If you’ve been friends with me for more than three years then, you already know what I am about to rant about on this lovely day. We’re gonna talk about the multi billion dollar conspiracy known as Black Friday, especially when it comes to TVs. It’s that time of year when stores start to roll out their Black Friday ads so that consumers can start planning their escape from Thanksgiving dinner in the name of good deals.
Or are they good deals? Let’s find out.
To those who have been friends with me for a while, I’m gonna sound like a broken record. But you know you love it when I drop that truth.
Now every year, stores use a magical phrase called “doorbuster”; a metaphor that triggers the dopamine receptors in the brains of all the broke folks that are looking to get a TV as large as Edward’s because sadly, poor folks are the majority of those waiting in those long lines, camping out and putting their lives on the line in the name of deals.
Let’s go through the list of this year’s doorbusters from varying stores. I will break down everything wrong with these sets and the purpose they serve.
Element 39″ Class Smart TV: $125
Sharp 55″ Class 4K Smart TV: $298
Sharp 50″ Class 4K Smart Ultra HD Roku TV: $179
Toshiba 55″ Class Smart 4K Ultra HD TV: $279
Westinghouse 55″ 4K Smart Ultra HD TV: $249
Now I know what you’re thinking; “But these are such great deals! Why would we ever pass up on such awesome deals?”
To put it bluntly, these TVs are trash. Element and Westinghouse TVs are absolute garbage no matter what time of the year you buy them. Sharp makes great HDTVs however, the ones you’re getting on Black Friday aren’t those.
These aren’t Samungs, Vizios, LGs, Sonys or other known brands. With the exception of Sharp, Element is a company that Walmart often buys products from because they’re cheap.
Speaking of cheap, if these stores buy TVs that big for a fraction of what they’re being sold for, you best believe they’re built cheap too. Poor picture/sound quality, only one HDMI or two ports, flimsy parts that will break. These things are built to last you just long enough to skip the next Black Friday door buster.
I should also note that when I went to Walmart last year on Black Friday, I saw one of the door buster TVs (a 40″ Hisense HDTV for $129) in a cart opened as if it was returned. Either that shit broke, or they realized the hard way that you get what you play for.
Now that you’ve gotten your TV, you probably need some shit to watch on it.
Walmart has this $39 Sanyo BluRay Player, but they may try to upsell you on their $99 LG 4K Blu-ray Disc Player if you got that 4KTV.
You may also want a sound system so that you can feel the moves. Well, there’s a $29 RCA soundbar, but if you’re greedy and want surround sound, there’s a $139 Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound Bar.
If you do get 4K TVs at Best Buy, they will often try to upsell you on far more expensive HDMI cables than you actually need. a $6-10 cable is no different than a $50 cable that’s gold plated with Ethernet technology.
You’ll probably need some movies to watch on those Blu Ray players and the stores have you covered. They’ve got enough $3-9 BluRays to keep you warm at night. I’ve watched my mother poor stupid amounts of money into these and they really do add up, all of this adds up which I’ll get to soon.
You will need to get your local news and such. Lucky for you, there are plenty of antennas on sale. If you’re greedy for more entertainment, then the stores have you covered too. Comcast and Direct TV reps are out in full force to up sell you on a bundle that will either have you bent over the table doggystyle, laying on that table spread eagle or missionary.
The sad thing is that this is all just home media appliances. Your kids are probably asking for toys, video games, etc. Before you know it, you’ve already forgotten you only planned on spending $125-299 on a damn TV.
As I’ve said several years in a row, Black Friday is about exploiting our inability to shop smart and budget efficiently. In order to sell shit, they need to get people into the store in the first place. Those who have talked to me will also know that the best time to get a good TV at a steep discount is early to mid February through March. Companies announce new versions of TVs every first week of January during the Consumer Electronics Show and must clear out all of last year’s models by April. Once again, I hope me being a broken record saves people the trouble of getting trampled, or involved in an infamous #walmartfight
Black Friday’s sole purpose is to target and exploit those who have low income because let’s be real: no rich person is going to wait til the day after Thanksgiving to buy a damn TV. Maxwell or Sylvia can take their rich ass to the store any day of the year because they have the income to be upsold on a super fancy TV.
Y’all are probably wondering why I waste my time year after year writing these. It’s simple: My mom and I fell for a lot of these tricks long before I became the technical marvel that I am. I’ve also watched relatives and family friends buy these same garbage TVs. I’m not a fan of watching people get screwed. It really hurts to watch people get screwed over deals and tricks like the ones listed above. People deserve to be informed and God gave me the gift of a strong technical prowess to do such.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.