Never buy an open box RPTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Terry Flink, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Terry Flink

    Terry Flink Stunt Coordinator

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    I was shopping this week for a new TV and picked up a Mitsubishi. While browsing through the local Ultimate Electronics, I noticed the the numerous "open box" RPTVs for sale (most marked down a measly 10%). It then occurred to me these television were probably running on the showroom floor 10+ hours a day with the contrast, brightness and sharpness maxed out. Just a word of warning to the bargain shopper....a worn out television is no bargain.
     
  2. Mika-H

    Mika-H Stunt Coordinator

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    If the TV is a current model, it was probably returned, and as long as it has no burn-in, you'd probably be fine buying it. If the TV is an older model, it may have been a floormodel. You can usually tell how long its been out in the open by looking for dust build up in small areas where a regular dusting wouldn't reach. The little horizontal lip below the video connections is the spot I like to look at. It's too bad TV's don't have usage clocks like projectors and some DVD players.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Terry's right, though: Never purchase an open-box or floor-model display.
     
  4. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    Would this also apply to a DLP?
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Good question. And here's one answer: All electronic devices have a finite lifetime. Therefore, I would prefer to purchase a DLP display that hasn't had its internal electronics "pre-aged." Burn-in may not be an issue here, but I'd certainly be concerned about a unit that has been run for twelve hours a day straight for who knows how many days/weeks/months.
     
  6. Dave HW

    Dave HW Extra

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    Well I hope you are not completely correct on this! I just bought a Mits at a store that I have purchased Open Box items with sucess in the past. I suppose it comes down to whether you trust the people you're deal with.

    There were 2 open box items I was interested in. One was a Toshiba and the Mits. I was told that the Tosh was a demo model that had been on display for about 8 months, while the Mits was a return item from a customer who had gotten it in his home and decided to get a larger model - salesman said he's returned it the same day. It had been back in the store a bit over a week.

    The model was a 48311 at $1529. I waited a few days, went back yesterday and talked to a different salesman. The story was the same: the Tosh was a demo, the Mits a recent return. However, in the meantime the store was having a sale and the Mits had been lowered to 1299 (the Tosh was 1399). I bought the Mits.[​IMG] javascript:smilie('[​IMG]')
     
  7. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had success with Open Box items. I bought a 55" RCA RPTV back in 1998 for $900. It had actually been on the floor for close to a year! That model's successor was selling for $2,800 at the same time. In 5 years, I had to replace a power distribution block ($60 part, $190 install charge, UNDER WARRANTY), but otherwise it has worked flawlessly and people are still impressed with the color. It doesn't compare to newer sets, but for the price, it was a steal.

    Just recently my house was struck by lightening and now it seems the RCA has finally died. Considering the set was about 6.5 years old and had been running on the floor for a year before I bought it, I think it's survived very well. They may come out next week and tell me its another $50 fix, and it'll probably live in my house another couple years.

    I say go for it, but do your homework and know what to expect.

    Brian
     
  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    I've had my floor model RPTV for 4 years with no problems ever.

    ~T
     
  9. Mika-H

    Mika-H Stunt Coordinator

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    Exactly, you can't just make a blanket statement like "never buy an open box RPTV". That's like saying never buy a used car. Would I buy any open box electronics for only 10% off? Probably not, but 25% or more? Heck yeah! Just ask a lot of questions, inspect the set, and if it is a good deal, buy it and move on. Most of these sets have a date of manufacture on the rear panel. Most TV's have at least a 1 year parts/labor warranty, which applies to "demo/returned" items. You can often find a good enough deal that you can tack on one of those extended warranties for about $100.
     
  10. Terry Flink

    Terry Flink Stunt Coordinator

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    Perhaps I should qualify my statement which came after reading a post in another forum about a gentlemen complaining about the screen burn-in on an open box purchase. A reputable "brick and mortar" dealer may be an exception, but to borrow the used car analogy I have yet to deal with a car salesman more interested in me as a customer than his commission (opening another can of worms). Walk into any one of the major discount retailers and the information you receive may vary from suspect to down right misleading. There is the occasional informed/honest salesperson, but stories to the contrary far outweigh the good ones. Being an educated consumer is vital especially when delving into the world of Home Theater. Also, I have always been surprised to find how little most open box specials actually save you when compared to the price of a new item. Again, there are always exceptions...but there is truth to the phrase "too good to be true".

    That said, perhaps the title was a bit strong and may have lead to a bit of a misperception. Let me retitle this thread as:

    Beware of the open box RPTV
     
  11. Aaron Lock

    Aaron Lock Extra

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    I bought my 50H81 last year. It was a floor model, I ended up saving about $400 on it. The store I got it from puts stickers on all their floor models that show when they put it on the floor. The TV I took home was put the floor about 4 hours earlier, it hadn't even been plugged in yet.

    It's not always a bad deal.
     
  12. Mark Amayao

    Mark Amayao Stunt Coordinator

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    "There is the occasional informed/honest salesperson, but stories to the contrary far outweigh the good ones."

    I try as hard as I can not to chime in on threads like this.

    Open Box items can be a great deal! But before you buy ... look at it. Is it a current model? Phasing out? Most people have a 30day return policy. See if you can see the return invoice? If you can invest the same kind of energy in research/pricing and have decided on a model, then why not look it over with different sources. It may be worth the extra time to do so.

    Being a dealer for maybe too long ( but i get to play with toys all day! [​IMG] ) and also being a consumer, a couple things always hold true. Good experiences far outweigh the bad. (noone would be in business otherwise) I strongly feel you will always and I mean ALWAYS hear more about the bad experiences than the good. I can only assume most of us are a good judge of character anyway.
     

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