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Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Used TV?

The market for flat-screen sets is truly unique, since the price of a new television falls almost every year. So why are used TVs some of the most relatively expensive electronics in the secondary market?

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If you want to buy a used television, you are in for a world of hurt. As you peruse through the Craigslist listings for used TVs, you may notice something surprising. The prices are kind of high. Do a quick check on Amazon and your suspicions will be confirmed. Lots of people try to sell their used television for more than that same TV would cost brand new.

That doesn't make any sense. No one would ever buy a used TV for $800 when they could buy the new one under warranty for $750. A market like this cannot possibly function properly. What is going on in the market for used TVs?

THE USED TV CHALLENGE

At the risk of stating the obvious, a used television should always cost less than its new counterpart. First, someone else has already used it. Second, the condition and quality of a used item is uncertain. The seller could be getting rid of the TV because it is a lemon. Finally, buying a used TV from some stranger's living room is less convenient than buying with one click on Amazon or at a Best Buy showroom. A used TV is strictly inferior to a new one and should be priced accordingly.

To test our suspicions that something was amiss in the used television market, we compared used TV prices to the prices of buying them new instead. We looked at the discount for "buying used" for televisions versus headphones and phones (categories we've previously studied):

People offer to sell their used televisions on Craigslist at a 14% discount to buying the same TV new. On the other hand, used headphones and phones are sold at a ~30% discount to new. A 30% discount for buying used feels relatively fair, but 14% barely seems worth it. Taking a deeper looker at specific used TV models:

It turns out, people have very inflated expectations for how much they call sell their used TV. Only 3 of the 26 televisions we analyzed were discounted more than 30% versus a new TV. Insanely, for some TV models, the median used price is higher than the new market price.

Would a 14% discount entice you to buy a used television that might be a dud? Even if the average used TV seller offers this measly discount, plenty of people are out there trying to sell their TVs for a price higher than the new price on Amazon. What gives?

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING PRICE OF TVs

The typical Craigslist TV ad reads like this: "55 inch Samsung HD TV - $1000 . . . We bought this TV in August 2011 at the beginning of the school year for $1500."

The seller thinks: "I bought it for $1500, I'm being very fair discounting it 33% for the next owner." Unfortunately, the seller does not realize that during the 9 months they've been using the TV, it no longer costs $1500 new. Most likely you can buy that TV new today for $1000 or less.

People appear to be anchored to the price they originally paid for the television, not the current market price. This leaves them blind to the fact that the price of a new TV is always dropping precipitously. CNN illustrates:

Alas, even the writer of this article is vulnerable to used television pricing blindness. Having bought a TV for $900 last year, $600 seems like it would should be a fair price to list it for resale. In reality, the new price has fallen tremendously according Amazon Price Tracker Camel:

Ouch, it's a bitter pill to swallow that the TV dropped in price so steeply. When people (this author included) try to sell their televisions, they seem to be anchored on the price they originally paid. What they fail to realize is that the price of a new television is falling faster than their internal expectation for how much the item depreciates.

WHAT'S IN A NAME: THE "LG-47LK520" PROBLEM

Another terrible characteristic of the used television market is that practically no one properly identifies the product they are selling. Television manufacturers have developed an arcane product naming system where products are called things like LG-47LK520. The result is that no one actually knows what their television is called so they list it as a "LG 47 Inch LCD TV". Unfortunately, there are many possible products that meet this description.

Without accurately identified products, it's hard for buyers and sellers to know if they're talking about the same product. If people don't know they are talking about the same product, it makes it difficult for a transaction to take place.

We looked through a sample of television listings for sale to see if people properly identified their televisions for sale. We found that only 16% of sellers properly listed their TV with a product code, the rest only included the brand name of the TV.

In the market for used televisions, it's hard to know what is actually for sale. Once you figure that out, you may be disgusted by the price anyway.

HOW TO FIX THE MARKET FOR USED TVs

The used television market is broken. Sellers overprice their TVs and aren't even sure exactly what product they're selling. It's likely the size of the used TV market is only a fraction of how large it ought to be.

The market for new TVs works because products are accurately classified and rationally priced. Buying through Amazon is pleasant because it's like picking and choosing from a product catalog. You know exactly what you are getting and how much to pay for it. Buying a used TV is like shopping at flea market in a foreign country where you can't speak the language and suspect you're getting ripped off.

It seems likely that one day a local secondary market will emerge where products for sale are classified with the proper metadata and sold at price where buyers would be happy to "buy it now". That marketplace would look a lot more like Amazon than Craigslist. In the meantime, we hope that the Priceonomics data can help buyers and sellers agree on prices and add more liquidity to markets like used televisions.

This article also appeared on the Priceonomics blog, a content partner

Sours: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/have-you-ever-tried-to-sell-a-used-tv/257601/
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If you find yourself looking at your TV not as a source of entertainment during lockdown but instead as a source of quick cash, you're not alone. Maybe you got a new TV and your old TV is just taking up space. Maybe your kids spend more time on their tablets while their TV gathers dust. Or maybe you're among the millions of Americans facing financial hardship lately and that TV is worth too much not to sell.

Good news: That same financial situation means more people are looking for deals, and chances are you can find a buyer. Modern TVs typically have years of life in them and yours will probably make somebody very happy.

But before you list your television online you have some work to do, not only ensure you get a fair price, but also that you stay safe. Of course you should follow social distancing guidelines, but it's also smart to make sure the buyer doesn't get access to your personal info. Sharing your Netflix account with your family is one thing, letting a stranger access it is something else entirely. Here's our step-by-step guide.

Read more: 7 used items to never buy or sell

Step 1: Determine if it's worth selling

If you're just looking to get it out of your house, sure. Pretty much any TV will be able to find a home. Pretty much. If it's an old cathode-ray tube or rear-projection TV, it's unlikely to find many takers. Many new small TVs cost very little, so used older models might not be worth much. In some areas, you can donate the TV, which might yield a tax benefit more than the value you'd get in cash. You can also recycle it.

If your TV is only a few years old, it's probably worth something. If you forgot what you paid originally, Google can help you figure it out, though you'll need the exact model number, usually on a sticker on the back of the TV.

If you're trying to sell a plasma TV, buyers might be wary there's something wrong with it, like burn-in. To a lesser extent this could be true with OLED too, but as they're nearly all newer than any plasma, this is less likely. 

Step 2: Figure out where to sell it

sell-your-tv-ebay

While eBay is the obvious choice, it might not be the best option to sell your TV. Getting the TV to your buyer is going to be a significant hassle, one we'll discuss shortly, but even if you have all the original packaging, TVs don't like being reshipped even short distances. Selling local is a safer, easier option. Also, eBay charges fees, which the next two options don't.

Craigslist is available in many places and is free, though there is the "stranger danger" aspect that you're inviting someone you don't know to your house -- there are definitely weirdos out there. Just make sure you're taking precautions to use Craigslist safely.

Another local option is Facebook Marketplace. This, like Craigslist, is also free. It takes some of the anonymity out of the situation, as you can see the person's FB profile. Profiles are easy to spoof or fake, but it's something.

No matter what, brace yourself for no-shows and haggling.

Read more: 5 reasons you should use Facebook Marketplace instead of Craigslist

Step 3: Create a detailed listing

More is almost always better here. Don't just list the price and size and expect lots of offers. You don't need to be pitching the Glengarry leads, but the more info you're able to supply, the better. 

Keep in mind that you might know this TV, but no one else does. What would you want to know about it if you were buying it? I've bought and sold a lot of things online, up to and including a Range Rover, and there really is no such thing as "too much" info. Don't copy and paste a features list from the manufacturer's website or anything like that, but the more you explain about the TV the better.

sell-your-tv

Here's a quick list of questions to address.

  • Where did you buy the TV, and when? 
  • How often do you use it? 
  • What features does it have that you've liked? 
  • Has it had any issues? 
  • When did you last update the firmware? (Hint: as recently as possible.)

You can also take info from the manufacturer's site including dimensions, number of HDMI inputs and built-in apps, and tech features such as local dimming or refresh rate. Also mention if you have the remote (or not), and if you're including any cables. Mentioning why you're selling wouldn't hurt, though it's certainly not required.

While there's a temptation to gloss over any flaws or issues, you're better off coming clean. Scratches, dents, burn-in, an input that doesn't work -- these are all things the buyer is going to find out anyway, and better to do it up front.

Price is the toughest. If you're selling a fairly common model, it will likely be fairly easy to find what others are selling for, or have sold for. Less common or older models will be more of a challenge. Try finding different sizes of your TV. If you're trying to sell the PV-47D8000 and nothing is coming up, maybe the slightly larger PV-50D8000 was more common, and you can charge a bit less than one of those.

Tracking down your TV's family (D8000 in the above example) will also let you search for more and less expensive lines from that year. Perhaps the C8000 or the D9000 were the next models up and were offered for sale used to give you an idea for price. Each brand has different nomenclature that can also vary per year, so this might take a bit of time.

Another option is just searching for what other people are offering for their similarly sized TVs. If you're selling a Samsung and there are dozens of no-name models for sale in your area, this might not be a huge help. But if the no-name 50-inch was $1,000 when new, and they're charging $500, your Samsung will likely command a premium.

Step 4: Take good photos

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Photos go a long way toward putting a potential buyer at ease that this is a real thing, not a scam, and it looks like the condition promised in the listing. 

The most important: Photograph the TV while it's on. TVs photographed while turned-off look boring at best and broken at worst. You're going to have to deal with reflections though, no real easy way around that.

If you can reach, a picture of the input jacks would be good, and one of the remote would be great.

An added bonus would be to put something in the photo that lets the potential buyer get an idea of the size of the TV. A game console, DVD or Blu-ray box perhaps. At the very least, try to get the camera roughly in the center of the screen, so the TV actually looks rectangular. Countless photos of TVs online make them look like trapezoids, which makes it difficult to judge size.

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It's a good idea to clean the TV before you photograph it. Don't use Windex! Most household cleaners will strip away the delicate screen coatings. You can easily ruin the TV you're trying to sell. A soft microfiber cloth should suffice. You might not even have to get it wet. 

Read more:How to clean a TV screen

Step 6: Erase your personal info

There are actually some steps you should take before you unplug it. The most important is to log out of any apps you've been using. How to do this varies. You might have to do it individually, or there might be a global option in the settings menu.

There's also the "nuclear" option: a full factory reset. Buried deep in the menus there's likely an option to return the TV to how it was when you first bought it, all settings erased, all logins forgotten. If you do this, however, it might also delete any firmware updates. Best to let the buyer know either way.

Just unplugging the TV almost certainly does not erase your settings or your personal info.

Step 7: Get it out of your house

By far the most difficult aspect to selling a TV is getting it out of your house and into someone else's. Don't underestimate this step. TVs are bulky, heavy and very, very fragile. They hate being moved. Even if you have all the original packaging, there's still a good chance the TV isn't going to make it to its new home.

If you're planning to ship it, make sure you check with whatever agency you're using well before the sale to find out pricing, pickup info and, most of all, insurance. If you sell a TV and it shows up broken you'll be out the money you just made and the TV.

Far better is to only sell locally. Perhaps you're lucky enough to have a vehicle that can carry the TV, in which case you might be able to arrange dropping it off with the buyer. If you don't, verify that the buyer can pick it up before you sell. If they think they can get a 65-inch TV in the back of the Camry, everyone's going to have a bad day. It's a safe bet that only the smallest TVs will be able to fit into the back of a sedan. Hatchbacks, wagons, SUVs, really anything other than a sedan, might be fine.

tv-box-in-car

Make sure the buyer brings lots of soft blankets, and wherever the TV goes in the car, it's able to be well secured. Make sure there are no pressure points, like seatbelt buckles, on the screen itself. Laying the TV flat may seem like a good solution, but one good bump and poof. It's possible you, or someone you know, has transported a TV this way without a problem. Luck is a poor substitute for planning.

Your local Home Depot or Lowe's might have a small truck you, or the buyer, can rent for an hour or two, which might be cheaper than a full day's rental from a car or truck rental place.

The best way to think about transporting a TV is to think of it like you're transporting a piece of glass, because you basically are. Don't twist it, don't put any weight on the screen, use two people to lift all but the smallest models. Be gentle, like it's an egg that somehow gets Netflix and cost you $1,000.

And lastly, of course, wear a mask and maintain social distancing the best you can.

Now playing:Watch this: Watch me set up a TV review lab in my basement

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Bonus: Sample Listing

I'll end with a demonstration of what your listing should look like (joke brand notwithstanding). Good luck!

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Have you ever sold a TV online? Did you have any issues or want to share your tips? Post a comment below. 

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Sours: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/sell-your-old-tv-7-easy-steps-that-maximize-your-profit/
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Buying a Used TV? Here’s What You Need to Look For

What to Look for When Buying a Used TV

Would you believe it if you were told that buying a new TV is way easier than buying an old TV? But since the decision has been made, and you have your mind set on buying an old model, this HomeQuicks post will help you through it by telling you everything you should look for when buying a used television set.

“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.”
– Jess C. Scott

And the sheep must graze. In style, too. With so many advances in technology, the average consumer is spoiled for choice since he has so many options at his disposal to choose from. From the cathode ray version to plasma, LCD, and LED, the television set has evolved greatly. Watching TV is not just something that you do, it is an experience in its own right, an experience that needs to be enjoyed. Settling for the best deal is no easy task and needs a lot of thought.

Whatever your reasons are for buying a used TV, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. When you buy a new TV, your warranty will take care of all these things, but in a used model, you will have to be extra careful. To make your task easier, ask the following questions to clear all your doubts before buying a used TV.

Why is the Seller Selling it?

Why is the TV in a secondhand store in the first place? Did the owner put it up for sale because it broke down? Or was it because it is a flawed electronic piece? Did he sell it because the picture was not good enough? Or did he do that just because he got bored of it and bought a new one for himself? These are questions that must be answered before you consider the other technicalities of buying a used TV. If the owner is selling it because he found a defect with the TV, even if the defect was mended, it might resurface later. You should stay away from such TV sets. Make sure you know exactly why the TV is being sold before you even consider buying it.

Is the Price Justified?

The price of a secondhand television set depends on a number of factors, like the time gap between its buying and selling date, the presence or absence of special features, the model and brand of the TV, etc. For example, a TV that has been used for a year and put up for sale will be expensive as compared to one which was used for more than five years and put up for sale. A plasma TV will be cheaper as compared to an LED, and so on and so forth. Narrow down your choices on the basis of your preferences, and then check if it is worth it and the value for your money is respected.

Does it Fit Your Budget?

Sure, prices have skyrocketed through the roof, but there’s no reason to be let down. A variety of secondhand television sets with different configurations to suit each consumer’s choice are available in the market. Do your research, and shop around a bit. Decide what you need the television for, and what kind will suit your needs. Set up a budget, and then look for only those sets that fit your budget.

Is the Picture Clear?

Once you have decided on the model, brand, and price of the TV, start testing different sets. Getting a clear picture on the screen is a fundamental necessity, and should not be compromised upon. If you are buying an LCD or an LED TV, check for factors like contrast, video motion, HD compatibility, resolution, color and video quality, and make sure you like what you see. Some television sets have screens that develop a picture with spots all over it. It goes without saying that you should steer clear of such television sets.

Couple watching tv together

Are There Any Loose Connections?

TVs today are facilitated in a way that they can be connected to a number of external devices. If the previous owner has used the various connection ports extensively, chances are they might have worn out and can no longer be used. Beware of this, as well as loosely connected wires, which may create disturbances in cable connections, affect the picture quality, etc.

Plugging in audio cable

Does it Support the Accessories You Already Have?

Many television sets that come with recent technology and hi-tech features have support for additional characteristics and devices. If you already have DVD players, video games, external speakers, or set-top boxes, make sure the used TV is not very old and is compatible with these external devices. Buying an incompatible television set would be a complete waste.

Set top box

Does it Meet All Your Requirements?

Are you planning on creating a home theater? Do you want to place the TV in your bar? Is it going in the bedroom? Or are you buying it for gaming purposes? Based on all these considerations, narrow in on your options and then decide which television set suits your requirements the best. A TV for the bedroom can make do with low sound levels, but the one you need for your home theater should have a good quality sound with surround sound effects and the works.

Does it Sound Right?

The audio is as important as the video. Gone are the days when silent movies were the thing. It wouldn’t be any fun to watch a basketball match without being able to listen to the thunderous applause of the audience, or watch a movie without being able to hear the dialog. Make sure the speakers are in good shape and the audio quality is not too bad.

Is the Size OK?

Obviously, there is no point in buying a television set bigger than the wall you intend to hang it on. Also, if the room in which you intend to place the TV is big enough, then buying a television with low-level volumes, a comparatively smaller screen, and less-defined viewing angles would kill the purpose of watching television and not let you enjoy it to the fullest. Also, keep in mind the size of your room when opting for a TV. A TV with a big screen can be a problem for rooms that are small. Remember, there should be at least 6-10 feet of space between the TV and the spot from where you intend to watch it.

What is the Difference in the Price?

You might have your reasons for buying a used TV set, but before you make the final call, don’t forget to inquire about new sets as well. If there is not much of a difference in the price, then you could throw in some extra money and get a new one for yourself. Electronic appliances are a one-time investment and can be used for a comparatively long term. Still, it is for you to decide and make that purchase. The benefits of a new set over a used one are peace of mind, warranty, and choice.

At the end of a hectic working day, when you sit down on the couch in front of your ‘new-cum-old’ television set, you should enjoy watching TV. It should be a treat for your eyes and senses. Don’t let blurred pictures, distorted signal reception, or broken sounds ruin your experience. Look for the above-mentioned points, and buy the TV set only once you are satisfied that it is a good deal.

Sours: https://homequicks.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-used-tv
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