For many people, the TV is the focal point of a room; it’s what makes families and friends gather together for movie and pizza night and where you host those annual Oscars parties. You deserve the absolute best, but there’s no reason to pay the premium price. There are tricks, tactics and timings to getting the best price on electronics including that top of the line television.
First, consider repairs vs. purchases because if you have a relatively new TV you like already, a repair might cost “just” a few hundred dollars (which is a drop in the bucket if you have a $2,500 TV). Also look into the warranties you may have since even if you didn’t opt in for extended warranty, your TV may still be under the manufacturer’s warranty. If neither of these are a good option, it’s time to start shopping. Make sure you shop smart.
Don’t go straight to online stores
There are some things that can still be found for a better price in stores, and that can include TVs. You can do all the research you want online, but call around to your local discount electronics stores and see if they have floor models or specials. Plus, going into a store gives you negotiating power that you don’t have online; electronics is one of the few items that many stores have wiggle room on when it comes to prices. Particularly look at Walmart and Best Buy where managers have the ability to lower prices to a certain point.
When comparison shopping, make sure you’re actually comparing similar things to get the specs that you want. Educate yourself on the difference between LEDs, plasma TVs and LCDs and know what you’re looking for in a television. Maybe you’ve been itching to get your hands on a 3-D TV, or maybe fitting it into a certain space is key for you. Start with a list of your must haves and your wants, and don’t let a sales pitch lead you astray. It’s crucial to do your homework to know what the specs are.
Start big and go down
It might make you feel good to support a local business, but when you’re dealing with costly electronics, the big box stores and biggest e-tailers often have the lowest prices. No amount of “feeling good” is worthy losing $1,000 dollars or more on a big purchase. Bigger stores have the capacity to carry more products at a lower price and that’s what you need. Ask about matching competitor prices, and if you can hold out for a holiday shopping weekend like Black Friday or Memorial Day, you might be able to take advantage of a special sale.
It’s good to know that almost every shop offers “employee pricing” and that can be a great tool if you have an in. Ask on social media if anyone has a connection with an electronics store employee; you never know who knows who and how it can pay off. Make sure you offer something in return, whether it’s a service you can provide or taking the helpful acquaintance out to dinner. It never hurts to ask, whether it’s for a discount or for a friendly hand.
It goes without saying that electronics coupons are one the most popular categories on online coupon sites. Big electronics retailers regularly provide discounts through coupon sites, so be sure to check one before you make your big buy.
Just say no to add-ons
It’s a salesperson’s jobs to make the biggest sale possible, whether they have a commission riding on it or not. Don’t add on services such as warranties, installation or delivery unless you absolutely have to. Accessories such as cables are almost always available online or at a bargain store for a cheaper price. Make sure you know the return policy before paying, and bring a friend (and a truck) so that you can save on those costly delivery fees.
Sometimes you might be sold a set that’s damaged and it’s non-returnable, and that can be a huge problem. If that’s the store’s policy, require that it’s unpacked for inspection and tested before you get stuck with a lemon. Know that for the most part, warranties aren’t a good deal but some automatic manufacturer’s warranties are better than others. Understand what the warranty is, and don’t feel pressured into extending it.
Moves to perfect
There’s no substitute for comparison shopping, and once you’ve found the best deal in a store see if it can be beat online. It’s also wise to check if the manufacturers have any coupons, rebates or discounts offered which might not be offered in the store; a simple Google search can turn this up. Store coupons might also be offered exclusively online, so make sure to double check the morning you plan to buy or else you’re just tossing money away.
There are also many non-cash incentives to consider such as gift certificates or gas cards that might come with a particular purchase, however these are only truly useful if you would be purchasing the incentive anyway. Finally, whenever possible, pick up the item yourself instead of paying for delivery or shipping; TVs are big and heavy, and can easily cost over $100 just to get it home. May sites also often offer free shipping coupons.
There are many ways to save on a new TV purchase, but it all starts with research. This isn’t a purchase you should rush into, and you can survive with Hulu on your laptop for a couple of weeks while you figure out exactly which TV is for you. During this time, stick to your guns and remember that a TV is only perfect if it’s perfect for you; there may be a number of features you’d never use. Play it smart, shop around and make sure you don’t get sidetracked by add-ons or high pressure sales. And of course, be sure to check out our special deals on electronics and TVs.
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