When it comes to shopping in 2018, doing so from your computer can’t be beaten. Online shopping is generally a cheaper and more convenient way to buy various products you want and need.
Running to stores around town to search for a smart TV is troubling for several reasons. First, it takes much time, and gas, to drive to various stores. It’s also tricky to remember all of the prices you see and compare them in your head. If this isn’t enough, you generally are also responsible for transporting a product from the store to your residence.
In many ways, online shipping is superior to in-store shopping. The convenience, variety of products, ease of delivery and deals you can find online are rarely surpassed, especially when it comes to smart TVs.
Please, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new television for your home, take a little time to follow the tips below before you head to the store.
1) Find Your Favorite Brands
The first step to carry out is research. Look up various brands that offer smart TVs and learn how they compare. Although some televisions have similar features, there are generally a few key differentiators that’ll draw you to a couple of brands more than the rest.
As soon as you have your favorite distributors in mind, you can bookmark their corporate sites. Once they are saved, visit them every day to every couple of days to see if any deals are available.
Another excellent practice is to look up your favorite products on a site like Amazon. You can use these sites to research prices, read reviews and become acquainted with other accessories you might want to purchase with your TV. In some ways, this is like window shopping, but without needing to leave your home.
2) Use Social Media
Online sales can either be announced or unannounced. When they are public knowledge, it’s generally pretty easy to find the details of the sale. When they’re private, however, figuring out how to take advantage of the savings can be more convoluted.
To make sure you never miss out on a private sale, see if there are any savvy social media deal hunters whom you can follow. These individuals use social media, like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to publicize individual sales the world otherwise wouldn’t know about.
3) Sign Up for Email Alerts
Getting bombarded by a company’s promotional emails can be annoying. That being said, sometimes the annoyance is worth the outcome.
People who follow a company’s email list often receive exclusive coupons and deals that are unavailable to others. Before you purchase your next TV, sign up for email lists with several brands you’re thinking about doing business with.
It may take a few weeks, but you’ll probably find the company will soon send you single-use offers or more widespread deals, like 20 percent off your first purchase.
During this time, you might want to sign up for some of your favorite brands’ competitors email lists, too. This way you can compare deals and make sure the brand you want to buy from is staying competitive in the market.
4) Clear the Browser
Did you know that some brands can look at your online history? The information they see can lead to dynamic pricing, meaning you see different prices than other customers, depending on various factors your history provides.
When a company can see you’re shopping around for smart TVs, they’ll know you’re getting ready to buy, and they can use this knowledge to show you persuasive advertisements that make you more likely compromise your price point.
The best way to avoid this type of manipulation, and the potentially higher price, is to erase your browser’s cookies. Your browser is the software application you use to access the internet, like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
Cookies are small files that are stored on your computer. They allow websites to understand your specific behavior so they can show you tailored versions of their content.
Cookies can also tell a vendor where you’re located. In the event you live in an upscale area, businesses can use that information against you to make sure they charge you what they think you should be able to afford.
Luckily, clearing your cookies can erase your zip code, so a distributor won’t be able to change their pricing based on your location.
5) Abandon a Few Carts
After you’ve cleared your cookies, visit one of the brand’s sites you’re interested in and put the smart TVs you like in your cart. As soon as they’re loaded, close your browser and don’t revisit it for a couple of days.
When you load the site again, the items should still be in your cart. During the days you’re inactive, a brand will see that you still have virtual items in your cart. Seeing these items will lead them to believe that you’re contemplating a purchase.
To help close a sale, they might reach out to you with a coupon or special deal to entice you to finish your purchase. If you have a profile on your site and you’re logged in when you add things to your cart, the company will likely email you offers directly that will help you save in the long run.
6) Price Match
Did you know that retail stores with websites, like Walmart, Target and Sears, often price match Amazon’s online prices? Not all of them advertise this fact, but if you ask them about it, they will tell you that they can honor a price match.
Since you should be checking Amazon’s prices regularly when you’re shopping for smart TVs, you should know when they run huge deals. As soon as you see prices drop, either purchase the smart TV or reach out to a competitor that has a better warranty or return policy to see if they’ll honor the lower price while upholding their benefits.
7) Timing Is Key
When it comes to getting a good deal, sometimes timing is everything. In January and February of each year, Super Bowl season takes place, and many big TV discounts become available. After this season, March and April is the second best time to purchase a new television.
Spring is when the TV release cycle begins, so new models hit the market, and older models go on discount. As long as you don’t want or need the latest-and-greatest version of a smart TV, you can score a great deal in spring.
Of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also very outstanding times to buy new technologies; Amazon normally runs amazing discounts and other distributors follow suit.
8) Call Customer Service
There’s nothing like a person-to-person conversation sometimes. Although few people know this, many customer service reps actually have the power to provide customers with discounts.
As soon as you find you’re interested in a television, call the company’s customer service department to see if you can speak with a representative. Take time to ask them all the questions you have about the product and ask why you should buy it from their company.
Near the end of the conversation, say something along the lines of “I’m very interested, but I’m still hung up on the price … Is there anything you can do to help me in that regard?”
The answer might be no, but it also might be a yes. You’ll never know until you ask, and there’s no harm in trying your luck.
9) Think Twice About Free Shipping
Free shipping is a great perk, but it’s not always as important as a great return policy, as alluded to above. When you’re comparing vendors, take a comprehensive perspective when you evaluate their products.
For example, if a company has free shipping and a 30-day warranty, it might be worth paying for shipping with another company that offers a 2-year, no-questions-asked warranty. Another option is to see if a company that offers free shipping has additional add-on warranties that’ll make sure you’re protected without robbing your wallet.
10) Search for Price-Drop Refunds
Have you ever made a purchase, only to realize that the item you bought went on sale a few days later? Having an item’s price drop on you is arguably one of the most frustrating things that can happen.
Many stores understand the anger that accompanies this experience, though, which is why they offer price-drop matches. When you buy something, see the price drop a few days later and promptly call the retailer, they will refund you the difference.
Before you purchase your TV, see if the company you want to buy from has a similar policy. When you do so, don’t forget to ask them how long they’ll honor the deal after your purchase. Some companies will only offer price protection for 30 days or less, while others may offer it for several months.
Shopping online may take time to adjust to, but once you are acquainted with its ins-and-outs, you’ll probably find it to be one of the most convenient, enjoyable and affordable ways to purchase the things you want and need.
With the tips above, you’ll start out on the right foot looking for your first, or next, smart TV.