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Televisions are among a handful of consumer goods and services that have dropped in price over the past year — which could mean deep discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.
What’s more, 38% of shoppers say they are likely to buy a TV during Thanksgiving week, including Cyber Monday, according to a recent survey by the Consumer Technology Association.
“Those lucky enough to be in the market for a TV are going to find some great deals right now,” said Rick Kowalski, the association’s director of industry analysis and business intelligence.
Why TV prices are falling amid broader inflation
The average price of a television fell by almost 17% in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021, according to the consumer price index.
They are a departure from an era when stubbornly high inflation sent prices soaring for a broad basket of consumer goods. By comparison, the index rose 7.7% in October from a year ago – off recent highs but still near levels not seen since the early 1980s.
Televisions (and electronics in general) generally get cheaper over time as technology improves. And increased ownership of smart TVs allows manufacturers to track consumer data and then sell it to advertisers, which also offsets some costs, said Andrea Woroch, a savings analyst.
But prices began to rise from month to month starting in early 2021. Demand for consumer electronics remained strong as households upgraded their home entertainment during the pandemic. At the same time, computer chips were in short supply and wider supply chains became clogged as the global economy began to reopen, limiting the flow of goods to retailers.
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By August 2021, this imbalance of supply and demand had raised the average TV price by 13% in one year and by 3% in that month alone, according to the Consumer Price Index.
But the price drops again. Manufacturers had ramped up production to an all-time high to meet consumer demand — and retailers now have plenty of TVs, Kowalski said.
The US imported 46.5 million TVs in 2021 – a record year and well above the approx. 40 million in a typical year, Kowalski said.
Retailers are cutting prices to clear excess inventory, he added. And households that bought TVs earlier in the pandemic may not see much need to buy again, reducing potential demand.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday TV deals
Retailers have long used TV specials to attract shoppers on Black Friday — the Friday after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the shopping weekend. Consumers often wait to buy big-ticket tech products until then, Kowalski said.
Contracts could continue through the December holidays, but that’s not a guarantee, analysts said.
“TVs are usually one of those things I recommend shopping for if you’re looking for a new TV or buying one as a gift,” Woroch said. “That doesn’t mean every single TV is going to have the best deal you’ll get all year.”
Plus, the TVs discounted on Black Friday may not be the best of the best – they’re usually entry-level sets and may not have the features you want.
Some Black Friday deals from retailers like Best Buy have been striking, especially for some well-known brands, said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.
One of the best she’s seen among major brands: 75-inch Samsung for $580, 70-inch LG for $550 and 32-inch Toshiba for $80, which comes with the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot. In particular, she saw the 40-inch Hisense sell for $100 — a price point no manufacturer has seen for a 40-inch TV since 2018, Ramhold said.
That said, there are plenty of other sets that sell for more than $1,000, depending on the brand and model, she added.
Woroch recommends comparison shopping using sites like DealNews and BlackFriday.com, or the web browser plugin PriceBlink. Consumers can also search for coupon codes or cash back on sites like CouponCabin, she said.
One thing to watch, experts said: Retailers sometimes sell a special, one-day Black Friday model of a TV to offer doorbuster sales — but that special model often has components or features missing from its traditional cousin. Consumers should check the model number, read reviews and, if shopping in person, ask questions of a store associate, Woroch said.
Consumers should probably skip buying from the “no-name” brands on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Ramhold said.
“If it just doesn’t ring a bell for you or it’s ridiculously cheap — like a 75-inch set for $300 — I’d be wary of buying them,” Ramhold said. “Because you still get what you pay for. for.
“The last thing you want to do is go home with a no-name set and shop again next Black Friday,” she said.