银行外汇入账要求Walmart vs. Best Buy vs. Target vs. Costco- Whats the best store for buying a TV-Walmart vs. Best Buy vs. Target vs. Costco: Whats the best store for buying a TV? The easiest way to buy a TV is online, right? A few clicks and a few days, and theres a TV on your porch. But if youre not sure exactly which one you want, or you at least want to physically check out the TV before you buy it, youre going to have to head to a store. This is also the fastest way to get a TV, assuming you have a car big enough to get it home. Thats especially important if youre buying a new TV at the last minute ahead of the big football game on Sunday, Feb. 2. While online once promised lower prices, this is rarely the case anymore. Thanks to UPPs, or unilateral pricing policies, the price of most TVs in Best Buy or Walmart is likely the same as on Amazon. If the prices are the same, and the models are generally the same or similar, where do you head? Good question. There are pros and cons to the top US stores, including warranty and return policies, but a major thing to consider is the nature of the stores TV section itself. None offer the ideal viewing environment to compare picture quality, but some are better than others. I visited a bunch of local stores to find out which one was best. So whats the winner?If you know what TV you want, and youre a member, Costcos doubling of the manufacturers warranty and two years of tech support is hard to beat.If you just want to compare TVs yourself,Best Buy is the best option, especially if it has a Magnolia section.A regional retailer like Frys might offer an even better place to judge image quality, but theyre an increasingly rare breed. I live in a big city and nearly every specialty electronics retailer near me has closed in the last 10 years, so I have to figure itd be even harder if you live in a small town. It would be worth checkingGooglefor your area though.Arranged in order of number of locations, heres how the major brick and mortar TV retailers stack up. \t \t \tWalmart Americas biggest retailer has over 4,700 stores in the US, far more than any other retailer on this list. Chances are its the most likely place for most of you to find a TV. Its not a great place to look at a TV, though. Theres marginal to no light control in the TV area. One store I visited had florescent lights right next to the screens, so it was impossible to tell any differences with all the reflections. TVs on the top shelf are not angled, so you can only see them off-axis (and therefore, cant judge their picture quality in any way). The video feed tends to be ads that dont show off detail or picture quality at all. Walmart offers a Protection Plan extended warranty, via Allstate, that covers "mechanical and electrical failures from normal use." Assuming the issue is covered, it will "repair your item. If we cant repair it, well send you a replacement or reimburse you for one." It does not cover burn-in. The return policy is 30 days. Pros Probably a location near you Cons Not a good place to compare TVs Limited in-store info \t \t \tTarget Target, the anti-Walmart, has over 1,800 stores. Inside theyre pretty similar to Walmarts, though if the ones in my area are any indication, they tend to be in slightly better shape. Like Walmart, the TV section doesnt generally have light management, but the TVs on the upper row are usually angled so you can view them straight on. Thats a big improvement over Walmart. Theres not much info available about each TV, however. Target offers extended warranties fromSquareTrade(which is owned by Allstate). It says if it cant repair it within five days of receiving it, itll refund the cost of the warranty. For TVs, itll "send a repair provider to your house to fix it." It does not cover burn-in. For electronics, Target has a 30-day return policy. Pros Better than Walmart to judge TVs, but thats not saying much Cons Limited in-store info \t \t \tCostco, BJs and Sams Club Though unrelated on the corporate side (Sams is owned by Walmart, for instance), for our purposes theyre quite similar. Theyre warehouse stores where you can get that 55-gallon drum of ketchup and that pallet of bean dip you need for watching football. They also sell TVs in their, combined, 1,300-plus stores. Like the other locations weve discussed already, warehouse stores are terrible places to judge TVs. Theyre far too bright, with harsh overhead lighting. Usually the boxes for each TV will also be on display, however, so you can at least get some additional info. Itd be better to get the info on your phone, but in a pinch, the box is there with some highlights. On the other hand, to allow enough space below the TVs for the boxes, the TVs themselves are often much higher than youd normally want to place them, so youre viewing them off-axis, which means some will look worse than they would if you could view them straight on. Costco has a 90-day return policy on TVs. It also offerstwo years of tech support. Most impressively, it automatically increases the manufacturers warranty to two years. If you use its credit card, Costco will bump that up an additional two years. For reference, TVs typically come with one year parts and labor, or in some cases, one year for parts and 90 days for labor. BJs Wholesale has a90-day return policyand a lifetime tech support line. It offersProtection Plusextended warranties through Asurion that dont cover "burned-in phosphor in cathode ray tubes or any other type of display." OLED TVs dont have phosphors, but its a safe bet that bit of semantics wont fool anyone if you try to use the warranty. Sams Club has a 90-day return policy on TVs, a tech support line and it offers SquareTrade warranties that, like other SquareTrade warranties, do not cover burn-in. Pros Better return and, in Costcos case, warranty options compared to other retailers Over-the-phone tech support included Boxes on hand for anything in stock, to augment info placards Cons Terrible place to judge image quality \t \t \tBest Buy Best Buy is basically the last man standing when it comes to major electronics retailers, and it has over 1,000 stores across the US. Most crucially for our purposes, it often does far more than the others here when it comes to letting you get a sense of how the TV will look. The TV area is often darker than the rest of the store, and many stores have a Magnolia Home Theater section set off from the rest of the store that will offer even better lighting conditions to view certain TVs. In most cases, high-mounted TVs in either section will be tilted down for better viewing. There are also far more manufacturer-sponsored sections, so youll see several Samsung, LGor Sony TVs grouped together with additional info about their technologies. No national retailer offers an ideal viewing area to judge TV picture quality, but Best Buy comes far closer than the alternatives. Unfortunately, youll only have 15 days to decide if you like the TV before you cant return it. Unless, that is, youre a My Best Buy member, in which case youll have 30 or 45 for "Elite" members. There are tech support and extended warranty options, but both cost extra. Both are covered under its Geek Squad banner, and with TVs over 42 inches, itll come to your house. Most interestingly, this warranty does cover burn in: "Pixel repair and burn-in coverage for TVs. Well get your screen back to pristine condition if your pixels start looking weird or a shadow image sticks." Pros Best national retailer to check out picture quality (again, this is a low bar) Extended warranty covers burn-in Cons Still not a great place to judge image quality 15-day return window \t \t \tLocal retailer There are many local retailers that might offer the pros, and perhaps the cons, of the national chains. For instance, the southwest has Frys Electronics, which often has a wider selection of TVs on display than Best Buy, usually in a darkened corner of the store. Smaller chains might offer better or more knowledgeable sales and service too, but its hard to say. Since the financial crisis, so many of these stores closed its difficult to make a recommendation about them, as huge parts of the country wont have access to such a store, but the same areas likely do have a Walmart or Best Buy. If you have a local specialty electronics store, it might be worth going there instead of any of the chains. If you dont, chances are high it wont be there next time you want to go. \t \t \tFinal thoughts You may have noticed one thing I didnt discuss is employee knowledge. Itd be impossible for any one person to judge this. Theyd only be able to judge the employees at a specific store or stores they visited. You might find someone at Target who loves TVs and knows a lot, and you might find someone at Best Buy who calls their TVs "plasmas," or vice versa. Regardless, the burden of gaining knowledge falls to you. Do your research before you go. You are, conveniently, in the right place for that. Lastly, if you do choose to buy a TV in a store instead of online, do keep one thing in mind: time. Not yours, but the time of anyone you speak to. Generally the big retailers dont work on commission, but in smaller stores they might. If you dont intend to buy in that store, its polite to let them know up front, so if necessary they can help a different customer that might turn into a sale. Got a question for Geoff? First, check outall the other articles hes writtenon topics likewhy you shouldnt buy expensive HDMI cables,TV resolutions explained,how HDR worksand more. Still have a question? Tweet at him@TechWriterGeoff, then check out histravel photography on Instagram. He also thinks you should check out his best-sellingsci-fi noveland itssequel.