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Some Mistakes to Avoid

When you walk into your local, friendly car audio sales emporium, the smiling pleased-ta-meetcha sales professional is going to lob a bunch of questions your way. You're first thought is: "Why should I share all this personal information with this stranger?" And that's a good reaction. But it's just a car stereo, man. The salesperson is there to help you pick the best system for your needs. They can take your end of the equation and add to it their own experience and knowledge of the products they sell, and help you come up with the perfect system for your budget and your car. So relax. Answer the questions. Now.

Question #1: How much do you want to spend?

The smiling sales professional is not asking this question so he can decide how big a sucker you are, he's asking it so that he can help you budget your money in the most economical way. Your answer to this question helps determine where your money should be spent to build a system that's right for you. He'll probably suggest budgeting your money in the order of component importance: speakers, amplifier, and then head unit.

Question #2: What changes are you willing to make to your car?

He's grinning when he asks this. Maybe he's salivating, too. You’ve got visions of a bunch of installers completely gutting your car just for the fun of it. You couldn’t be more wrong. Answer this question, and establish boundaries for the extent of your installation. It will affect the type of system you buy, and the type of installation the expert suggests.

Question #3: How long are you going to keep your car?

You agree to the most extensive and complicated installation of the most expensive system in the hemisphere. And when you get home you remember that you planned to sell your lemon at the end of the month. The answer to this question can help you avoid that.

Question #4: What is the primary function of your car?

Do you use your car to drive to and from work everyday? Is it a 10 minute jaunt, or an hour commute? Do you travel to distant destinations in your car? Does your car just sit in your driveway until you're forced to go to the grocery store? Answering this question helps an expert decide how much of a system you really need. If you simply drive from home to work, you probably don't need the same kind of extreme GPS navigation and DVD surround sound that you would want if you were traveling long distances on a regular basis. But then again.

This article was last modified Apr 15, 2014

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