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When's the Best Time to Buy a TV?

Tanner | Aug 9, 2011

There’s no denying it: TVs are expensive. Even if you can find a good TV sale you’re still likely to fork out between $600 and $1,000 for a decently-sized HD TV. Though, compared to what they cost back in the 70s and 80s, TVs are a bit more affordable for more people. Still, if there were a time of the year when you could buy a TV for the cheapest price, you would be a fool to look the other way, right? So, is there a “perfect” time to go TV shopping these days? Let’s look at some reports.

1. When are TVs not in demand?

If a lot of people are searching for TV sales at one time, it’s reasonable to assume that something is going on with the cost of TVs, right? Here we take a look at a Google insights report for the search term “TV sales” (this is: people searching on Google for TV sales). Take a look: You’ll notice a few things about this chart that stand out. First is the high search volume just before Christmas. Obviously TVs are a big ticket item for the holidays, but does this search indicate that there are actual sales occurring, or that people are just interested in the sales because it’s the season for giving (and getting)? Maybe both? However you interpret the chart, the most obvious time people are searching for TV deals is undoubtedly during November and December. Instinct tells me that’s when the worst possible time to buy a TV is, as vendors know that people are searching for TVs and are certainly raising prices because of it. So the point from this chart is all of those flat areas, where demand isn’t so high. That’s when you’re likely to spot a deal. But let’s keep searching to verify or dispose of this claim.

2. When do tech reporters say to buy?

If you want to know when the best time to buy TVs are, why not as a TV expert? Looking through a slew of articles online, we’ve found several that state when they think the best time to buy TVs is. From CNET and Daily Finance to Engadget and Real Simple, they all state the same thing: the best time to buy is February or March. These are the months when the latest TVs are beginning to ship out to retailers, which means old (but still just as good as the newest stuff) TVs are going on sale. Not only that, but the holidays are nowhere in sight so retailers may be looking for reasonable ways to boost sales through discounted pricing and the likes.

3. Survey says?

To finish up our research, let’s briefly look at what people believe are the best time to buy a new TV. Looking at sites like Yahoo! Answers, Quora, and Ask.com. There’s this question which blatantly asks “When is the best time to buy a TV?” to which the number one response was: “around Black Friday.” Black Friday, for those who aren’t in the loop, is the first Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., so in late November. This is interesting, considering all of our other research points to any other month being cheaper for TV purchases. Let’s keep digging. Then there’s this question on Yahoo! Answers which received a number of replies, most of which simply state that “anytime is the best time to buy a HD TV…if you don’t mind buying an older model.” Which is actually a good point. If you don’t mind buying a TV model from two or three years ago (which would provide you with just about the same level of quality as a more modern TV), you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a decent deal any time of the year (except, again, around Christmas). Lastly, an article on LCD HD TVs Review suggests that the best time to buy a new TV is around the Super Bowl (typically during February). One comment on the site also suggests that late February is the best time to buy, as most people will have burned through their holiday shopping budgets by then and sales are likely to incur due to the high supply and low demand.

Conclusion

So, when’s the best time to buy a TV? Looking through all of the numbers and answers here, my hunch is that the absolute best time to buy a TV is February. What do you think?


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