Updated November 9, 2014

Best Time to Buy a TV

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Black Friday isn't the only day to find good TV deals. We've done the analysis for you. Here are the best times of the year to get that flat screen.

When to Buy a TV

Purchasing a TV can be an expensive endeavor. You want to make sure you're getting the very best deal when you hit the stores, but retailers can be tricky about making you think you're getting a great bargain when you're really paying full price.

Don't be fooled by the colorful tags that make every TV seem like it's on sale. Just because a TV is featured in a circular doesn't mean you're getting much of a deal.

Instead, do some sleuthing and stick to certain times of the year to do your TV shopping. Here are some tips for the best times to buy that flat-screen.

Black Friday: Brave the Black Friday crowds

If you’re able to stomach fighting through huge crowds on Black Friday, you should be able to find some great deals on HDTVs during a “doorbuster.” Consumer studies have shown that the best deals are usually on the larger screens during this time; in fact, stores often sell them for the lowest prices of the entire year. Expect discounts in the same range as March’s (see below), with some deeper discounts to be had on doorbusters. Be aware, though, that doorbusters are usually offered in limited quantities, and most of the highest quality brands are excluded from the real bargain-basement price offers.

If you’re just not into waking up early the day after Thanksgiving, you can always try your luck on Cyber Monday. More and more people take advantage of online specials on this day, and you don’t have to worry about leaving the comfort of your home to find some good bargains. Look for promo codes or coupons for stores like Best Buy, and you could score yourself some free shipping.

January: Snag great deals in January

Even if you decide not to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you can still find some amazing deals on TVs during the month of January. Most stores are trying to sell the rest of last year’s models before they can stock the latest TVs. Do a little comparison shopping online, and you can easily find discounts up to 40% off.

Super Bowl: Take advantage of post-Super Bowl sales

One of the best times to purchase a TV is after the Super Bowl. By that time, the most loyal of football fans will have added to their TV collection for their Super Bowl party. Knowing that those fans will buy a TV no matter what the price, stores will have stocked up on their supply, and - if you’re lucky - they will have overestimated how many shoppers wanted to impress their friends with the latest and greatest flat screen. When March rolls around, you’ll be more likely to get the price you’re after as stores will be eager to offload those extra sets. Discounts at this time of the year can be steep - as much as 50% off retail prices in some stores.

Summer: Avoid shopping during the summer

Generally, it’s pretty hard to find price drops on HDTVs during the summer months. You’re much more likely to find bargains closer to the end of the year. However, if you’re in dire need of a new set, some stores do offer sales just to get shoppers in the door in otherwise slow times - they just won’t be offering overly deep discounts. Keep your eyes open for “Dads and Grads” promotions in June and July that could help you cut down on your final costs. Also, check to see if your state is offering any sales tax-free discounts during the summer months - this promotion can help increase your savings. Most states have tax rates in the 5-9% range, which on a $1,000 TV means an extra $50 to $90 out of your pocket.

Bonus Tip:
Whenever you decide to purchase your TV, consider paying for it with a rewards or cash back credit card to save a little extra money. Most of these cards offer rewards or cash back equivalent to 1% to 2% of the amount you spend. On a big ticket item like a TV, that could easily mean $50 in free money.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be getting the most for your money on your next TV.

(Writing by Erin, Analysis by Leah)

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