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Old 07-16-2002, 05:26 AM   #1
Lee

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What mail-order companies are out there?

Quote:
5.2 What mail-order companies are out there? [JSC, JM, MM, IDB]
Crutchfield -- 800/955-3000
1 Crutchfield Park, Charlottesville, VA 22906 USA

Advantages:
Great customer service
Generally knowledgeable sales and tech support personnel
Custom mounting kits, wiring harnesses, etc. free of charge.
Disadvantages:
limited product line
generally higher prices than local shops

J.C. Whitney -- 312/431-6102
1917-19 Archer Avenue, P.O. Box 8410, Chicago, IL 60680 USA

Advantages:
Lots of "miscellaneous" items
10kW amps for $19.99
Disadvantages:
10kW amps that really only put out 1mW and break after first 10 minutes of use.

Parts Express -- 800/338-0531
340 E. First St., Dayton, OH 45402 USA

Advantages:
Large selection of electronics supplies at respectable prices.
Showroom prices said to be better than catalog prices.
Disadvantages:
Also carries some of the same quality-level components as J.C. Whitney.

Classic Research/Z-Box -- 520/571-0171
5070 E. 22nd St., Tucson, AZ 85711 USA

Advantages:
Creates custom door panels with car audio in mind.
Disadvantages:
Only services expensive sports and luxury cars.

MCM Electronics -- 800/543-4330
650 Congress Park Drive, Centerville, OH 45459-4072 USA

Advantages:
Sells lots of decently priced trinkets (fuses, fuse holders, wire, etc.)
Has excellent service and available technical support.
Disadvantages: ?

There are many other mail-order houses that can be found in the back of magazines, such as S.B.H. Enterprises, Speed and Sound and Smile Electronics, but people seem to have mixed feelings about these companies. The prices are very low, often due to the fact that these companies are not factory authorized -- this means that there could be problems getting the unit serviced by the manufacturer should it break. To get around this, these mail order houses will often provide their own service departments, to repair defective units. Generally, it is advised to be careful when dealing with any mail order companies, to protect yourself.

There are also a number advertisements for mail order houses (such as Apex Audio & Electronics or Insider's Audio) that offer special deals or free equipment if you buy their expensive catalog or pay a membership fee. While these ads may be enticing, keep in mind that they are often too good to be true! Usually you have to buy a large amount of equipment before you qualify for the "bonus" or the prices are very high for most equipment.

CAF comment: A LOT has changed since this was written.
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