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When to Buy a TV: The Best Time to Buy a Flat Screen Might Not Be When You Think


The best time to buy an HDTV may not be when you think.Every holiday season, I love to whine about the how Black Friday sales gets people to spend more than they should and puts and unhealthy focus on buying stuff you don’t really need, can’t afford, or both. But that all changes in the event I’m actually in the market for an item that goes on super sale, like a new LED TV.

I’ve only bought two TVs in my life, and I bought one the week after Thanksgiving and one this week – the week before the Super Bowl. Not because I was hosting a Super Bowl party, but because I wanted a new TV and – the week before the Super Bowl – ads for new TV sales are practically everywhere.

Conventional wisdom says that these two times of year – the start of the Holidays and just before the Super Bowl – are the best times to buy a new TV.

But that may not be true.

These may be times to get good deals on a new TV. After all, stores cut prices to keep up with competition. But think about economics: When demand goes up, so do prices. And when are new TVs most in demand? Before Christmas and before the Super Bowl.

While retailers will run sales during these periods to catch shoppers’ eyes, they’re not likely to slash prices any lower than they have to. After all, people are going to buy TVs at these times anyway.

So when is the best time to buy an HDTV? March, according to DealNews.com, a Website that tracks consumer pricing trends. As the Super Bowl winners sun themselves at Disney World, retailers look to shed themselves of stock they didn’t sell during the holidays and in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

If you’re having your friends over this Sunday and want to wow them with a new 60” LED flatscreen, hey, the big game only comes around once a year. But if your goal is to get the absolute best deal on a new TV that you’ll hopefully own for many years, you might just wait a month or two.

Where are the deals now?

Prices on bigscreen TVs dropped significantly in the second half of 2012, with some available for well under $1,000 like this Panasonic VIERA 47-Inch 1080p 3D LED-LCD Set for $799 and free shipping from Amazon.

Will that deal improve? You’ll just have to keep an eye on the latest TV promotions to find out, and strike when you think the time is right.

Do you wait for certain times of the year to make big purchases? Have you found any other pricing trends that have saved money?

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. It has been proven that there are best times to buy everything; houses are best bought in the winter, when demand is down and so are prices (and negotiating power is up). I knew somebody who worked in retail and divulged the secret that retailers tend to increase prices before offering the 60% off – so that they can show that the normal price was higher. So Black Friday may be cheaper for some things, but not all.

  2. I like dealnews also becuase the list a bunch of deals some online and some retail outlets. I think now is the best time to buy a tv, they are just so cheap. I just saw a 55 inch LED LCD for 850, 4 years ago I bought my 42 incher for 800. Talk about things changing quickly.

  3. I bought a new flatscreen in September. A 55″ LG plasma from Amazon, it was about $700. I looked into LED — newer technology — but I couldn’t justify the cost difference. I’m definitely happy with my purchase, but I could understand someone wanting the LED too.

    Enjoy the new TV for the big game!