"Why would you want to know that?" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-09-2013, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I was in Target today looking to buy a new TV and wanted to make sure a Vizio was the same model I thought it was and they didn't have it marked anywhere, so I asked one of the staff. Here is how our conversation went (not exactly verbatim but close)


"Could you tell me what model number this is please?"

The employee looks at me suspiciously.

"Why would you want to know that?"

"I ... what do you mean?"

"Why do you want to know the model number for this TV."

"So I can know what TV it is."

"It's a Vizio."

"Yes I know it's a Vizio. They make a lot of TVs. I want to know which one this is."

"It's 42 inches."

"I know it's 42 inches. I want to know the model number. If you could lend me the remote control I could look it up in the menu."

"Oh no." Shakes his head. "I don't think so. People might change the settings."

"Well, I need to know the model number."

"Why?"

"Are you serious? So I can know which TV this is. They aren't all the same. Do you really think that's an odd request?"

"I've been working here for 7 years, and this is the first time anyone has asked for a model number."

"Really?"

"Yes. And when I buy TV's I don't ask for it either."

"Then how do you know which TV you're buying?"

"Look." He points to the little cardboard signs next to the TVs.

"That tells you. This one is 1080p, that one is 720. This one has wifi. What else do you need to know?"

I tried telling him that you can research specific model numbers online, etc, but he just shook his head again at my foolishness, and the funny thing was, by the end of our little chat I was starting to feel like maybe I was being a little eccentric for asking about such a thing. Maybe in the "real world," away from AVS, no one else ever thinks about model numbers. I've been looking for a used laptop on craigslist and so many of the ads will just say something like "Nice laptop!" and then name a price,with no other information. And I'll think: Is that how they bought it in the first place? Did they just go into a store and tell the clerk "I want laptop," and the clerk says "Here is laptop," and they buy it and walk out? I never really believed that people acted like that, but after my experience today ... now I'm not so sure. Seven years, and no one ever asked him about a model number .... ?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 01:45 AM
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First off, I wanted to say that you're very good at telling anecdotes. I thought that was pretty funny.

Second, you have to realize that most customers that go into stores like that (especially in the past) without knowing much of anything about what they're buying. Details like the model number usually don't help them decide what it is that they want. They know a few small things about what they're looking for and most importantly, how the TV looks when presented to them in the store. Most of them don't think about refresh rates, black levels, color gamut or how the settings are set to nuclear on the shelf. What the average customer wants is something that looks cool while letting Sunday Night Football or Deal or No Deal (or some other awful programming) wash over them. After all, the kids are probably going to end up getting the most use out of the TV anyway.

The people who post on forums like these are on a totally different echelon when it comes to consuming electronic goods and probably never set foot in a store with the intention of even buying a TV. It may be just to find out minor details about the panel or even to run real world tests of something new and shiny. Your average customer is going in, looking at prices and sizing and trying to determine what is going to get them the most out of their dollar. The same goes with most electronics, people can't be bothered with the minutia and leave it to the experts ... people like those found on AVS.

I work a lot on computers and just like you said, no one asks me what model # motherboard I'm going to get for them if I put together a machine or even if it's a core i5 or core i7. All they want to know is if it can watch Netflix and browse Facebook or if t's a gaming machine, if it can keep up with the hot new titles. Just take it all in stride and maybe try a little social engineering next time. Ask if you can see the box that it comes in because "you want to make sure that it'll fit into your car". The sales person will immediately find out if it's on a shelf out front or if it's in back. Most of the time, the model number is right there on the box. Take note of the number on your phone and say that you're looking for the measurements of the cab on your phone (while actually typing in the model number). When you're done with looking at the box go "nah, the cab of my car is too small for that. Let me go make a phone call to see if I can borrow my friend's truck." And walk out front. The sales guy probably wont follow/bother you after that and you can either walk back to the TV section and keep checking stuff out or leave if you want.

Another easy option is to get a universal remote or even get a remote app for your phone if it has an IR blaster (my galaxy S4 does and I have a universal remote app and regularly commandeer TVs in public spaces) and just start toggling through the menu. This is even easier to do if you have an IR blaster on your phone because you can make it look like you're occupied with texting if an associate walks by.

Anyhow, best of luck on your hunt for a new panel.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 05:31 AM
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I would have just looked at the back of the TV. wink.gif
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripw0l View Post


Anyhow, best of luck on your hunt for a new panel.

Hey thanks. And thanks for the advice! Though I think that Target guy might have had a heart attack if he saw me pulling out my own remote. He seemed suspicious enough of me as it was.
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I would have just looked at the back of the TV. wink.gif

They're bolted to the wall. Next time I'll bring my own screwdriver too.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 09:33 AM
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You should have asked him what kind of car he drives. "I drive a Honda _____" "No you just drive a Honda! You don't need to know anything else! It has 4 wheels and goes VROOM VROOM" lol redface.gif
TBH i've been afraid of doing that same thing, sometimes we get so picky with what batch of electronics we're getting that i could see being seen as insane so i never really bothered. LG 425300, just to make sure it's the same one i saw online and wasn't paying extra for features i didn't need, but i wasn't going to ask them to get me one with "LY" or whatever the letters were for an IPS panel supposedly.......the differences aren't probably even noticeable.(there were three boxes out on the floor so i could have inspected them but naaaaah)
Hats off to Fry's for knowing what's up when you buy PC parts, i would imagine that could get ugly really fast (I guess that's why the Asians work in that section...........i know i know i kid i kid) tongue.gif

How is people changing settings a bad thing?? I would have asked him that too........settings are usually way off on a stock set.

I know there are some PITA nerds out there that actually returned things like CPUs if they didn't get the "right" batch rolleyes.gif

"Hey man does this TV have the new .34Beta firmwares?" *Look at you like you're a space alien*

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post #6 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Cable View Post

They're bolted to the wall. Next time I'll bring my own screwdriver too.

Okay, then tell the guy you want the TV. When they bring out the box for to pay up, look at the box that always has the model number on it. If it's not the one you want, say thank you and leave. tongue.gif

Cute story, but it's a Target store. Why expect more to pay less.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 02:11 PM
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I know for a fact almost nobody but us A/V-philes care about that stuff, as evidenced by the people around me in the Best Buy line on Thanksgiving afternoon. "Hey did you see that 55" for $499?" "Yeah for sure!" "Yeah I'm getting the 60" they have on special" "Hey which TV are you getting?" "I'm getting the 47".

Nobody cares about anything on TV's other than size, whether it has Netflix, and whether it's 3D. That's it. Nothing else.

I personally looked through the BB ad and saw that Vizio M501d 50" 240Hz (effective) with passive 3D for $599 and thought it was a great deal. I bought that particular one instead of the LG 55" for $499 mainly because the LG had ZERO reviews because it was a special model made especially for Best Buy Black Friday, and also because I definitely wanted something at least 120 Hz and at least 46" with 3D being a bonus if I could get it.

And because that Vizio I wanted was not considered a "door buster", it wasn't in high demand, and I was able to get an extra $15 off because I was one of the first 15 in line that day (only on non-door buster items).

So yeah, most people probably think we're either weird or WAYY too picky. tongue.gif
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 06:05 PM
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That's what happens when you buy TV's at Target or Wall mart., they have kids working there that are clueless about electronics. That's why they don't sell high end TV's there, they are all cheap low end models, that the majority of public that are clueless buy.

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post #9 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 08:47 PM
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Most of those little signs for each TV will tell the model number in small print, either on that sign or on the price tag itself. It's usually on there somewhere, if you know what model # you're looking for.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 11:28 PM
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He should know where the info is on the tag, or be willing to help, not argue. Go to the store manager and make your request. It's your money and their job. I would also relay the attitude of the Darwin candidate that waited on you. I don't care how little money he's making. With an attitude like that he will always be a store clerk at most.

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post #11 of 11 Old 12-10-2013, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post

Most of those little signs for each TV will tell the model number in small print, either on that sign or on the price tag itself. It's usually on there somewhere, if you know what model # you're looking for.

That's what I thought too. But in this instance, it wasn't true. I knew exactly which model number I was looking for and there were no monitor numbers printed anywhere on the little card. Another Target employee eventually tried to help me, and he finally had to look up Target's own code online, which was printed on the card, before he could figure out that yes, this was the model number I was looking for.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that most consumers don't bother to find out much about the products they're buying ( though like Kingcarcas said, would anybody buy a car that way? (Hi. I'd like to buy a car.. "Sure. How about this car?" Does it it have four doors? "Yes, it does have four doors." And a radio? Yes, this model has a radio. Okay, I'll take it.)

But what does surprise me, is that I was looked at with actual suspicion for even asking about a model number. Like asking for it revealed some sort of nefarious intention on my part. Like the model number was some sort of forbidden knowledge, forbidden fruit ...

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Originally Posted by ArtBee View Post

He should know where the info is on the tag, or be willing to help, not argue. Go to the store manager and make your request. It's your money and their job. I would also relay the attitude of the Darwin candidate that waited on you. I don't care how little money he's making. With an attitude like that he will always be a store clerk at most.

I actually felt kind of sorry for him, like he might have been just slightly mentally disabled, or something. It's true, he was being a little argumentative, about the model number and about the remote (which another employee had let me use without protest on a previous visit), but his arguments just seemed so ridiculous that I couldn't take them seriously or be offended by them.
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