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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to get the Panny 50PX500, and I am finding that the cost difference from the local B&M Tweeter and the internet sources online is about $1000 to $1500 LESS! I would like to get it local (30 day return, etc)....BUT, the price difference is just too great.


So.....I guess I will go with ordering online, which I do all the time for many items, but is pretty scary with this expensive and fragile item, with no option to return within 30 days.


I pull up the online price charts, and dozens of vendors come up....but which one is the best? None of the AVS sponsered plasma vendors appear to have the 50PX500 (I have yet to call them). The price span ranges of all these vendors is hundreds of dollars, but I would be willing to pay extra for any perceived advantages (like not getting ripped off, customer service if problems, etc).


I know many of you have bought online.....Any advice on:


- who is a good place to do business with to buy plasmas on the internet?


- what should I look for when the shipper delivers the box? I know, look for obvious box damage (and possibly refuse it)....but is it possible for the driver to wait for it to be unboxed to make sure the screen is not cracked or other high stress damage? Is it prudent to plug it to see if it even comes on (or is that asking too much for the driver to wait)? And is the driver going to rebox the DOA plasma then take it back (ie: refuse shipment)?


- what can I expect if there are problems (DOA, something wrong found out later, etc)....do any of them help you out better than others, OR do I just go direct to Panasonic for warranty service?


- if I do call Panasonic for warranty service, I assume they come out to the house to repair, OR am I expected to bring it to a service center (I live near Houston)?


I know....a lot of questions, but I know many of you have already traveled this road. Thanks for your help.


Bruce
 

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Have you tried to haggle with your local B&M on the pricing? I was able to get the local Sound Advice store (A Tweeter store) to come within $100 of the pre-shipped price from a forum sponsor on my TH42PX50U. Add that to the fact I could use my account I already had open there to get 12 months same as cash and it was a no brainer for me.


While I do think it's better for some to order online, it's also nice to at least give your local B&M a shot at the sale. When I was working the deal with the salesperson, I told him specifically how much I could get the plasma and mount for online from a reputable, authorized Panny dealer. I told him that I would prefer to buy it from him if he were willing to lessen the gap between the online retailer and his price. In the end, I got a price I was willing to settle for and picked up the plasma the following day.
 

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For peace of mind, it's worth waiting for a forum sponsor to get the product.

There are too many horror stories about internet purchases. I would wait and buy from a dealer that you know is reputable, which the forum sponsors are.

Call them about product availability and their return policies. Get a good price, which will not be the lowest price you can get on the internet. Most of the time the rock bottom, lowest prices comes from the worst sources.
 

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If you buy from an online vendor via credit card (as most people do) you are pretty well protected against outright fraud.


However, there can still be hassles and I would strongly favor proven vendors with good reputations, such as the forum sponsors - especially those with many favorable comments posted, even if their prices are a couple of hundred $ higher.


Many vendors will ship an immediate replacement if a unit arrives DOA. You should ask them specifically what their policy is in this regard. Sometimes the delivery guy will wait while you unpack the set, hook it up, and try it out, but I wouldn't count on it. And he might well expect a tip of $20 or so if he does wait.


It is unusual for a B&M store to meet online prices, especially when local sales taxes are factored in. And if you are seeing differences of $1000 to $1500 for the model you want, IMO it would probably be a waste of time to try to haggle with the B&M stores.


Panasonic "commercial" models do not have in-home warranty service - you have to take them to a Panasonic service center for warranty repairs. I'm not sure about the specific model you want - ask the dealer and he should be able to tell you if the unit has "on site" or "carry in" warranty service.
 

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Bruce,

Some AVS forum sponsors do have that unit in stock. As far as other questions, I suggest you call each potential vendor and ask them any and all questions you may have. After you do this, it should be easier to make up your mind on which vendor to go with.


Thanks,

Bob Doseck

Plasma Concepts
[email protected]
www.plasmaconcepts.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am about to get the Panny 50PX500 online, and am having trouble figuring out which dealer to use (I don't want to get screwed...I'm willing to pay extra), but not the $1500 extra to go to the local B&M.


When one gets a plasma delivered, obviously, if the box is crushed you don't accept the shipment. No loss accept time.


But do the shipping companies wait around for you open the box to make sure the screen is not cracked or other problems before I sign for it? What about plugging it in to make sure it fires up? Or am I being ridiculous if he box looks ok?


Thanks, Bruce
 

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You need to pay for White Glove Delivery if offered. They will uncrate, wait while you inspect/test basic things and then you sign off. It's worth paying a little more. Most of the better online sites including many of the sponsors listed above offer this kind of delivery. If you are not getting it from online big-box like CC or BB with their well known return policies then I would always want White Glove delivery or a reasonable/better facsimile.


I have to say I was impressed with my BB delivery last Sunday...yes, Sunday at 11:30AM !!! They were very professional and uncrated outside at my request (small townhouse), carried it into position and waited while I fired it up with a basic cable connection and made some rudimentary checks. I gave them excellent feedback...and if for any reason I would wish to return this set I would expect no less in the other direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ClarkeBar....thanks for the good advice on "White Glove Delivery"....makes sense. Now all I need to do is figure out which outfit to go with.

Thanks, Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys.


On dickering with Tweeter....I really don't want to do that....with the sales tax, there is no way they could come even close. Gee.....when I got my DLP from them last year, the prices were MUCH closer to the internet prices, but not these plasmas!


I need to start calling up these online vendors, and get a feel for who are the best, and who I can trust. I will certainly give the AVS sponsers a shot.


Thanks,

Bruce
 
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