Television has been a staple of the American household since the 1960s, but a lot has changed since families gathered around the living room set to watch John Kennedy debate Richard Nixon live on stage. The average American home has 2.3 TVs, and only 19 percent of households have just one, according to Nielsen research. It's common to have a TV in the living room, bedroom, guest room, or even kitchen. Our buying habits have also shifted, with the COVID-19 pandemic hastening the move from in-person to online shopping. E-commerce sales have nearly tripled in the past six years, according to the International Trade Administration. All of this means shopping for a TV in 2023 is a little more complicated than it used to be. The number of places you can get a TV, and the strategies you should use to get the best price, can be tricky. But, if you're in the market for a new TV this year, we've outlined all the best places to buy a TV below. We've also included a few factors to consider before getting your set if you're unsure about what to look for when you finally decide to pick one up.
The Best Places to Buy a TV
We love online shopping, but a brick-and-mortar store has topped our list because we feel that TVs, like all major appliance purchases, should be seen in person if possible. A series of high-resolution photos only offer a limited sense of scale, so you won't get an impression of how a particular TV will look in the specific room you want to set it up in.
Best Buy has three additional benefits that online-only retailers don't. The biggest is that you can see the TV in person and leave with it on the same day; no shipping required. If you've done a sufficient amount of online research, and have narrowed your TV choice to a couple of choices, the option for in-person shopping is a huge benefit. You can also ask an in-store representative to help out if you have additional questions, or want an additional informed opinion before making your choice.
If you feel comfortable shopping online, but still want the near-instant gratification of walking out of the store with a big-screen TV, you can use Best Buy's "pick up in store" option at checkout. Best Buy offers curbside pickup, which means you can order your TV online, drive up to the store, and have someone else put it into your car for you. This option primarily applies to drivers (though small-screen TVs may be portable enough to take on public transportation), but it's still a factor to consider.
We also recommend using the in-store pickup option before heading out to your local Best Buy if you're shopping in person, because it'll let you know which TVs are in stock. If a store that's a little further has all the TVs you're interested in viewing, it may be worth the additional time investment. Shopping in-person at Best Buy has a final perk that may appeal to online shoppers looking for the best-possible deal: price matching. Best Buy will price match any competitor — online or otherwise — as long as the items are identical, and being sold by the actual store. That means items sold on Amazon through third-party sellers, even those that offer Prime shipping, cannot be price matched.
We highly encourage in-person shopping when it comes to buying a TV, but we understand that may not be possible. In our experience, shopping for appliances on Best Buy is very simple. The store's site is extremely well designed, so it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for whether you're searching for a specific TV, or want to browse their entire selection. The site currently has 567 TV options, so we're confident that you'll be able to find what you're looking for. We've also found Best Buy's prices to be in line — if not lower, in some cases — when compared with online-only retailers.
Whether you're shopping for a TV in-person or online, Best Buy is the first store you should consider. Get started with our guide to the best smart TVs.
Amazon has branded itself as the "everything store," so that naturally includes thousands of TV options, making it one of the best places to buy TVs. While you don't get the option to shop in-store, buying a TV on Amazon has a few perks.
That starts with the selection, which is enormous. If you're looking for a TV, it'll be available on Amazon for an excellent price. Amazon doesn't price-match stores, but that's because it usually offers the best deal — the exception being when a brick-and-mortar store offers a limited time special. Amazon Prime subscribers can also expect two-day, one-day, or same-day delivery depending on where they live. Shopping online means waiting longer for your TV than you would if you picked one up in store, but Amazon has reduced that gap as much as possible.
If you're shopping for a TV on Amazon, it's important to make sure you're buying it directly from Amazon if you want the best experience. Amazon allows third-party stores to sell their goods on Amazon, and in some cases these sellers will offer the same product at a lower price than Amazon. However, these sellers may not offer the same 30-day return policy Amazon does, or may choose to charge for shipping. Amazon lists the seller underneath the "buy it now" button on each product page. You'll see two fields called "ships by" and "sold by" below that button. We recommend sticking with TVs that are shipped and sold by Amazon, so you're sure to get the correct product in the right condition at the appropriate price. If something is wrong with your shipment, you'll be able to communicate with a customer support representative that works for Amazon, which isn't always the case with third-party sellers.
The third-party marketplace for electronics on Amazon is huge, which is a double-edged sword. It's possible to get a great deal, but you're taking a risk by shopping through them. This is one of the reasons we prefer shopping at Best Buy — even online — you know exactly what TV you're getting without the extra diligence. Still, there's no denying the fact that Amazon is one of the best places to buy a TV thanks to its wide selection and excellent prices, just remember to keep your eyes peeled while shopping there. Here are the best 65-inch TVs.
B&H may not be a household name outside of the New York tri-state area, but its lower profile is why we recommend checking the store when shopping for TVs.
New York residents can go to the physical B&H location, which is a massive store that's better-stocked than any other brick-and-mortar electronics store we've ever seen. Shopping in-person at B&H offers the same benefits we outlined when recommending Best Buy, though we've found the employees have a little more expertise. For most folks, though, shopping on B&H is an online-only experience, which is perfectly fine.
B&H stocks all the same TVs as most other online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and its prices are typically competitive. If your TV purchase isn't very urgent, it could be worth waiting for the store to hold a sale, at which point you may get an even better deal. Like Best Buy, B&H only stocks and sells its own goods, so you don't have to worry about getting burned by third-party sellers.
If you've never shopped at B&H before, you'll be happy to know it offers free, expedited shipping via FedEx on most orders without requiring you to sign up for a subscription service. We always advocate for comparison shopping when possible to give yourself the highest odds of getting the best price, and recommend adding B&H to your rotation when online shopping for a TV or other electronics. The store may have items that are out of stock from other retailers because of its relative lack of visibility, which turns out to be a big asset.
The TV Manufacturer's Website
Each big TV manufacturer, from Samsung to LG to Sony to TCL, allows you to buy your TV directly from them. It's pretty easy to forget this is an option because big-box and online stores have become one-stop-shops for most of our purchases. This makes them a no-brainer when looking for the best places to buy a TV.
The big benefit to buying a TV directly from the manufacturer is that you know you're getting the exact set you want from a reputable source. Some TV manufacturers offer free shipping, exclusive discounts, exclusive bundles, or other incentives to make shopping through them more attractive, which makes them worth a look. A TV manufacturer's site may also have comparison tools that help you see the features of two different models side by side to help make your decision easier.
While online shopping will never feel as personal as in-person shopping — if you like asking questions, interacting with people, and spending time in stores — many TV manufacturers have live chat services on their site. This allows you to communicate with someone who knows about the TV models you have questions about, and can answer your questions in realtime to help you make an informed decision.
The only annoying thing about shopping through a TV manufacturer's site is that you'll have to know exactly what TV you'd like before you start shopping. Big-box stores and online shops offer a variety of TV models from several different manufacturers, but that won't be the case if you're buying directly from a specific company. Still, if you've done your homework, feel comfortable with deciding between two or three TV options, shopping directly can be a great option.
If you know how to use eBay properly, and assume the risks associated with shopping on the site, it's the best option if you'd like an extremely good deal on a TV.
Shopping for a TV on eBay can be a great opportunity to save money because you're buying your set from an individual who has set their own price based on their sense of its value. Experienced eBay sellers — those with tens of thousands of ratings from previous buyers — know their market well enough to price their goods competitively. Oftentimes, these prices are lower than the ones you'll see online or in store, but that's because they may be used. We're big advocates of buying refurbished or open box gear online (more on that below), but you need to read eBay listings very thoroughly to know exactly what you're getting into.
If you're unfamiliar with eBay, the online marketplace is split into two types of listings: Auctions, which allow you to bid on an item for a set period of time, and buy it now pages, which let you buy an item for a pre-set price. Sometimes, a seller with a buy it now listing will allow you to make an offer if you'd like to haggle, which can be a good tool to use if you know the value of the TV you're shopping for.
You stand to save a lot of money on a TV by shopping on eBay, but it's also possible to have a negative experience if you're buying your set from an inexperienced seller. The site is pretty good about shutting down sellers who have received a lot of negative ratings, and can handle disputes between buyers and sellers if need be, but purchases can still feel informal since they're happening between two people.
If you feel all right assuming a little risk, or have used eBay for years, the store is one of the best places to buy a TV online.
How To Buy a Refurbished or Open Box TV
Let's face it, buying a TV isn't the most eco-friendly act imaginable, but you can reduce the environmental impact of the electronics you choose to use by shopping for a refurbished or open-box TV. Those terms are used interchangeably, but they’re actually distinct. Refurbished items have been sent back to the manufacturer because of a defect, while open box items have only been returned by another shopper.
All of the stores we've chosen to recommend for this guide allow you to buy a refurbished or open box version of the TV you'd like — pending availability. In many cases, you'll be able to tell whether a TV is available by viewing its product page. On Best Buy's site, for example, you can scroll down on a TV's product page to the "Buying Options" section, which will allow you to add either the new or open box model to your cart.
Amazon allows you to see your refurbished or open-box TV buying option on a product's page too, but it also has a dedicated section called Amazon Warehouse. Using Amazon Warehouse allows you to search for any open box or refurbished product on Amazon from any category, and it's a handy tool when you're shopping for everything.
Shopping for a refurbished or open box TV may seem like you're taking a risk, but stores have gone through great lengths to dispel your fears. Stores clearly label the condition of the item you're shopping for, oftentimes listing any damage or other issues, so you know exactly what you're getting. In some cases, open-box items are virtually brand new, but may come without the original packaging, or an inessential accessory. Knowing what to expect beforehand can make shopping for refurbished or open box TVs a lot less scary.
Many stores also offer a generous return policy — or some kind of warranty — with refurbished or open-box products. Having the ability to inspect and thoroughly test the TV you've bought may make you feel more confident about your purchase. If you're wary about shopping for a refurbished or open-box TV, but decide to pick one up, be sure to keep the packaging it comes with, so you can make an easy return if necessary. Keeping the packaging for a big TV is a little annoying, but worthwhile in case something does go wrong. In our experience, buying refurbished gear from Best Buy and Amazon has always resulted in a good outcome. We've found that stores are very honest about the condition of their refurbished or open box stock — if anything, they've overstated any flaws, and we ended up pleasantly surprised at the condition of our gear.
The biggest personal benefit of shopping for an open box or refurbished TV, besides knowing that you've potentially saved it from ending up in a dusty warehouse or landfill, is that you can save a lot of money. Refurbished and open-box TVs in like new or excellent condition are typically 10 to 15 percent cheaper than buying new. The discount you receive will vary based on the TV model and store. If you choose to get a TV in worse condition, you can save even more money. Typically, stores have a quality threshold on the open box and refurbished items they sell, so you shouldn't end up with a lemon.
How to Dispose of an Old TV
If you're replacing an older TV with a new one, you should dispose of your previous set in a responsible way. We have an entire guide dedicated to how to properly dispose of e-waste, but we'd also like to highlight two options available through Best Buy.
First and foremost, the store will allow you to drop off older electronics and handle the recycling for you at no cost. You don't need to buy your new TV at Best Buy to take advantage of this service. The store allows you to recycle three electronics per day, and outlines the specific state-by-state limitations when recycling TVs in particular. To take advantage of this service, you will need to bring your old TV to a Best Buy location.
Best Buy also offers two paid "haul away" services, which means movers will come to your home and take your old TV away for a fee. If you buy a new TV through Best Buy, the same delivery people can take your old one for a "small fee." If you pay $199.99, Best Buy will send people to haul away two large items and an unlimited number of smaller items each year. If you're redoing your home, and want to recycle your old gear in a responsible way, the price may not be that bad.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.