Howard vs. Opie and Anthony
Clearly, the way to most customers who will "want Howard or Opie and Anthony" is to use plug-and-play-style units. Keeping a multitude of plug-and-play units in stock will help you to facilitate sales. But don't just sell customers plug-and-plays and send them on their merry ways. The difference between a C-tailer and a mass merchant is installation ability. Since the shock-jock rush began, I have installed about a half-dozen plug-and-play units (and some are far from plug-and-play if you want the job done right) into a multitude of vehicle styles and have come up with some suggestions. The best thing about plug-and-play installations is that a custom installation will not only yield you a happy customer, but in addition, the customer will return to you when the unit has to be removed. You can then charge them again for the reinstallation of the unit into a new vehicle. Plug-and-plays are also simple to install, so even your novice installers can tackle the job. The average consumer, however, cannot install a plug and play without having pile of spaghetti wires running across the vehicle interior, not only being unsightly, but also potentially dangerous. -Brett Solomon
Plug-and-Play Installation Tips and Tricks for Profitability
1.) Most customers want to retain their cigarette lighter port for cell phones and other items, and the quickest way to establish power and ground for a plug-and-play is to dissemble the cigarette lighter receptacle, get the power and ground from the wires running to it. Remember, of course, to use a multimeter, because sometimes the wires are not colored the way you'd think they should be.
2.) Check which is the "hot" wire to the unit. Once power and ground is established, dissemble the male power plug and wire in a fuse of the same amperage before the unit for safety's sake (yes, even though the cigarette lighter is fused at the vehicle electrical junction box, there is still enough potential amperage in that fuse for a safety issue). Usually a three- to five-amp fuse will handle the job.