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In the market for a TV? Black Friday deals may not offer lowest price

Posted November 15

Fliers, emails and online advertisements for televisions are ramping up ahead of Black Friday next week, but despite the hype, Consumer Reports says now may not be the best time to buy a TV.

"Probably the biggest trend with Black Friday that we've seen is just that it's no longer about Black Friday the day," Consumer Reports' Jim Wilcox said. "It's Black Friday the week, the month. We see deals creeping up earlier and earlier every year."

Despite the ad creep and the shifts in Black Friday trends, it's not all good for consumers.

"One of the down sides to Black Friday shopping is that, for a lot of consumers, it's a lot more work than it used to be," Wilcox said. "You used to just look in a circular on Sunday and go out and pick the store you want to get to. Because of all the online activity now, you really have to monitor all the different websites."

Just because something is advertised as a Black Friday bargain doesn't mean it's really the lowest price available.

For example, Consumer Reports says there are at times better deals on TVs closer to Christmas or even the Super Bowl.

"A lot of it is based on inventory levels. So, if retailers and manufacturers don't sell a lot of TVs during the year, they may have the buildup in inventory," Wilcox said.

Consumer Reports found that many TVs are at their lowest price at the end of February or the beginning of March. That's when stores clear out last year's models at low prices to make room for the newest sets available.

Some models to keep an eye on in the coming months include 4K models from Samsung (UN55KU6300, $800), LG (55UH6150, $700) and Sharp (LC-50N7000U, $550).

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