5 Things I Learned While Buying A New TV

If you still don’t have digital cable, you probably have seen the big analog symbol at the top of your TV. They constantly remind us about getting a converter box. However, my girlfriend and I decided it would be better to just by a new TV. So we went out looking this weekend and ended up buying an LCD TV (I’ll review it later this week).

Anyways, here are a few things I learned from the whole experience:

1. Best Buy Employees Are Annoying

In my opinion, Best Buy has gotten even worse than it used to be about their employees constantly asking you if you need help. Maybe they are trying even harder now that Circuit City is gone…who knows.

Yesterday, I managed to get 6 or 7 employees to come by me and ask if I wanted some help with something. And this happened in less than 20 minutes and I only looked at one section of the store. So all of the employees came to me.

If that wasn’t enough, I even managed to get two Best Buy/DirectTV employees to come over and offer me some information on their new “pilot” program. Luckily, I lost them at “neither” when they asked if I had Satellite or Cable.

2. Target Has Some Weird Sale Prices…

Another thing I learned when shopping for TVs is that Target likes to “cover up” the real prices. Or at least that’s what it seems. Almost every television had a sale sticker stuck on it, but a quick look under the flap revealed a price sticker that had the same price, sometimes even less. And these stickers were stuck right on the shelf so they were definitely not temporary stickers.

And the TV that we ended up buying had a sticker under the flap that said $299.99. Their was no actual price so we had to ask for help…guess what? They decided it’s now $329.99. Even after talking to the departments manager and the store manager, they still wouldn’t match the price it was supposed to be.

3. TV Stands Are Pretty Important

Something I quickly learned after getting home with the new TV, is that my girlfriend and I didn’t have a place to put it. It’s pretty easy to buy a TV and totally forget about the TV stand. Luckily, Wal-Mart had a few for less than 40 bucks and it actually looks pretty cool.

4. Cables Are A Ripoff

After buying a new TV, I knew that I was going to need some cables to hook it up right. Specifically, an HDMI cable for the DVD player and some sort of cable for my computer. So I looked at Target and Best Buy, only to see that most of their HDMI cables were more than 50 bucks. Ouch! Worse yet, I needed a DVI to HDMI cable for my MacBook and Best Buy had one for $100!

So instead, I hopped online and did some browsing on eBay. Next thing I knew, I had ordered a DVI to HDMI cable for less than 7 bucks. Sure, a lot of people will argue that the cable is far less quality but I just don’t believe it. Especially when it comes to a 22 inch LCD TV. How much different can the quality really be? So the lesson I learned is to buy them online and save a boat load of money.

5. Paid TV Is A Waste Of Money

For the past 8 months or so, I have been cable free. Relying on bunny ears to get all the of the basic channels. But the thing is, almost every show I watch is on free TV anyway. Lost, CSI, Big Bang Theory, even Two and Half Men. All free of charge.

And now that I am using an HDTV antenna, most of these channels come in HD with no static what-so-ever. They look better than a DVD and cost nothing. There are even a few extra HD channels that the TV is picking up now. So now I have no worries about ever getting cable again.

Have you purchased a new TV lately? What was the experience like?

10 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned While Buying A New TV

  1. Jenn

    After the whole Target fiasco I don’t want to shop there ever again. But then I don’t know what I’ll do since I hate Walmart even more… Kmart? Yuck! I guess I’m stuck losing money to them. Corporate America sucks, no wonder why the economy is shot.

  2. Justin Post author

    @Jenn: Yeah I agree that all of the big stores suck. Which is why most people are buying everything online now. Perhaps it’s time to start shopping at the small, local stores…too bad Wal-Mart put most of them out of business.

  3. Terence Chang

    Isn’t that funny. We can learn so much and have so much to learn in our life.

    Even buying a TV can give us so much troubles.

    Here is my personal experience.

    1. Never buy from BestBuy, if you want to write off Tax using your social security number or Tax ID. Someone may steal your ID.

    2. Never buy electronic product from Target. They don’t seem to do clearance on electronic. So the price is always higher than somewhere else.

    3. Don’t buy TV online even it ships to you for free. A friend of mine spent $800 to ship a $700 defect TV back.

    4. TV always look smaller in store. It looks bigger in your house. Measure it first.

    5. Be aware of re-stocking fee. There are store charge you for removing your finger prints too.

    6. Don’t buy cable before buying your TV. Shop around the cable online. You usually can find a great deals for cable.

    7. Not necessary to buy 1080 unless you have blueray DVD.

    8. Never buy Plasma. They looks good for the first 3 years. It will degrade fast. So it looks colorless in few years.

    Personally, I only buy TV from local store such as Costco and Wal-Mart. Use credit card and check with your credit card company. They usually give you one year extended warranty.

    That’s about it.

  4. Dwayne from Probably Sucks Blog

    Ah, yes – employees pretending to care about your business and be extremely helpful. You just want to punch them in the face and ram their heads right through the light bulbs section.

    It’s also funny how the “I’m a helpful sales man, blah, blah, blah” attitude changes when you say the wrong thing.

    “I’m not here to buy anything, I’m just shoplifting.”

    “I’m a secret undercover shopper sussing out your prices, hired by your competition.”

    “I’m here to vandalise your property and play pranks on other customers.”

  5. Scrooby

    I find that so frustrating when employees come up and ask you if you need help when someone just asked you 5 seconds before. It also aggrovates me when they talk to you as if they actually know what they hell they are giong on about :P Really they are just after your sale which really turns me off.

  6. Carlos

    I definetly support your last thing “Paid TV is a waste of money”, for the other ones i would not know since I am not from the US, but I am pretty sure they are true as well (I think it is a universal thing). I found an excelent solution to the last problem though, you should chek this site out: Televicion en Vivo , I hope you enjoy!

  7. highboy tv stand

    thats so true about best buy. I kind of find this in most retails stores, when it happenes I roll my eyes at my wife and say “minimum wage” these guys arent paid enough to care. sucks but its the truth.

  8. Hugo Monath

    Do you accept guest articles or blog posts? I just like the layout how you wrote 5 Things I Learned While Buying A New TV, I’m in this topic for ages and I would adore to write few guides right here should you agree with me.


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