Did you know that the week leading up to Super Bowl is the third busiest TV-buying week of the year, surpassed only by the week of Black Friday and the week following the annual shopping event? If you’ve been thinking of upgrading your set doing so for your Super Bowl fiesta does make sense. However, there is a lot to consider before making a final decision on the make and model or your new prize set.
So before you run off and buy a new big screen, consider these tips from our friend Andrea Woroch, a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert, for extra savings.
Go Big and Go Home
“Go big or go home” is a phrase commonly associated with sports, but it has a certain amount of truth for TV buying. In fact, finance expert Jean Chatzky recently noted some of the biggest savings can be found on 60″ models. Even though larger TVs have higher discounts, make sure the size is appropriate for your space. As it turns out, this formula can help you find the perfect fit.
Before you head to the store, study up on your impending purchase. Salespeople will likely steer you toward more expensive models, so having some knowledge gives you a leg up. One of the most highly regarded electronics review sites isCNET.com. They provide reviews from both experts and users on thousands of different televisions.
Seek Out Discounts
It’s easy to get a coupon for a discount on granola bars, but for a 50″ flat-screen? No so much. One simple solution to save on any TV you want is to shop with a discount gift card. With time running out before the big game, consider buying an e-gift card from sites such as GiftCardGranny.com. Instead of a plastic card, you’re emailed a code within 24 hours to print out and present to the cashier.
Buy Beyond Football
While the Super Bowl may have spurred your purchase, the football season only lasts for a few months each year. The rest of the time you’ll be using your new set for something else. Take your non-sports viewing habits into account as you shop. Built in Wi-Fi is awesome for streaming-movie watchers, and hardcore gamers will want to make sure there are multiple HDMI inputs.
Skip Extended Warranties
Stores will sell you an extended warranty on just about anything they can, and with a major purchase the offer can be tempting. However, most televisions already include a one-year manufacturers warranty. While the coverage isn’t quite as robust as that of the extended warranty, it should protect you against any immediate issues. There are alsoseveral credit cards that provide extended warranties when used to make the purchase.
Don’t Buy Brand New
Can you easily spot small discrepancies in refresh rate or the depth of the black level? If not, you probably don’t need the newest model. One simple way to save some cash is to buy last year’s model as stores are making room for the latest edition. You can also get good discounts shopping refurbished or open-box specials. In fact, Best Buy is currently offering additional savings on their open box and clearance items, which include end-of-stock or discontinued models. Print the coupon to bring to your local retailer to save an extra 10-percent off open-box TVs and up to 50-percent off clearance.
Get Extras Online
If you’re dropping a serious chunk of change on a new television, HD service is a must. Not watching your new big-screen in all its glory is the equivalent of the old lady with a sports car she only drives to church on Sunday. To connect the cable box, you’re going to need an HDMI cable. In-store markups are outrageous, so order online from Amazon for serious savings.
Wait Until After
To get some of the best TV deals, you may have to pass off hosting duties. Each year without fail, there are plenty of shoppers trying to pull of the ol’ switcheroo. They buy an enormous TV for Super Bowl Sunday and promptly return it first thing Monday morning. This strategy comes at the expense of the store, but the week following the big game is often filled with open-box specials.