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Buying TV from Costco???

by egbbfb03 / August 24, 2008 11:36 AM PDT

Dumb question here but I am about to invest in a nice TV and don't want to screw up. Thinking about buying a 46-50" plasma and may go to Costco to save a few hundred bucks. Are they they same TV's (looking at Panny's) that can be found at the Best Buys of the world? I know the Costco TV's have a different serial number than the box stores but are the specs the same on the "same" TV at Best Buy? Any reason why not to buy a TV at Costco? Thanks

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You definitely should buy from Costco
by mrnewsguy / August 24, 2008 11:36 PM PDT

I can't imagine, if you're a member, why you would not want to buy a big-ticket consumer electronics item from Costco. We got our 50" plasma from them in February. Let me run down the reasons why.

They had a coupon from their January "wallet" of savings for the plasma we got. Costco sends these coupon booklets out to their members every year right after Christmas to get people back into the stores. It so happens that this coupon was for the exact TV we wanted. Consumer Reports said that the Panasonic "TH" line - "Viera" is the product name on the upper left of the screen frame - was THE best TV they had ever tested. So this was a no-brainer for us. We saved several hundred dollars off the already-low price.

So yes, in answer to your question, you do get the high-end products at Costco.

The only hassle was getting it home ourselves, but that's worth it for the savings.

The other two major reasons we bought there have to do with service. Costco automatically extended the one-year manufacturer warranty to two years - no extra charge. They also give you access to their "concierge" service via a toll-free number. When I couldn't figure out why I could not get our TV to display closed captions, I called them. The tech I spoke with could not have been more helpful, courteous, or professional. When you drop $2K on a TV you want some security. We feel that we have that in abundance.

We also picked up a very nice steel and smoked glass table for the TV at the warehouse. It looks great in our living room and matches well with the plasma.

I can't guarantee you'll find the exact TV we got, but it's a Panasonic. They also carry Samsung, Vizio, Sony, and a couple of others I can't remember right now. They have plasmas, LCDs, and DLPs. But I highly recommend the Panasonic Viera line of plasmas. Ours is a 1080p model. You should spend the extra money for it since it will display Blu Ray video with the highest level of clarity.

Feel free to ask any other questions about our Costco experience. And I also encourage you to wait for the next coupon booklet to come out after Christmas. You'll save a bunch of money if you do.

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by NM_Bill / August 25, 2008 12:55 AM PDT

Thanks for the fine detailed post about Costco. Costco is not an average business, but is all about being better than average. They are highly selective about who they employ then pay them $16 an hour rather than how little they could get away with. It breeds employees bent on satisfying customers. I have made a couple of buying mistakes & must praise their return desk for such a no hassle policy.

Another example: The Albuquerque area got some bad gasoline distributed to it from Western Refining in El Paso. It was mixed with diesel fuel. Typical cost to remediate was around $750 & above. Of the affected dealers, some followed the Costco lead eventually, but Costco was the only one who immediately reimbursed their affected customers on the spot, plus an added $100 by way of apology.

Customer service at Costco is a delightful departure from the average store.

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Costco TVs
by bevillan / August 25, 2008 2:02 AM PDT

The models in Costco are the same as the ones in stores like Best Buy, just the actual model numbers might be slightly different. If you want to rest absolutely easy, ask a Costco worker to see the user manual for the floor model and compare the specs in it to one from another store (or print from an online source).

Buying at Costco is actually ideal because they have a great return/exchange policy in case, heaven forbid, you get a defective TV and have to return it or exchange it. No hassling managers wanting to just give you store credit or forcing you to go through an 'authorized repair center'...just take the defective unit back to Costco in the box and they will give you a new one.

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Another fact about Costco TVs
by Dan Filice / August 25, 2008 2:54 AM PDT

I too will buy my new bedroom TV from Costco (42" Plasma). It is exactly the same as the 1080p 42" Plasma sold at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc., but the model numbers are slightly different. The manufactures do this so the big box stores to directly compete with the retail outlets. The Panasonic website does however, show the Costco models on their website, so you can compare the technical details with their other models. The big difference is that they do not post a price for those TV's on their site. For pricing, it says "See Dealer For Price."

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Costso sometimes carries Pioneer Kuro plasma HDTVs...
by Pepe7 / August 25, 2008 5:44 AM PDT

...which are worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned. Even the 720p models will blow your socks off(!) Simply amazing picture quality that really spoils you rotten. Obviously, these are going to be more expensive than the lower end Panny's that they tend to carry.


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