When Is the Best Time to Buy a TV? Top 5 Times of the Year to Save
Here's when you should—and shouldn't—shop for a new TV.
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When it comes to making large purchases, planning ahead is a surefire way to get the most for your money. Whether you’re trying to figure out when you should buy a laptop or the best time to buy Apple products, any budget-conscious shopper will tell you that there’s a right time of the year to buy just about anything. And yes, there’s a best time to buy a TV.
According to data from the American Time Use Survey, people ages 15 and older spend an average of 2 hours and 46 minutes a day watching TV. That’s more than double the time they spend doing other leisure and sports activities. If your TV gets that much use, you’re going to want one that’s high quality and has all the features you enjoy. Since a state-of-the-art TV can set you back anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, it’s not a purchase you’ll make lightly. Prices aren’t coming down anytime soon, but we’re here to help you get the best deals.
Why trust Reader’s Digest? We tapped money-saving expert Andrea Woroch for advice on the best time to buy a TV, so you can get the most bang for your buck. Her first tip: Before you start shopping, spend time reading reviews and researching specs on various models. “You want to make sure whatever TV you’re buying has everything you need,” she says. Once you determine your wants and needs, look for sales and use coupons rather than settling for the cheapest option. “If you buy something that doesn’t have the feature you need, you will end up replacing it in the future, which will cost you more in the long run,” she cautions.
Read on for more of Woroch’s advice on the best time to buy a TV as well as tips and tricks to help you save big on your new purchase.
What is the best month to buy a TV?
When it comes to scooping up electronics and TVs at rock-bottom prices, November is your best bet. “The best deals come during Black Friday weekend, where you can find doorbuster deals on a range of TV sizes and models,” says Woroch.
The shopping holiday isn’t just one of the cheapest days of the week of Thanksgiving—it’s one of the cheapest days of the entire year. But if you’re not into the chaos that is Black Friday shopping, you can browse deals on Cyber Monday. Or hold off until January. Knowing that consumers may want to upgrade their TVs ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, retailers typically offer deep discounts on big-screen TVs.
|♦ Best month to buy a TV|
|For steep discounts on a TV, shop during November. You can also find great deals in early January.|
When is the best time to buy a TV?
Black Friday and before Super Bowl Sunday are tops, but if a new TV doesn’t fit into your budget right before or right after the winter holidays, don’t worry. There are still a few times throughout the year that are good for buying a TV.
According to Woroch, the best time to buy a TV beyond Black Friday and Super Bowl season are during holiday weekends—think Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. “You may not find a large selection of TVs on sale during various holidays,” says Woroch, “but you can typically find select models and brands on sale and can usually find a good deal, as long as you’re open to buying what’s discounted.”
Another tip: Check out TV prices during the annual Amazon Prime Day sale. And while you’re hunting for deals, consider setting your travel plans in motion by booking during the best time to buy flights.
|♦ Best times to buy a TV|
|For low-priced TVs, shop on Black Friday, before Super Bowl Sunday and on holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.|
When is the worst time to buy a TV?
Spring cleaning may be the perfect time to clear out your closets and junk drawers and give your TV screen a good cleaning, but it’s not the time to toss your old TV and replace it with a brand-spanking-new one. According to Woroch, “manufacturers typically release new TV models in early spring, making this the worst time to buy the latest technology, since prices will be at their highest.”
Will TV prices drop in 2023?
These days, we’re seeing price increases on just about everything, and TVs are no exception. Aside from inflation, “supply chain issues and microchip shortages were adding to limited inventory and resulting in higher prices,” says Woroch. “Analysts say this could impact products into 2023.”
In other words, don’t expect to see prices drop much in the near future.
What are other ways to save when buying a TV?
Whether you can’t wait for a holiday weekend or just want to save as much money as possible, there are even more ways to save on a new TV. Here are some top money-saving tips:
- Look for coupons and cash back. Sites like Coupon Cabin and Rakuten can help you do that.
- Continue to monitor prices after you buy. Many stores will offer price adjustments if the TV goes on sale within a specified time frame. Woroch recommends using Edison Mail’s Price Alert Feature, which monitors purchases linked to your email and notifies you if there’s been a price drop.
- Skip the extended warranty. “TVs, like other gadgets, have fast depreciation rates, so you may be better off replacing it in a few years if there’s an issue, compared with the cost of the extended warranty,” says Woroch.
- Look for sales on older models. “Older models from previous years will be discounted once a new model is released,” says Woroch. “In some cases, the difference between a newer and older model may only be in the design, without major changes to technology, so save yourself money and go with the older one.”
- Purchase an open-box item or floor model. Open-box items are those that someone purchased and returned, and often the retailer will sell them at a discounted price. Keep in mind that just because it was returned doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. Someone may have brought it home and realized it wasn’t the right size or didn’t have all the features they were looking for.
The best places to buy a TV
The following retailers carry a wide range of TV brands and sizes. Be sure to check a retailer’s price-match policy before you shop. Best Buy and Target, for instance, both match local retail competitors as well as certain online retailers, including Amazon. Walmart will match identical items purchased in-store to prices advertised on its website.
Best TVs to buy
Not sure where to start? The following smart TVs are all available in a variety of sizes and can be purchased from most of the retailers listed above.
- Samsung The Frame QLED 4K Smart TV: Is it a TV or is it artwork? This television is equipped with an anti-reflective matte finish that adds a unique texture to the art displayed on screen for a realistic visual experience. It comes in seven different sizes, and you can customize the bezel to match your home’s decor.
- LG OLED C1 Series 4K Smart TV: Over 8 million pixels work independently to bring you sharp pictures, intense color and an overall enhanced viewing experience. Whether you opt for a 48-inch screen, an 83-inch screen or something in between, the super-slim design will look more like a sophisticated work of art than an electronic device.
- Samsung QN90B Neo QLED 4K Smart TV: An ultra-thin design, better contrast and an anti-glare screen that looks good from every angle ensure that you’ll see your favorite shows in a whole new light. Literally! This TV is also equipped with EyeComfort Mode, which automatically adapts your display and reduces blue light to help keep your eyes more comfortable.
- Hisense 55A6G 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV: This budget-friendly option has four times the resolution of a normal HD screen, and its full LED backlight creates a sharp, colorful picture.
Got more questions? No worries. We have the answers.
What is an OLED TV?
OLED, which stands for organic light-emitting diode, is an emissive technology. That means each individual pixel gives off its own light and no separate backlight is required, according to Consumer Reports. Because each pixel can go from bright to fully off, OLED TVs can generate high-contrast images with truly rich, deep black tones. You’ll appreciate this the next time a scene in your favorite TV show is extra dark.
While these TVs are known for their incredible contrast, they’re not as bright as LCD TVs.
What is the difference between 4K and 8K TVs?
According to Consumer Reports, the majority of large-screen TVs on the market are ultra-high definition, or 4K TVs. These TVs have 8 million pixels and provide greater picture detail than your standard high-definition TV.
On the other hand, 8K TVs are relatively new to the market and have 33 million pixels. The extra detail that comes with 8K TVs is most noticeable on larger screens, so you’re unlikely to come across an 8K TV smaller than 65 inches.
Knowing the best time to buy a TV can help you update your digs while keeping more money in your wallet. It’s a win-win. Once you have a handle on this money-saving trick, be sure to shop for other must-haves during the best time to buy furniture, clothes, small appliances and more.
- Andrea Woroch, money-saving expert
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Television, Capturing America’s Attention at Prime Time and Beyond”
- Edison Mail: “Never Overpay When Shopping: Edison Mail Price Alert Arrives on Android to Get You Cash Back”
- Consumer Reports: “QLED vs. OLED (and QD-OLED): Which TV Tech Is Right for You?”
- Consumer Reports: “TV Buying Guide”