12 Volt: Groupon & Its Imitators

You want a traffic jam up front. But you can get a traffic jam in the bay…

Richardson also was a little annoyed about having other 12-volt dealers pile on around the same time period. “Groupon hit up some other retailers in our area and we are a small market to begin with. One of their Groupon promotions overlapped our promotion. Luckily it was not for HIDs, but still. It was actually for remote starts for $190 installed including a security bypass.” Once you put that low price into customers minds, it is tough for another retailer to undo the ‘damage’ by trying to sell on quality.

Chris Hilbert is the manager of Sound Decisions in Racine, Wisc. He notes some things that he has learned about Groupon: “First off, don’t run an ad on a Sunday if no one is going to be manning the phones! My answering machine and email Monday morning was swamped with people with questions.

“My first attempt with Groupon was with a remote start. We sold 158 Compustar units and as of now, a month later, we have completed 85 of them. When the people would come in with their Groupon, I would explain to them that they will get a remote start just like the Groupon says. But, if the car needed a bypass, it would be an additional $30. I told them we can also make the button lock or unlock the doors for an additional $25. No hard sell, and the customer could always get the work done in the future, but it would cost more. Why not do it now while the dashboard is apart?”

Hilbert is also passing along a stroke of brilliance. “We explained to customers about the anti-grind feature and it would be an additional $15. Most went for it.”

Sound Decision’s brilliance (or what some might call audacity) is applaudable. After all, it is extra wiring to the starter solenoid that lesser shops also would not hook up for the bare bones pricing structure.

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