6 things to do before you buy that new TV

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TV shopping
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With Super Bowl LII just days away, many football fans are planning to upgrade their big screen in time the for the big game. In fact, studies show that Super Bowl beats Black Friday and Cyber Monday for TV purchases, with many deals rivaling those of the popular holiday shopping events. To capture a bigger bite from these gadget sales, competition is getting fierce as retailers promote major sales on sets of all sizes. While the deals are nearly endless, shopping smart is key to getting the best quality at the best price. Study these TV buying tips to make sure you get it right.

RELATED: 10 best TV deals ahead of the Super Bowl

Do your homework

While it’s important to get the best deal on any purchase, there are many factors in addition to price that you need to consider when shopping for a TV. Not only do you want to make sure you’re ordering the right size for your space, but you need to consider the features that are most important to you. Although Super Bowl will not be broadcast in 4K, many streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video keep adding more and more 4K content so this may appeal to you. What’s more, OLED models offer better viewing performance for fast moving content like sports over less-expensive LED TVs. Similarly, knowing your needs ensures you don’t get upsold on features you’ll never use. For more help assessing quality, scour sites like Amazon, ePinions and CNET for reviews before making your final selection.

Compare prices

Most electronics retailers are willing to match prices with other competitors, both in store and online, so it’s important to compare prices once you’ve selected the TV you want to purchase. Using a barcode scanning app like ShopSavvy allows you to quickly compare prices and use the data found to ask for a price match. This strategy gives you the chance to score online savings without having to wait for a shipment so you have the new TV in time for the game.

Consider refurbished

Previously-owned TVs may sound sketchy, but you can find much cheaper prices buying refurbished models. Retailers and manufacturers typically stand behind these gadgets and offer warranties to give you that peace of mind with the purchase. Stores like Best Buy even offer an open box section where you can score big savings on TVs that were opened and returned, but never used. Take this example, this new TCL 55-inch Smart 4K Ultra HD TV  priced at $449.99 at Best Buy while the refurbished set sells for just $329.99 at Walmart. That’s a considerable savings!

Nix the warranty

When you’re dishing out hundreds or thousands of dollars, you may be tempted to add the extra warranty to protect this big purchase. However, when it comes to televisions, you’re usually safe to skip over this added expense. While warranties do offer peace of mind, HDTVs are surprisingly reliable and by the time you’re in need of a repair , you may be better off buying a new TV anyway. What’s more, money expert Clark Howard is not a fan of these warranties. They can be full of exclusions, so you may not even get the coverage you’re hoping for. Use a credit card for the added purchase protection instead and save your money.

Ditch your current TV

Make extra room in your shopping budget by selling your old TV. Some stores like Target and Walmart offer store gift cards for trading in your old gadget, which can then be applied to the new purchase. Otherwise, you can post your TV for sale on Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp or Craigslist. Do a bit of research beforehand by reviewing prices of refurbished sets for the same make and model online to price it right.

Score extras online

Although you can general get a good deal on a TV from most electronics retailers and big box stores, you can often find lower prices on extras like HDMI cables, remotes and mounts online. Look for bigger savings on off brands and time your purchase right by researching which accessories you need ahead. This way you can order through sites like Amazon Prime to make sure they arrive before the game.

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Andrea Woroch About the author:
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps Americans find easy ways to live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers and super savers. As an established on-air contributor and sought after media source, ...Read more
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