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25 Ways to Buy a Smart TV and Save Money

Young couple buying a cheap smart tv in a store

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If money is tight, you might want to buy a cheap smart TV for your room. But where do you start? Check out these 25 ideas to save money on your next TV.

Are you looking forward to buying a new television? If so, you might want to consider these 25 ways to save money and buy a cheap smart TV.

You probably already know that TVs are expensive. In fact, they cost anywhere from $500 to over $10,000.

And even though you may love watching your favorite shows on your big screen, you don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars on a new television.

There are many ways to get a great deal on a new TV, from shopping around for the best deals to using coupons and promo codes.

Check out these 25 options and learn how to buy a cheaper TV. They’ll help you get the best price possible without spending too much money, time and effort.

1. Buy a Lower Resolution Screen

Common TV screen resolutions - 8K, 4K, Full HD, SD

When you buy a new TV, you don’t always need all the latest up-to-date technology.

Why not buy a 1080p screen instead of 4K – or a 4K screen instead of an 8K model?

The TVs at the lower end of a TV range will still offer a great picture these days.

And, if you sit further away, you may not be able to see the difference anyway.

Learn more about TV screen resolutions here.

2. Buy a Smaller Screen Size

Three different size flat screen TVs

Modern TVs are available in such a wide range of screen sizes – from 28-inches up to 100-inches – and, of course, the price goes up along with the screen dimensions.

So, even though you might be tempted to buy a huge screen, don’t discount a smaller model to save some money.

If you sit relatively close to the screen, you may not notice too much difference between a 60-inch and 50-inch TV – but the 50-inch TV can be substantially cheaper.

3. Get a Streaming Device to Add Smart TV Features and Channels

Top Streaming Box
Apple TV 4K
What Is It: A standalone streaming box that connects to your TV with an HDMI cable.
Pros:
  • 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10 video
  • Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital audio
  • Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max (and more)
  • Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Music
  • Wireless or Ethernet internet connection
  • 32GB and 64GB versions for storing apps and games
CHECK AMAZON PRICE
Top Streaming Stick
Fire TV Stick 4K
What Is It: An HDMI stick that connects to your TV's HDMI port to stream live, free and subscription TV services.
Pros:
  • For 4K or 1080p Full HD televisions
  • Support for Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR10+ video
  • Dolby Atmos, 7.1, 5.1 and stereo audio
  • Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Netflix, Sling, and Hulu (plus many more)
  • Wi-Fi internet connection (optional Ethernet adapter available)
  • Alexa voice control
CHECK AMAZON PRICE

You don’t necessarily need to buy a new TV to add new channels or smart TV features.

An Amazon Fire TV stick, Roku or Apple TV device will connect to your existing TV and add many new channels that your old TV might not have – like Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube and Disney+.

In which case, you may not even need a new TV at all.

While these devices support a similar range of channels, check each device’s support before you buy if you want a specific service.

4. Watch Out for Sales

Black Friday Sale Banner

You might be able to snag a cheap TV by buying it when there’s a sale.

Typical times for sales are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Christmas holidays and Easter holidays.

Online or offline, many stores have great deals on cheaper models or significant discounts on higher-end TVs.

When many new models are released in the middle of the year, it can also be an excellent time to pick up a bargain price on an older TV.

5. Use Groupon

Groupon electronics page

Groupon is a daily deal site that offers huge savings on local businesses.

For example, if you live in New York City, you could sign up for Groupon and receive $40 off a haircut.

If you keep an eye on Groupon, you can also find a great deal on a TV near where you live.

Here is the Groupon electronics deals and coupons page.

6. Buy from Amazon

Amazon Warehouse

Amazon has been around for years, and they have become the go-to place for people looking to buy electronics.

They offer great deals and discounts on products, and their customer service is top-notch – so if you want to get the latest TV or smart home devices, this is where you should start.

Amazon Warehouse deals are also a good source of cut-price deals on used, pre-owned and open box items.

7. Shop Around

Couple happy about buying a cheap TV in their local store

If you don’t like what you see on Amazon or just want to compare prices, shop around – you can often find better deals elsewhere.

Many stores offer little extras like free shipping or a longer warranty, which can help to get the best bang for your buck.

Also, don’t forget to compare online prices and local brick-and-mortar stores.

A little leg work around your local shopping mall may pay off with a bargain no one else knows about.

8. Buy a Cheaper Brand

Man watching TV in bed

Like LG, Samsung and Sony, the leading TV brands will usually be the most expensive.

But, there are several less-known brands of TV that are cheaper to buy, like TCL, Insignia and Sceptre.

You may not get the best picture quality and the latest cutting-edge features, but many of these TVs will provide an excellent viewing experience.

Especially if you just want a smaller screen size or a second TV for casual viewing in the kitchen or bedroom.

9. Check Rebates and Coupons

Honey coupon website

You might get cashback offers or coupons that discount the full price of a TV.

For example, many manufacturers now offer rebates through sites like Slickdeals.

There are many other coupon sites that you can find online that may provide a coupon for the TV you are looking for, like Groupon, Rakuten and Honey.

10. Compare Prices

Google Shopping

Check out different websites to see what prices are offered, then compare them yourself before deciding.

You might be able to use an online shopping comparison website for this process, like Google Shopping or ShopSavvy.

However, they might not show all the stores you want to compare, so you may have to do this manually.

11. Buy a Refurbished Model

eBay Refurbished

If you don’t need a new model, consider buying a refurbished one instead of paying full price.

Refurbished models are priced much lower than brand new ones and will still work well.

You can buy these at the major online retailers, and some stores will sell their ex-display models cheaply.

Various manufacturers also have outlet stores on eBay to sell refurbished TVs with shorter warranties – and eBay even has a section dedicated to refurbished products.

12. Talk to Your Local Audio-visual Electronics Retailer

Customer being served in an electronics store

While shopping online can be a great way to grab a bargain, there is still no substitute for negotiating a deal face-to-face.

Get to know the staff at your local TV store, and they might be willing to cut you a deal – or sell you a TV that has been on display.

13. Buy Used or Second-Hand

eBay TVs for sale category

Used TVs will be cheaper than buying a new one, so it can be a great way to save some money.

Check out the sites like eBay’s TVs section, Gumtree or local classified websites near where you live.

The biggest problem with this is you may buy a TV that doesn’t work as the seller advertised.

To keep yourself safer from getting scammed, try using reputable sites like the ones mentioned above, or at least make sure you do some research before you buy.

Valuable things to ask for are the returns policy, the original sales receipt and proof that it works.

14. Buy From the Classified Section of a Niche Forum

AVSForum classifieds

The top forums in the AV niche have a classifieds section, where members sell their old equipment.

The advantage of buying a TV from here is that the sellers are likely to have looked after their equipment correctly, and you are less likely to purchase something faulty or mistreated.

Another benefit is that these users are more likely to buy the latest model regularly, so the TV you are buying may be relatively new.

A couple of good places to try are AVS Forums classifieds and AVForums classified adverts.

15. Shop at Woot.com

Woot.com website for new and refurbished TVs and other electronics

Woot.com is an eCommerce website based in the US and owned by Amazon.

They sell all types of new and refurbished electronics, including TVs, plus a wide range of other popular products.

At Woot, you get daily deals every 30-minutes and short-term sales – once it’s gone, it’s gone! So you need to check out their site regularly.

They offer great prices and free shipping to Amazon Prime members.

Here is the television and projectors section at Woot.

16. Don’t Pay Retail

Sam's club website for wholesale TV and electronics

The best way to keep costs down is not to pay retail. Instead, shop wholesale.

Wholesale stores buy directly from factories and sell to other retailers.

This means they can pass along massive markdowns without worrying about keeping inventory levels high.

The problem here is that most wholesalers only sell business to business.

However, some membership-only warehouse stores sell at wholesale prices if you join the club.

Examples of these are Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco.

17. Buy Last Year’s Model

Range of TVs on display in a store

You don’t have to buy the latest and greatest TV released this year.

Don’t forget, last year’s top TV was the best you could buy only a few months ago.

If the model from the previous year or two has all the features you need, why pay a premium for the latest one?

Many retailers have a stock of older TVs that you can buy a year or more after they were first on sale.

18. Shop at Costco

Costco website for cheap televisions at wholesale prices

Costco is a warehouse club store that sells everything from food to clothing. The prices are extremely low, and you can often find TVs under $100.

You will need to pay a membership fee and join for 12 months to purchase here.

However, you can buy many things here as well as electronics, so you should more than cover the membership fee if you use it throughout the year for other things.

Here is the Costco category page for TVs.

19. Consider Renting a TV

TV for rent

Have you thought about renting your TV?

Some services allow you to rent televisions rather than own them.

There are a few advantages, like no upfront cost, no repair bills, and you can upgrade to a newer model when you like.

Many of these services include cable boxes as part of the package. So, you may be able to avoid purchasing a separate set-top box.

20. Sell Your Old TV and Put the Cash Towards Your New One

Craigslist website for selling your old TV

Another option is to sell your old device before buying a new one.

Many websites allow you to do this, such as eBay, Craigslist and Bonanza.

Just follow their safe-selling guidelines and ship the TV with a reputable service.

Easier still, you could ask around friends and family and see if they want to buy your old TV.

You can then use this money to reduce how much you need to outlay on a new television.

21. Use a Credit Card With Cashback

Buy your new TV with a credit card

Many cards now offer cashback when you purchase specific products.

For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card gives 1.5% cashback on everything you buy – including electronic purchases.

However, if you use this method, you should make sure that you clear the entire balance before you start paying interest.

Otherwise, it’s pointless to use this as a method to save money on a new TV – and you may end up paying more.

22. Don’t Buy Any Added Extras

Buying an extended warranty for a TV

When you buy a new TV, you may get an offer to purchase an extended warranty or cables at the same time.

This will add to the cost, and, in most cases, the extra outlay isn’t worthwhile.

The standard manufacturer’s warranty is often sufficient for modern TVs, and if you shop around, you will find many stores that add longer warranties at no extra cost.

You may also get cover for repairs or an extended warranty if you pay with a credit card.

Also, if a TV doesn’t have all the cables you need to set it up, you will usually save money by buying everything you need separately.

23. Shop at Walmart

TV section on the Walmart website

Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, and they sell just about anything.

From clothes to furniture, Walmart has something for everyone, and they regularly have great deals on current TVs and older models.

Check out Walmart’s latest TV offers.

24. Look Into Financing Options

Buy now, pay later financing for a new TV

If you want to get a new TV without paying full price upfront, consider buying through financing.

Many retailers offer interest-free buy now, pay later payment plans, and some credit cards offer zero percent APR if you pay off your balance within a specific timeframe.

While this won’t make the TV cost cheaper overall, it may allow you to stagger the payments over a more extended period and make purchasing easier for your financial circumstances.

25. Get Cashback

TopCashback website

Cashback websites let you earn rewards for shopping online, and some reward programs even give you cashback for buying electronics.

You will need to create an account with your preferred cashback site – then click-through from here to the TV retailer website.

This will record your purchase, and you will get the money back in your cashback account within a few weeks.

You will often find unique special offers on each website, so it is often worth checking each one before you buy.

Check out TopCashback, Honey and Rakuten for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a couple more quick tips for saving money on your next television. If you need more help in selecting your new TV, check out how to choose the best flat screen TVs.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a New TV?

The best time to buy a new TV is during holiday sales or when a brand releases a new model. Sales of technology products are common during the Black Friday weekend, after Christmas, early New Year, and Easter. Many brands release their new TVs around April to June, although this does vary. If you are looking for a specific brand, you should check if they are about to release a new model, which is when last year’s model will fall in price.

What Is the Best Way to Save Money on a TV?

There are many ways to save money on a new TV. Firstly, you can buy less popular brands or get a TV that doesn’t have all the latest cutting-edge technology. Then, what about buying an older model released a year or two ago, or maybe buying a refurbished or second-hand TV? Finally, price comparison, coupon, and cashback websites can save you money when purchasing online or in-store.

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25 Ways to Buy a Cheap Smart TV and Save Money

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About Home Cinema Guide

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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