Q. My Chiefs are in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. I would like to go to the game, but can’t afford it. So I think I might buy a big new TV, maybe a 4K TV, to watch it. Do you think it’s safe to buy one online from Amazon? Would it get here in time for the game? And would it get here safe? — Marlene, Kansas City.
Marlene, first of all, congratulations! The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on February 2 in Miami. And for the first time ever, the game, which will air on Fox, will be available in 4K TV, albeit an ‘upscaled’ 4K. (See this article for more information on that.)
So this is a great time to buy a new TV, particularly a 4K TV.
Now to your question, let me take the second part first. If you order a ‘Prime eligible’ TV from Amazon.com — and you have a Prime membership — the odds are good that it will arrive in the next week.
For example, check out this 65-inch Sony TV at Amazon which the etailer today guarantees a free delivery by Monday, January 27.
And here’s a 58-inch Samsung 4K that’s scheduled to arrive this Wednesday!
And…here’s a 65-inch 4K Samsung for under $600 that’s set to arrive tomorrow!
On each set at the site, you can see if the TV is ‘Prime’ and then determine the delivery date.
If there’s a TV at Amazon that won’t be delivered on time — or you don’t have a Prime membership — you can try ordering it from Walmart.com which offers shipping to your closest store where you can pick it up. Check out this Walmart page for more information.
Now to your first question.
Some TV shoppers prefer to buy a TV at a retail store because they think they will get a better deal and/or they fear an online purchase may not arrive without some kind of damage.
But is that true? Do retail stores offer bigger discounts? And do TVs purchased online often wind up at your doorstep cracked or defective?
Well, from my years of experience, I believe you can get better deals on TVs online; this is not true on every set, of course, but on many models. Web sites, like retail stores, have partnerships with manufacturers and third-party sellers which enable them to price many sets considerably lower than their counterparts.
In addition, a web site doesn’t have the overhead of a retail store, particularly a large chain. This also helps the site keep prices down.
(One note: Some retail stores will offer ‘same price’ guarantees. If you find a lower price online, the store will match it.)
Now on the issue of delivery: Many sites are aware some consumers are leery of ordering a TV through the mail so they offer special guarantees to ensure your set arrives in perfect working order. When the set is there, the delivery person is instructed to:
* Remove the TV from the package.
* Set up the TV to the manufacturer’s provided base stand.
* Plug the TV power cable into the outlet.
* Turn on the TV to confirm damage-free screen.
* Remove hang tags and provide these tags to the customer.
Amazon even offers free tech support on many sets in case something goes wrong after it’s delivered.
“In the event your product doesn’t work as expected, or you’d like someone to walk you through set-up, Amazon offers free product support over the phone on eligible purchases for up to 90 days. To access this option, go to Your Orders and choose Get product support. “ Amazon states at its site.
Amazon, which also offers a liberal return policy, strongly urges consumers to refuse delivery if the set is not 100 percent If it’s not, Amazon says you should immediately contact Amazon customer service before the delivery man leaves.
Other sites such as Walmart and Best Buy also have generous policies for returns and delivery satisfaction.
I realize some people will always prefer buying in person, and there are advantages to that practice. But ordering a TV online is safe and can be less expensive than buying it at your local store.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann