Q. My family is thinking of buying a new TV and I’ve been reading about the deals expected on Black Friday. But I was wondering if Black Friday is the best time to buy a television. Or is it another time, like before the Super Bowl? — Janice, Huntington, Maryland.
Janice, despite what you read, Black Friday is not the best time to buy a new television.
During the holiday season, retailers (both retail and online) will offer special discounts on some sets to get you in the door. But most TVs are not discounted at all during this time, even on Black Friday. (And if they are discounted on Black Friday, it’s usually just a few sets that sell out in a few hours.)
The lower prices during the holiday rush are reserved for a handful of models that both retailers and TV makers are trying to get rid of because either there is a large inventory and/or they are older sets no longer in demand.
The same goes for the so-called Super Bowl TV sales. Retailers will sell some models for reduced prices, but most sets retain their normal price. The stores are hoping the splashy discounts will attract shoppers who then proceed to buy the regularly-priced TVs because they are usually better sets with more bells and whistles.
So when is the best time to buy a new television?
TV makers usually release their new line of TVs every spring. And when they do, they carry bigger price tags because they are loaded with the latest features. The set manufacturers, and their retail partners, consequently lower the price on the older models to get them out of the store fast so they can make room for the new pricey sets that generate more profits.
This is not to say you can’t get a good deal on Black Friday, or before the Super Bowl. But spring is definitely the time when you will see the most bargains on top-quality TVs.
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— Phillip Swann