When to Buy an HDTV
One of the two optimal times to buy a high-def TV is during the holiday shopping season that runs from late November through December. This includes "Black Friday"--the notorious day-after-Thanksgiving retail frenzy marked by incredible (and short-lived) bargains. Ask anyone who has braved a Black Friday queue at 5 a.m.: The loss-leader deals sell out fast.
"Shoppers have to realize what is a subsidized promotion versus a good deal that they can count on for more than 60 minutes," says HDTV analyst Richard Doherty, research director of The Envisioneering Group. If you miss a Black Friday sale, don't fret. You'll still have until Christmas to find "the longest sustained series of bargains," says Doherty.
Another good time to grab a television is in late January, as the Super Bowl approaches, Doherty says. That's when "retailers have specials and closeouts, and try to one-up each other."
According to Doherty, if prices have been falling for a while, it's probably a good time to buy. Over the past two years, HDTV prices have dropped an average of 2 percent per month. "That can't go on forever," says Doherty. "Sets are not going to go down to $32. There isn't a lot more room [to cut prices] as you get near the basement." Bottom line: Buy while prices are still heading down.
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