Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sony holds secret sale on HDTVs @ CneT

Over the Black Friday weekend, from November 24 to November 27, Sony cut prices by up to $900 on certain HDTVs in both retail stores and on its Web site without telling consumers about the move. And on Tuesday, the prices had returned back to normal.

The move has analysts buzzing as they ponder why the company would do so without advertising and for only four days.

Sony's $1,799 50-inch Wega KDF-50E2000 rear-projection TV, for example, was available for $500 less than the advertised price if purchased within the four sales days. The $3,399 40-inch Bravia LCD KDL-40XBR3 was $600 cheaper during that window, and the $5,999 70-inch KDS-R70XBR2 was $900 cheaper. But anyone who tries to buy those televisions this week will pay full price, likely without any knowledge of the bargain that got away.

All of the Sony's retailers were "aware" of the steep discounts the company planned to offer on its Web site, a Sony Consumer Sales Group representative said. U.S. retailers "were given the same option" to cut prices on TVs--up to $900 on certain models--but whether they did so or not was up to them, the representative said.

Several online retailers were able to take advantage of the sale prices, and a Best Buy representative confirmed that the retail electronics giant also offered the sale prices over the weekend.

But Sony says consumers were not alerted to the sale via advertising. Only those hardy souls braving the Black Friday crowds or who happened upon Sony's Web site over the weekend would have noticed a 70-inch microdisplay rear-projection TV for $900 off its original price, or a more than 20 percent savings on a 40-inch LCD high-definition set.


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