Best time to buy a TV? It's not Black Friday

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 18, 2016

Are you a big fan of Black Friday shopping?

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine say the bargains have changed in recent years. Probably the biggest trend is that it’s no longer just about Black Friday, the day.

It’s Black Friday, the week and the month. Deals are creeping up earlier and earlier every year.

But this shift in Black Friday shopping hasn’t been all good. One downside is that for a lot of consumers, it’s a lot more work than it used to be. Because of all the online activity now, you really have to monitor different websites. And don’t think that just because something is advertised as a Black Friday bargain that it’s necessarily the lowest price you can find.

So When Should You Shop?

For example, Consumer Reports says there are sometimes better deals on TVs if you shop closer to Christmas or wait for Super Bowl sales.

A lot about pricing is based on inventory levels. So if retailers and manufacturers don’t sell a lot of TVs during the year, they may have lots of inventory then.

To find the absolute lowest prices on TVs, plan to buy at the end of February or the beginning of March. That’s when stores clear out last year’s models at rock-bottom prices to make room for the newest sets on the market.

Some top rated TVs to keep an eye on in the coming months include these 4K models:

  • Samsung model UN55KU6300 for $800 (55 inch)

  • LG model 55UH6150 for $700

  • Sharp model LC-50N7000U for $550

Brand Name or Off Brand?

Shopping for a new TV this holiday season? We've got good news: Screen sizes are bigger than ever, and prices keep falling. Consumer Reports is out with some helpful TV-buying advice.

Experts at Consumer Reports have done their research and expect to see major TV brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony as part of some holiday deals. In the past, those deals have mostly included only budget brands like TCL, Hisense and Westinghouse.

Some of the lesser brands have been really aggressive both in the 1080p and 4K markets. What that’s done is put a lot of pricing pressure on the major brands.

That means your money goes further. For example, for $500, you should be able to get a 40-inch 4K Ultra HD TV from a top-performing brand, something that would have cost you nearly twice as much just a few years ago.

As the TV industry matures, as new features come into the marketplace, at first they’re expensive. Then they become less expensive as they, you know, get rolled out into mainstream models.

4K or 1080p?

So should you upgrade  to 4K? Consumer Reports says yes.

For for $750 you should be able to buy a higher tier 50-inch 4K Ultra HD set from a major brand, which consistently do better in Consumer Reports’ ratings than value brands.

Spend a little more and you’ll likely get a larger screen and more of the latest features including better video processing and HDR or high dynamic range—which can yield better contrast and more realistic looking images. And because most people keep their TVs for 7-10 years,

Consumer Reports says it’s worth it to spend that extra $100 or $150 if it means getting a higher-quality TV.


“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).

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