What is the Best Time to Buy a TV? [8 Insider Tips]

Last Updated on June 16, 2023 by Tim Wells

Getting the best deal on a new TV isn’t easy these days.

Many of the big-box electronics stores like Best Buy that used to fight each other for our business have closed their doors forever. Worse yet, websites like BFAds aren’t scanning sale ads, so we must get them directly from each retailer.

Finding the best TV deals require a lot of luck or good timing.

I spent over ten years working in a big-box electronics store and countless Saturdays setting up the sale for the following week. Over the years, I’ve noticed a pattern when you can find the best deals.

With that in mind…here are my insider tips for finding the best time to buy a new TV.

Best Buy TV department

#1. Best Time to Buy a New TV: NFL Playoffs & Super Bowl Season

If you live in a football market, and your team makes the playoffs, that is absolutely the best time of the year to buy a new television!

You might think it would be expensive to buy a new TV then because so many people would want to upgrade.

But that’s not the case.

It’s the best time to buy, especially if you’re looking for a new big-screen TV for the big game.

Most manufacturers release new television models in early spring (see below). With the holidays over, most TV retailers take advantage of the Super Bowl season to clear their old stock.

The first quarter of every year is usually the slowest time for retail stores. Families just got hit with holiday credit card bills, and they’re not spending as much.

Retailers look to the Super Bowl to try to capitalize on making big sales.

When I lived in Pittsburgh, the Steelers made a few deep playoff runs, including one trip to the Super Bowl.

Although my company had great prices on TVs nationwide, our market got additional price drops to get as many sales as possible!

#2. Mid-November through Black Friday (Pre-Holiday Season)

Black Friday, or ‘the day after Thanksgiving’ if you live outside the US, is the next best time to buy a TV if you’re looking for the best deal.

This is the time of the year when most retailers compete aggressively. That means prices can shift drastically as different stores react to competitors’ pricing.

Black Friday sales are famous because you’ll often find $200 laptops or $300 big-screen TVs. Retailers call these ‘doorbusters’ or ‘loss-leaders’ to get you in the door and spend more money.

However, you need to pay attention to more than just the day after Thanksgiving.

Most retailers will run their Black Friday ad from Thursday through Sunday and release a new ad for Cyber Monday (more on that later). But often, they’ll bring out even better deals around the first week of November!

If you think about it, it makes sense.

Shoppers are waiting for Black Friday, especially for big purchases. So they often do all their window shopping and research beforehand. There won’t be as many people purchasing leading up to Black Friday, so retailers want to capitalize on the shoppers they do have.

#3. Late-May through Father’s Day (Dads & Grads)

When I was in retail, we called the time between college graduations and Father’s Day ‘Dad’s & Grads.’

Whether it’s a gift for your dad or a dad wanting to treat himself, it’s a great time to buy a new TV or laptop. Prices usually are more aggressive than usual around this time.

I can confess to buying my dad a few TVs for Father’s Day over the years. This is when most people plan to get gifts for their dad, and some retailers capitalize on it by offering great deals on television.

Retailers also expect increased sales from recent grads getting their first ‘real job’ or as a graduation present.

Usually, graduation sales are focused on smaller, dorm-room-sized TVs. However, there are always a couple of larger TV’s on sale as well.

#4. When TV Brands Release New Models

This is the most challenging time period to nail down. Although most TV manufacturers announce new models in January at CES Las Vegas, the new models will slowly release throughout the rest of the year.

Even if you’re not looking for the latest, cutting-edge television technology, it’s the best time to buy last year’s TV. Retailers will take substantial price cuts on older TV models to make room for the new televisions. 

Remember, TVs usually don’t change much from year to year unless a completely new model comes out. Most models are very similar, with only slight modifications.

It’s a good idea to follow CES or the Consumer Electronics Show, or at least the TV release cycle.

As I said, most manufacturers will announce new models then. I like to pick one model from each manufacturer and set up a Google Alert to email me as soon as it’s mentioned on the web.

That ensures I know whenever it hits my local retailer.

Immediately before the new model comes out, expect to find huge discounts on the previous year’s model. Even if you don’t want to save money, you can often buy a lot more TV for the same price. 

New TVs usually come out between March and May. If you don’t need the latest features, it’s a great time to buy an older TV.

You have to be quick, though. Retailers will have a limited inventory, and many people will have the same idea as you.

What is the best time to buy a new TV?

#5. Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is the Monday that immediately follows Black Friday every year. It started as online retailers tried to capitalize on the popularity and extend that huge shopping weekend into the following week.

It gives shoppers who missed the Black Friday deals one more opportunity to get a good deal on different items, including televisions.

Often the deals won’t be as good as you’ll find on Black Friday. The key here is to pay attention to the items that didn’t sell as well on Friday and Saturday. Retailers often try to take additional discounts to clear out their stock.

Unfortunately, this usually only applies to specific types of TVs, however. It’s vital to do your research as soon as the deals go live for whatever retailer you’re shopping with.

This is necessary because it ensures you’re online before the sale goes live.

Remember that the best deals won’t be available for too long, so consider adding the TV you wish to buy to your cart before time.

That will help you beat out other prospective customers for the limited inventory.

#6. Between Christmas and mid-January

Although the deals aren’t as good as they are leading into Christmas, you’re still likely to see some pretty good discounts immediately after Christmas and into the beginning of January.

This is also the perfect time to buy an open-box TV. Returns are at their highest point of the entire year, and many major retailers are eager to get them out of their stores. That means some great prices!

So, if you didn’t take advantage of the Black Friday deals, or you’re looking to spend your holiday cash on a TV, you can find great offers on different TV sizes.

Just keep in mind that most of the deals around this time will be on models expected to be discontinued the following year or open-box TVs.

#7. Beginning of Football Season Through Labor Day

I don’t know why other sports don’t have this effect on TV prices, but August is another great time if you’re planning to buy a TV.

As the players hit the field, many fans decide that their old TV isn’t cutting it anymore.

Many college students are also preparing to return to school and upgrade their apartments and dorm rooms. Retailers usually have great deals for student life, including reduced prices on small-sized screen TVs.

So, if you’re searching for a small TV for your guest room or children’s room, this is the perfect time to shop for a TV.

Labor Day is typically one of the slowest retail holidays because most people enjoy picnics and barbecues with friends.

Retailers still put out aggressive ads trying to woo customers into their stores.

#8. Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day could be a great time to shop if you’re looking for an Amazon product, including the FireTV-enabled televisions from Insignia and other manufacturers.

Prime Day is a yearly event, usually during the second or third week of July. When it started, not too many people were aware of it.

However, if recent commercials are any indication, Amazon Prime Day has become a perfect time to get great deals on a TV over the past few years.

Although the big discounts are on Amazon’s products, you can find deals on hundreds of TV models from several manufacturers.

Expect significant savings on Amazon bundle deals like the Amazon Fire Stick for streaming.

When to Find the Best TV Deals: Wrapping It Up

As you can see, finding big TV discounts happens more often than on holiday weekends. Sure, most TV deals happen around national holidays, but there are plenty of times to find discounted TVs throughout the year.

Although choosing the best time to buy a TV is a money-saving hack, how do you ensure you purchase the right quality set?

Browse our buyers’ guides section to get insights on the best TV to look out for and other related TV news.

Tim Wells