The HD Guru has had a long career in the consumer electronics business, including 30 years as VP for a chain of consumer electronics stores. The good news for you is that he's willing to share some of the knowledge he's picked up over the years, and his latest blog includes some sage advice on scoring the lowest price when buying a new HDTV.
The HD Guru recommends basically a four-step method:
1) Research TVs online (of course, we recommend CNET's HDTV reviews).
2) Go to a major retailer like Best Buy or Circuit City and look at your choices in person.
3) Go back online and find the absolute lowest price on your favorite HDTV.
4) Find a commission-based electronics store, and ask them to beat that price.
The HD Guru's article has the full scoop on why this works so well, so you'll want to read the whole guide if you're getting ready to buy. He also tells you how to handle the other buying issues, such as extended warranties, the ins and outs of delivery service, and where to buy cables (check out our HDMI cable guide as well).
We could definitely see some people having some ethical qualms with this method, as it seems like you're abusing the goodwill of major retailers' displays, then squeezing all the commission out of the other employees. On the other hand, the commission-based employees don't have to do much work--since you already know what HDTV you want to buy--so they're essentially getting a "free" sale.
Do you think the HD Guru's methods are fair, or should you just go to one store and settle for a "fair" price? Let us know in the comments--we'd especially love to hear your opinion if you work in a commission-based electronics store.