When is the best time to buy a TV?

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,675   +1,549
Staff member

TVs are always on sale — which is sort of like saying they're never really on sale. How do you find great TV deals, especially if you can't wait for the one big sale week of the year? How do you know you're getting a good price if you know there'll always be a cheaper set in a few months? We crunched the numbers to find the answers.

It's Black Friday

When is the best time to buy a TV? The short answer to that question is fairly obvious: Black Friday! In 2016, during the last two weeks of November, TV deals rained from the sky. We saw 139 Editors' Choice TV deals during that time period, which is more than what we saw in September, October, and the rest of November combined.

But what if, like our User Experience guru Jeff Somogyi, your TV breaks down in March? Are you going to wait until November to buy a new TV? Of course not, so it's worth noting other times when you can find a good deal.

It's Always and Never a Good Time to Buy a TV

While we never see the same level of Editors' Choice deals that we see following Thanksgiving, there are spikes during other months of the year. This past July was the only other month in 2016 where we saw anything close. We also saw a slight bump above the average in March, so right now probably wouldn't be a bad time to get a new set.

However, the truth is that TV prices are in a near constant state of decreasing, and unless you do get a great Black Friday deal, you are very likely to see a lower price just a few months later. For example, in February 2016, the best price for a brand name 55" 4K TV ($515) was already less than what we saw on Black Friday three months earlier, but by September, we saw lows $135 less than that.

Conversely, TV prices are always dropping. What that means is that there is almost never a bad time to buy a TV. Although prices will most likely drop after you make your purchase, with a little research, you can probably find a set at a good price that's better than the month before.

Buy at the Right Time of Year

The reason TV prices are in a constant state of flux is that new advances in technology are always being introduced to improve the viewing experience. As such, there's a neverending cycle of out with the old and in with the new, so if you don't mind foregoing some of the latest bells and whistles, you'll be able to save the most cash.

The reason we see bumps in Editors' Choice deals in March and July is a result of this cycle. Television manufacturers typically introduce new models during the first quarter of the year, so that spike in March represents the first wave of sales on the previous year's models. By July, retailers are desperate to get the old sets off the shelves and so we see another spike in sales.

Avoid Unnecessary Features

But even if you aren't shopping in March or July, you will typically find the best deals to be on the previous year's models. Also, if you can do without features like a curved screen, HDR, or Smart TV capabilities, you will be able to find a lower price. It's also worth doing a side-by-side comparison between a 1080p and a 4K set to see if you can really notice the difference. If 4K doesn't knock your socks off, you'll be able to score a 1080p for dramatically less money.

Your best bet is to decide what size TV you want and make a list of must-have features. Then track the prices of a few sets for a week or two before making a purchase. Some stores offer price guarantees. For example, Best Buy will refund you the difference if the price drops during the return/exchange period.

Once you pull the trigger, enjoy your new TV and try not to worry about the fact that in a few months it will cost less.

Stephen Slaybaugh is a senior staff writer at dealnews. Republished with permission.

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Posts: 5,105   +4,118
TechSpot Elite
With TV-s being so cheap these days, it no longer makes sense waiting for discounts.

Anyone can afford a decent 4K LED 55"-65". I've got mine just 2 month ago (Curved Samsung 4K LED 55") for 1000 euro, and it has everything I want.

And if you still can't afford one - you probably shouldn't have a TV to begin with, wasting your time with it, rather go find a job.
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With TV-s being so cheap these days, it no longer makes sense waiting for discounts.
Last year a local retailer in my area was selling a 49" 60Hz 4K from one of the big brands for $350 as a part of some holiday event. That same TV, off-sale was running for about 600-700 dollars. It's always sensible to wait for discounts.


Posts: 2,663   +2,292
Pretty much anyone has a TV. And these new ones only offer stuff most people don't care about. I can't remember the last time I watched it.


Posts: 288   +121
I would concur with cliffordcooley here, when you don't have one, or one has died/ on its way out and needs replacing.
But Black Friday? Here in the UK we have that, and I swear a lot of sites / shops change numbers around, hike up the pre sale price, so the sale prices, exactly what the tv has been priced at for the last 6 months, or close enough, no real discount at all, but claiming 50% off.

Also I would say £600 is my price point for a TV. I realize that people are hiking prices, but wages aren't going up, so my amount willing to part with is never going to either. And whilst I would love an LG Oled for its colors, and a Samsung Quantum Dot or QLED for 4k with my PS4... I can't justify going to £1800, especially as no TV has all I want like VitalityT who seems to just be so darn lucky.

I want 4 HDMI ports, USB ports, 4k, a min of 200hz, under 5ms response, and 10bit HDR and all for cheap as chips. Guess I am in that long wait queue.
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Posts: 333   +261
Good article. The point about always being on sale = never being on sale is the best part! It's also good advice to buy what you are comfortable with.

With that said, it never hurts to find what you want and then use a price matcher online to make sure you are getting the best deal. Shopping around is crucial to saving some serious money. Yeah, you may be able to afford the $500 set but why not get it at $400 if it's just down the road or on another site?

The Best Buy guarantee is really interesting. I don't know the terms but I will say a lot of physical stores are changing their policy on that. Places like Walmart and Target have both drastically curbed what they will accept as online equivalents. Essentially, only things directly sold by Amazon and other brick and mortar stores. For some stuff, like electronics, they flat out don't price match anymore. I tried to price match a PS4 in Walmart with Gamestop's ad and they refused.
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Posts: 599   +486
When is the best time to buy a new tv... When next door gets sick of you asking them to turn the volume up as you peer in through their window... And yes I do have a tv... now.


Posts: 966   +598
I like to judge TV's by how fast they turn on and start displaying from one of the inputs. I hope to see the smart TV craze go away. Any smart features become outdated much faster than other technologies and you can't do anything about upgrading it.
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Posts: 404   +87
When it's 1/3 of HaHaHardeHar 'MSRP', aka 25% off of 'normal' and white glove delivered and set up - for a 200# plasma that was kinda' important.. 2011 was a Very good year.. I still love my panny (which replaced my version of Cycloid's, above, lol).

bluto 2050

Posts: 270   +33
I buy at Q4 or the following Jan- Feb EOL product discounts pending or during the new models Q1 pricing .

On a Tier one brand TV black friday price will be the same as above with about 10% up from these low price mfr. seasonal UPP sale prices trading back and forth between tier one brands Samsung , Sony and LG and so on maybe every two weeks during these periods.

~Mid June usually gets a subatansial price drop from Q1 pricing followed by substantial Q4 Mfr. authorized UPP sale price drops .

I will be looking for a 2017 4k HDR Wide color Sony XBR Triluminos X930E edge lit + edge dimming LCD ,Sony XBR Triluminos 4K HDR 9ZD FALD LCD or 4K HDR wide color Sony XBR A1E OLED during these periods starting mid june 2017 depending on the variables and seasonal pricing and moreover if the least costly of these ,the 4K Triluminos HDR Sony XBR X930E is 'good enough' to upgrade the arguably decent 2015 Sony XBRTriluiminous WCG 4K HDR TV in here .

The best 2017 10 bit wide color 4K HDR buy now is the 4K HDR wide color Sony XBR Triluminos X900E << (ultimate best buy ) LCD Fald or 2017 4K HDR Sony X850E orC Samsung Q7 / Q8 if they can match those prices on sale.

For discounted 2016 4K HDR models a 2016 4K wide color HDR a Samsung KS 8000 and on the premium side the 2016 LG OLED B6 if not one of the Sony 2017 X9XXE LCD models .

For 8 bit bt709 color 4K SDR TV a 2016 Samsung 4K SDR KS 6290/6300 or 2017 4K HDR Samsung Q6.

1080p are only for the most budget constrained consumers the better TV and brighter panels and are 4K SDR and 4K HDR TV products not 1080p anymore .

A workable 4K SDR TV can be had for $399.00 -$ 599.00 on sale give or take from a tier two brand like Best Buy Insignia (Hisense) ,Hisense,Sharp Americas (Hisense) and TCL.

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Posts: 615   +88
This article should have simply read

"When you need one"

The end.

I don't know about you lot but I dont buy a new tv everytime new tech comes out such as 4K, HDR, Oled etc I buy one and make sure it has all the features I want and then it will last me until it dies.
I am planning a new screen next year, has to be 60+, nano dot, HDR, 4K, it will cost what it costs at the time I am not going to scrimp. I was an early adopter of 1080P, the TV lasted me about 7 years until it died. It cost me several 1000 £, and many people had much better screens than mine in its final years as tech had moved on. I still wasn't going to rush out an buy a new one just for the sake of it.


Posts: 685   +445
The best time to buy if your looking for cheap, foot in the door TV's is black friday. If your move of the videophile mid-high end type then super bowl time is best as its the begining of the new year cycle and tou can get last years model the cheapest before they all sell out.


Posts: 615   +88
Yes savings are good, but if you are spending 3K + on a tv then a 100 quid saving is whoopie do tbh. If though you budget is only 300 or 400 then yeah 100 quid saving is amazing.


Posts: 108   +1
Never. The best time to buy a time and space wasting, useless appliance for brainwashing the masses is never. I lived almost two decades without a f*&*ing TV in my house and I must say it is AWESOME!