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While online shopping has become much more mainstream in recent years due to its unparalleled convenience, brick-and-mortar stores are still holding their own with shoppers. Buying a new smart TV doesn't have to be a daunting task; with online shopping, it's easier than ever to compare deals, prices, and shipping options to get the best value. Physical stores like Walmart and Best Buy haven't been left in the dust though. Their websites offer easy shopping experiences with convenient options like free site-to-store shipping and even same-day pickup if you can't wait to get your new TV. You can also chat with experts to get more information on brands, models, and sales so you know you're getting exactly what you want. In-store shopping also has the benefit of actually seeing a TV in action; you can see the picture quality and hear the audio clarity for yourself as you browse the display models for each brand, giving you valuable information that may be difficult to find online.
With online shopping, you also get access to thousands, if not millions, of customer reviews. These can be exceptionally helpful since they're based on customer experience, letting you know at-a-glance if there are any prevalent issues with certain models like poor Wi-Fi connectivity, firmware problems, or clunky menus. You can also opt into email or text notifications for when a certain TV goes on sale, letting you keep an eye on something you like without having to commit to a particular price point. Check out our top picks for online and in-store retailers below to see which has the best options for you.
AmazonCourtesy of Amazon.comBuy on Amazon
No secret here–Amazon is one of the top destinations for online shopping. It seems like nearly everyone has ordered something from the online giant before. Amazon has a great variety of electronics products, and its easy-to-use customer interface allows you to sort and filter by different features, including size, price and the-extremely-helpful-average-customer review. If you're torn between a few different choices, reading the reviews can really help you to discover the best set for your needs. What's more, Amazon offers helpful customer service and easy returns – most television orders will even ship for free. When you're looking for a new TV at a great price and the convenience of shipment right to your door, don't overlook Amazon.The 9 Best TVs of 2021
WalmartCourtesy of Walmart.comBuy on Walmart
Walmart is another retailer that most Americans are very familiar with. However, while you may regularly visit to stock up on pantry staples, paper goods and other household items, you may not realize that Walmart is also a great place to buy a television. Search their website online for your desired size or your favorite brand; Walmart boasts everything from compact televisions ideal for a dorm room or RV to huge flat-screens and has selections from top brands, including Samsung, Vizio, Sharp, Philips and RCA. Walmart offers LED, LCD, 3D, 4K and plasma televisions, plus sleek curved screen televisions and convenient smart TVs. Purchase new or score a great deal by browsing refurbished products. Walmart also offers value bundles that include popular accessories, making the whole buying process even easier. Plus, Walmart gives you a generous 90 days to return a television, and they accept returns in-store if you don't want to deal with the hassle of shipping an item back.The 4 Best Walmart TVs in 2021
Best BuyCourtesy of BestBuy.comBuy on Best Buy
For many people, the television forms the center of their home entertainment system, whether they use it for watching their favorite shows or sporting events, streaming music or gaming. If you're ready to pick up a new television, Best Buy has a huge selection of electronics products to choose from, including great TVs from brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Hisense, Toshiba and others. Need a new TV fast? On Best Buy's website you can sort by items that are available that day for in-store pickup. Many items ship free or have a price-match guarantee to help you get the best deal. Browse new or open-box products or even request help with installation from Best Buy's tech team.The 7 Best TV Brands of 2021
OverstockCourtesy of Overstock.comBuy on Overstock
Overstock is an online retailer based out of Salt Lake City. Founded in 1999, Overstock began as a startup but is now a billion-dollar retailer that offers everything from home goods to furniture to electronics. When it comes to televisions, Overstock has a really easy-to-use sort and filter function that allows you to tailor results by screen size, resolution, price or by category. Overstock has televisions as small as under 20 inches and as large as over 60 inches and offers a wide variety of television types and price options. While the selection can vary depending on what they have at the time you are looking, Overstock does occasionally offer some really fabulous deals that would be hard to score anywhere else since they frequently offer coupons, sales and other promotions.The 6 Best Cheap TVs of 2021
CostcoCourtesy of Costco.comBuy on Costco.com
Members sing the praises of Costco for its huge bulk-purchase selections. Stroll through the aisles at your local store and browse everything from necessities such as toilet paper and paper towels to little luxuries like shelled nuts and wine. However, they're also a great place to consider when you are looking for a new television – and you don't have to be a member to access all of its great deals or even go to the store, thanks to its online shop. Costco offers very competitive pricing and a generous return policy that gives you a 90-day window to return a TV, plus they allow you to return in-store for an immediate refund. Do you live in an apartment or townhome? Costco is one of the only online retailers that offer free delivery that includes up to two flights of stairs. The main downside is that Costco only offers TVs from four brands – Samsung, Vizio, LG and TCL – and some of the deals will be available to members only. However, this still gives customers a pretty decent selection and the chance to score a great deal online.The 6 Best TVs for Under $500 in 2021
B&H Photo, Video, and Pro AudioSony KDL-48W650D 48-inch 1080p LED/LCD TV.Image courtesy of AmazonBuy on B&H Photo Video
B&H Photo began in 1973, and has grown to be one of the larger and more trusted online retailers for home electronics. The retailer's website lets you browse both new and certified used televisions so you can find a model that fits your budget. Shipping is free with orders over $49 and with a 30-day return window and included return labels, shopping for a new TV is about as hassle-free as it can get. The main page of the website has easy-to-find contact information for customer service and corporate offices so you can quickly ask questions about buying, shipping, and returns if you need to. They also have a page dedicated to daily deals; this is a great way to see if you can save a little extra money without having to look for promo codes or coupons. If you're browsing the site on a weekend though, you should take note that the company observes Shabbat and all Jewish holidays. So if you put something in your cart on Friday evening, you won't be able to checkout until after sundown on Saturday or when the holiday observance ends. This shouldn't deter you from using their website though. They have an alert system that sends you an email when checkout re-opens, allowing you to pick right back up where you left off.The 6 Best 75-Inch TVs of 2021Final Verdict
Amazon is an absolute juggernaut of online retail. With daily deals as well as free shipping on millions of items for Prime members, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more convenient way to shop for a new TV. However, if you're still partial to in-store shopping, Best Buy is a great option. They allow for site-to-store and even same-day store pick-up options for online orders, and in-store associates can offer insights and explanations to help you choose your next smart TV.
About Our Trusted Experts
Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management and has extensive experience with what makes a TV a great choice for home entertainment.
Is OLED better than QLED?An OLED television uses cutting edge technology and organic substrates to create the picture you see. With this tech, an OLED TV is capable of a wider range of colors, better detailing, and deeper contrasts, giving you unparalleled picture quality. A QLED television uses traditional LED back or side-lighting and panels. While it isn't quite as good as an OLED, you can still get a great picture with a QLED television.
Is it worth buying an 8K TV?In all honesty? No. Televisions capable of native 8K resolution are insanely expensive right now, some costing as much as a brand new car, and no streaming, cable, or over-air services offer native 8K content. It will probably be a few years still before we begin to see 8K video available for streaming or with cable, satellite, and over-air broadcast channels, so it's best to wait before investing in an 8K television.
What is a laser TV?A laser TV works like a projector; it uses LED laser bulbs to create a picture in 1080p or 4K resolution. The difference between a laser TV and a standard projector is that a laser TV has an incredibly short throw distance, with some needing just 6 inches of space between it and the wall! This means you won't have to have a huge room in your house or outdoor theater in order to use one. Check out our article that explains laser TVs in-depth.
How to Choose a TV Retailer and Get the Best Deal
With so many brick-and-mortar and online retailers, shopping for a new TV can be a slog. Even though many big box retailers now allow for online shopping, you can still spend hours, days, or weeks scrolling through inventory selections, comparing brands and models. Shopping online for a television can be daunting in its own right, since you can't physically see the TV; this makes it difficult to visualize it in your space and hard to know what the picture and audio quality is like.
But sometimes, shopping in-store is difficult or impossible; maybe the store doesn't have the model you want in stock or they have a limited television inventory. In this guide, we're going to walk you through some important things to consider when shopping for a new TV either in-store or online. We'll talk about inventory and brand selection, price matching policies, shipping and delivery options, and even how to best utilize user reviews to choose the best TV for your home.Song Bird Blog via HomeTalk
The number of brands available either in-store or on a retailer's website is important when considering a new TV for your home or dorm. You should check if the store carries major brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG as well as smaller brands like Hisense, Vizio, and TCL. Having a variety of brands gives you a better selection of screen sizes, smart features, and price points. More well-known brands tend to run on the pricier side, while smaller brands are more affordable. However, while it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option available in order to save money, you may get burned with lackluster warranties and poor customer support.
If you're thinking of springing for the most expensive television, you may be paying for features you don't need and won't use. It's important to consider what you want your new television to do and where you'll have it in your home. Will it be your main television in your living room or home theater? You'll want a decent size screen and plenty of smart features so you can binge-watch your favorite shows and movies. Will it be a secondary TV in your bedroom or kids' playroom? Have a look at smaller televisions and models without streaming capabilities in order to monitor what your children are watching.Samsung Frame TV - TV Viewing Mode.Image provided by Samsung
Have you ever bought something either in-store or online, only to find the exact same thing at a different place for a better price? Many retailers have some sort of price matching policy; this means that if you find the same television model at one of their competitors for a better price, they'll match it to keep you as a loyal customer. To take advantage of this, you often need a copy of the sale ad or promotional price to show as proof, and the sale price usually has to be the most recent in order to claim a price match.
Price matching can be a great way to save money and get a good deal on a new TV if store loyalty is important to you. It's also great for customers who live in areas where there are only a few retailers; for example, if Walmart is the only big box store near you, but you've found a great TV sale price the Best Buy an hour away, you can take the sale ad to Walmart and still get a good deal. Not all stores offer this policy though, so it's important to ask an associate or customer service representative beforehand.
Home Delivery and Site-to-Store Shipping
If you have a smaller vehicle, or can't borrow a van or truck from a friend or family member, you may want to consider buying from a retailer that offers home delivery. You can ask customer service about having a TV that was purchased in-store delivered to your home; some stores even have staff who will help you set up your new TV and make sure everything works before leaving, making returns easier. This eliminates awkward and dangerous driving with a larvae TV box half hanging out of your trunk.
Many retailers now offer site-to-store shipping. This means that you can order a television from the retailer's website and have it shipped to the store for free and for pick-up either the next day or at your convenience. This is an excellent option for people who live in apartment buildings or are worried about having a high-priced item shipped directly to their home. Shipping to the store for pickup later means that your new TV will be kept safe from theft and damage from bad weather.Woman Standing In Electronics Store Facing TVs.Image provided by Getty Images - Glow Images, Inc - Collection: Glow - 142547173
In-Store Expertise and Customer Reviews
If you have trouble deciding between brands or models, you can always ask in-store associates for an explanation or advice. Many stores have dedicated electronics staff who can answer pricing, size, and features questions you may have. They can also explain store returns and exchange policies if you end up with a dud. If you're shopping online, customer reviews are the best place to see if a particular brand or model is worth buying. But don't just read the 5-star reviews; sometimes reading the 1- and 2-star reviews first can give you an idea of common problems you may encounter with a model.
You can also get a feel for how many dead-on-arrival (DOA) units a manufacturer has let slip into the market; while it's frustrating to get a TV all set up and realize you got a dead unit, unfortunately it happens. Quality Assurance departments work hard to ensure that top-notch, working products reach the hands of customers, but they can't catch every bad unit. It's also important to focus on negative reviews that talk about the television itself rather than a poor shopping or shipping experience. A broken screen from rough shipping and handling and rude store staff are inconvenient, but these complaints don't give you any indication of how the TV works or malfunctions.