If you’ve been friends with me for a while, then you already know what the deal is. For those new to this page, or for those who simply need a refresher: Every year, I write long winded rants about why you shouldn’t buy a TV on Black Friday, particularly the “Doorbuster” models. It is my due diligence to make sure that people don’t go out of their way to participate in the Lion King Stampede challenge for the sake of cheap Chinese Trash, and TVs so below American quality, you’d question if it was actually made in America as the brand so proudly claims.
Ah, Doorbuster; A word that invokes the same tingling feeling you get when the waiter/waitress comes out with your food, or when you’re so happy to see someone they think you’ve got a rabbit in your pocket. Doorbusters are exactly what they imply. It’s your elementary school teacher poorly attempting to have a bunch of kids with pent up energy file out to recess in a straight line. Doorbuster televisions are limited quantity/low quality TVs that appear to be far below market value and practically a steal. As Agent Smith said in Matrix Reloaded when Neo learns he’s alive, appearances can be deceiving.
Here are this year’s prizes for surviving the 2019 Lion King Stampede Challenge.
$299.99 Hisense – 65″ Class – LED – H6500F Series – 2160p – Smart – 4K UHD TV with HDR
$279.99 Element 65″ Roku Smart 4K UHD HDR TV
$399.99 TCL 65″ Roku 4K UHD HDR Smart TV (65S425)
$98 onn. 40″ Class FHD (1080P) Roku Smart LED TV (100005395)
$148 onn. 50″ Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR10 Roku Smart LED TV (100005396)
$278 Philips 65″ Class 4K Ultra HD (2160p) Android Smart LED TV (65PFL5504/F7)
Now I know what all of the newbies to this post are thinking: “Well geez, these seem like fantastic deals on a new TV. Who the fuck wouldn’t want to risk themselves for such large TVs at such great prices?”
The answer is simple: Rich people who can afford to get upsold on the most expensive TV they can find.
“Well then, who are these TVs for?”
Um, not so tech savvy poor people who don’t know what’s up and want that illusion of living the high life while simultaneously getting duped into living beyond their means.
I know it sounds pretty bleak, but that’s the twisted reality of Black Friday beneath the surface of kicking off the holiday season and getting the books further back to black than an Amy Winehouse album. But before I get into all the sad shit, let me elaborate further why these TVs aren’t worth getting trampled for and when’s the best time to get a good deal on an actual good TV.
As I mentioned above, these TVs are produced in lower quantities, often with a limit of 6 to 10 per store. Unfortunately, that’s not the only compromise made in order to be able to sell these TVs at such low prices. These TVs are already not great quality to begin with, but the bar gets lower when the following corners get cut,
-Fewer ports than their normally priced counter parts.
-Further degraded picture quality.
-Cheaper build quality.
Place all of these together, and you’ve got a TV that will either be dead on arrival or won’t last long enough to for you complete all 30 nights of Christmas on Freeform. Chances are, you’ll be back to return this TV, but due to the limited quantities, you can’t find the same exact TV. Now that they’ve got you hooked to a TV that size since that was probably the largest you ever had, these stores now have the opportunity to up sell you on a more reputable brand of the same size for $100-300 more. Soon, you’ve spent more than you originally planned, but that’s not the only place you’ll get nickel and dimed.
Those $3-9 movies look great for that new TV, but wait, you don’t have a Blu Ray player. Guess what, they sell those for $20-$50.
Don’t forget cables. Some of the cheaper devices don’t come with HDMI cables, which means these salespeople can up sell you on expensive HDMI cables that are extremely unnecessary for the shit TV you just bought, or even a really high end TV. You know who buys gold plated HDMI cables? Rich people who aren’t tech savvy enough to know they’re getting screwed but are too rich to care that their money is is getting doused with gasoline. And getting lit on fire.
Not knowledgeable of the cheap streaming-only alternatives to cable like Sling, Youtube TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV NOW, Fubo TV, and Hulu Live? Don’t you fucking worry, because Comcast reps are out in full force like leaches to make sure you’ve got an expensive cable bundle to attach to that TV you were leaving the store with. And that’s only if that TV lasts long enough to see the holidays.
Before you know it, you’ve spent more money than you originally intended because everything was so fucking cheap, but you’re not financially savvy enough to realize that all that cheap shit adds up to a really fat bill. It may seem like I’m riding a golden high horse, but I speak from experience. My family made the same exact mistakes when I was growing up.
My mother one year bought a stupid amount of movies only to hit with financial hardship from unforeseen factors and be stuck with a bunch of movies that couldn’t be returned because they were already opened (return rules are stupid). At the time I blamed myself because unemployed me at the time convinced her to buy a lot of them since I myself couldn’t afford them. Honestly, I still blame myself at times, but that’s just the unchecked emotional baggage talking.
If you want to get a good deal on a good TV, you have to wait until mid-march through mid-April. January is the Consumer Electronics Show. During that show, the more reputable manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Vizio, and LG annouce newer models of their TVs. During the next few months, stores are tasked with getting rid of the older stock to make room for the newer ones. The Super Bowl is usually the first push, but there are steeper discounts to be had in March. I bought what was a $1000 TV for half its original price in early March, and it is a pretty great TV (a Samsung NU8000 49in 4K TV). If you’re patient, and you don’t have my tastes, you can get decent TVs for much cheaper than mine.
These Doorbuster TVs are simply bait designed to exploit our inability to manage our money. People who have no business spending money are out there getting eaten alive by sales people. Rich people don’t shop on Back Friday, because they can buy all this shit any time of the year at whatever the sticker says, so it’s pretty fucking obvious who Black Friday is for.
That isn’t to say there aren’t good deals to be had on this day. If you’re patient enough to wait until Black Friday, there are many good discounts on movies, video games and smaller electronics. The key to not fucking up your finances is to go in there with a plan. If you lack the impulse control to tell yourself you don’t need something, you’re gonna have a bad time.
As my soon-to-be wife constantly reiterates to me when I’m fiending an expensive gadget, we live way beyond our means. I dislike knowing how right she is, but it’s sadly true. Black Friday exploits that. We get so hell bent on keeping up with the Joneses by matching or topping their TVs and other goods, not realizing we’re sinking ourselves into debt while the Joneses are staying afloat because they’re efficient at money management.
Again, there are good deals to be had on this day, just not on good quality TVs. If it’s a TV you desire, then wait until mid-march. But who knows, maybe some people like the thrill and excitement of channeling their inner Simba and running with the bulls, knowing they could get trampled at any moment. Who am I to stop them from getting their daily dose of adrenaline.
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 90s.