The Black Friday sales are coming to a close and if you've been scouring your options all weekend, you might finally be thinking about making a purchase today.
The good news is, there are plenty of heavily discounted TVs on offer at this time of year and some of them are genuine bargains. The only problem? Retailers are also known to offload old or unwanted stock during the sales, so there are plenty of not-so-good deals out there too.
CHOICE TV expert, Denis Gallagher, shares his tips on what to look for and how to bag a good TV for a discounted price in the Cyber Monday sales.
Is Black Friday a good time to buy a TV?
There are so many sales events throughout the year that you're likely to find discounts year-round. Black Friday might be the biggest event of them all, but will you get the best deals on a telly?
"Black Friday is a great time to update your TV as the 2023 models that were released in April and May have now been on the shelves for some time," says CHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher.
"Companies have lots of stock that they want to move on before the end of the year."
So, there'll be plenty of TVs on sale – but how can you make sure you're getting a good deal, and getting the best TV?
Black Friday is not the time to go looking for any old TV at rock bottom pricesDenis Gallagher, CHOICE TV expert
"Black Friday is not the time to go looking for any old TV at rock bottom prices," Denis says.
"You're better off looking at mid-range and premium-priced TVs where there's enough of a profit margin that the companies can knock sizeable amounts off the normal price while still making good coin."
And even though the sales officially start on Friday 24 November, keep an eye out in the lead-up: "Many retailers jump the gun and start discounting early, so keep an eye out from now," says Denis.
Insider reveals: Black Friday has best range of TVs
A retail industry insider has revealed to CHOICE that Black Friday sales have overtaken Boxing Day sales for TVs, in terms of getting both the best price and the best range.
That's because there's generally not much stock left after Black Friday, so retailers don't have a lot of scope to offer big discounts in the Boxing Day sales.
Black Friday sales have overtaken Boxing Day sales for TVs, in terms of getting both the best price and the best range
The insider also explained that many suppliers release "event models" – TVs that come on the market just in time for the sales. Some are made especially for the sales event and they may not be available after that.
"If you find a great saving on one of these event models from big brands such as LG, Samsung or Sony, go for it," says Denis. (Just bear in mind that we can only test TVs that are widely available, so we may not have been able to check them out in our labs.)
The brands to watch – and how much you could save
LG and Samsung are the two biggest names in TVs, and they're the ones to watch, Denis says. And while you might not find big discounts on all large TVs, if you look carefully you might still find some.
"Samsung and LG were the first to release new models in 2023, and they're likely to have the best deals on models that have been around for several months," he explains.
You'll probably be able to find great deals on their OLED TVs, with some that CHOICE recommends selling for around $1000 lessCHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher
"You'll probably be able to find great deals on their OLED TVs, with some 65-inch TVs that CHOICE recommends selling for around $1000 less than the usual asking price."
But although both LG and Samsung produce top-notch TVs, that doesn't mean you should just grab any of their models that you happen to find at a good price. Even big-name brands sometimes make disappointing products, so don't buy just on brand name alone.
The best thing to do is to brush up on what's hot and what's not by checking CHOICE reviews to find the best TVs before you buy.
Keep your options open
You might've had your eye on a particular TV for a while, but there are no guarantees that it'll be on sale. To avoid sales disappointment, it's best to keep an open mind about the product you want to buy.
"The best approach is to keep an eye out for the type of product you want, rather than a specific product, and you should be able to bag a bargain," says Denis.
Be clear on the features you want
Research broadly and learn as much as you can about the type of features you're looking for. Consider which features you can and can't live without, as these could affect how much you'll have to pay.
And of course, check our expert TV reviews to make sure you're buying the best TV for your money.
Consider older models
It's also worth considering a TV released the previous year. "There's no real downside to buying last year's model," says Denis.
"The 'smarts' in smart TVs have progressed to the point where the features on offer for a 2023 TV will still be available on a 2022 TV through a software update."
Plus, if you're buying a 2022 model you might be able to bargain with the salesperson to have something extra thrown in to close the deal.
Should you go big or go home?
There's an undeniable move to large TVs – think 65-inch and larger (which is a problem for our expert testers, as they can't fit as many TVs in our lab for testing!).
But this means that retailers know there's a demand for large TVs, so they may be less willing to discount them.
"This means you should be able to bag an absolute bargain if you buck the trend and look out for 55-inch models in any of the higher-end OLED, QLED and Mini LED ranges from Hisense, LG, Samsung or Sony," says Denis.
Retailers know there's a demand for large TVs, so may be less willing to discount them
"You may have had your heart set on a huge TV, but remember that they're not ideal for every home entertainment set-up – if you have a compact living room or are looking for something for the bedroom, a smaller size will be perfect."
But if you do have the space for an extra-large TV, you might still find some good discounts.
"TV companies will also be offering incentives for the retailers to drop the price of the premium and largest models as they don't want them to be hanging around when the new lot of 2024 TVs come out early next year," says Denis.
CHOICE tip: Our guide to buying the best TV includes a screen size guide to help you find the right TV based on the size of your room.
The best Black Friday specials: Instore or online?
While many people will be shopping online, it's not the only place you'll find a bargain. Going old-school and checking out bricks-and-mortar retailers before clicking the 'add to cart' button can sometimes yield bigger savings.
"You might actually find that some of the best deals to be found are instore," says CHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher.
You may find that some of the best deals are to be found instoreDenis Gallagher, CHOICE TV expert
"Electrical retailers usually offer good discounts below the retail price around this time of year. But there will no doubt be some specific models from Sony, LG, Samsung and Hisense available at some great prices piled up instore in an attempt to get you through the door."
And don't forget that with so many people buying online there could be bottlenecks with post and freight, so you could be left waiting longer than you'd like for your new TV to arrive – another reason to consider heading instore to shop.
When to buy online
If you're planning to go extra large with your new TV, online may be the better way to go.
"You most likely won't be able to fit anything larger than a 65-inch model in your car," Denis advises.
"So if you want a larger TV but you're shopping instore, ask them to throw in delivery and basic installation as part of the deal.
"An alternative is to check out TVs in person to decide which one you want, then head home and order it online, where you'll usually get delivery for free."
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.