Should You Buy A Used TV?

Let’s face it, if you want to enjoy the cutting-edge technology that is currently being introduced into TVs such on OLED/QLED local dimming, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot of money. Buying new isn’t an option for some people. What about saving money by going to a secondhand marketplace like Ebay or Gumtree and purchasing a used one? This is our viewpoint on the subject, so continue reading.

Should You Buy A Used TV?

It is essential to bear in mind that all used TVs will have some form of damage and it’s important you check them as thoroughly as possible before purchasing. Some people may be happy with just the picture working. If this sounds like you then buying secondhand could save you hundreds of pounds!

In any case…

Buying a used TV may be an affordable viable option for people on a tight budget, but I’d only suggest it to someone with a lot of expertise in inspecting the equipment’s possible flaws.

Is Anything Safe To Buy?

If you do decide on going down the route of buying a used, there are things which we would recommend checking before making your purchase. By passed items such as power-boards and cables can be tested by using another device to see if they work so no need to worry about buying a faulty board. This is a crucial inspection since you don’t want your equipment to catch fire when you get home.

What Can You Do?

One of the finest things you can do when purchasing a used TV is to open it up from the back and inspect all of the connections for signs of damage before connecting it in, again with the assistance of an expert if necessary. It’s always best to have an expert come over, but if you don’t then you will need to study your new purchase closely and make sure that there isn’t any obvious damage on these connectors or on any other part of the device.

Tip: Make sure you arrange for an inspection before the purchase.

Outdated Specifications

The next thing to consider is the specifications. TVs vary wildly in their specifications and what they can offer the consumer. Are you looking for a smart TV? Do you want 4K, SUHD, or are you not worried and would rather have a more basic model? 

You should familiarise yourself with the TV you are planning on purchasing and make sure it fits your needs. For instance, if you’re planning on using it for gaming or watching blue-rays, does it have all the ports required for you to do this? Does the TV have the viewing modes you prefer to watch your favourite shows in?

Some of the connectability you should be looking for is HDMI ports, ethernet ports, and USB ports. 

Tip: Check the connections of your current equipment and check if the TV you want to buy is compatible.

Consider the Size

The very first thing to consider when looking to buy a used TV is the size you are interested in. Where is the TV going to be going? How much space to do you have to work with, and how far from the sofa will it be placed? When searching for a used TV online, you are often able to filter the results by size, which can save you a lot of time if you already have an idea of what you’re looking for. 

Some TVs are better suited to be personal pieces, stored in a bedroom or a college dorm, whereas other sizes may be better suited to a front room, or a kitchen. Where are you going to place your TV?

It can be confusing and hard to decide with so many sizes to choose from, so here are some rough guidelines for you to consider.

20-inch TVs – Perfect for a small bedroom, kids room, or college dorm

40-inch to 50-inch TVs – a common choice for living rooms, and in some cases, kitchens

60-inch TVs – for those that have more space to work with, or are planning on entertaining often. A 60-inch TV can give a fantastic viewing experience but can look out of place if crammed into a small area.

Tip: Consider beforehand how you will transport the new TV to your place or negotiate a delivery with the seller. Does the seller still have the box for the TV? Do they have anything they can offer you to transport it in if not? These things can also be taken into consideration when it comes to offering a price you are willing to pay.

Consider the Image Quality

Okay, so now you’ve found a TV you like and wish to purchase. Before you go ahead and pull the trigger on the sale, there are some things to check before you had over that cash. The first of which is the overall image quality. 

Once you’ve turned on the TV, inspect the screen closely and see if it is in good condition. Any black or white spots could be dead pixels, and can cost money to repair or in some cases require a brand new screen.

Next check the sharpness of the image, it should not be grainy. Do the colors look true? How is the overall picture quality? If you’re unsure about any of these things at this point, do not buy.

Consider the Sound Quality

Next up is sound. Turn the volume up a little and put something on the TV. Sound is incredibly important to the viewing experience and catching any issues now will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

First, inspect the speakers with your eyes. Do they appear clear, clean, and undamaged? If you’re satisfied with this first check, you can start to listen for any defects.

Does the volume raise and lower correctly when required? Is the sound clean, neat, and free of popping noises? And finally, does the sound work correctly in conjunction with a piece of equipment such as a Blue-ray player?

Check the Ports and Connections

Next you should check the ports and connections. Do they all appear to be in working order? Do they function as they should when connected to pieces of equipment? You should perform both visual and physical checks at this point.

Make sure to get your hands on the ports and connections and make sure that nothing is loose or missing. And, of course, that the TV you’re considering taking home with you has the ports and connections you plan on using. 


Now you’ve found a TV that is perfect for your needs and checked it over, the final thing to consider is the price. 

Some things to think about when offering payment are the make and model, what the TV is capable of, and the size. Is the seller asking a fair price for what you wish to pay? Are you within your budget, or are you spending a little too much.

Also, you should perhaps be a little wary if a TV is for sale for much cheaper than you would expect it to be. What is the reason for this?

As you’re dealing with a used TV, and most likely a private seller, you may find you’re able to haggle the price down a little if you’re still a bit out of budget, but be careful not to go to low and cause the seller to cancel the transaction.

Congratulations! You’ve Bought a Used TV

If you’ve been following this guide through to the end you now own the perfect used TV for yourself. All that’s left to do it get it home and get it set up.

If you have any issues with the TV immediately after getting home, you could try to contact the seller. However it’s worth noting that because it was a private sale, from a private seller, you will not have a guarantee of any kind, and used TVs are usually ‘sold as seen’. 

So make sure you’re sure before you buy!

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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