Part 2 - Ordering
There are several hoops you must jump through in order to place your order. The website form asks several questions, but you aren't given a clear explanation WHY they are asking, or what they really want to know. They want to know the model year of course, but also the plug on the back of the existing head unit and screen. Is it square or round? I assume this tells them if your existing unit is a NTG4.0 or NTG4.5. I was pretty sure mine was a 4.0, but to be sure I pulled the screen to check. Yup...square. They also ask, with no explanation whatsoever, "Original Car With AUX"...YES/NO. Well, in my case the answer is "kind of". This GLK had one of the old iPod Kits, so it DID have an old-style Apple connector in the glove box, but not a true AUX audio input jack. However on the head unit, you choose AUX on the screen to use this antique connector! So what are they asking exactly? Do you have an AUX audio jack? Or do you have AUX controls in the head unit? I scoured the website trying to figure this out and the only answer I could find was the vague "we need to know in order to send the correct cables". Cables for what exactly?! Ugh. They also insist and require you to send a picture of your existing stereo. Why? No idea. They cant see the AUX jack or screen connector, so what are they looking for?! Since I don't have a true AUX jack, I figured the safer option was to choose NO-AUX, figuring they would include some extra device or cable that at worst I wouldn't use.
There was about a 3 day delay after ordering while they reviewed my dash photo. Again, no questions or explanations, just "your order is being processed".
Seicane offered two shipping options: Express (3-5 Day) for $60, and Standard (2-12 Day) for $99. I know, I know.
As I went through this process, I found a lot of things like this that just didn't make sense!
The unit was listed on their website for $537.99, allegedly on-sale. I am fairly certain these units are always
on-sale to create a sense of urgency, just like the furniture store in town that has been having a "Going out of business sale!" for the past ten years.
Seicane has an affiliate program that allows people with way too much time to spread the news with a unique discount coupon code, getting a small kickback. I searched and found dozens of these codes. After trying them all, I found they all give you 3.5% off with the exception of ONE. Code SC5LY will give you 5% off, knocking the price down to $511.09. Hey...you take what you can! So, my "out the door" price with shipping included was $573.81. I suppose if you too have too much time, you could create your own affiliate links and then use them yourself, thus double dipping. I passed.
There are MANY optional add-on's you can choose during the ordering process. Backup cameras, Apple Car Play dongle, Front facing camera, etc. Since I was already gambling with a good amount of money, I decided to skip all the options, figuring I could always go back and order them later. There are also a few options that sound VERY cool, but were questionable as to whether or not they would work in the USA, like the "4G LTE External Module" for mobile internet access. There were a lot of complaints on all the manufactures websites about these dongles not working in the USA. Whether its due to the carrier, the head unit, or operator error is unknown.
After about a week, I came home to a note on my door from DHL indicating I had a package from China that I wasn't there to sign for. Huh? I received NO tracking, NO shipping email, nothing from Seicane indicating the unit was in transit. Even after I signed for and received the box the next day, the website still said "Order Processing"! I did finally get a notice indicating my order had shipped, with a tracking number...three days after receiving it.
Stay tuned for Part 3 - The Box Arrives!