With TV prices down 17%, Black Friday shoppers could find 'great deals'

With TV prices down 17%, Black Friday shoppers could find ‘great deals’

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Televisions are just some of the consumer goods and services that have come down in price over the past year, which can mean deep discounts for shoppers on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. .

Additionally, 38% of shoppers say they are likely to buy a TV during Thanksgiving week, including Cyber ​​Monday, according to a recent Consumer Technology Association survey.

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“Those lucky enough to be on the hunt for a TV are going to find some great deals right now,” said Rick Kowalski, director of industry analysis and business intelligence at the association.

Why TV prices are falling amid broader inflation

Average TV prices fell nearly 17% in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index.

This is an outlier at a time when stubbornly high inflation has driven prices sharply higher for a wide basket of consumer goods. By comparison, the index rose 7.7% in October from a year ago, a far cry from recent highs but still near levels not seen since the early 1980s.

Televisions (and consumer electronics in general) generally get cheaper over time as technology improves. And greater ownership of smart TVs allows manufacturers to track consumer data and then sell it to advertisers, which also offsets some costs, said consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.

But prices began to rise month-over-month from the start of 2021. Demand for consumer electronics remained strong as households upgraded home entertainment during the pandemic. At the same time, computer chips were in short supply and wider supply chains were in lockdown as the global economy began to reopen, limiting the flow of goods to retailers.

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By August 2021, this imbalance between supply and demand had driven average TV prices up 13% in one year and 3% that month alone, according to the Consumer Price Index.

But prices are falling again. Manufacturers have increased production to historic highs to meet consumer demand — and retailers now have a glut of TVs, Kowalski said.

The United States imported 46.5 million televisions in 2021 — a record year and well above the roughly 40 million in a typical year, Kowalski said.

Retailers are cutting prices to eliminate excess inventory, he added. And households that bought TVs earlier in the pandemic may not see a great need to buy again, reducing potential demand.

Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday TV deals

Retailers have long used TV deals to entice shoppers on Black Friday — the Friday after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Consumers often wait to buy expensive tech items until then, Kowalski said.

Deals may continue through the December holiday season, but that’s no guarantee, experts said.

“Televisions are usually one of those items that I would recommend buying, whether you’re looking for a new television or buying one as a gift,” Woroch said. “That doesn’t mean every TV will have the best deal you’ll get all year.”

Plus, the TVs discounted on Black Friday might not be the best of the best – they’re usually entry-level sets and might not come equipped with the features you want.

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Some Black Friday deals from retailers like Best Buy have been jaw-dropping, especially for some well-known brands, said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.

Some of the best she’s seen from the big brands: a 75-inch Samsung for $580, a 70-inch LG for $550, and a 32-inch Toshiba for $80, which comes with 3rd-gen Amazon Echo Dot. Separately, she saw a 40-inch Hisense sell for $100 — a price point not seen for any manufacturer for a 40-inch TV since 2018, Ramhold said.

That said, many other sets sell for over $1,000, depending on make and model, she added.

Woroch recommends comparison shopping using sites like DealNews and BlackFriday.com, or the PriceBlink web browser plug-in. Consumers can also search for coupon codes or cash back on sites such as CouponCabin, she said.

One thing to watch out for, experts said: Retailers sometimes sell a special one-day Black Friday TV model to offer a door-to-door sale – but that special model often has components or features missing from it. to its traditional cousin. Consumers should check the model number, read reviews and, if shopping in person, ask a store associate questions, Woroch said.

Consumers should probably ignore bargains from “no-name” brands during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, Ramhold said.

“If it doesn’t ring a bell or it’s ridiculously cheap — like a 75-inch set for $300 — I’d be wary of buying these,” Ramhold said. “Because you always get what you pay for.

“The last thing you want to do is bring home a no-name set and go shopping again next Black Friday,” she said.

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