If you believe the media, one week we’re in economic recovery and the next, times are hard again. Regardless of your own personal financial situation, your philosophy probably falls into one of two camps:

– You get what you pay for… low-cost = low quality.
– You’re always looking for the best deal. Why pay more?

If you’re shopping around for an audiovisual installer for your restaurant or nightclub, you’re probably entering your search with one of those two thoughts in mind. But this all-or-nothing approach can hurt you, whichever side of the argument you’re on.

Three Estimates, Three Choices
When you’re shopping for an audiovisual systems installer, it’s wise to get three estimates. Here in the New York tri-state area, there’s no shortage of audiovisual integrators to choose from. (We hope you’ll make JD Systems one of your calls!) But, when you make your final decision, there’s a lot more to consider than price. Talking with three integrators gives you enough of a selection without overwhelming yourself with choices or wasting a lot of your time.

Choosing Your Audio Video Contractor
Here are a few tips to get the information you need quickly and easily to make the best choice.

1. Make sure the AV integrator is selecting brands you can trust. You don’t want to go with the lowest price if he’s going to buy the TV screens for your sports bar or nightclub at a big box store. If you have a strong preference for specific brands, let him know. If he doesn’t carry those brands, you might be wasting everyone’s time… including your own!

2. Make sure the firm has the experience necessary to complete a project like yours. Ask to see examples of other work or ask for references. Check with the Better Business Bureau. But most importantly, trust your instincts. Does the representative sound like he knows what he’s doing? Sure, some people can talk the game and then leave the job site looking like, well, a construction zone, but you’re a smart New Yorker. Your instincts will rarely fail you when you get a good feeling (or a bad one!) about a contractor.

3. The typical rule is to go with the bidder in the middle, who’s taking your budget into consideration while providing you with the best bang for your buck. But remember, larger audiovisual firms can get better bulk pricing on some equipment. Smaller guys may not be able to come down a lot on equipment like monitors and speakers, but they might be able to offer you more value for your money or find other creative ways to work within your budget. If you go with the lowest bidder you might (not always, but sometimes) be sacrificing the personalized service you’ll get with a smaller company.

Find out exactly what is included in the price quote, but, most importantly, go with your gut instincts: Who do you feel is going to treat you right? Who’s going to be there in the middle of the night if you have an issue with your audio video systems? Who is listening like they understand your needs?

Whether it’s the highest bidder, lowest bidder or the one in the middle, that’sthe audio video installer you want to choose for your most important project.