I stopped by to visit my parents yesterday at their new home in Temecula. The main reason for my visit was to spend more time with my Grandfather before he flies back to Canada on the January 4th. While there, my mom starts telling me about the adventures she and my dad have been through deciding on a television for the family room of the house.
They had visited the local Best Buy in Temecula and spent some time in the Magnolia section within the store. Magnolia is kind of like a store-within-a-store as it’s Best Buy’s “high end” shop so you’re going to find the fancier home theater equipment in that section. In the demonstration room they saw a Mitsubishi 52″ LCD TV that had a built-in soundbar and they were really impressed with it and the model in the store was on sale for $2,399.99 and they were including a free subwoofer with it. Well my dad isn’t quite so keen on spending that kind of money and I can’t say I blame him, that’s quite a bit of money.
While they were taking some time to think about it, my Mom finds another one on Best Buy‘s website that is a slightly older model of the the same TV on sale for $1,799.99. And after a bit of back and forth between my mom and dad about whether or not they should go for it, my mom decides she wants to go for it and has enlisted me to go down to the store with her to get it. I told her, that I wanted to look up the specifications on the TV first, so we looked it up online. So I hopped onto the mobile version of Best Buy’s website on my iPhone and looked up this Mitsubishi TV they were so intent upon getting.
The first thing that tipped me off about it was that it said it was a “special order” so that definitely meant it wasn’t going to be in the store. So I told my mom, it’s not going to be in the store. She got into a little of a panic because she thought I meant they were sold out and she’d spent so much time deciding and finding this one.I reassured her the TV was never in stock at any point during the last week, it’s just an item they sell online, and not in the stores. She was a little disappointed we weren’t going to be able to get the TV that day as she’d been in this new house for over a month and doesn’t have a television on the main floor of the house, which is where she most wants to watch one. And in the family room the only place for a television is mounted on the wall above the fireplace.
So just for my entertainment value, I looked up the same model number of the television on Amazon to see what they were selling it for, and what we found was a third party seller called Electronics Expo that ships for free and was offering the television for $1,695.45. Why the odd cents I have no idea, but essentially about $105 less than Best Buy. I added it to the cart and went through the process of buying it without confirming it to make sure the shipping cost was really free and see what the cost of the taxes would be, and because Electronics Expo are not located in California, that meant Electronics Expo was not going to be collecting taxes on the sale. This essentially equated to a $262.04 discount over Best Buy’s price, and they’d probably get it delivered a lot sooner too since Best Buy’s website indicated “special order” which can sometimes mean they may not even have it in stock at the moment.
Just for good measure, my mom wanted me to go with her to Best Buy to make sure they didn’t have it in the store. And so her and I went down there. She showed me the model that she and my dad had really blown away by and we asked one of the sales men to do a demonstration of it for my benefit. The sound bar was really nice and amazing at how well it was able to create a full surround sound experience even though there were no speakers behind me or to the sides. The salesman was interested in what kind of room we were planning on putting the TV in and thanks to the handiness of an iPhone being a great take along camera, I loaded up the photo of the wall the TV was going to be on that I took when I visited my folks for Thanksgiving. The sales man thought the wall looked perfect for the TV, but wanted to know if opposite wall was open or closed and so I flipped through to my other pictures of the room showing the other angles and so he could see it was partially open but enclosed enough by the wall to the main floor bedroom and the wall where the stairs are located that the soundbar would have some walls to bounce the sound off of.
Then to show off the picture of the TV, the salesman loaded up a Blu-Ray of King Kong to showcase the final showdown of King Kong on the Empire State Building. The picture did look good, but I knew the settings were optimized to wow in the store, not set to where they really ought to be for the best home theater picture. When the demonstration was complete, the salesman wanted to know if we had more questions and I pulled up the specifications on the model my folks decided on and wanted him to tell me what the differences between the model he showed us and the one my folks wanted to buy, and essentially it looked like the one they wanted was going to be a good deal after all. And he reassured my mother that when it says “Special Order” on Best Buy’s website, it means they don’t actually have the TV in stock and it could take month or longer for them to get the television before it even ships to my parents.
As soon as we got back to my parent’s place it was decided that they should order the TV, except it was going to be ordered through Amazon. I went up to my folks’ computer to load the page for it so that my mom could complete the transaction. And soon enough the TV was ordered and I’m sure will be here by sometime in the next week. I’m sure it’ll be there by the next time I come up for a visit, I figure the money they saved on this transaction will cover the cost of getting it mounted and installed. And hopefully they’ll like their new TV. One of the reasons they went with Mitsubishi is because they’d had a big Mitsubishi TV back before the days of flat panel televisions. That television was just one of the best TVs my folks ever had and they’re hoping the new Mitsubishi will live up to that previous Mistsubishi. I’l keep you posted the next time I visit their house.