Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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I wanted to be a contributor to this thread as AVS Forums for so many years and everyone involved help me tremendously with all my AV questions.
I was curious in the last 1-2 weeks of the status of new Plasmas in 2015. I currently have a PN63C8000 since Dec 2010 which is flawless but thought I'd see what was on the horizon (I had too much time on a Saturday). Looking into OLED found that it is just too expensive and for 4K content isn't ready for a while. Wife was pretty annoyed as the existing 63C8000 still needs a home and all my friends / co-workers are too cheap to buy a high end TV even at a fire sale price. Prior to the 63C8000 I went with the local dimming Samsung LED which was the highest end at the time (2008/2009) but fails to compare to Plasma miserably as all of you are aware.
Lead me to reading reviews of the F8500 and after 10s of hours I wanted either the VT/ZT or F8500, but want became high desire when I read about the Panasonic and Samsung Plasma situation. I started my search as my PN63C8000 was $3700 out the door back then it was bundled with 3D glasses, Shrek, Sammy BDP and 4 yr warranty (Best Buy) didn't want to get stuck paying too much again. Have a friend of a friend at Brandsmart that has a 64F8500 (Display Model) for around $2K but found after looking at it the glass had a couple deep scratches and was in torch mode for 6-12 months also June or July 2013 Manufacturer date.
He then referred me to another Brandsmart farther away who had 2 open boxes that were supposedly flawless but wanted $400 more for the open box plus I'd have to travel or have it delivered not sure if that would include delivery. Considered 2 online vendors and they were 2100-2200 with risk involved with delivery and I don't have the time to meet someone for that delivery unless on a Saturday. Online vendors selling for a low price don't seem to be authorized dealers.
Lead me to taking a couple hours of time yesterday and making calls to all places that had stock locally or could order. Brandsmart & Best Buy are the only ones available with the PN64F8500 in my area (Miami/FTL/WPB). Contacted 3 Best Buy locations, 2 of them Magnolia, on my last attempt just before I gave up on Best Buy (previous 2 people were jerks and said lowest $100 off MSRP) I got lucky with a real cool manager who is a younger guy that has a ZT himself and asked me if I was buying because it is the last great Plasma. Told him I was trying to find a decent deal on a new 64F8500 instead of display or open box but I would consider a good open box with no bad marks on it. He asked about Brandsmart and I told him the Brandsmart open box price he said he could match it but not beat it because the margin was almost at cost. We spoke for a little while and he said he would tell the other manager as I was going to drive down there (20 min drive from my home).
Drove down there last night, got there 30 min before closing (8:30pm) and spoke with the other manager that was not informed of the deal I made with previous manager both Magnolia managers. He showed me a display 64F8500 which they had priced @ $1999 I'm pretty sure he would have discounted that one which I was tempted but after seeing the abuse of the Brandsmart one I decided to go for the $400 more if possible. He took my word for it and even helped me with home delivery included which was $70 normally. I was out the door for a great price from Best Buy with confidence of it being an Authorized Dealer. My plan is to get the Costco warranty for 5 years ($90-$100) their warranty states it must be purchased from an Authorized Dealer. I looked up my previous 63C8000 purchase almost 4 yrs ago and I paid $500 for that warranty, never used it. I'm excited for the delivery but have to sell the 63C8000 before I can mount the 64F8500 so it might have to wait. Hoping Ebay or Craigslist will find a good local buyer any other places I should advertise?
TL;DR: You can find a deal at Best Buy for the same as online unauthorized dealers, you just have to find the right person that will be nice enough to give you a good deal and make a small margin. If the price was too low I'm sure the other manager would have called the manager I spoke with to verify but he seemed perfectly OK with the price "match".
Edited post to try to stay within the guidelines of rules on price talk, hopefully I did OK.
Last edited by pentium7; 08-12-2014 at 12:25 PM.
Reason: Edited post to try to stay within the guidelines of rules on price talk