Amazon tomorrow (October 13) will kick off its annual two-day Prime Day sale with discounts on thousands of products, including televisions.

(The link above is an Amazon affiliate link; this site receives a small percentage of sales from Amazon links.)

But is it a good idea to buy a television from an online retailer?

Some TV shoppers prefer to buy a TV at a retail store because they think they will get a better deal and/or they fear an online purchase may not arrive without some kind of damage.

But is that true? Do retail stores offer bigger discounts? And do TVs purchased online often wind up at your doorstep cracked or defective?

Well, from my years of experience, I believe you can get better deals on TVs online; this is not true on every set, of course, but on many models. Web sites, like retail stores, have partnerships with manufacturers and third-party sellers which enable them to price many sets considerably lower than their counterparts.

In addition, a web site doesn’t have the overhead of a retail store, particularly a large chain. This also helps the site keep prices down. (One note: Some retail stores will offer ‘same price’ guarantees. If you find a lower price online, the store will match it.)

And with the Coronavirus pandemic still over our heads, buying online has another advantage.

Now on the issue of delivery: Many sites are aware some consumers are leery of ordering a TV through the mail so they offer special guarantees to ensure your set arrives in perfect working order. When the set is there, the delivery person is instructed to:

* Remove the TV from the package.
* Set up the TV to the manufacturer’s provided base stand.
* Plug the TV power cable into the outlet.
* Turn on the TV to confirm damage-free screen.
* Remove hang tags and provide these tags to the customer.

Amazon even offers free tech support on many sets in case something goes wrong after it’s delivered.

“In the event your product doesn’t work as expected, or you’d like someone to walk you through set-up, Amazon offers free product support over the phone on eligible purchases for up to 90 days. To access this option, go to Your Orders and choose Get product support. “ Amazon states at its site.

Amazon, which also offers a liberal return policy, strongly urges consumers to refuse delivery if the set is not 100 percent If it’s not, Amazon says you should immediately contact Amazon customer service before the delivery man leaves.

Other sites such as Walmart and Best Buy also have generous policies for returns and delivery satisfaction.

I realize some people will always prefer buying in person, and there are advantages to that practice. But ordering a TV online is safe and can be less expensive than buying it at your local store.

Something to ponder when you scan the Amazon aisles the next few days looking for that TV bargain.