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Adding 12 Volt Electronics to Your Product Mix

Electronic aftermarket products can be a tremendous boost to sales. You can easily double, triple, or even quadruple your current daily gross sales. Sales of car audio, video, alarms, keyless entry, remote starters, neons and more are growing at a fast pace for stores who will commit and focus on this industry. A strong consumer demand for such products exists from the 16 year old to 66 year old!

Security systems can fetch $250-$350 and up. A simple AM/FM CD player with installation can easily generate an extra $250 or more while a full featured AM/FM CD player with an amp and 2 pairs of speakers can easily hit the $700 - $800 mark. Full blow custom competition audio systems can go over $10,000! Can you see the benefits in adding electronics to your product mix?

Let me state again, the key here though is commitment. Don't even consider the 12-volt industry unless you are ready to hire, train, and continually educate your 12-volt technicians. With detailing, your exposure to risk is pretty much limited to a sloppy job, a missed area, or in the worst-case scenario, a paint burn. Time and hard work can usually make up for a detailers lack of experience. With 12-volt installations however, you can short out a $1200 computer, blow an air bag, or spend 4 hours trying to figure out why the darn service engine light is on in the dash after you finish an install! There is no compromise for experience and education.

The good news is there is assistance from many sources. There are several good trade publications to subscribe to including 12 Volt News at or phone 318-425-2525 and Mobile Electronics Retailer at or phone 310-533-2577. For additional sales advice, contact Eddie Kay at He has been involved with 12-volt electronics for years. We have found his tapes and seminars are well worth the minimal cost, especially for those just starting in this industry or even the seasoned pro.

What to sell is an important first step. Pick a product that you would enjoy selling and installing. Something you would want on your own car because chances are, that's where it's going first. It's usually that your car is the "guinea pig." From there, move on to your brother, sister, mother, etc. After you gain a little experience, knowledge, and confidence, it's time for a sale where you actually start to make money… bring on the consumer!

Get your store ready! Think as if you were inviting customers to your home to entertain them. Your customers are your guests and should be treated as such. A friendly, inviting atmosphere is essential. An investment in an eye-catching display will go a long way to generate excitement and maximize sales. When the customer can hear the sound sales will ROCK! Make sure you play their favorite station or better yet, have them bring in their favorite CD. Make sure it has a good-looking, professional installation. Take them out to your car but be sure it is well put together and can shake the mirrors!

Auto security systems sell best when you have one on your own vehicle. This allows you to not only use your vehicle as a demo, but also get you completely familiar with the alarm features as you will be using it everyday. Don't be afraid to put the transmitter in the customer's hand. Let them see how easy it is to use. Let them arm, disarm, pop the trunk, etc.

When selling security, be sure to include all the benefits. Obviously, security and protection of their vehicle is important, but be sure to explain and demonstrate the convenience features (trunk pop, keyless entry) and remote panic for personal safety.

When selecting a 12-volt supplier be sure they can help you after the sale. Many "distributor houses" merely sell boxes. They lack any expertise in actual installations. You want someone who can help you with wire colors, locations, how to remove a panel, etc. Basically, someone who has been "in the trenches" and preferably is a certified MECP installer.

MECP certification is something we recommend strongly. In our company, it is a must to be MECP certified. This insures a higher degree of quality as well as bragging rights to your customer. It also shows a higher level of commitment. There's that word again! You may contact MECP, Mobile Electronics Certification Program at 703-907-7689 or at

Automotive electronics also offer one of the best and easiest opportunities to sell "add ons" or upgrades. A car owner who invest three or four hundred dollars on a CD player is an easy upgrade to a new set of speakers… from there an amp… then to a subwoofer… to surface mount tweeters. Once the car owner realizes the investment, an auto alarm is the next logical step. Once they decide on the alarm, you can add keyless entry… trunk pop… remote car starter. See what I mean? There's no end to the opportunities available with automotive electronics! (once you make the commitment of course)


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