Originally Posted by greenhavenn
One of your points was "delivery". My TV was delivered timely, however, the delivery guy showed up in a Ford van which was crammed full of merchandise for delivery elsewhere. My PlasmaTV was squeezed in there and I cringed when I saw how tightly packed that box was inside the van.
This is a concern to me as well. I think it would be fine for a lighter, smaller TV, but unfortunately, I have found that with heavier items, sometimes the delivery guys are so overworked, they can take shortcuts to the detriment of sensitive equipment like flat panel TV's. I am going to be buying a Sony 940D, and that is both large and clumsy to move, given the shape of the box, but also has some serious weight to it.
I received a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 70's and the PSW505 sub the other day, and one of the floorstanding speakers had damage to the cardbooard box which was directly facing the speaker grill. Speaker looked fine, visually, when I opened it, no marks or blemishes. But the thing that struck me is that the boxes for both these floorstanding speakers were very awkward to carry due to weight and shape. And while I can't prove this, and have NO empirical data to back it up, the two holes in the box look like they were made by the delivery guy intentionally so he could use them as a sort of makeshoft handle.
Originally Posted by greenhavenn
I agree that the biggest downside is buying sight unseen. Returns can be difficult and expensive. Another guy here was going through the purchasing process for the same TV I was buying. He opted to go the brick & mortar route, as he wasn't comfortable buying online. He bought his from a major retailer and ended up taking his back 3 times, stating that he couldn't have done that, had he bought online.
Next time I'll probably buy locally. The price will be higher, but the freight and hands-on issues you mention are already factored into the higher price. Also, the all important "peace of mind" is there as well. Yes, I saved $500 buying online, but I'll admit I didn't sleep well during the waiting period, just imagining negative outcomes which never did occur.
I have the same worry about returns and restocking fees, etc. But wouldn't returns be a pain in the ass no matter what, though? I certainly don't have a vehicle that would accommodate a 75 inch TV, nor would I be confident about packing it properly for a return to a brick and mortal establishment.
Also, if the TV is defective, has a cracked screen, or is just DOA, wouldn't this be covered not only under manufacturer's warranty, but also by the company you purchased it from? I have never once paid for return shipping to even a website when the item was defective and I found said defects within their return period.
Maybe I have been lucky though?
I can tell you that I would never do business again with a retailer who charged me a fee if I was returning an item or exchanging it because of a defect that manifest within their return period. My understanding about restocking fees and buyers paying return shipping is that these only come into play if for some reason the consumer has buyer's remorse and just doesn't like what they bought or they just don't want it anymore.