Welcome back to our third installment of our four-part HDTV series on buying your perfect Super Bowl HDTV online! We started off the series by telling you some handy tips to know before picking out your high def 'tube last Thursday, and directed you to your local store on Saturday to find the most eye-catchingly beautiful set you could find. Today, we're back to seal the deal by finding the lowest price on your perfect HDTV.
The internet is a place filled with many websites; many of them nefarious, but the majority benign and/or useful. Aside from the wondrous land of Ebates
, there exist myriad price comparison websites for you to check out and help you find the lowest prices on the internet. Whenever you're looking to get any big ticket item over the internet, it's a smart idea to look for the lowest price at a website such as PriceGrabber
before coming back to Ebates
to get your sweet, sweet cash back. Even though it's a few extra clicks you might not have done otherwise, knowing that Newegg has the same HDTV for $100 less than Sears (or
vice versa!) makes it all worthwhile.
If you don't want to head out to other non-Ebates sites, there are a few places you should be sure to check for the amazing HDTV you found last weekend. When I discovered my dream HDTV (the Samsung 650 LCD HDTV
) when I was looking at Sears, I had to check multiple retailers to find the best deal. Surprisingly, the lowest price on my HDTV wasn't found at the usual Sears, Best Buy, or Wal-Mart, but from internet-only retailers like Newegg
and Abe's of Maine
. Don't be afraid to try out a new, respectable internet retailer for your big purchase - with a little bit of feedback research at places like Reseller Ratings, you can get a great deal from a great, new place.
While these little tips may aid you in your search, there are a few big issues that everyone should take into account when getting a HDTV off of the internet. Thus begins today's installment of our series:
Ready to Buy? Last-Minute HDTV Preparations!Shipping costsMake sure you're saving every step of the way!
Oh, shipping. The biggest burden facing any prospective big screen HDTV buyer, and rightfully so. Would you believe that some places want to charge you upwards of $150 to $200 just to ship a HDTV to your door? Absurd! Because of such ridiculous costs, it's always good to shop around at multiple retailers to see who has the best deal on shipping. The same HDTVs are sold at multiple retailers, so be sure to type in the model number at various stores until you find one with free/cheap shipping and
a good price. Generally speaking, Abe's of Maine
has free shipping on all HDTVs, but many other retailers offer similar discounts depending on the week. Abe's usually gives you a "confirmation call" to add on cables and other accessories, but as long as you stay strong and stick to your guns, you should be able to pull through just fine.
There are a few different kinds of shipping options available, and it's important to know what you're getting beforehand. The most basic form of shipping is ground shipping, which takes the HDTV from the seller's warehouse, onto a truck, and to your doorstep. In addition to basic shipping, many retailers offer a "premium" or "upgraded" level of shipping where your precious HDTV is strapped to a palette, placed in one truck, and driven to your door. Whether this actually makes a difference is debatable, as most retailers will replace sets that are damaged in shipping.
At the top of the shipping spectrum sits the mysterious "White Glove" option; a shipping option so fancy, it's only mentioned in certain locales and offered at a most exorbitant price. With White Glove shipping, you get the HDTV carefully delivered to your door, taken into the room of your choice, and unpacked before your eyes. The delivery company does almost everything, with one glaring exception: installation. It's still your job to plug things in and set up the surrounding area, but White Glove shipping is another option worth considering if you have the cash and want things done nicely.
A final note on shipping: you can use In-Store Pickup at a handful of
retailers to save big on the outlandish shipping costs many of the "big
box" stores tend to have. You can save huge at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home
Depot, and a few other stores by having your HDTV shipped to the
store, so consider this option if you have a car large enough to shove
an HDTV into!Mounting/ShelvingBecause that HDTV has to go somewhere!
Great! You've picked out the HDTV of your dreams, found the lowest price by checking a few websites, and even nailed some free shipping. Awesome! Now, where in the heck are you going to put it? That old rusty nail will not cut it, so if you're looking to mount your HDTV make sure to get a mounting kit along with your TV. Some retailers will occasionally have a free mount special included with the TV, but you should make sure it's the mount you want. Do you want it to tilt up and down, or pop out and swivel side to side? The choice is yours. Just make sure you have at least two sturdy studs on your prospective wall (unless you're mounting into concrete), and you should be good to drill in no time!
Another easy option is a nice stand. There's a stand for almost any kind of HDTV setup you can think of, but if you're looking for security as well as style, you might want to opt for a HDTV stand that comes with a mounting pole as well. This allows you to "mount" the TV above the stand, giving it a little extra security in case you're in an earthquake zone (or have children). Whichever way you mount it, make sure it's setup before you get there, and secure once mounted!SetupYou wanted the best, right?
If you went out last week like I instructed, then you're ready to buy the best damn HDTV your eyes have ever seen (in its respective price range). However, you ain't seen nothin' yet. All HDTVs come with a stock picture that is good, but can almost always be made better with the proper tuning tools. Read up on fine-tuning your HDTV here, or pick up an incredibly useful tuning DVD/Blu-Ray such as Digital Video Essentials
. It will help you get the most out of your set, and will take your new HDTV viewing experience to a whole 'nother level!
With all the knowledge you've amassed over the last few days, it's officially time to make your Super Bowl purchase of a lifetime! Check back in next week when we recap the wealth of HDTV knowledge, and I share my personal tale of succesfully buying a beautiful HDTV online!