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The Best Time to Buy a TV

Update Nov. 23: It's Black Friday and we're spotting incredible TV deals like this Samsung QLED TV (opens in new tab) for $698. Follow our cheap TV deals coverage for the day's best sales.

Making the decision to upgrade your television set begs the question, "When is the best time to buy a TV set?" Long gone are the days where buying a new TV is an overwhelming and costly experience. Thankfully, these days it's much easier and inexpensive--just like buying a new tablet.

The Editor's Choice TCL 6 Series (opens in new tab) offers great performance and everything we love about Roku. It also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. It's now at its lowest price ever.

But before you take out that credit card, there's one thing you should know. When it comes to bargains, Black Friday season — which extends from Thanksgiving to Christmas — is by far the best time of the year for TV deals. Not only do we see an abundance of TV deals, but we also see the lowest TV prices of the year during this season.

Years ago, the season used to be affiliated with cheap, off-brand TVs with names you probably weren't familiar with, but in the past few years retailers have slashed the price of all brand and types of TVs, from high-end Samsungs and Sonys to wallet-friendly Insignias and TCLs .

Can you find HDTV deals any time of the year?

Here's a little secret about TV deals. Although you'll find the best and largest number of discounts on Black Friday, it's relatively easy to find excellent TV deals any time of the year. January and February tend to see an abundance of good HDTV deals because that's when manufacturers traditionally announce new models. As a result, retailers begin to clear inventory for the new TVs, which tend to hit store shelves sometime during the spring season. 

Father's Day and back-to-school season, which run from June through September, is another good time to find deals on TVs.

And with this year's World Cup slated to begin on June 14 and Amazon Prime Day expected for early mid-July, you can expect to see another wave of TV deals during the summer months.

So even if your TV breaks in between seasons, it's still possible to find deals on TVs of all sizes at pretty much any time of the year.

Where to look for the best deals

Amazon (opens in new tab), Best Buy (opens in new tab), and Walmart are excellent starting points for bargain hunters as these retailers ferociously compete against each other for your dollar. Best Buy (opens in new tab) and Walmart will even price match offers you find on Amazon, though keep in mind their price matching policies have restrictions.

Other retailers are renown for their bundles. Dell, for instance, frequently bundles e-gift cards with its TV deals, so even if you don't find a TV at the price you wanted, you can still score a free eGift card — usually in the $100 to $300 range, which may help offset any price difference.

These days there are also many budget conscious brands with TVs that perform as well, if not better, than their name-brand counterparts. Names to look for include Vizio and TCL, both of which pecialize in delivering good picture quality at affordable prices. TCL's S-series has won our Editors' Choice award for delivering reliable 4K performance at prices that are traditionally well under $500.

The result is a plethora of affordable TVs, which you can find on sale throughout the year.

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.