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I just got back from Frys and I’m madder than snot. I wanted to check out the new Zen Micro hard drive based MP3 player. It just came out and my Frys store had two of them. So I go to the sales geek and ask him if they have a display unit somewhere to fiddle with.

Of course not!!!!!

This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes in retailing electronics. They are MEANT to be fiddled with. People don’t fall in love with pictures. They want to touch them and see how they work…etc.

How many sales do you think they miss out on each and every day by not allowing people to fiddle with them? Multiply that by how many stores they have. If I were the President of Frys, I’d be sick to my stomach to know this.

However, even when Frys does have a display unit, their sales people are always so busy, there’s no way they can answer people’s questions in a timely manner. The digital camera isle is a perfect example. They have all the cameras out to touch (good) but half of them aren’t operational (bad) and HEAVEN FORBID you have a question about a feature or anything else. Take a number and get in line, basically. (VERY bad!)

So, this is the PERFECT time to capitalize on the big retailers treating customers like chump change when it comes to hands-on, MP3 player action.

Open a niche store that JUST SELLS MP3 players and other related peripherals. Staff it with geeky teens that know everything about these things. Kind of like an Apple store concept, but for MP3 players only. In this store, you can find EVERY single MP3 player sold on the face of the earth (that you can get your hands on) and have them functionally displayed so people can play with them. DO NOT tether them to the table, either. Please. I know it’s loss prevention, but there’s got to be another way. It’s a small enough store that you can keep an eye on things quite easily. There’s nothing worse than a big old wire hanging off the thing you’re trying to check out.

I would buy my next MP3 player from a store like this in a heartbeat. Can you imagine the traffic you’d get? You’d have a ton of customers coming to check you out since you’d be the only player in town that is specifically catering to this market. One radio commercial in heavy rotation on the local pop radio station, and you’d have a never ending stream of customers.

MP3 players are the future of portable music and we’re just in the beginning stages of the mega growth phase. Get in now and start your own MP3 player store. I’d do it myself, if I didn’t have like, oh, ZERO time to dedicate to it. 🙂

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