Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Big Small-Screen Drama

Since I was very busy doing everything but blogging last summer, you didn't get to hear the miraculous and even divine story that involved the purchase of our New/Old/Now-Defunct TV.

After planning a marvelous blog entry recapping my most amazing garage sale finds, I got busy eating chicken salad and cookie dough and never posted it.

So here goes:

One leisurely Sunday morning, I was out for a run and detoured to a garage sale, or more accurately, a Moving Sale, which we all know is a true bonanza because people get lazy and sell things they don't want to move and will seriously regret parting with later.

Whereas at a real garage sale, you essentially end up swapping crap with your neighbors.

(Except for 2 years ago when I got this amazing lead crystal salad bowl WITH THE TAGS ON from a widower who would only take $5 for something worth more than all of my Sam Moon jewelry combined.)

A family one street over was moving to somewhere in Asia and liquidating all kinds of wonderfulness because it's a bit pricey to get from the Rockies to Tokyo.

As I huffed and puffed up to their house before all the other looters, I spotted my prey: a huge plasma TV.

Our ten-year old Dino TV was limping along, but after the purchase of the Wii, we realized that in fact, we couldn't even make out whose Mii was whose.

Plus, there was a delightful green spot permanently affixed in the upper right-hand corner of the Dino TV screen. When the actual viewing size is already small, a large green spot (sometimes blue) does not make matters better.

We had died to the thought of purchasing a new TV, wanting to wait until the picture tube officially blew or the digital-ness of technology surpassed us and we could no longer make out the gender of the evening news anchors.

At the moving sale extravaganza, a HUGE plasma TV was right in the middle of the garage with a low, low, low, low price tag.

When I asked the guy why they were selling, he explained that the TV was great, but apparently in China all the plugs are different and it just wouldn't work.

I skeedaddled myself right home and told Brad that God had answered our prayers before we could even pray them.

A huge new TV!


Free shipping!

To make the most obvious part of the story short: the TV didn't exactly work. It sort of worked, but it also sort of blacked out for a few seconds at a time, which proved to be incredibly inconvenient during the Olympics when some of the events were only a few seconds long.


Finally, one night we watched a movie and realized we spent more time staring at a black screen than at the actual movie. Plus, this show had a lot of sight gags, and AGAIN, if you take the "sight" out of sight gags, there's not much left.

This led Brad to spend far more hours researching our future TV model, its features, and secret powers than the editors at Consumer Reports could ever dream.

We finally decided on one at Costco, forked over the money incredibly reluctantly, then went home and rejoiced when we realized that somehow Kung Fu Panda was on a constant loop on channel 113 (which we hope we are not paying for since we don't even have cable.)

I'm not sure about the whole digital TV world, but there is something fancy about this TV that lets you see more moles and wrinkles on people than frankly, I would like.

The day after we hemorrhaged our debit card to replace the Plasma Disaster, do you know what happened?

Our new TV went on sale. $300 less than our rock bottom price.

However, they wouldn't just credit our receipt. We had to re-package the entire TV, return it, purchase a new one, and then collect our cash.


Luckily, one of Brad's spiritual gifts is Original Box Collection.

He still has the original boxes for the stereo he received as a gift in high school. We have original boxes for all the electronics we've purchased during our marriage, including computers that no longer work and appliances we no longer own.

Don't confuse these with moving boxes.


Yes, we did move them. But they weren't empty. They contained the original styrofoam (when it hadn't crumbled all the pieces) and in some cases, the electronics.

At one point, the Costco lovelies were going to make us purchase an entirely new TV, but Brad turned on the charm and inside knowledge from years of retail sales and talked them out of it.

So, we ended up going home with $300 cash in our pockets, our original TV, 2 cans of Pam, coffee, 22 Ziploc storage containers, and a somewhat-miffed customer service desk.

The moral of the story being: Do not purchase large, used electronics at a garage sale.


You didn't need this little parable to tell you that?

And you are mocking my stupidity?

That's cool.



tootie said...

I'm glad you finally got your TV! And the $300 discount!

My husband and I still have our old TV. We're hoping to get a plasma one day. (I'll take a lesson from you and not buy one at a moving sale ;)

carrie said...

Great story, thanks for sharing! We are in the market for a new TV and I've considered buying used to save a couple hundred bucks. You have definitely given me second thoughts--especially since we found the tv we want at Costco. Thanks!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Girl that is so funny. Good advice and a smart hubby I might add! :)

Sit A Spell said...

Oh my, that is too much! lol I am glad y'all worked out a deal with the store to keep the same tv and get the $300 too. We spent months researching "big" tvs before we finally bought one. We've had it over a yr and love it...not sooo big that you see those details you mentioned...that you don't want to see. Our winters are long here in MI that it's come in handy. I can't wait to use the new wii, on the big tv, that we're getting for Christmas...well you know, can't wait to see the KIDS use the wii. : )

Meg said...

well...i sometimes think brian would have been thrilled for a garage sale tv that blacked out ocassionally instead of the postage-stamp-sized tv i made him get. he's counting the days until it no longer works!