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Get a Seiki 50-inch HDTV for $279.99

From the Cheapskate: Say what now? That's an amazing price for a TV of this size. So what's the catch? Plus: four seriously good bonus deals!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

Quick housekeeping note: If you purchased a VR headset from Gearbest back in December and haven't received your product (or a refund), please let me know by clicking my name over on the left, then the e-mail icon. A company rep assured me she will personally handle any unresolved issues.

Onward. Because it's that special March Madness time of year (oh, MSU... you bracket-killer, you), big stores have trotted out some big savings on big TVs.


A 50-inch TV for $279.99? Yes, please.


Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the Seiki SE50FR 50-inch HDTV for $279.99, including free shipping or in-store pickup. (Not free: sales tax.) That's some Black Friday-level pricing right there.

Seriously, I can't recall ever seeing a 50-inch TV priced that low. Which begs the question: Can it possibly be any good?

I honestly have no idea. If there's a Walmart near you and they have it on display, you can go check it out for yourself. Even better, you can return it within 90 days (!) and get a refund. That's an unusually generous policy, and it's one I wasn't aware of until I did a little digging.

I mention that because I can't find a single review of this TV, which appears to be a pretty new model. I did find loads of reviews of a Seiki model with similar specs, and they averaged out to 4.1 stars. So that's encouraging.

Speaking of specs, the SE50FR is about as no-frills as they come: 3 HDMI inputs (which is better than two, admittedly) and 60Hz refresh rate, which, as we all know, eliminates the dreaded soap-opera effect.

Beyond that, well, it's a 50-inch screen. And it comes with a remote. Woo! Remote!

Your thoughts? Is it a mistake to go super-cheap on a TV? Or do these off-brand models deliver the goods just as well as their big-name counterparts?

Bonus deal: Game time! If anyone in your house likes Lego, The Avengers or both, Green Man Gaming has Lego Marvel's Avengers (for Mac and PC) at just $8 when you apply coupon code HURRIC-ANESAM-YSAVES at checkout. I'm a huge, huge fan of the Lego games, and this one sells elsewhere for $40. GameSpot reviewed the PS4 version and called it "charming and fun."

Bonus deal 2: Sitting on a pile of old vinyl? Show the kids what music used to look (and sound) like: has the Ion Audio portable suitcase turntable for $34, plus $5 for shipping. Built-in speakers and a rechargeable battery mean you can take this over to a friend's house after school and totally listen to records and everything. Anyway, it's a today-only and while-supplies-last kind of thing, as usual.

Bonus deal 3: Doing any Amazon shopping today? Why not toss the Poweradd Pilot A1 2,500maH mobile charger into your cart? Because it's currently on sale for just $3.99. However, it's an "add-on item," meaning you can't get it unless you spend at least $25. Also required: a love of polka-dots. This cute little charger features a 1A USB output and four-LED status display.

Bonus deal 4: You know those decorative Edison bulbs that are all the rage? They now come in long-lasting LED flavors! And here's your chance to get a deal on them: Volare-HK (via Amazon) has a 4-pack of bullet-top or bent-tip candelabra-base LED bulbs for $27.99 shipped when you apply coupon code SHGR3BUS at checkout. Or, get a 6-pack of bullet-top or bent-tip bulbs for $39.99 shipped when you use that same code. These are 40-watt-equivalent bulbs. I tested a few samples and they look surprisingly good.