Are these things just a big scam?
August 2, 2008 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Where does one buy an HDTV these days? (Rochester, NY if that helps)

So, I'm looking to get at least a 50 incher, and I'd like to spend under $1500 (I'd go slightly higher, depending on the set). I don't like Plasma, since I've seen a lot of burnt-in sets. Maybe LCD or DLP?

I've seen *SO* much variation of price... I've looked at NewEgg, Best Buy, Circuit City, and a smaller local retailer (Charlotte Appliance).

Where's the best place to go? I know enough to avoid those $50 HDMI cables, but I don't know where to go to get the best deal / what to look for.
posted by fvox13 to Shopping (11 answers total)
Rule # 1. Know what model you want to buy. Then price it, find the cheapest price and then go to your preferred retailer and ask them to match it or beat it.
posted by Neiltupper at 5:46 PM on August 2, 2008 for your cables. Been buying from them for years. The prices are incredible.
posted by friezer at 5:51 PM on August 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do you have a Costco in your area? Ours has a fantastic selection at great prices. It may even be worth the membership fee.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:52 PM on August 2, 2008

Then price it, find the cheapest price and then go to your preferred retailer and ask them to match it or beat it

This is a good thing to try but a lot of places won't do it. I got the price of a Samsung HDTV from Amazon and Best Buy flat out refused to match it or even drop their price at all despite being $500 more expensive on a $2500 TV.

fvox13: Costco is a good place. You can get great prices on good brand TVs on Amazon with free shipping but good luck if there is a problem with your TV. So it depends on if price is your priority or not.
posted by Justinian at 5:59 PM on August 2, 2008

Response by poster: No Costco anywhere near here. There's a BJ's... is that similar?
posted by fvox13 at 8:41 PM on August 2, 2008

Read Fatwallet's Hot Deals forum for leads.

I took a chance and bought my TV online at I got a great price there last year, free delivery and didn't have any problems.

If you're a gambler, you might also like Amazon's Warehouse Deals. They sell open box and refurbs from Amazon at some very, very tempting prices, but I've not ordered from them yet.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:39 PM on August 2, 2008

Sam's Club is the closest big chain to Costco. I just bought a somewhat large (37" LCD) TV from NewEgg without issue. the important bit is to refuse delivery if the box is screwed up, because there's no returns on stuff like that. my other option was Best Buy - I have a friend who works there and was gonna wrangle around using his discount, but the NewEgg TV was better spec'ed and cheaper.
posted by mrg at 4:10 AM on August 3, 2008

No Costco anywhere near here.

Sure there is. Right here. And they have excellent delivery service, excellent prices and excellent guarantees.
posted by Neiltupper at 6:38 AM on August 3, 2008

I got a great deal by deciding not on a specific model, but on specifications: it had to be 46 inches, 1080p, and made by a respectable name brand (Sony, Samsung... there were a few others). Then I watched and waited for a good deal. It took a few months, but once the good deal finally came, I had to be ready to buy, because those TVs would sell out fast.

It worked great. I got a Samsung TV at a price I've never seen beaten in the seven months since I bought it.
posted by Dec One at 7:39 AM on August 3, 2008

I bought a Samsung LCD TV thru Amazon that worked for exactly a day before dying. I later bought a Samsung laser printer that no longer works. I've seen other Samsung monitors that all had backlights go out shortly after purchase. "Samsung: Didn't you mean to buy Sony?"

Costco is great because of their return policy. If it craps out, take it back and they'll give you something around the same price you originally paid. I have a Vizio which is a fantastic price/quality compromise. It has loads of useful inputs (Computer, 2 Component, 2 HDMI). I'd highly recommend those, which you can even get from Wal-Mart.
posted by ijoyner at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2008

I'm in Rochester and I highly recommend that you check out BJ's Wholesale Club. Unlike Sam's Club you don't need to show a membership card to walk in and look around. You can even buy without a membership but I think they will charge you an additional 15%.

If they've got what you want, it will probably be worth buying a membership to either Sam's or BJs. I think a membership is about $30 per year.

Regardless of where you buy, I highly recommend that you take your time on this purchase and do a lot of research and just don't go by price. The better picture quality on some sets can be worth paying more for.

One more idea, check out Rowe Photo Video & Audio and The Stereo Shop. They might be more expensive and carry higher-end stuff, but you'll probably get a better demo and education than you will from the typical teenager you'll find in a big box store.
posted by 14580 at 12:58 PM on August 3, 2008

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