Additional TV Shopping Notes and Conclusions
There are some final notes that may be helpful in the shopping experience. One thing that retailers love to offer are warranties. For some, this is almost a political debate and we don’t expect to convince anyone one way or another. What we would like to point out is that, as a general rule, warranty policies exist solely because the odds favor the warranty sellers. If you think about it, the retailer would NEVER offer a warranty that would result in them actually having to come out of pocket more than they brought in from the policy. What this means is – as a whole, and purely in terms of a mathematical equation – extended warranties do not make fiscal sense. I have managed to avoid so many in my purchasing history, that even if the next three products went belly-up the day after the manufacturer’s warranty expired, I would still – in the long run – be in the black and better off.
Now, are extended warranties evil? Nope. Are they always a bad deal? Nope. Should you never ever buy an extended warranty? We’re not saying that either. What we are saying is that consumers should consider the cost and whether the peace of mind is worth the additional expense. Also factor in how many electronics and appliance purchases you may make over the next few years and whether that money could be retained to cover the unfortunate expense of a product repair or replacement. Ultimately it comes down to your desired level of risk, but we wanted to share our perspective and reasoning on preferences in avoiding extended warranty coverage. By the way, if you decline and extended warranty and your product breaks the day after the manufacturer’s warranty expires – we don’t want to hear about it!
Another thing often ignored by consumers is the availability of good consumer market data. While we do not necessarily put much stock in the methods utilized by Consumer Reports to review and quantify televisions, we do appreciate their annual surveys which members complete and return to them. These are helpful in determining the more reliable brands. Unfortunately, they have only begun their forays into plasma and LCD televisions, so data is scarce but promising – but look for this as a future resource.
Hopefully this has been at least somewhat helpful in guiding your display purchase. We know this is a difficult task, but above all it should be FUN. Involve your spouse – use this as an opportunity to bind, not generate frustration and anxiety. After all, this is a new television, not a life-changing decision. Try to enjoy the experience and treat it as a challenge and you will be rewarded with a rich viewing experience for years to come.