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Five Steps To Getting a Great Sale On An LCD Or Plasma TV This Weekend

By Erik Folgate

If you walk into an electronics store this weekend, you’ll most likely see a big promotioin for sales on Hi-Def LCD, Plasma, and DLP televisions. Retailers will be putting together their final push to try to persuade you to buy a big-screen TV for Super Bowl weekend. Frankly, I think it’s insulting that retailers think we would go out and purchase a big TV just for one game that hardly ever features a good matchup. Does anyone really think that Eli Manning is going to beat The Golden Boy and New England? And by the way, it will snow in Miami before New England thinks about not playing Brady in the Super Bowl.

Anyway, I think it’s silly to get pressured into buying a big screen just because you want to watch the big game on it. But, if you were already in the market to buy an LCD or Plasma TV and you’ve saved up enough money to do it, then this is a great time to get a good deal on a TV this weekend.

  • First, narrow down the type of television you want to buy. You’ll need to make a few decisions on a couple of things. First, how big do you want? This will depend on where you’re going to put it. If it’s going to be your main TV in your living room, I suggest not going lower than a 40″, unless you live in a small apartment. Anything between 40″ to 52″ is the perfect size for a medium to large-sized living room. If you’re buying it for your bedroom, you might want to consider between 26″ to 37 inches. Next, determine if you want LCD or Plasma. If you’re clueless about this one, don’t worry, most people wonder what the differences are between the two technologies. I’m not going to bore you with all of the techy jargon. Just do a google search like “LCD vs. Plasma” and you’ll get plenty of information on it. I would also suggest going to retailer and look at the different TVs. Pick which picture you like best. I picked an LCD, because it has less glare than a Plasma display. LCD’s sacrifice a little bit of sharpness, but I can’t tell that much. The other thing you need to consider is the connections that the TV offers. Make sure you get a TV with at LEAST 2 HDMI inputs. HDMI is the hook-up of choice, and soon all of your peripherals will be hooking up via HDMI.
  • Second, print out all of the weekly ads from retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Wal-Mart, and others in your area that have a good selection of televisions. Then, do some research on the internet on sites such as Amazon.com, Tigerdirect.com, and Buy.com. Target the type of TV that you have narrowed down, and try to find out where you can get the best deal. Conventional wisdom says that the internet has the best deals, but I got my 40″ Samsung LCD for $899 last August at Circuit City. I actually bought it on the Circuit City website and picked it up in-store, because you received an extra $100 off for purchasing online. The downside of purchasing on a site such as Buy or Amazon is that you might not receive the TV by next weekend. But, if you don’t care about getting it for the Super Bowl, then go for it. The best way to search the best internet deal is checking out a site like Price Grabber.
  • If you’re going from a 20″ tube televison like I was when I bought my Samsung, then you can save a TON of money this weekend by picking up one of the models that retailers are trying to push out the door. Many retailers like to push out the models that are being discontinued during times of big sales. There are different resolutions for Hi-Def TVs such as 1080i, 720p, and 1080p. Believe me, if you’re replacing a tube TV, you won’t be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p, and you can get a GREAT deal on a 720p model. Even some of the older 1080p models are going for cheaper right now.
  • As far as brand goes, there are definitely differences in quality. Sony, Samsung, and Sharp look the best, in my opinion. But, they’re also the most expensive. If you don’t mind sacrificing some quality in picture, check out a Syntax Olevia, Vizio, or Sylvania. But, my suggestion would be to scour for a great deal on a Sony or Samsung, because you’ll be mesmerized at the rich colors and smooth tones that their pictures provide.
  • Look for open box or floor models. If you find an open box or floor model that fits the general type of TV you were looking for, immediately find a sales clerk and offer them a price on the television. DO NOT walk out the door with getting that television for 10 to 15% off the ticket price. They will try to tell you that there’s no extra discount on it, but I guarantee you they will budge on the price if you persist enough.

My wife laughs at me, because I am in love with HD channels and more specifically, watching football and basketball in HD. It’s a wonderful thing, but make sure you don’t go out of budget. Set a budget for how much you are willing to spend and stick to it. It’s so easy to just put the TV on a credit card, but do you really want to pay interest on a COMPLETELY unnecessary purchase? Good luck and post a comment if you’re someone that found a good sale this weekend.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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    haha, nice. i’m guessing you’re a plasma guy? or no TV guy at all?

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