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Are Walmart Electronics Lesser Quality?

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Old 11-12-2008, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default Are Walmart Electronics Lesser Quality?

I have heard several people tell me that because Walmart is such a huge company and posseses so much buying power that they are able to have manufacturers of electronics, in particular TV's and Digi cams, build to a lesser quality spec. Is there any truth to that?

One thing I heard was that if you compare model numbers of the "same" tv at Best Buy versus Walmart, that they are slightly different. I've never actually taken the time to investigate.

The reason I ask is I was in Walmart last night and they had some really good deals on TV's. I figured this was the best place to ask.

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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I have heard several people tell me that because Walmart is such a huge company and posseses so much buying power that they are able to have manufacturers of electronics, in particular TV's and Digi cams, build to a lesser quality spec. Is there any truth to that? That is certainly true of Costco and Walmart's sister company Sams Club but if the model number is the same as anywhere else then it is the same product.

One thing I heard was that if you compare model numbers of the "same" tv at Best Buy versus Walmart, that they are slightly different. I've never actually taken the time to investigate. Sometimes yes, many times no.

The reason I ask is I was in Walmart last night and they had some really good deals on TV's. I figured this was the best place to ask.

Thanks
Since Walmart does have huge buying power they can offer better deals. If there is a model you are interested in, do some comparison shopping.

Hope that helped.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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The Tioshiba that I was looking at Wal Mart didn't have the analog sound outputs that were shown on Toshiba's website.

The Vizio that Wal Mart sells isn't even offered at other places, and better versions are offered other places and not Wal Mart.

Thats why they can sell them for less!
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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The TV that I was looking at in particular was the Sony KDL-46S4100. It is priced at $1281, which is even less than Amazon (Yes I know, Amazon doesn't charge tax). But, I could have the TV today if I wanted.

As far as Walmarts return policy, they will take back anything.

Also, anyone have any experience with this TV? There was a Sharp right below it and the color and black levels weren't even close to the Sony. I currently have a Sharp Aquos so it's not like I'm biased towards Sony.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:14 PM   #5
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Walmart will take back electronics for 90 days. They are actually quite good about this. I, personally, think that Walmart is a great place to buy electronics. You can, however, find better deals on that size screen at Sam's and Costco on the Vizio models. If you are partial to Sony, well, there you go.

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Old 11-12-2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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The only thing I would be careful with, is to watch which model you are buying, as both Walmart and Costco may carry old and or discontinued stock. For example, just because they have a deal on a 50" plasma that is a $1000 less than anyone else, just check on how current that particular model is.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by keltic25 View Post
I have heard several people tell me that because Walmart is such a huge company and posseses so much buying power that they are able to have manufacturers of electronics, in particular TV's and Digi cams, build to a lesser quality spec. Is there any truth to that?

One thing I heard was that if you compare model numbers of the "same" tv at Best Buy versus Walmart, that they are slightly different. I've never actually taken the time to investigate.

The reason I ask is I was in Walmart last night and they had some really good deals on TV's. I figured this was the best place to ask.

Thanks
Some of the models available at WALMART & other big name discounters (Costco/ BJ's/etc) by name manufacturers are not of lesser quality they simply don't have all the bells and whistles as their similarly numbered models that is they reason for various models having very similar Mdl#'s and some of those Mdl# numbers may not be listed on their respective manufacturers sites. Also the variances in Mdl#'s are to prevent people's ability to get some retailers to match pricing ( because the model numbers are not identical) and there may be other small variances ie: different bezel colors, stand configurations etc. but the products are certainly not of a lesser quality.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:13 PM   #8
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Extra warranty is cheaper at Wal-Mart. Only purchased one HDTV set in 2006, no problems with it, just can't buy it anymore. Would I buy another one from Wal-Mart nope. Why because to much of a hastle to get it out of the store and get it into your vehicle well now that I have CR-V won't be issue but still you can find better deals online or on tv. I can't see anyone trying to return a 50" LCD or Plasma and wait in that Customer Service line and then wait for the store or electronic manager to come out to tell you some BS story why they can't take this back..
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:50 PM   #9
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I have heard several people tell me that because Walmart is such a huge company and posseses so much buying power that they are able to have manufacturers of electronics, in particular TV's and Digi cams, build to a lesser quality spec. Is there any truth to that?
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Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
That is certainly true of Costco and Walmart's sister company Sams Club but if the model number is the same as anywhere else then it is the same product.

L2W, where did you hear that Costco's products are lesser quality? This is news to me. I always suggest people buy form Costco. If anything I always figured they had better quality being that they offer a longer standard warranty than other stores.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #10
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L2W, where did you hear that Costco's products are lesser quality? This is news to me. I always suggest people buy form Costco. If anything I always figured they had better quality being that they offer a longer standard warranty than other stores.
Maybe lesser quality is not the correct term but certainly less features and/or lesser specs. Do a comparison if you can find the details on the unique models at Sams, Costco and Walmart and you will see for yourself. A different chip here, a missing input there, lower level of adjustment etc. all do make a difference. They may offer a better warranty because they make a larger profit margin since the equipment is made to their specifications which are different then the ones at the big box stores, hence the different model numbers.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by keltic25 View Post
I have heard several people tell me that because Walmart is such a huge company and posseses so much buying power that they are able to have manufacturers of electronics, in particular TV's and Digi cams, build to a lesser quality spec. Is there any truth to that?

One thing I heard was that if you compare model numbers of the "same" tv at Best Buy versus Walmart, that they are slightly different. I've never actually taken the time to investigate.

The reason I ask is I was in Walmart last night and they had some really good deals on TV's. I figured this was the best place to ask.

Thanks
You basically hit the nail on the head. Thats why I don't buy things there. Cheaper in price? Yeah. But CHEAPER indeed.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
Maybe lesser quality is not the correct term but certainly less features and/or lesser specs. Do a comparison if you can find the details on the unique models at Sams, Costco and Walmart and you will see for yourself. A different chip here, a missing input there, lower level of adjustment etc. all do make a difference. They may offer a better warranty because they make a larger profit margin since the equipment is made to their specifications which are different then the ones at the big box stores, hence the different model numbers.
That makes more sense. When I did buy my TV though, there was no difference other than the model number and a slight color difference in the bezel.
I actually did a lot of research to make sure. That was my case though, so I suppose it could be different.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:37 PM   #13
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The only thing I would be careful with, is to watch which model you are buying, as both Walmart and Costco may carry old and or discontinued stock. For example, just because they have a deal on a 50" plasma that is a $1000 less than anyone else, just check on how current that particular model is.

Indeed, as my 50" Pana 1080p was manufactured in May 2008 and was bought 2 weeks ago from Costco. Perhaps its old stock?

As for lesser features I heard my model is similar to the PZ80U, however it has alledged less contrast ratio ( dynamic ) and has one "extra" socket allowing pc connection.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:17 PM   #14
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That makes more sense. When I did buy my TV though, there was no difference other than the model number and a slight color difference in the bezel.
I actually did a lot of research to make sure. That was my case though, so I suppose it could be different.
Yes it can be different. I am in no way saying these TV's are bad, just different, it's not comparing apples to apples. The best recommendation I can give is - be an educated consumer and do research before you buy.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:47 PM   #15
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But you all forget one point you might not buy there but other do. Price out weighs quailty and features.

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