Choose the Best TV Buying Guide

Television shopping was once as easy as deciding on a screen-size to buy or to go with a floor model or a desktop. In today’s market, you need to know if you want, or need, a flat panel or flat screen, HDTV, and which format of HDTV, including LCOS, DLP, LCD, or Plasma. Don’t overlook a combo television, or even a projection television or a home theater projector though. All are options to consider when making that big purchase. The options available when shopping for television are mind-boggling at the least. Factor in pricing and it may send many running to the backs of their closets looking for that old black and white they stashed away twenty years ago for that just in case scenario.

Do not do that! Shopping for a new television can actually be fun, and saving money on the deal will be a big plus. Two rules apply to shopping for a new television:

Rule #1: Know what you want.
Rule #2: You can always find it cheaper.

Knowledge is always a factor in securing a great price on anything, more so than ever when it comes to anything electronic. Televisions are one of those things that though we all use them, we never really take the time to know what it is exactly we are using.

Head to any store with a variety of televisions. If possible, pick one that has the televisions set out in a display room with windows. I know, that can be a tough one, but they are out there. Go at different times of the day to see how even secondary natural lighting will affect the screen picture. Know where the set is to be displayed, in respect to your own windows. With the options available, you will also need to know if you plan to place the set in a cabinet, on the floor, or even hang it on a wall. Where will your seating be in regards to the set? This can also greatly affect the picture quality on some models. Once all that has been decided on, go shopping!

Major retailers will have a large selection, but not necessarily a good price. Online markets can be excellent options. Personally, I would avoid online auction sites though. Stick to more recognized sites that offer easy returns. Remember that electronics can easily be damaged in transit, and the last thing you want when trying to save money is a hassle over a return with a private seller or a small company without a good record. Shipping is also a major consideration when shopping online that may take that great deal and push its price right out of the hemisphere. Overstock, an online company, offers shipping under $5 for any order, and others, such as Amazon and Best Buy, offer free shipping if the purchase is over a certain dollar amount.

Always go to a major search engine, such as Google, and type in the store’s name along with the word coupon or free shipping. These will often lead you to a code to use when checking out, which will give you a free or discounted shipping rate. If you live close to one of the stores walk-in storefronts, you can also save by doing your shopping online, but picking up the television at the store. By doing this, you will qualify for any online discounts or coupon-offers but forego any shipping charges. Of the store is offering any additional discounts in-store, inquire if you can qualify for those discounts. When shopping, it never hurts to ask about combining discounts. Some stores will, others will not, but at least ask.

Online computer companies, such as Dell and Gateway, now offer the newest televisions. The prices can be extremely competitive through these companies in comparison to the other markets, and it is definitely worth checking their prices. As with other online markets, consider the shipping charges.

If you would rather not shop online, but would rather deal with a local store, you can still save. If the set you are interested in is not on sale, ask if it will be going on sale anytime soon. If it is, and the manager knows you intend to wait, he may give you the sale price early, or offer some other incentive. Cosmetic damage, such as a scratch on a case, from when the set was unboxed for display, will often result in a markdown if you ask. Floor models may also be offered at a markdown when new models arrive. Warehouse stores, often associated with discount food in bulk, now often carry electronics, including televisions. The savings at one of these on one major purchase, such as a television, will often far outweigh the cost of the membership fees.

Many of these stores do not require you to be a member of browse, only purchase. Check out the price savings, and if it is worth it, purchase the membership, usually fewer than fifty dollars, to save upwards of hundreds of dollars.

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