In 2011 we asked this same question, when is the best time to buy a TV? After extensive research, we concluded that February is the absolute best time to purchase a television, but that was almost 2 years ago. Let’s revisit that question and see if the same holds true in 2013.
So, what do experts say about the timing of purchasing a new television?
- Avoid the holidays unless you’re certain you’re getting one of the deeply-discounted “loss leaders” offered to get you in the door.
- Even then, you’re likely getting last year’s model, which means in a month or two it will be a two-year-old model.
- You’re very likely getting outdated technology with these deeply-discounted offerings.
- Frequently discounted TVs include a skimpy set of features you wouldn’t normally buy if you were doing your homework.
Optimal Time for Purchasing a New TV
If holiday shopping is out of the question, then when should you buy? If you rely on CNET for technology reviews and related information, then you’ll be happy to know they suggest waiting until springtime1, after the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas every January.
CES is the mother of all trade shows in the consumer electronics industry, and this is where the latest models and new technology are unveiled. As a result of the new products, retailers will soon be anxious to rid their shelves of aged inventory in favor of the latest and greatest from their vendor partners.
When the new models start shipping a couple of months after CES, deep discounts can be found with just a bit of legwork on your part.
What Do the Hipsters Have to Say?
The good guys at Lifehacker agree with the gang over at CNET: springtime. In fact, they’ve created a chart specifically designed to guide2 consumers on the timing of their purchases.
According to their chart, they identify February as the optimal time to purchase televisions and home theater equipment. Certainly, the CES show and the introduction of new models for the calendar year have everything to do with their recommendation.
DealNews3 also identifies January and February as the ideal time of year to purchase a new TV, and like its industry peers, cites CES and retailers making shelf space for the new models as its reasons.
As we’ve seen from industry experts, there are some wrongs times of year, there are some okay times of year, and there is definitely an ideal time of year to find great deals on a new TV. If you’re patient, have a little luck on your side, and don’t mind doing a little homework and shopping around (in an effort to create some of your own luck), then you should start your mission to find a new television in January. If the optimal deal presents itself immediately, then you simply have to pull the trigger on the deal. However, your goal when starting in January is to set your sights on the February-March timeframe. This gives you a chance to see which manufacturers are rolling out leading-edge technology at CES, meaning retailers will be anxious to get rid of the old to bring in the new.
To find the best possible deal on an excellent television designed to meet your technology needs and fit into your budget, choose February or March to shop for post-CES deals.
What time of year do you shop for a television?
Photo Courtesy of Joe Lanman/Flickr