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November 20, 2008


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Great Great Post! Many points that are very specific and not so obvious.

Great post FMF. Thanks.

Good advice, still, I don't think there's much margin for negotiating at Costco.

Yeah (re:Colin), how much of a discount should we expect at a major retailer, like Best Buy or Costco? Would it be better just to skip these big retailers and head to the ABC-Electronics in the area? I really am interested in getting another LCD, and I heard that they are at the lowest prices that they can get to this season, because of the economy, but where is the best place to buy electronics?

I rarely buy from the big box stores or local retailers. They cannot match the service or price that can be found with on-line companies. As an example, if you have a few dead pixels on an LCD panel, try and get that replaced or fixed.

Next, it is very hard to tell how good a product really is when going to your local best buy and trying to compare and Samsung to an LG flat screen (same is true for other equipment). You have no idea if the retailer set up the picture correctly, etc.

There are easy ways to do homework and to find good retailers. Go to a few of the popular home theater boards on the internet. You can read up on everything that will compare brands, models, etc. and you will also see where people are getting the best deals. My favorite is the avsforum ( One word of caution: Some of these people are REALLY into perfection. Something that they find unacceptable, might be okay with you.

Good advice. You know, years ago I worked at a large electronics store and one of the things we 'gave away' all the time was the extended warranties. I was always willing to reduce the item price by the cost of the extended warranty because the commission was higher on the warranty than the item itself. See if they'll throw in the warranty, then go back a week later and return the warranty.Easy discount.

I agree to go to commissioned salesmen. In NY I went to PC Richards and was able to haggle with them. In Best Buy you can't because they don't work on commission. I ended up buying the TV on line anyways at Great site I recommend for everyone. Most stores don't match online prices so don't bother with that.


Commissioned salespeople are the way to go, especially if you have a pretty good idea what you want; you will get much better service. Once upon a time, Circuit City's commissioned salespeople could kick Best Buy's butt.

Kudos for "don't go too far". Sometime back I spent a year selling cars. We'd get people in there who were never satisfied. No matter what, they were convinced you were sticking it to them and they wanted to get you first. I guess they didn't feel the dealership deserved to make any money at all. Doing your research will help you determine what a fair price is. If you go shopping armed with that information you will know when you are getting a good deal vs. when you are asking for more than the establishment can afford to give.

Good advice.

You mention that you'll get better service from a comissioned sales person. What kind of service are you talking about? In my experience, once I buy the TV and it's in my house, any service is coming from the manufacturer, or an extended warranty provider.

What brands does the OP think Best Buy is "notorious" for pushing? I agree with Joe, after I get the television home, what service do I need from the salesperson?

Ryan (and Joe) --

I believe he means that the salesman will be inclined to make sure you're happy in every way -- delivery, set up (if they do it for you), etc. -- to make sure you don't return the item (and thus have him lose his commission.)

FWIW, Lowes CORPORATE policy states they WILL match internet prices. They made the mistake of allowing me to see it in writing. The local store REFUSED to match a ridiculously low price for a Jenn Air gas/electric range. They said the price was less than what they paid for the item. I said that was not my issue. They ended up relenting. They do not add the extra 10% like they do for local price matches, nor are any additional discounts allowed. And they did NOT add shipping charges. SWEET!

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