I Would Never Buy an HDTV From a Brick-And-Mortar Again

Feb 13, 2011
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I Would Never Buy an HDTV From a Brick-And-Mortar Again

Each day, I’m usually presented with a very simple question that requires an extremely involved answer: “What television should I buy?”

As one might expect, I usually go through a litany of questions to determine what the person in the market for a new TV is really after. I ask them how much they want to spend, what kind of content they plan to watch, how far away they will be sitting, if they prefer any companies’ products, and many more questions.

[Image credit Stephen Coles]

After I spend about 20 minutes figuring out where the person stands, I go back to the first question I asked -- “what’s your budget?” -- and try to find something that fits what they’re looking for. Only when I do so, I don’t waste my time looking at prices at a local big-box retailer; I simply go to Amazon, TigerDirect, or any number of other, well-respected sites, and I quote them the price on there.

I simply can’t stand the thought of anyone going to a brick-and-mortar and buying an HDTV.

Now, I realize that there are many, many people out there that would disagree with me. They reason that they need to go to the store to see how the HDTV looks, and they like knowing that they know where their new television is from the store to home.

“You don’t know if the television is being thrown around in the truck before it gets to your house,” they say.

The only issue is, that logic makes little sense. In order for the television to get to the store, it sits on a truck. And then, considering you throw it in the back of your pickup truck and it sways back and forth along the bumpy roads until you get it home, I think I can make the argument that your transportation is just as dangerous as relying upon a delivery service.

I’m also somewhat perplexed by the idea that a person’s desire to “see” a television in the store would make them actually buy the HDTV they’re interested in.

Looking at a television’s video quality in a store is a waste of time. In most cases, televisions are on their “store” setting. And even if they’re not, they aren’t properly calibrated, which means they likely won’t look anything like that when they get home and they are configured for a specific room.

The only real benefit of going to a store to look at HDTVs is to determine their total footprint and if they fit the aesthetic of the room that they will be entering. Other than that, all the important information a consumer needs is available online, including picture quality and inputs.

And all this fails to mention price. In almost every case I found, the same exact television was hundreds of dollars cheaper online than in a brick-and-mortar. And although shipping charges come into play, I’ve yet to find one deal on a worthwhile television where I would tell people to go for the brick-and-mortar version.

The only issue with buying a television online is that it can’t be sitting in the living room that day. But maybe we all need to be a little more patient, and acknowledge that saving hundreds of dollars is worth suffering with an old set for a few days.

So, I won’t be buying my next television in a brick-and-mortar. But will you?

Let us know in the comments below.


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