Choose the Perfect TV 2024: When to buy for best value

Want to get the TV model of your choice at a lower price? Do it during these specific weeks of the year.


Practically all types of consumers, regardless of spending power or technical knowledge, is keen on getting a good deal on a brand new TV set. Here’s what they should keep in mind after they’ve settled on a brand and model. (Image: Sony)


With high-quality modern Smart TVs costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, it’s no wonder that practically everyone is looking for a good deal when purchasing a new television set. Who wouldn’t like to save some money or get a better TV for the same price, after all? What most consumers are not aware of, though, is the fact that TV value and pricing do not necessarily follow the same market patterns of other tech products like, say, smartphones or laptops. Yes, new TV models get released every year and their prices are gradually reduced over time, but there are certain points during their shelf life that they can be had for less – or much, much less – than what they initially or usually cost.

When planning on buying a new television, then, it’s worth taking into account those certain points during any TV model’s lifecycle where it offers better or even the highest possible value. Those points define a more or less predictable pattern that anyone can rely on in order to score a good deal when it comes to new, recent or even older TVs. Let’s break everything down, shall we?

Times of the year when most TV purchase decisions are made

What consumers can keep in mind when planning to get a new television is this: the TV market follows certain patterns that form around two specific weeks of every year. The first one is what the industry calls “the CES week” at the beginning of January: those three days when the exhibition actually takes place, along with a few days earlier and a few days later, when most TV manufacturers make their announcements regarding their 2024 models and journalists offer their first impressions about those respectively.

The second week is, without fail, the week leading to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s when most TV manufacturers and retailers traditionally offer the most attractive discounts on almost all TV sets released during that year, as they know that CES – when next year’s TV models are announced – is just a month away.

The timing of the actual purchase of a new TV may vary, but most consumers settle on a brand and model way before that.

Why are these two specific weeks important for making a TV purchase decision? On one hand, people who follow TV development closely always wait to see what most manufacturers will announce during CES: that’s how they’ll decide whether there is a point in waiting for a few months (so as to get a new and potentially improved TV model) or there simply isn’t (in which case they can get an already released TV). Informed consumers who choose to get a previous year’s TV set will obviously expect to save a decent amount of money on that purchase, but there’s a risk involved in terms of timing (more on that later).

People – on the other hand – who do not absolutely need to get a new TV set as soon as possible, are more or less OK with waiting a few months (when the first discounts on new models happen) or even until Black Friday (when the most attractive discounts are usually offered). Practically all consumers are after a good deal on a new TV, from the informed and demanding ones who want to get the most expensive flagship models for less, to the ones who just want to get as good a TV as possible for a set amount of money or as big a TV as possible for a price they can afford.

Most consumers who plan on getting a new TV but do not need one right away, usually choose to do so during the last ten days of November – around Black Friday and Cyber Monday – because of the rather impressive discounts on offer. (Image: Samsung)


These are obviously not the only two weeks when consumers decide which new TV to buy. Sometimes e.g. they really need to get a new TV set as soon as possible for whatever reason, in which case they will just pick one regardless of whether it’s on discount or not. Sometimes retailers will offer flash sales or surprise discounts on certain TV models – depending on the inventory they are trying to manage throughout the year – and those can be very attractive to many consumers, so impulse buys can happen too.

Most of the time, though, people who plan to buy a new TV generally do so based on (a) a bit of market research and (b) pricing, so it makes sense to make a decision in January or November. The timing of the actual purchase may vary, but settling on a brand and model has usually happened before that.

When is the best time to buy a new TV during a calendar year?

Now, taking the information mentioned above into account, it’s not hard to see why one should be looking into buying a new TV set during these specific months every year:

Early February: For the US market, the Super Bowl is a big deal and the perfect excuse to get a new TV to enjoy it on (especially when talking about 75-inch models or larger). Most mainstream TV sets released in the previous year are 8-10 months old by that point, so there are quite a few models to be found on discount – sometimes at prices even lower than the ones offered by retailers on Black Friday or during the holiday season, because of inventory clearance reasons. The only major drawback: stock availability, as last year’s TV models have already run through three different discount periods by then. Definitely worth taking a look around to get an idea of what’s on offer, though, as some of the more heavily-discounted TV sets can be extremely good for the price.

People keen on getting a current-year new TV can either pay full price for it in spring and early summer or wait for the first round of (modest) discounts, which usually happen around late August. (Image: LG)


Mid-March to late April: This is when the first new TV models of the year from a number of different manufacturers are released, so retailers are looking to make room for those by clearing out their existing inventory of previous-year models. That is how people can get impressively deep discounts on high-quality TV sets around that time, even flagship models that will serve them well (if there is no particular feature offered by the new models that they feel they actually need). More often than not, it’s possible to get a great deal on some amazing televisions during that period, so demanding consumers who don’t mind not living “on the edge” of TV technology development could do worse than focus on those few spring weeks for a new purchase.

Late August: This is when TV manufacturers usually offer the first discounts on those new models they released a few months back. The models discounted are typically not the best, flagship ones – they are mid-range or upper mid-range models in most cases – and the price cuts are not the deepest occurring in any given year (those traditionally happen on Black Friday/Cyber Monday or during Christmas holidays). Still, this is when consumers can get a current-year TV set at a price lower that the one it launched at. Stock is not an issue at this point either, so for people who would rather enjoy a spanking-new television earlier than save more later on, this is when they’d be making a purchase.

Late November: This is when TV manufacturers run their Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers on all TV models, across all categories and price points. It’s no coincidence that a significant percentage of all TV sales, globally, in any given year happen during those last 10 days of November. There’s usually plenty of stock – so consumers can get the TV model they’re interested in without much hustle in the vast majority of cases – and retailers often throw in various bonuses in order to help their offerings stand out, such as extended warranties, accessories, free media players or gaming consoles even. For people that are in no rush for a new TV, this is probably when they’ll get the new model they want for the lowest price it’ll be available at (at least during that year).

Some retailers run pretty much the same Black Friday deals in December, but certain TV models may not be as widely readily available anymore.

Late December: This is not as safe a bet as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but it’s been happening without fail during the last few years so it’s worth mentioning. Many retailers choose to more or less repeat their late November deals around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, offering practically the same discounts on most TV models released in that year. Some retailers even run the very same deals all through December, effectively extending Black Friday until the end of the calendar year. The difference is that some of the stock of certain TV sets is often not readily available anymore, so it’s not guaranteed that all consumers will get their hands on the model they are interested in. Retailers are also not as generous with the bonus stuff they offer at year-end sales as they tend to be during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Still, for anyone shopping for a new TV during the holidays these discounts can be quite attractive on their own.

Special occasions: While most TV purchases happen during the specific weeks mentioned above, there are certain examples of TV sales or temporary discounts offered in other occasions. Many consumers are attracted, for instance, to offers happening ahead of mainstream sports events, such as the Football World Cup or the Olympic Games. Releases of new, more powerful gaming consoles or some extremely popular video games that can also work as an incentive to get a better TV to enjoy them on. These are few and far between, yes, so people planning to buy a new TV set don’t usually wait for such rare occasions to do so. Targeted promotions still work well for certain types of consumers, though, so it’s worth taking them into account.

The best time to buy a new TV: when the right model hits the right price

Taking all of the above into account, then, when is actually the best time to get a new TV? One could easily come to the conclusion that what most people should do is just settle on a model at some point during the first half of the year and then just wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get it for as low a price as possible. Not exactly rocket science, right?

Sometimes, instead of looking for the best possible deal on a current-year TV it’s simpler and even cheaper to get a high-quality, last-year TV model. But there’s a catch: depending on the timing, there’s no guarantee of actually finding one. (Image: Sony)


Truth be told, though, while this is certainly one way to go – a safe one, too, in some respects – it may not be the best approach for everyone. The TV market is volatile enough to guarantee a certain amount of unpredictability, for one: attractive offers on new TV models can happen at any time, for instance, depending on consumer interest and inventory dynamics. For another, it makes a lot of sense for consumers to not think of every year as a “hard cut” when it comes to TV sets: it’s actually preferable in a lot of cases to get a very good “last year” TV for much less than either get a “new year” TV at full price or wait six more months in order to get it for less.

The risk consumers are taking when going for a “last year” TV always pertains to product availability. Since TV manufacturers do not generally keep making already released models once their successors – equivalent models in a refreshed line of TVs in the same price bracket – hit the market, retailers will gradually stop carrying the former in favor of the later. Once the older units on inventory sell out, that’s it. There’s no guarantee, in other words, that e.g. an excellent 2023 TV model will still be available to purchase by May or June of 2024.

Consumers can also land some spectacular deals extremely late at a TV set’s product cycle, but it’s a high-risk approach that’s not really recommended.

Past stock availability varies wildly, depending on a number of factors, but people who mean to buy a specific “previous year” TV should generally not postpone doing so beyond, say, March or April of the next year: almost any past TV model is not going to get much cheaper than its early spring “clearance price”, but it can become impossible to find in a matter of weeks or even days sometimes.

It’s the same unpredictable availability of past stock that can also help consumers land some spectacular deals extremely late at a TV set’s product cycle: very low numbers of “previous year” TV models can be found e.g. during the summer or even fall of the next year at amazingly low prices. But it’s too high a risk to plan on getting a new TV that way, so it’s not really recommended. The lucky few who may come across such deals can take advantage of them, sure, but it’s best to be considered more of a one-time thing than an actual option. Unless extreme risk versus extreme savings sound like an exciting game, maybe…? Happy bargain hunting!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

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