Buying a TV is a big entertainment purchase, so it makes sense that one of the most popular questions (after consulting a Consumer Reports buying guide and finding some top models) is, “What time should I buy to save the most money?”
Obviously, you should buy when there’s a sale! But when do TV sales tend to occur, and when do the best sales happen? There are probably TV sales going on all year-around, all around you, especially with weekend and single day sales. But if you want the biggest annual sales for that new screen, we’ve got a few times of the year that are better than others.
Holidays, Especially Black Friday
Yes, your instincts are right! Black Friday features a lot of TV sales because this is traditionally the most popular time to buy a TV as a gift or as a replacement for your current version.
TV models start at only a couple hundred dollars, and even high-end models become much more affordable.
There are a lot of reasons for this: The “Black Monday” sales periods have focused primarily on technology in recent years and made buying TVs online even more popular. Big ticket items are frequently given as gifts around the holidays and people are eager to get theirs at a discount.
It’s winter in NA and the cold has everyone sitting indoors, wondering what an upgraded screen would look like. You get the idea.
Fortunately, Black Friday sales tend to last the full weekend and are often replaced by similar holiday sales for many high def and smart TV models, which means you usually have up until Christmas to find the right TV for your home at the lowest price. Sometimes the deals even start the day after Thanksgiving.
The downside to this arrangement is that availability is frequently a problem. The most popular TVs – the 4ks, the OLEDs, and so on – are only available in limited quantities and soon gone.
The better the deal, the faster supplies vanish. This is one reason that it’s usually better to buy a TV online during this time, since quantity is more reliable here.
Early in the Year
But wait! Even if you missed holiday sales, just be a little patience and you will soon see other excellent sales.
Both January and February are a good time to make a TV purchase in the U.S. – and your credit card may be more ready to make the purchase after the holiday season is fully over.
There are two very good reasons for that.
First, manufacturers tend to announce a lot of their new models during this period and start arranging shipping dates. That means that stores are eager to move out older products and make room for newer versions, which can lead to pop-up sales to start selling outdated models ASAP.
Second, the lead up to the Super Bowl is on many minds at this time, and a lot of people start wondering if their TVs are really ready for the big game of the year. Stores know this, and run a lot of sales in the weeks during the lead up to the Super Bowl.
Finally, availability is likely to be a lot better for these deals, especially in stores, since most buyers already purchased their planned-on TVs back during the holidays.
Around Father’s Day
Father’s Day is another common spot to see TV discounts. We don’t know how many people actually buy TVs for Father’s Day, but it’s definitely a time when people are thinking more about buying entertainment devices, and brands want to take advantage of that.
Take a lot at newspaper ads and social media around this time.
When Mid-July strikes, it’s time to look for TV deals again, thanks to Amazon Prime Day, which is expected in July. If you prefer to order online, this is definitely a time to watch out for. And yes, free shipping is included.
Final Notes and Reminders
It’s important to note that not all deals are based on time. Many great deals can occur at any time, based on decisions by the manufacturer or other factors. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up online alerts for the TV models that you really want and keep an eye out for any unexpected deals…or at least keep checking the adds even in the “off season.”
While you look for deals, keep in mind that the ads you see online or on TV may not reflect the actual prices or availability at local stores. If you intend to buy a TV you see in an advertised deal, it’s a good idea to call ahead and double check the prices and models that they have, just so you know what you’re dealing with. Or, you can order online to be sure of what you are getting – assuming you can find the same deal in the online store.
When it comes to online shopping vs. in-store shopping, don’t worry much about shipping, because TVs typically ship free. However, you should take some time to consider setup. That TV is likely to arrive all on its own in a cardboard box outside your door, without any service to help you set up. Get some help, and remember to treat your TV with care.
Finally, don’t forget the impact that loyalty programs and other store-specific benefits can bring. This may make buying at one store more attractive than another, even if the deal isn’t quite as good.