Black Friday brings with it some sweet deals on TVs, right? WRONG! Well, actually, it just depends.
Even though Black Friday might have some impressively low-priced HDTVs, these deals will mainly apply to "less-than-name-brand" models. And if there are great deals on "name brand" TVs, you can bet your bottom dollar they'll sell out faster than you can say "Tickle Me Elmo."
Thankfully, a little bit of patience is all you need in order to see comparable cuts on the big brands. For the most part, we'll see name brand TVs hit or beat these Black Friday price-lows fairly quickly. Our dealnews archives indicate that, as a general rule of thumb, we'll see brand name LCD HDTVs hit Black Friday price-lows during the December to February time frame (depending on your definition of "brand name"). So if you hold your horses and wait it out, you'll likely wind up with a better TV or a better price, or both!
Vizio the Quickest to See Comparable Discounts... if You Believe in the Brand
To determine when brand name LCD TVs see equal price-lows to low-end Black Friday deals, we analyzed our deal archives from last year. The two sizes that saw the quickest turnaround were 47" and 55" models. According to our data, we saw a brand name manufacturer beat Black Friday prices within days of Black Friday. The lowest total price for a 47" HDTV on Black Friday last year was $719, and that price was beaten two days later by a Vizio for $600. Better still, the lowest-priced 55" television we saw on Black Friday went for $970, which was beaten the next day by an $898 Vizio.
Right now, you might be saying something like, "Whoa there, why are you including this Vizio company as a name brand? I've never even heard of those guys!" It's true — despite their Super Bowl commercials — a lot of people have never heard of Vizio. But our editors agree that Vizio's TVs are great. They have the quality to be a name brand, just not the age. In a few years, their name will be bandied about in the same circles as Panasonic, Sony, and those other guys.
Sans Vizio, the Brand-Name TVs Catch Up Between December and February
If you're still unsure of Vizio as a brand name, you can get the better brands you've come to know and love for better prices by continuing to wait longer after Black Friday. An LG 47" screen appeared for $660 on December 2 and a Toshiba 55" screen showed up for $950 on February 8.
Similarly, 37" and 42" brand-name TVs fell into the December to February time frame. We saw a 37" Vizio (which was bundled with a $40 Walmart gift card) hit $378 on Black Friday, which remained a price-low until January 24, when there was a deal on a Panasonic VIERA for $375. Likewise, we listed a 42" set on Black Friday for $400, and Toshiba beat that price in February for $399.
Now squint your eyes for our data on 32" screens. On Black Friday, we saw a TCL brand TV hit $250, and we would not see this price low beaten until August 10 when a Toshiba model hit $249. Several other sets got close in price, before then, however, like a Vizio for $270 on November 28 — two days after Black Friday.
So as everyone goes crazy preparing for Black Friday sales, isn't it nice to know that if you skip the shopping excursion all together or perhaps pass up a deal, you won't have to wait too long to see a comparable price on a potentially better set? Of course, you'll have to be on the lookout for those later deals, so we suggest signing up for a dealnews email alert for the HDTV of your choice. Remember, a little patience (and the help our your deal-seeking friends at dealnews) can lead to a lot of savings.