Q. I just bought a great new TV online and I installed it myself with no trouble. It looks awesome! But a friend of mine said I should keep the box just in case. Why? He couldn’t explain it very well — Dan, Atlanta, Georgia.

Dan, congratulations on your order — and your self-installation. There are few things more exciting than getting a new TV and turning it on for the first time to watch your favorite shows.

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Now to your question: Your friend is onto something, even if he couldn’t explain why. When you buy a new TV — whether it’s online or from a retail store — it’s wise to keep the box around for awhile. I know you might want to tear it down and get it out of the house because who needs more clutter, right? But trust me, keep the box.

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And here’s why. Your television will come with a free warranty period, or you might buy an extended warranty. If something happens to the TV during the warranty period, you will need the box to ship the set back to the manufacturer for repairs in case there isn’t an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.

In addition, if there is a problem with the set when you first get it, most e-commerce sites will allow you to return it for a refund within a certain time period, usually within 30 days. Again, you will need the box to ship the TV back to get your refund.

I know keeping a big box around the house can be a pain in the butt. I used to work at a company where our office manager had a policy of keeping a computer or TV box around for 30 days. Her view was that if anything was to go wrong with a new product, it would likely happen in the first 30 days. So best to have the box around during that time just in case.

That’s probably a good rule of thumb. But keep in mind that your TV could have a problem later on and you’ll need some way to ship it back to the manufacturer. (Again, if there’s not an authorized dealer in your neighborhood where you could bring the set in.) If you don’t have the original box, you’ll have to get creative and buy a new box to ship it back. And if we’re talking about a 60-inch set, that could get complicated.

So keep the box around, if you can. You might be glad you did.

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— Phillip Swann

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