Should you buy a TV before Black Friday?

Hisense U7K TV with Halo Infinite multiplayer on screen
(Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)

Should you buy a TV before Black Friday? I mean, plenty of people do, otherwise retailers would end up only trading for a few days in November. However, the question holds a lot more weight in the weeks leading up to the sale, as it can be hard to tell whether early discounts are actually more of a bargain.

You only have to check out the latest Black Friday TV deals to know that early offers are firmly a thing, and many of them are proper discounts. Sure, you’ll find a few pseudo offers in there too, but there are situation offers that even the biggest trading event of the year can’t always compete with. If you’re lucky enough to come across such an offer, the torment of not knowing whether prices can dip lower will, simply put, drive you bananas. And the last thing we want is you lovely readers being too stressed to actually enjoy the latest games on a glorious big screen.

Arguably, this kind of FOMO happens applies to TV offers more than any other Black Friday gaming deal. By and large, that’s due to the fact a new screen can cost thousands, and models sort of age in a similar way to cars. As such, older versions are more likely to end up under the chopping block, and even more expensive Black Friday QD-OLED deals aren’t immune. 

Sony 75X95K TV showing gameplay

(Image credit: Future)

To save you terrorising yourself over big television decisions during Black Friday 2023, we’ve whipped up a few key questions you should ask yourself before clicking buy:

  • What's your budget?
  • Where are you buying it from?
  • When do you actually need it by?
  • Are you concerned about delivery delays or stock shortages?
  • Are you happy to fight for a better price on Black Friday?

Tied to all the above questions is the overarching theme of urgency vs curiosity. If, for example, your dog just yeeted its favorite toy at your main living room screen, chances are you'll want to replace it ASAP. On the flip side, there will be some of you out there with a working display that are waiting to jump on new technology for the "right price". 

Naturally, the latter group will want to hold out for the likes of Black Friday OLED deals, while the former will want to find the best model they can that fits their budget. Yet, that still doesn't completely answer the question of if you should wait, so let's delve into more scenarios and try form a more comprehensive answer.

When to buy a TV before Black Friday


(Image credit: LG)

If you need it soon - or are concerned about time

If you need a TV right now, for whatever reason, you'll likely find a great deal or price and can happily pull the trigger. The only real complication to this point is stock and delivery concerns - these factors might be enough for those who don't necessarily need a TV right now but want to ensure they get it promptly and without any surprise delays. 

Given the stock and shipping difficulties we've seen this year, we wouldn't begrudge anybody not wanting to take a risk when items like TVs will be at their most popular. We also just don't know what stock will look like over the official sales, and sometimes retailers revert to giving you the deal price but booting delivery back by weeks. If you just want your tech now, and don't mind paying $30-$50 / £30-£50 more, it might be a good idea to bag an early deal.

If the price matches (or beats) previous Black Friday offers

While not a precise, scientific method, looking at previous Black Fridays and comparing models and their prices, can lead you to know whether to buy a specific TV deal before Black Friday or not.

If a product has been around for a while and is still one of the best, then we can check back through time using something like CamelCamelCamel, the excellent Amazon price checker, and see what its exact - or at least rough - price was last Black Friday. If the current price before this year's Black Friday is the same or lower, then it might pay to pull the trigger. If not, maybe hold on.

However, where we have newer models of products, like TVs, then we'll have to use predecessor models and their prices. For example, if, say, the LG OLED G3 or OLED C3 comes down to the price that the LG G2 and C2 were last year (or have the same kind of percentage discount), then it's probably worth a punt that they won't go much - if any - lower. 

LG OLED C3 review marketing image showing three men playing video games on a wall-mounted C3

(Image credit: LG)

If a TV is marked as 'clearance'

There are many different types of discounts out there, but so called 'clearance' sales can be the most fruitful. In a nutshell, you'll find this tag added to products when a retailer is deliberately trying to clear stock, normally to make room for a newer model. It's not always so clear cut, but for the most part, it normally means the company doing the discounting values their warehouse space more than trying to get full price for an item, enabling savvy buyers to reap the rewards.

Naturally, the big caveat here is leads us onto the next topic, which just so happens to be fears of low stock. If a model is reduced to clear, it will sell out, meaning it's not going to actually be around for Black Friday. Don't get me wrong, there's always a chance some will make it to November, and ultimately end up even cheaper, but the mechanics of RTC discounts are designed to stop that happening. At the end of the day, retailers will know exactly what products they want to feature in their big sale, and they don't always want cheaper bargain bin options cramping their style.

You want to avoid fighting over stock on Black Friday

On top of any stock shortage trouble, or delivery delays, it may be that the very best TV deals over the Black Friday itself, and the weekend that follows, are quickfire, lighting deals - like flash sales. These can last for as little as only a few hours and are hard to take advantage of at the best times. There'll be limited quantities of these so they go quickly and are fought over hard.

As a result, if you can put aside any disappointment of finding the best ever deal (which might not be by much, to be honest) then the early Black Friday deals are going to be worth considering so as to avoid this disappointment and hassle.

When to wait for Black Friday TV deals


(Image credit: LG)

You can wait for your new TV

Those shipping and delivery delays could play into your hands if you don't mind waiting. With the best deals happening over Black Friday weekend, it might be that the demand for items pushes their delivery to you later and later - and, in essence, if you don't need a new TV immediately, then waiting now, paying a great price, then waiting for delivery might be a worthy route to winning.

You're planning to go very big

While not watertight, we generally see the prices of more premium items, across all areas of tech, though particularly on TVs, coming down the most over Black Friday. The bigger they are, the harder they fall genuinely does apply here.

And that might be in terms of literal size, with those beastly '65-inch and larger' TVs having their prices massively slashed and becoming much more affordable. It might also mean the really premium, top-tier models, like 8K TVs, and those models which cram in all of the features as well.

You're after the absolute lowest price possible

And this point is indeed the crux of the decision-making process. If you're after the lowest possible price for an item, then you'll have to roll the dice and wait for Black Friday itself, basically ignoring the low prices before the big day. This is your best chance at bagging the record low price and getting an absolute banger of a deal - a steal, potentially. Be prepared to strike quick though and get your login and payment details sorted in advance  - the very best prices get snapped up quick.

Today's best deals

If you are looking to get your eye in, or want to explore those early prices, then you'll find a bunch of the lowest prices just below.

Looking to broaden your research before the sales arrive? Check out our favorite Black Friday 75-inch TV deals and Black Friday QLED TV deals for specific screen types and sizes.

Phil Hayton
Hardware Editor

I’ve been messing around with PCs, video game consoles, and tech since before I could speak. Don’t get me wrong, I kickstarted my relationship with technology by jamming a Hot Wheels double-decker bus into my parent’s VCR, but we all have to start somewhere. I even somehow managed to become a walking, talking buyer’s guide at my teenage supermarket job, which helped me accept my career fate. So, rather than try to realise my musician dreams, or see out my University degree, I started running my own retro pop culture site and writing about video games and tech for the likes of TechRadar, The Daily Star, and the BBC before eventually ending up with a job covering graphics card shenanigans at PCGamesN. Now, I’m your friendly neighbourhood Hardware Editor at GamesRadar, and it’s my job to make sure you can kick butt in all your favourite games using the best gaming hardware, whether you’re a sucker for handhelds like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch or a hardcore gaming PC enthusiast.

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