What You Need to Know About TV Return Policies After the Big Game

With the Big Game just around the corner, sales of big-screen TVs are on the rise. The trend will continue — as it does every year — until the day before the game. After all, who wouldn’t want a huge screen with a crystal-clear picture to watch every touchdown during the biggest football game of the year? Big retailers know that, which is why there are some great deals on the biggest brands in early February. But what happens to all those sale-price 55- and 65-inch models that were bought just days or weeks before? 

Just as the sale of big-screen TVs jumps before the annual championship game, the volume of returns increases drastically post-game. It’s part of a phenomenon known as “wardrobing,” and it has been around for years.

Wardrobing: The American Pastime You Don’t Hear About

Wardrobing is a trend in which consumers buy new products with no intention of keeping them. They use them for a specific event or period of time, and then return them for a full refund. According to The Guardian, the trend is on the rise. One in five shoppers admits to doing it on one or more occasions. 

Wardrobing is mostly associated with fashion items and accessories, but it has impacted the electronics sector more noticeably in recent years. That is partly due to liberal return policies. In the past, retailers would levy restocking fees on big-screen TV returns. To compete with Amazon and other online retailers, however, the practice has been largely dropped, which has made fraudulent returns more lucrative. 

But is it OK to do it? What is the impact? Is there a better way to get a great TV for one of the biggest games in the world at the lowest price? 

Big-Screen TV Return Policies 

Liberal return policies make it easier to buy and return big-screen TVs post-game, but there are reasons you should avoid doing it. Fraudulent returns can have legal repercussions if a store can provide sufficient evidence that you never intended to keep the item. 

It is, of course, very hard to prove that kind of thing—even more than proving bait-and-switch model frauds. 

There is also an environmental cost. Most big retailers do not resell returned items. Some, such as Amazon, sell returns in pallets, but many retailers simply liquidate returned stock since it offers less of a loss than repackaging, storing and selling lightly used goods. So those 55-inch models people buy and return may end up in the garbage! It’s very wasteful and contributes to pollution. There is, however, another way. 

Get the Best View for the Big Game

Whether you want a 58-inch Panasonic model for the Big Game or a 6-Series QLED model to see every detail of the halftime show, some online retailers offer sale-price TVs worth keeping. All it takes to find a great deal is knowing where to look for big savings. 

Online cash-back retailers can help you save money on purchases at big names such as Best Buy and Walmart. Cash-back offers can be significant, depending on the retailer and product, but 1 percent to 2 percent is average for high-end electronics. 

Another way to get the lowest price for your ideal TV is to search for coupons and discount codes. Many can be used in tandem with cash-back deals, but you should check the fine print. When used together, coupons and discount codes can ensure you get the lowest price possible on a TV worth keeping after the game.



  • Is it legal to return a TV after the game?

If you buy a TV intending to watch the championship game and then return it, it’s called “wardrobing” and is a fraudulent return. If a company can prove you are doing it or have a habit of doing it, there may be legal repercussions. 

If you buy a TV over the holiday season or for the Big Game and something is wrong with it, it is unsuited for your purposes or you have any other genuine issues with it, there is no reason you shouldn’t return it. Just remember to check the return policy before you do, since most companies have a time limit (usually 30 days) and may require a receipt before they accept a return. 

  • What is the return policy for big-screen TVs?

The return policy for big-screen TVs varies from company to company. Target, for example, requires that a TV be returned within 30 days of purchase for a full refund or exchange. That’s a common limit, but return policies are decided by each company, so it pays to check. 

  • What is the best TV to watch the Big Game on?

There are many fantastic brands and models to watch the Big Game. The best TV is the one suited to your needs. There’s no sense in buying a 65-inch model if you only have room for a 50-inch TV. In terms of cost and quality, however, the 2022 55-inch Hisense model has received glowing reviews. The best way to find the right TV for you is to read reviews and find the sweet spot between your budget and your ideal TV. 

  • Should I get a soundbar for the Big Game?

If you are investing in a new TV for the championship game, it could be beneficial to get a soundbar to go with it. Soundbars create a high-quality surround sound for a TV, and can make the experience of watching TV more immersive. Better yet, you can often find TV deals that include a soundbar.

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