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TV Answer Man

Is It Safe to Buy a TV Online?

By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 10, 2013) -- Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. All my life, I've bought my TVs from my local electronics store. But I keep seeing that you can get a better deal if you buy it from an online site. I'm considering it, but is it safe? Will your TV show up in one piece? -- Martha, Statesville, North Carolina.

Martha, there's no doubt that you can get better deals online, although I must add that some retail stores are now promising to match an online price if you bring it to their attention. However, because a web site, such as Amazon or Tiger Direct.com, doesn't have the overhead of a retail store, particularly a large retail chain, it can sell many TVs at a significant discount. Sometimes the set will be $300-$500 cheaper or more.

Now as to your second question, many sites are aware that consumers are leery of ordering a TV through the mail so they offer special guarantees to ensure your set arrives in perfect working order. For example, most sets 50 inches or larger at Amazon come with this "Enhanced Delivery' guarantee:

For this TV, we offer enhanced delivery through one of our specialty shippers. A representative of a common carrier will deliver your TV to any room suitable for testing, unpack it, ensure that it is working properly to guarantee no damage occurred during transportation, and dispose of all packaging material."

Amazon strongly urges consumers to refuse delivery if the set is not 100 percent. If it's not, Amazon says you should immediately contact Amazon customer service before the delivery man leaves.

We highly recommend inspection as a way to ensure that, if necessary, we quickly replace a damaged TV as well as confirm its condition for return eligibility after delivery," the Amazon site says.

And if you have a problem with the set after delivery, Amazon also offers 30-day free tech support on most sets. From Amazon's site:

FREE Tech Support for 30 days from the date of delivery. Over the phone, our trained technicians can help you set up, configure, connect, and troubleshoot so you can start enjoying your new purchase. Owners of qualifying products can reach Tech Support by selecting your product on the Contact Us page."

Amazon also offers free shipping and this low-price guarantee for many sets:

We are working hard to make sure that our prices are the best around. If you find a qualifying site that offers a lower price within 14 days after the date we ship your order, let us know and we will credit your original payment method taking any differences in shipping and promotions into account. If we lower our own price within 14 days after we ship your order, let us know and we will refund you the difference as well."

Also, here is
Amazon's return policy. By comparison, here's the return policy for TigerDirectv.com

So, bottom line: Ordering a TV online is safe and can be less expensive than buying it at your local store.

See More Answers From the TV Answer Man!

Amazon's Top-Selling TV Products:
Top 100 TVs
TV's Over $1,500
TVs From $1,000 to $1,500

TV's From $500 to $1000
TV's Under $500


Plasma TVs
Smart TVs
Current TV Deals

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