the stock systems, for every Burmester/Harman stereo in a high end german, you are saddled with 1000 or so cars with paper cone speakers imported from Poland(Fiat Punto). The other reason is that when everyone owns a car with a standard stereo, the aftermarket stuff gives that exclusivity factor, which is a big factor in high end installs.
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Old 6th May 2015, 11:01   #26
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Wow! Fantastic thread. I have noticed this, too. Decline in visits to accessory shops. The reason being, cars these days are coming factory-fitted with most things we want. These days, we see mostly lower end hatchbacks parked there. Pricier cars are well-kitted out and even if they are not, their owners do not like their cars to be worked upon/tampered by a workman whose expertise in such matters is questionable. I, for one, would never let these guys work on my car. Any car. Whether a low-end hatch or a luxury sedan. I would be content with whatever music system they provide and however ugly looking alloy wheels the car comes with. My visits to these stores are for car perfume which, thanks to my city's humid weather, keeps running out with greater speed than normal.

And whatever little shrinking market there is, is taken care of by online sites. And for good. In online versus retail, my vote would go for online. Pardon my saying this but in our country, retail business is generally in the hands of a class who are not exactly known for their manners or etiquette. It is not unusual to see expressions on some shopkeepers faces which reads like," why the hell did you show up at my door"? A few years ago, a friend in Delhi narrated how the shopkeeper got irritated when my friend asked about durability of the product. He turned to his assistant, handed him the item and said,"isko rakh de almari mey. Ye nahi lene wala.". And he gave my friend a rude get-the-hell-out-of-my-shop look. No wonder more and more people are flocking to online.
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Old 6th May 2015, 14:11   #27
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

This is very interesting read! Thanks for this wonderful analysis.

To add to this, I think the DIY trend is also to be considered for the declining sales and services of the accessory outlets. Take the example of this forum itself - you will find so many DIYs and tech tips that buying something online and doing it yourself on a free Sunday afternoon is actually very encouraging! Moreover with the additional knowledge and support on online community, we no more hesitate or fear of trying a DIY/ buying an accessory and fit it ourselves.

Additionally, most of the owners change their cars in the 3-5 years time frame. With evolutions of models and new options, the investment on accessory does not return much. When the newer models themselves coming loaded with gizmos, why bother for simple accessories at accessory shop? People would rather buy it in a petrol pump outlet or the auto fragrances from grocery store shelf. So the reasons to visit the accessory shops are diminishing, so is the business.

But I think this is part of paradigm shift we will witness going forward too. Instead of simple accessories, the boutique shops that help you perform advanced modifications/ or a niche skills with Audio Installs, Lights and alike will still make good business. In many cases they make more than a simple accessory shop.

I would not be surprised if in another year or two, people start changing the engine oil themselves instead of taking it to the service station. Its just that mandatory service history at authorised service station that makes me take my car to them for the sake of warranty claims if any in future. But then as soon as that is done, I will take care of my car myself. Got to feed my passion and make use of time at hand in doing something more that I feel happy about
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Old 6th May 2015, 14:40   #28
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Very interesting read, and timely too for me. My Celerio AMT VXi is coming tomorrow.

I had two options to kit out the car.
1. All MGA branded accessories from the showroom itself fitted for free by the dealer itself, with no issues to the warranty what so ever.
Sony 1Din HU, Sony 6" speakers, Sony 6x9 ovals, remote lock, seat covers and rear parking sensors. Cost around 31K.
2. Branded accessories from an aftermarket shop fitted for free with no wire cuts. They say it will not affect the warranty at all.
JVC 1Din HU, JBL component speakers, JBL GTO ovals, remote lock, seat covers and rear parking sensors. Cost around 32K.

While I get much better equipment for just 1K more from an aftermarket store, I decided to get the installs done at Maruti dealer itself succumbing the threats to the warranty. They say the AMT is even more sensitive to wire cuts due to the additional sensors for the AMT, I didn't believe that though.

This being a car for the wife, the convenience of getting all stuff done at the dealer itself overtook the option to get better equipment.
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Old 6th May 2015, 14:53   #29
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Actually, I dont feel too bad for these accessory shops. Many of them - not all, for sure - but a vast majority have been fleecing car owners for a long time. Charging way higher prices than necessary, shoddy installs etc. Some exceptions are there, of course, like Satya of Evo, Ashwin of Sai Iyengar, but I still think that the vast majority try fleecing their customers (Favara, I'm looking at you!).

I personally have not tried online purchases of accessories, except for simple things like sunshades. Is it so, that now these online retailers are also coming down to do an install? For e.g. if we buy a HU/Speakers, do they send over installation guys, or is DIY the norm?
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Old 6th May 2015, 15:33   #30
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Both online and Accessory shops are equally bad in terms of warranty & support. If anything goes wrong - the buyer has to run around for getting the stuff fixed. But I am inclined towards buying high value items from the accessory shops. That way I can hold the accessory shops for any issues that creep up post-installation.

The Clarion 2-DIN CD player (Appx INR 6K) I bought from Snapdeal was lying around for almost 6 months. But when we installed it, we figured out that the CD player is not working (USB and others work). Replacement could not be raised, because the 30-day cover is over. I only had the option to take the unit to Clarion Service Center in Bangalore. Considering the work involved (dismantling, transportation, installing again), I decided to live with the USB option. It was bad on my part, that I did not check the audio system when it arrived.

The Audio system is good, but the unplayable CD player spoiled the whole experience. Snapdeal's home installation service called up several times, fixed appointment, but never showed up.

Installation is a big issue too. Nowadays many local accessory shops refuse to install parts bought online. Even if they agree to install, they do a shoddy job purposely.

Here is what I suggest
ONLINE SHOPS - Good for items that costs upto INR 3000 - 5000. (Max). Risky for high value items. Most online sellers never respond for support, and the websites wash off their hands after 7 days.

ACCESSORY SHOPS - Okay for items anything above INR 5000. This way, you at least have a hold on the accessory shop, to claim something back if anything goes wrong.

Last edited by rajeshsundaram : 6th May 2015 at 15:39.
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