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Getting the Best Price on an HDTV

If you’re in the market for an HDTV (LCD or Plasma), you’ve probably noticed that prices have fallen steadily over the past few years.  This is great news for consumers who can now get more TV than ever for their money.  What you may not know is that, with a little patience, you can score a deal on an HDTV that could save you several hundred dollars off these already-low prices.


Tip #1 – Figure out which features are important to you.  Comparing TVs can be a daunting task with the array of features and specifications.  However, focus on a few key dimensions like display size, resolution (720p vs. 1080p), response time and scan (refresh) rate.  Having an understanding of your preferences on these key dimensions will allow you to compare different models.


Tip #2 – Be flexible on brand.  You may not find a great deal on the exact Sony KDL-46XBR4 you wanted, but you may find a great price on the comparable Samsung unit.  In many cases, the actual LCD panels are produced by the same supplier.


Tip #3 – Compare prices online.  Generally, the best prices are available online and most retailers now offer free shipping on LCD and Plasma TVs.  You can use a tool like PriceGrabber and you’ll get a general idea of the lowest prices for a particular model.  Don’t stop here, however.  These price comparison sites generally don’t reflect special discounts offered by certain retailers.


Tip #4 – Wait for a deal.  Eventually, there will be a promotion or special on the TV you are looking for and you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.  For example, Fry’s recently ran a promotion on the Samsung LN52A530, a wonderful 52” 1080p LCD TV, making it available for $1,499 with free shipping.  That’s $300 less than the best price on PriceGrabber.  To make sure you never miss a deal, use a website like or, which post links to particularly large discounts on electronics and other technology products.  You can even set up an alert, say, to be notified of all deals on 37” LCD TVs.


Tip #5 – Check user reviews.  Once you find a great deal, make sure that other buyers have been happy with their purchase.  User reviews are often more helpful at uncovering “dealbreaker” flaws within a television that an editor, who is just using the TV for a couple days, might not uncover. is a great source for checking customer reviews on HDTVs.  Look for at least an average rating of 4 (out of 5) stars and pay attention for any consistent complaints.


Tip #6 – Buy with a credit card that offers purchase protection.  American Express, for example will double your manufacturer’s warranty and even protect the item against accidental damage during the first 90 days of ownership.  Visa Platinum cards offer similar protection. 

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