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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many flat panel TVs did you return to the store before settling on your current one? Take the poll above and let us know, unless you haven't bought yet.


I returned two and kept the third. Just because of PQ. It's too hard to judge SD in the stores with those crap feeds when they won't set up a dedicated line for you, so I brought these units home to test them under the conditions they'd actually be used in long term. And I'm glad I did, and glad the returns/swaps were easy.


The main reason I ask is that I always see people asking about online vendors here and just keep thinking that an advantage of B&Ms is easy and (usually) free returns. And I saw someone griping about the higher price of certain online merchants tonight and I was wondering if higher prices ever got you more liberal online return policies. If so, that'd be great. If not... well I guess he was right to gripe and smart to shop elsewhere.


You just see so many PQ horror stories on this forum and I'd hate to receive a TV I ordered online and have it just not do well in my home setup, but be stuck with it since there was nothing actually functionally wrong with it and the online merchant wouldn't take it back. And even if they would, there's at least shipping to pay, if not a restocking fee. And I guess I'm lazy when it comes to shipping, too: standing in line, filling out forms, doing labels, calculating insurance, tracking, verifying receipt of goods, etc. I know that's no problem for some people, but I almost never go to the post office or UPS or anything so it's a hassle.


I figure the results of this poll might be another piece of intelligence for prospective online buyers to consider when weighing options and prices and methods and whatnot. If most people are keeping their first purchase, perhaps because of satisfactory in-store testing, then I guess the online buyers needn't worry and might as well save the cash. If most people wind up returning at least one, or more, maybe that'd be a note of caution for online buyers. I could've gotten my original tv for about $200 cheaper online but am glad I didn't go that route given the returns I subsequently had to make.
 

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So which brands and models did you return and which one did you keep?? I haven't bought yet, so I can't answer your poll.


I have been eyeing the Panny PX500U which I have only seen at Magnolia Hi-Fi around Seattle. And let me tell you there is a HUGE difference in price from the online vendors. I would like to buy from Magnolia, but the price diff makes it hard to justify.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bought 3 LCDs in a row - a Westinghouse LTV-27W2, a Sharp LC-26GA5U (returned both), and then wound up keeping a Samsung LN-R268W.
 

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Tomorrow will mark my 5th exchange!!!


Samsung Slim CRT (HORRID TV!) - Sony 32xs955 CRT (Blue tint in top right corner) - Sony 32XBR960 CRT (Geometry WAY WAY off) - Sony 32SA10 LCD (Too slow for games)


Thinking of trying a Samsung LCD with 8ms pixel refresh. If it does not work then back to CRT again!


lol Best Buy rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's what i'm yelling, Cynn. Best Buy gives you 30 days to put that sucker through its paces and you can bring it back in that time with no questions asked and no restocking fee, and you can do that more than once if you need to. I'm sure most other B&M stores offer similar guarantees. Most of the supercheap online sites are super strict about returns/exchanges and unless there is physical damage from shipping, you have to take up whatever problems you have with the manufacturer via the warranty. So, not liking the PQ won't cut it. And your blue tint issue, for example, would have to have been a Sony issue if you bought it at any of the sites I checked out, though some might take it back if you pay restocking and they're in a good mood that day.


It's a tradeoff, I guess. That kind of scenario might be OK for small electronics or things that are basic in terms of either functioning properly or not functioning properly. But it seems too risky and inconvenient when you're talking about large TVs which are expensive, have strict or punitive return conditions, are a pain to ship back, and may or may not look right depending on a whole host of factors that you can't determine for sure until you get them home and set up.


(I really wanted to buy online, by the way, but just couldn't bring myself to do it)


GTBuzz, I hear you. If Best Buy hadn't been matching the temporary sale price of a cheezy cutrate warehousey place here in town on the day I happened to be ready to buy, my TV would have cost $600 more there than at the cheapest place online. At that point, I think I would have had to bite the bullet and buy it online. At a certain point the price difference becomes too hard to stomach, and can even price you out of your size category. In cases like that I guess you just have to work a lot harder at testing your desired unit in the store as best you can and settling on it there but buying it online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey I just thought of something. Probably not original, but it's a new idea to me.


Since it's hard to get an accurate idea of how a TV in a store handles SD since their cable feed is always split between a couple dozen TVs and therefore degraded, and since places like BB, for example, won't move a tv and set up a dedicated line for you (mine won't anyway), maybe what you could do is record some sample SD onto DVD at home and take that DVD to the store with you. That way you have the same SD signal quality you'd be getting at home, but can see it on the TVs in the store. And since they probably wouldn't play your DVD on the machine that goes to all the TVs (mine wouldn't), you could even bring in your DVD player and some hookup cables and plug it directly into the TVs that interest you. That way you circumvent unhelpful salespeople and can do accurate testing. I hear of people who bring their Avia or DVE DVDs into their store and the salespeople let them play them, but I think a lot of us have stores that won't do that.


There would be variables in this scenario. You'd have to already have a DVD recorder at home, or you'd need to get a friend to record something for you. And you'd probably want to use the DVD recorder's highest quality setting. And you'd want to take different cables to the store with you - composite, S, and component, I'd say. But I think it could work, and could really address one of the problems we face when shopping for this kind of TV. Thoughts?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVwillKillUsAll
That way you have the same SD signal quality you'd be getting at home, but can see it on the TVs in the store. ... Thoughts?
This is where your science is flawed.
 

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I think you use an on-line vendor once you are SURE of what you want (evaluated at BB and CC and forums). In other words, for price only. The price difference can EASILY be 20% with shipping and thats before you fiqure in the no sales tax savings. You could save $600 on a $3k set no problem.
 

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2 for me. Now waiting on the new 40" XBR LCD from Sony. And I'll definitely be keeping it.......for good. :D


Returned a 37PX50U because it irked me that I paid full MSRP. Plus, it was a little on the small side.


So I still had the TWC HD box I had already paid for and wanted to have something to use it with.


I wanted to Sammy 408d, but they only had the 32. I knew good and well I wasn't keeping it; I just wanted to try it out and see if I might like the 40".


The third one WILL be a charm. ;)
 

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I'm about to return my first tomorrow. Tho it's not to pick up a better set per-say, rather to wait a few weeks for the next model release which i just found out about.
 

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Yes, Kid Red, let us know when you go pick it up and where.

i'm anxious to hear how the westhinghouse w6 performs. I'm awaiting it's release. it's first on my list to run out and buy and hopefully not return to the store.


~ wendy
 

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I am in the process of picking out a new LCD HDTV but got to thinking with this and other threads I've read...

What do the stores do with all these returns? Do they just repackage them and sell them as new or are they now "open box" stock? Or, do they return them to the manufacturer?

Just curious since I would think this maddening for them...especially with the 2nd or 3rd return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree that they probably find this maddening, and I started to feel slightly bad at first, but then I reminded myself how huge they are, how much money they make, and that they wrote the policy which allows me to return things. So they have planned for these eventualities and can accommodate them. They can always change their policy if they want to, but until then I'll take advantage of it.


I don't know what they do with returned units. My BB seems to have a fair number of open box items, so maybe that's what those are.


Martyj19, hey come on, elaborate! That's why I floated the theory - I wanted to see if it was viable. And if not, I was wondering why not. I realize that the feed would be coming from a DVD player, not from cable, but it seems like the DVD player would capture the SD at home in whatever quality it was coming into the house. Then when it transmitted it to the tv, it doesn't seem like it would be able to improve the quality, and it doesn't seem like there would be a reason for it to degrade the quality, so it seems like it would be properly representative of your home signal. The cables could even be the same. Like, at home, you might use Svideo from cable box to DVD or TV, and you could use Svideo in the store to go between your dvd player and the store's tv. Sounds like my science flaw must be contained somewhere in those assumptions, so help me understand what it is.


The poll results so far are interesting. More single-purchasers than I expected, just given the advanced knowledge and heightened persnicketyness of the demographic on this site. I figured those traits would mean they were less likely to be satisfied with the first thing through the door, but maybe what it means instead is that they know enough to do the right kind of homework and in-store testing before buying so that purchases are made with more finality.
 

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I returned the first one and got for a different brand that I like much better. Actually, the first one I bought is still in my home as the store keeps forgetting to come get it. They set up a pick up time on Tuesday and did not show up or call. I can't believe I have their 3K+ TV still... I have called them twice to remind them, but nothing, its been 2 weeks now.. My father in law is putting dibs on it now. Whats a man to do?


I don't feel bad about returning TV's... No one really will know the flaws of a TV until it is veiwed in the home under the rooms conditions including. Things like, to reflective off windows or sliders, realizing that veiwing angle sucks for certain seats in the room, or the "Wifey Pooh" does not like the way it fits with the decor, Changes chanels to slow.. ect, ect... I think you get my point. That is why the stores I buy from have fair return policies, no questions asked. 30 days is a fair amount of time for you to decide. Returning something to Cotsco after 90 days to get the new model is a little ridiculas but, too each his own.


Delligatti
 

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2 returns so far - Pan 42pd50u (hue/tint issues) and Sammy 4232 (bad false conturing). Of the 2, the Pan had a clearly superior PQ but the Sammy had better styling and features.


Currently I'm waiting on the new Pioneers --- come on September.


I've bought B&M specifically for the return ease. If I knew exactly what would work, I'd buy online. Since I've returned 2 already, it's worth the extra bucks for the return option.
 

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It seemed like the CRT forum had more people exchanging sets when I was reading the model threads there. Just not enough set up labor on those sets I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay so the poll appears to have stabilized, and while unscientific, it looks as though about 3 in 5 people keep the first TV they buy, while 2 in 5 return one or more TVs. So, all you internet shoppers, there's some stats for you to consider.


I'm willing to bet that most of the returns were to B&M stores, though, so maybe this question wasn't framed properly. Maybe a better poll would have been -How many internet shoppers returned one or more TVs, as well as -How many internet shoppers wanted to return a tv but didn't because of the hassle involved, and just decided to live with whatever unsatisfactory element they had discovered in their new tv, which they'd have been able to easily rectify if they had bought at B&M. Because that's what I was really trying to get at - - I was trying to figure out how much of a risk buying online was, given the rate of returns and exchanges. Or, how much were you likely to regret it if you bought online despite the savings. As people wonder whether to save the $500-600 one can often save online, I wanted to provide them with a quantifiable counterweight. Ah well, it was still interesting to see the results.
 

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After doing a slew or research here, and visiting a handful of B&Ms to check PQ difference, I bought and kept a Panny PWD6UY.


Although the feeds in stores aren't perfect, anyone can ask the sales associate for a remote and begin to do their own tuning. Bring in DVDs, ask them to show you an SD/HD feed if possible, etc.


-JR
 
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