A 50-inch TV can cost $1,100 when it first comes on the market, fell to $880 a couple months later, and cost as little as $650 when stores try to clear out inventory to make room for the following year’s models. That leaves a lot of room for buyer’s remorse, but it also means that a well-timed TV buy saves you hundreds of euros.
The even better news is that the discounts are completely predictable. Consumer Reports has teamed up with Gap Intelligence, a retail and e-commerce market research company, to carry out an analysis of the television prices to determine the best times of year to buy a new set.
Research shows that Black Friday, that bacchanal of preholiday bargains, it is indeed the time for the highest discounts. But the figures also show that the second-best discounts, two weeks before the start of the Super Bowl, which will be played on Feb. 5 of this year.
For the big contest, stores will try to clear out to 2016 sets in anticipation of 2017 models, which start arriving a month or two later. In our analysis of two years of pricing data, the Super Bowl is the sales pushed down prices by an average of 22 percent, and these deals have the tendency to favor crowd-pleasing large-screen sets. What’s more, these discounts are sometimes on top of the natural decline in prices that occurs over the shelf life of a TV.
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View our infographic to see when you are probably the best deals on a new TV.
Shopping Tips to snag More Savings
Now that you’ve scored for a great deal on a new TV, do not squander the savings with expensive extras. Here is some advice that will help you save money:
Don’t buy expensive cables. Avoid the markup when you are in a store. Shop online on sites like Amazon or Monoprice, where 6 meter HDMI cables for less than $10.
Skip the extended warranty. Most major brands of Tv’s are fairly reliable. Instead, buy with a credit card or from a retailer such as Costco that automatically applies a warranty of the manufacturer.
Ask for a 30-day price-match guarantee. Then spend the next month eagerly watching for the price drops.
Get social. The Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about offers and promotions. These retailers might even reward customers who “like” or follow them.
Editor’s note: This article also appeared in the February 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
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