Q. Walmart is advertising a 42-inch TV for $88 as part of an early Black Friday sale. The brand is called onn. Have you ever heard of it? Is it a piece of junk? Or do you think I should buy it? Pretty good price, right? — Todd, Culver City, California.
Todd, Walmart.com this Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET will sell two TVs with what seem like irresistible prices, even for an early Black Friday sale. One will be a 42-inch Smart 1080p HDTV for $88 while the other will be a 65-inch 4K model priced at $228.
Both sets are onn TVs, and that’s where the ‘irresistible’ might run into some resistance.
Onn is Walmart’s exclusive brand for a variety of inexpensive electronics including TVs, headphones, speakers, wall mounts, tablets, and even printer ink. Like other retailers, such as Best Buy, which sells the low-cost Insignia brand, Walmart uses onn (yes, it’s lower case) to woo customers looking for bargain prices. Once in the store, they may buy the onn, or they buy something better. But either way, it’s good for Walmart.
Of course, Walmart doesn’t invest the same money in producing an onn TV that Sony or Samsung might spend to make a TV. But it’s usually good enough for someone who just wants a new TV (or printer ink) regardless of whether it has all the bells and whistles, or even the quality you would hope for in a new product.
But should you buy one of Wednesday’s onn specials?
However, don’t be surprised if you’re in the market for a new set in a year or two. Or less.
Todd, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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