Home Theater Stores - Tips for Home Theater Shopping
Negotiating the store
The home theater store can be a daunting place if you’re a beginner. Over-bright images compete for your attention on an array of display screens, and the descriptions of equipment are packed with baffling jargon. Add Saturday crowds and pushy salespeople to the mix, and it’s no wonder buyers get confused. However, help is at hand. This page contains some useful advice to help you get the most out of the home theater store. (Our page on buying tips has further information.)
Avoid peak times. If you’re new to home theater equipment, you want to be able to discuss your requirements with a knowledgeable member of staff. Visit the home theater store at quieter times, such as weekday mornings, so that staff will have more time to talk to you. Avoid Saturdays if possible.
Don’t be rushed. Don’t be hurried into a “once in a lifetime” bargain on the grounds that the offer is about to end. Never buy anything on the spot. Always allow time to consider the purchase and discuss it with family or friends. You’ll be spending a lot of money on your home theater equipment, so don’t do anything on impulse.
Be prepared. The more knowledge you have, the more capable you are of making the right decisions. So do your homework. Read home theater reviews, in magazines and online, so that you can hear from the people who have already test-driven the equipment.
Look for package deals. Sometimes buying a set of equipment together, rather than separately, can save you hundreds of dollars. Our page on system choices mentions “home theater in a box” systems, but they aren’t the only package deal you’ll find in the home theater store. Some stores offer package deals made up of equipment from different manufacturers, and these packages sometimes represent substantial discounts.
Do your own price calculations. Sometimes items have a large sign on them, stating the price as “$25 a month” or $10 a week”. This makes them seem like a great deal – who can’t afford ten dollars? You have to look for the small print before you find the total price of the item, and sometimes it’s an eye-watering figure. Always compare the total price of an item, not the price of individual repayments. Unless you get an interest-free credit deal, paying for your equipment with monthly repayments will usually cost you much more in the long term, so pay upfront if possible.