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Old 6th May 2015, 16:31   #31
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post

In fact, here are a few things I have purchased online for my car in the last 18 months alone -
Parag, how do you manage installation of items like speakers, cams etc after delivery?

Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
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)
This is news for me, but how good is the installation quality?

Originally Posted by rajeshsundaram View Post
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.
I have used online retail to buy all kinds of things including expensive items like split ACs. My experience rates Amazon -> Flipkart -> Snapdeal in that order in terms of quality of service. Ofcourse you cant expect Snapdeal or any online retailer to do much for not checking a system for 6 months. Then it becomes manufacturer warranty issue. Even a retailer would not take it back in similar scenario.
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Old 6th May 2015, 16:42   #32
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Atleast this will bring transparency and increase service standards. Companies will be forced to provide dedicated service channels /installation services with transparent pricing.

Just like with AC installers. A lot of fly by night AC 'shops' are vanishing in my area and a few dedicated experienced service engineers have taken up authorised installation/service agencies from whirlpool /Panasonic /Hitachi etc.

The 'installation services' from snapdeal/flip kart /amazon are these authorised service personnel. I just bought a whirlpool AC online and it was installed by the same guy who installed my locally bought AC last year. Ditto with the IFB washing machine.

A model like change my tyre. Com or battery bhai will work very well. The good installers/service technicians can work without opening a shop of their own.
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Old 6th May 2015, 17:35   #33
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Flipkart, Snapdeal & Amazon don't hold inventory - they just link the buyer to the seller. Hence, they cannot be termed as a threat to accessory shops.


Tech savvy accessory shop owners can actually utilize this medium to sell more stuff.
Completely agree with your views.
Infact, the accessory shops should take a cue from the online shops, check out the rates and themselves offer competitive rates, good products and timely delivery along with ethical business practices.

Ethics is sometimes lacking in orders from the online stores.
Few old world shops have already started the transition.
Refer to these posts:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/mumbai...-shipping.html (Car Accessories - AutoTrends.in (Mumbai & nationwide shipping))
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Old 6th May 2015, 19:45   #34
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Parag, how do you manage installation of items like speakers, cams etc after delivery?
Like this.

Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Could you share the link to that one please? And your review of it?
This is what I picked last week:

Digital Pressure Gauge.

Got delivered on Monday and the product is worth every penny. Will post more details on the actual thread later today/tomorrow with snaps.

Earlier to this, I have used another product that cost me 900 bucks and now listed for 1600 bucks that also comes with other functions like Glass Breaker, Hammer, Seat Belt Cutter, Torch, Scissors etc.
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Old 6th May 2015, 21:21   #35
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Mod Note : There are several spelling & grammatical errors in your posts. This negatively affects the forum experience for other readers.

Kindly ensure that you proof-read your posts prior to submission. Also, it would be a good idea to use spell-checkers.

Last edited by GTO : 7th May 2015 at 16:14.
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Old 7th May 2015, 02:25   #36
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

I still feel there is lot of scope for this business. But there are multiple reasons why people buy online.Price is not the only reason why people buy online when it comes to auto stuff. I for one would like to check things personally before buying it and I don't mind paying a little extra than the online price. But even a buyer like me is left with no option but to buy online.

Here are my reasons:-

1. Choice/Variety - Not many options of a particular product type is available at a shop. Believe it or not, I wanted a dash cam and I visited several shops @ Milan Subway ( Mumbai). None of them had it. Everyone was showing me reverse camera. One even asked me details about dash camera and was wondering what is the use of the same. I am still searching . Now isn't it easy to just go online and buy one?

2. Price/Bargain - I don't mind paying a little extra but no ridiculous pricing please. Many people don't like to bargain and would appreciate if a fixed fair price is quoted.

3. Awareness and upgrade with time - Times have changed and so has the definition of customer service. Not trying to stereotype but some of the shopkeepers did not upgrade themselves with time on product awareness, customer centricity and still have the take it or leave it attitude.

I wish we had an Auto accessories Superstore or a superstore having a auto accessory section. Reliance Mart in Mumbai had an automobile section but unfortunately the product variety was limited to tires and car fresheners. This also got shut down later.

Visualize a Superstore with most of the auto accessories that is available online with slightly higher price than online price and staff to install as well.

What do you think?
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Old 7th May 2015, 02:38   #37
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

A few points that come to mind when I read articles like this:
  1. Yes, most of your basic accessories that require no installation can be procured online, but anything more complex requires an accessories shop. For example, I wouldn't want to monkey around with installing a GSM-GPS security system in my car, when there's a guy in the friendly neighborhood accessories shop that can do a much better job, faster than I can
  2. Alloy wheels, tyres etc, require an in-person shopping experience, since pictures can never do full justice, however much online shopping may be attractive. And there is also the whole balancing and installation piece
  3. Some top-notch equipment, such as really fine ICE systems etc, require the skills of top-notch installers and people who know how to tune these systems (Aman [Motor Concept], Gunbir, and Jasdeep take a bow!!). I wouldn't trust any online store to provide such services
  4. Trusted accessories shops also make warranty issues much easier to handle. They mostly do warranty period exchanges on their own, thus saving you loads of trouble in locating the authorized service center of the OEM. Try getting such service from any online outlet
  5. Online outlets are reaching out to the accessories shops for selling products and doing so-called "door-step" installs. The accessories shops participating these programs stand to gain, since online portals will never make the investment required to support end-to-end services

In short, I don't see accessories shops, especially the most niche ones, going away any time soon, however much wishful thinking online retailers might do. In fact, with growing car sales, I only see the demand for good accessories shops increasing

Last edited by HighwayofLife : 7th May 2015 at 02:40.
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Old 7th May 2015, 11:26   #38
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Great thread,

The explosion of online care accessory shops and well loaded factory options is not the only thing killing the business.

In Trivandrum I know at least 3 shops who have expanded operations in the last 8-10 months, they were also affected by the slump.

The consumers are well aware of what they want and most of them also know the DIY route and are willing to try a thing or two but as far as I know, the first blow came in when the car companies and dealerships themselves started pushing accessories right from the showroom. They also tried attach consequences to accessory purchases from outside the dealer network.

The accessory shop guys have further added to the already declining business by charging astronomical margins and sweeping poor workmanship under the carpet.

The situation was further degraded when the Chinese decided to join the party by replicating everything from perfumes to stereos. Even though I am a DIY guy I love to visit shops and do some window shopping and I do a fair bit of impulsive purchases as well, with this sector still un-organised I don't expect them to catalogue their stuff better or creating more options for impulsive purchases naturally in their shops.

They should categorise their customers into different categories and should immediately know which category each customer falls into. They should ask customers what made them choose their shop, is it convenience, value for money or any other aspect and should make it their USP.

most of the accessory guys still go for boiler room sales tactics, customers feel compelled to buy high margin yielding stuff and after their first time they usually avoid such places, what these shops should do is have different strategies for different customers.

I have only seen businesses with guaranteed monthly incomes scale naturally. How on earth do these shops get guaranteed monthly incomes? simple,

Create a sales network: Connect with the sales guys at dealerships, offer customers coming through them some fixed discounts and offer these sales guys a cut.

Create a network of customers: Do something for the customers who bring referrals, don't publically tell them that you would give them x if they achieve y for you, but do that every time they do something for you

Never compromise on quality: Quality always comes at a cost, its up to the shop guy to decide if they want to do it right the first time or they want the customer to visit frequently to correct niggles, this would make the entire customer experience very sore.

Scale up the business: Ask each customer what bought them there, is it the location of the shop, is it the knowledge of the staff, is it the cost, is it the discounts etc... and make it your USP and make sure other prospective customers know this

No accessory shop will fail if they ensure one basic rule, which is not to milk the customers and provide quality service.

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Old 7th May 2015, 12:59   #39
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Given a choice, I'd buy online just for simple reasons like ease of ordering, abundance of choice, cheaper (economical) pricing and doorstep delivery (free). But yes - when it comes to installation - i need to look at the cost benefits of online ordering and fitting it with the dealers technicians. And for warranties, dealer usually supports within the warranty period. Whom will you complain, when you bought it online?
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Old 7th May 2015, 13:40   #40
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

The gastronomical valuations of the some of the current e-com sites all point to the fact that online sales will only grow and steal business from brick and mortar stores. Yes, there will be consolidation of these online sites, but the online market share of auto accessory business can only increase.

There are far few places where emphasis is on service. It is just lackadaisical where customers are made to wait with no value for their time. This, the pricing, the shoddy work (often) are the main factors that is driving away customers from brick and mortal shops.

Overseas the online phenomenon is more advanced, with Tyre shops being the only business type that had not had adverse effect from online sales. I have heard from many of friends who buy tyres online (now) in India - a phenomenon quite different to what experienced overseas.

It is quite telling of the fact that this industry will have two segmentation in future. (a) where the online sales will burgeon and dominate the traditional market. (b) development of a service based (read workshop) business where customers head to get these fixed onto their automobiles. Nevertheless, it will be interesting next few years.
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Old 8th May 2015, 15:08   #41
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Nice story and reminds us of our past, especially when an accessory shop was the place to be all weekends and to get your car in-style!
Nowadays, after banning of the sun films and with quality sound systems coming as standard fitment, these shops are at the receiving end now. Car Grooming rather is the new IN word.
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Old 8th May 2015, 15:38   #42
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

I am also purchasing everything online now. Convenient and cheaper.

But, shops still have an advantage coz you need a place to get stuff installed/tweaked/removed.

Plus, they gotta start selling some quality stuff other than perfumes, exhaust tips, speakers, amps, bass tubes , steering knobs, sony head units, fog lamps and seat covers !

I am sure everyone looks around for suspension upgrades, exhausts, good quality projectors, better spares, choices in lamps, CAIs and all.

They will earn a lot provided they have good staff to install all this stuff !
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Old 9th May 2015, 16:44   #43
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Sunfilm : that took away the footfall. Even top of the line variants of most cars didn't have those. Online retailers did put rest of nails.

Last edited by ~~h : 9th May 2015 at 16:46. Reason: typo
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Old 10th May 2015, 10:45   #44
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Well i am in a dilemma whether to order seat covers online or not. While i like the seat covers that i am getting, i am apprehensive if i will be able to fit it on the seats on my own or not.
anybody who has bought seat covers online, please shed some light.
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Old 11th May 2015, 16:04   #45
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Default Re: The local Auto Accessory shop - A declining business

Apart from time and travel cost savings, there is one big advantage that I think online shopping offers : Lots of User Reviews and opinions.

Most of the sales persons in any shop (not limited only to automobile accessories) will offer biased reviews or conjectures which doesn't help the buyer.

Also, when it comes to gadgets e.g. Speakers or Rear Cameras, people need to get a hands-on first before they buy. These offline retailers offer the same but people have to haggle a lot to get discounts. So it happens that we end up testing things in their shops but buying them online. Unless they start matching their price with on-line retailers, they are not going to get anywhere.

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