Sadly enough, my TV died yesterday. I ran in a triathlon on Sunday morning and when I got home, all I wanted to do was plunk down on my sofa and turn on the TV. From the moment my butt hit the cushion, all I saw was wavy lines and a blurred double picture. My $80 Craiglist purchase from last year had finally showed its last picture. Now the question is, what in the world do I do now? Do I try to find another Craigslist deal? Do I look for a good deal on a brand new TV? Or are there some other options?
Why Do People Sell Their TVs?
The problem I have with Craigslist is, what is the motivation for some of these people to put their TVs up for sale? Some of the ads say, “Still new in box” or “Only 3 months old”. Those ads make me extremely skeptical. If I bought a new TV, I wouldn’t just leave it in the box and then sell it a few months later for less than I paid for it. Why not just return it and get all my money back? The only reason I can think of is if they won it, but I didn’t see that anywhere in their listing.
There are deals to be had on Craigslist though. And there are two main reasons for TV sales that you should look for:
1) Upgraded – Some people always need to have the latest and greatest technology. With the quick improvements in technology, a new model can be “outdated” (compared to the newest model) and attract the attention of the consumer. For instance, someone may have a perfectly good flat screen LCD television, but when the 3D TVs came out, they just had to have one. So, the LCD TV goes up on Craigslist.
2) Need The Money – Many other TVs make the Craigslist pages because they simply need the money. After they bought their television, they might have a set-back and must have some immediately cash to survive. For many, the largest ticket item that they have is their television. It’s not easy to let go of it, but if the need is bad enough (a medical emergency for instance) then they will certainly sell anything of value to get the cash.
In order to get a straight answer from the seller, it would help if you were a good reader of people. After all, if someone’s TV is breaking down, they might just say that they need the money so they don’t have to tell you what’s wrong with it. If you’re not good at sniffing out a lie, take someone with you that is.
The New Models
Because technology is ever changing, there are some inexpensive TVs at the retail store as well. While I don’t often promote buying a new item at a retail store, there are good deals to be had here. In my experience, there are three ways to find a great deal in retail.
1) Clearing Inventory – With a new model television coming out every few months, retailers need to make sure they don’t get stuck with an antique that collects dust on their shelves and ultimately loses them money. They would much rather mark down the item early and give you a deal, than to hold onto it for too long. Look for these sales and you might find yourself a deal.
2) Store Model Discount – How often do you walk up to a TV at Best Buy and just start touching the screen and scratching the frame? Never. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that TV, but since it is a floor model, there should be an automatic discount. If the TV is on sale already, you might get yourself a half-price television.
3) Start the Bidding War – There are quite a few competing electronics stores out there. If you find a model that you like and a couple of different stores are offering it. Check with them to see if they’ll match each other’s prices. Then head back and forth from store to store and get them to match one another’s prices. In the end, you should get a very nice television at a very reduced price.
4) Match Online Pricing – Best Buy now says that they will match any price from any store, and this includes online stores. So, just like the above example, do your homework and see if you can find it anywhere else for cheaper. For many products, Amazon is a great store to compare to, and this may work with TVs as well.
The final option would be to simply ask around to see if any of your friends have TVs that they aren’t even using. Most likely, you’re not going to get handed an LED flat screen, but if you just want something to limp along with for a while, this might be the best option for you. After all, it will probably cost you zero dollars.
Since I have just started my search, I do not yet know which strategy I will take. You can bet that I’ll be taking my time however. And I will find the absolute best deal out there. 🙂
Have you gotten a great deal on a TV? How did you do it?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.