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The central promotional event of the holiday season happened this week, and retailers offered all-time low prices for TVs during Black Friday. Although LCD TV panel prices are higher today than a year ago, many of the Black Friday deals were made months ago based on panel prices in the summer which were lower. The competition from LCD is also pulling down OLED TV prices, which are also hitting all-time lows.
The first table here shows a comparison of Black Friday 2023 with last year’s Black Friday event for the lowest-priced TV sets at each screen size; all-time lows for that screen size are designated in bold italics. On smaller TVs this year, there were generally few all-time lows for Black Friday TV prices. The 32” Insignia at Best Buy offered for $74 was down $25 compared to 2022, but the all-time low was set back in pre-pandemic 2019 at $69.
On the larger TVs we saw more all-time lows, starting with the 55” TCL available at Walmart for $188, $11 better than last year. Walmart again offered a 65” TCL TV for $228, repeating a deal that was an all-time low last year. Walmart also offered all-time lows with the 70” Hisense, the 75” Vizio and the 85” TCL at $748 which was matched by Best Buy. 2022 was the first year that 85” TVs were promoted on Black Friday and the first time such TVs were offered at less than $1000, but now a year later the price has dropped by 25% or $250.
Our second table here shows price comparisons for some premium sets. By “premium” in this case, this still means the lowest priced set for each combination of brand/screen size/technology. Again this year, the 48” LG OLED A set an all-time low at Best Buy for only $549, $20 lower than last year’s record price. Also notable on this list are the big discounts on QD-OLED TVs from Samsung, down $150 on the 55”, down $200 on the 65” and the 77” QD-OLED was shown as a Black Friday deal for $1999.
We saw again on Black Friday 2023 many common deals among the three major retailers – Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon. While in the past the lowest priced offerings were typically available at only one of these three, starting in 2022 there were frequent incidents where identical deals were offered at two or even all three of the retailers.
All-time lows were common for the largest screen sizes, and there were more Black Friday deals for 77” OLED, 83” OLED and 85” MiniLED, and for the first time a Black Friday promotion was offered for a 98” Samsung QLED TV set for under $10,000.
Given that LCD TV panel prices peaked in September 2023, we have likely seen the season’s low prices for Black Friday. However, with much of the holiday season still to come, it is likely that retailers and brands still have some special bargains in store. If sales go well on Black Friday, we may see higher prices as the holiday season progresses, but if sales disappoint, we could see Black Friday prices repeated or even lower prices before year-end. For premium models, the holiday selling season extends well into January and peaks before the Super Bowl, so we may see prices for OLED and MiniLED TVs decline even in early 2024.