So, a clever retail store will not only carry portable units but offer a quality installation on said units. There is no trick sending a customer on their way without selling them a proper install of a portable device. Internet retailers are great at that. But giving the customer a proper installation is what will set you apart from an Internet retailer.
Perhaps the easiest way to show a customer the difference between a quality installation versus one in which a customer takes an antenna and dangles it from the dashboard and plugs a recoiling cord into the cigarette lighter is to have a few units installed cleanly. Even if your own vehicle already includes a hardwired solution that includes navigation and XM or Sirius, how about getting the satellite radio broadcast you normally do not receive to show off how a portable should be integrated into a vehicle? Moreover, this can keep you up-to-date with the ever-changing programming landscape of the two competing satellite radio formats.
Some of the tips for installing a portable unit would be tapping power directly from the cigarette lighter from vehicles that feature a receptacle that is wired into the ignition circuit. If it is not, you will have to find a more suitable place for power to make sure the unit powers up when turning on the ignition circuit. Customers do not want to have to remember to turn-off their units manually (unless they request it; long-haul truckers sometimes want the always-on feature so they can listen with the engine off). Another tip is fabricating a sturdy mount that does not require a lot of screws in case the vehicle needs to be returned to stock (think a lease). Screwing into one panel rather than two will mean the customer will only have to purchase one piece of plastic from the parts department if the vehicle needs to be returned to normal. If you are good enough, you may even be able to fill the holes with some colored silicone or a little body filler and SEM paint. Not only will you have the customer returning to your shop to remove the unit, it gives a savvy retailer the opportunity to discuss the customer’s next vehicle purchase and coordinate better prices for accessories than any new car dealer will provide.