Walmart Wants You To Buy All Your Turkey And TV From Them This Year

Walmart is ramping up the price war on another front. Instead of hardcovers, this time the retailer is cutting prices on turkey and flat-panel TVs, reports Bloomberg.

Will this force Best Buy and Amazon, among others, to lower their TV prices? If you’ve been saving up for a new TV, this might be a fun season to comparison shop.

“This is the proven and effective method they deploy using major categories to drive loyalty and to take marginal sales away from the competition,” Richard Hastings, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based consumer strategist for Global Hunter Securities LLC, said in an e-mail. The strategy may force others to lower prices, he said.

“Walmart Cuts Turkey, Television Prices to Grab Holiday Sales” [Bloomberg]
(Photo: laurgasms)

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  1. EdnaLegume says:

    Regardless of price, I’d never buy high end electronics from Walmart.

    • ben says:

      @EdnaLegume: I’d rather buy electronics than turkeys from Walmart.

      • zandar says:

        @ben: same here. Walmart doesn’t have much influence over the quality of the Samsung TV that I bought there (other than perhaps the opportunity to drop kick it before I buy it) but their meat purchasing is a bigger, scarier unknown.

        I recognize some meat brands at Walmart. The ones I don’t make me more than a little hesitant.

        • dragonfire81 says:

          @zandar: There’s a regular commenter on here who likes to point out that Wal-mart electronics are often of a lower quality than similar devices at other retailers.

          • QuantumRiff says:

            @dragonfire81: Often, the models are slightly different, and not directly comparable. That Panasonic 50″ tv in the electronic stores might have more connections, more types of connections, a better warranty, etc. WalMart is big enough that many companies make a “special” model for wal-mart.

            Also, I would be scared of returning that expensive of an item to Walmart.

            • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

              @QuantumRiff: It gets better than that. The actual components are often lower quality to get to that magic price point. From components where a consumer-tolerance version might cost $.03 versus a bulk-tolerance version might cost $.01 to LCD panels with more stuck/dead pixels (Class C versus Class B) or lamps with shorter estimated life.

              The big giveaway is that the model numbers don’t match with other stores’… but it’s only a matter of time before they disguise those and mark of blocks of serial numbers to the substandard items.

              Big brands so scared of Walmart not stocking their items that they’d instead allow their brand name to be diluted with substandard crap instead is pretty short sighted if you ask me.

              (interesting note: Walmart didn’t come up with this. Some companies have been doing it for years already with stores like Brandsmart USA)

              • shepd says:

                @Applekid:

                Sounds like Sears with Black and Decker tools; I’ve been told by a former tools salesperson (who was my friend, not trying to sell me stuff) that Sears actually gets B&D to make power tools cheaper for them. More plastic parts, etc on the “Sears special”.

                It isn’t just Walmart that does this.

          • yungjerry703 says:

            @dragonfire81: i thought i had a curse on me. wal mart has done me wrong on everything from a mp3 boombox to a 56k pc card have gone bad on me in a matter of weeks. shopping somewhere else really isn’t an issue since i live in the land of shopping centers (n.va). so now its a rule in my house. if it plugs into the wall don’t buy it at wal mart.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @dragonfire81: I was just reading somewhere — I think in consumer reports, actually! — that the same model may be made with different parts for low-cost retailers. The case in point was a printer, same model, same model # but with an “X” on the end … which the manufacturer told him indicated it had more plastic parts that wore out faster and were more prone to breaking; they were metal for other stores.

          • fantomesq says:

            @dragonfire81: And what do they base that on? If you get two products – one from Walmart and one from anywhere else – that have the same part numbers, they will be the same products… Anything else is unecessary Walmart-bashing

          • bohemian says:

            @dragonfire81: This is why you have to check the model number. Sometimes the model numbers have one number off or an extra letter or series of letters before or after the rest of the model number.

            If your getting an exact matching model number at Walmart and say, Best Buy then you should be getting the same item. Walmart has quite a few “made for Walmart” models. Those frequently have lower quality parts inside. Sam’s Club gets some made for Sam’s Club computers and TV’s also. They had an HP laptop a few years ago that was an utter piece of crap that was a made for Sam’s Club model. I didn’t buy one but got to hear the tales of woe from two friends who did.

          • The Porkchop Express says:

            @dragonfire81: doesn’t make it so though.

        • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

          @zandar:

          Walmart DOES have influence over the quality of electronics and every other product they sell, because Walmart has the purchasing power to demand lower prices. Cutting prices can mean improving efficiency (Walmart is responsible for significant increases in efficiency), and it can also mean reducing quality. Both of those things often carry over to other stores as well – other stores pay lower wholesale prices than they might have if it weren’t for Walmart, but they also get Walmart-grade crap. In some cases it’s hard to find a good product anywhere, because manufacturers have all been forced to cut costs either directly by Walmart, or to compete with Walmart’s suppliers. Most people won’t dispute that the overall quality of consumer goods has decreased in the last couple of decades, but most people don’t realize that it’s at least partly a result of “Always Low Prices.”

          In a product category like electronics where manufacturers have several products with similar capabilities but various levels of quality, you can bet that the Walmart probably sells the worst product. Sometimes it pays to pay a little extra.

          • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

            @Cant_stop_the_rock:

            My comment should not be construed as criticism of Walmart for using their size to achieve a result (lower prices at the expense of quality). Ultimately it is our fault for expecting to pay so little for so much. Walmart just gives us what we want.

    • madanthony says:

      @EdnaLegume:

      I ended up buying my flat panel from Walmart – 42″ Vizio LCD, 1080p, $600.

      Used ship-to-store, so I did have to go in there, but I got a good TV cheaper than I would have anywhere else.

      I had previously ordered one online from Fry’s, and had FedEx destroy it and then lose the return, forcing me to file a chargeback, so I’m reluctant to ever order a big screen TV online again.

    • Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

      @EdnaLegume:

      REGARDLESS OF PRICE, I’D NEVER BUY ANYTHING…. FROM WALMART.

      • tonberry says:

        @WatchOutNow:
        and that sir is your right.

        isn’t it great to live in a free country!

        • Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

          @tonberry:

          I just wanna say that everyone who followed-up on EdnaLagume’s initial comment are the most rockinest posters today ! Keep up the good work people !

      • cuchanu says:

        @WatchOutNow: I don’t really shop there, but I also don’t fool myself into thinking that other chains aren’t doing the same bullshit they are.

        Since nearly all mom and pop electronics places are out of business (or have moved to the high end to survive) I don’t have any problem with buying an LCD TV from Wal-Mart over Best Buy.

    • Jeremy82465 says:

      @EdnaLegume: Had to be said:
      I build my own high end electronics at home!

      • Con Seannery says:

        @Jeremy82465: I grow my TVs out back organically. It takes a little longer and costs a little more, but it’s better than WalMart and Micro$oft getting all over it.

    • suburbancowboy says:

      @EdnaLegume: Regardless of price, I will never buy a single thing from Wal-Mart for as long as I live.
      Never have, never will.

    • EdnaLegume says:

      @EdnaLegume: maybe I should clarify… I wouldn’t buy a high end electronics item from them due to the trouble I might run into should my high end electronics item have an issue that I need to have dealt with. I’d rather buy from a mom and pop that would help me in the event my tv blows 15 days after I buy it.

      People have enough trouble returning hand mixers from them… god forbid I have to return a $400 tv.

      turkeys? no. just no.

  2. Starfury says:

    We’re going to be replacing the old tube TV at Christmas this year because we expect there to be major discounts.

    I will not buy one from Wal-Mart or Best Buy. My money will be spent at Amazon or Costco for a TV.

    • Nekoincardine says:

      @Starfury: Costco TVs are very win – they have a 23″ Samsung which is now my computer’s 2nd monitor, plus the screen for every one of my game systems, with excellent frame rates, (somehow!) lower latency than the equal-sized CRT from before – and all for $260.

      Wonderful.

      • drjayphd says:

        @Nekoincardine: Costco is deep-fried, beer-battered, bacon-wrapped win in a win demi-glace. Parents bought a 42″ Vizio from them a year and a half ago, and the backlight went out about three weeks ago. (This is allegedly a fairly common occurrence with this model.) The manufacturer’s warranty ran out… but Costco’s didn’t. Got a refurbished model about a week later, free of charge.

  3. Mr_Human says:

    Somehow I’m sure you could have gotten a cat into that picture.

  4. downwithmonstercable says:

    Aren’t turkeys free most anywhere during thanksgiving? Like, spend $25, get a free turkey?

    • lilyHaze says:

      @downwithmonstercable: I think it’s more like $200 or something over the course of a month or two.

    • ponycyndi says:

      @downwithmonstercable: I’ve seen these deals in the past, either spend $20-$50 and get a free one, or accumulate coupons to get a buck off for every $10 you spend. Last year, I didn’t see a single free turkey. The best deal I could find was .29/lb with an additional $10 purchase. I expect the deals to be worse this year.

  5. sir_pantsalot says:

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the products sold at Walmart are of less quality then those purchased elsewhere. Even if it is supposedly the same item from the same manufacturer at two different stores. Due to Walmarts aggressive buying tactics I think some manufactures skimp on products they will sell to Walmart to make money on the item. Am I crazy or are there others that get this same impression.

    • giggitygoo says:

      @sir_pantsalot:

      Walmart does get products made exclusively for it, which may be of lower quality. If you’re comparing with other stores it’s important to compare model numbers to make sure you know what you’re getting. However, I’d be less concerned with TVs since the Walmart version may have fewer connections or other features, but I doubt that Samsung is making a lower quality lcd panel just for Walmart. On the same topic, it is difficult to find reviews for Walmart-specific products due to the exclusivity, which doesn’t help if you like to research products before you buy.

  6. Hoss says:

    Wally should ignore Thanksgiving. Any mix of Walmart and the holiday makes us remember death by stampede

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    Nothing says luvin like a Walmart turkey from the oven.

  8. supergaijin says:

    The thing is, the TV prices aren’t even that great. The Panasonic Plasma is second to the bottom in the Panasonic line (U series) and 720p. You can get a 1080p version with MUCH better specs (S series, NeoPDP, anti reflective coating, less energy use) at Sears for only about $60 more.

    Walmart will have to try harder.

  9. suburbancowboy says:

    I spoke to several people who worked at a company that negotiated with Wal-Mart, and this is how it works:
    Wal-Mart gives you a book called “How To Do Business With Wal-Mart”. In that book, the first thing they tell you to do is move factories to China.
    Wal-Mart tells you what price they will pay you for the product. If that price is lower than your cost, they do not care. They will automatically tell you to make the product with cheaper parts, or of a lower quality. Wal-Mart only cares about price. They do not care about quality of goods sold.
    When this company refused to make shoddy products, or close their US factory, Wal-Mart simply got another company to make a cheap knockoff of the product.

    If you are a patriotic American, you would never shop at Wal-Mart.

    • ecwis says:

      @suburbancowboy: Your bias leads me to believe that you embellished that story. Most products sold at Walmart are exactly the same as ones sold in Whole Foods, Best Buy, or other stores. While it’s true that they often sell the cheapest item in a line of products, so do many other stores. All TVs are made outside of the USA so I don’t understand how buying a TV at Walmart is unpatriotic…

    • harvey_birdman says:

      @suburbancowboy: I’m calling you a liar. Such a guidebook totally does not exist. If such a document, with “Rule 1 – Move to China” really existed it would have been scanned and put on the internet already. Nice try.

    • wasabipeas says:

      @suburbancowboy: @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Weird. I was wondering how Walmart could afford to price so low (if they profit, it’s marginal, otherwise it sounds like somebody is taking a bath here), but they know that shoppers never show up just to buy one box of stuffing — they’re going to buy other things while they’re there, from groceries to clothes to electronics to hardware. They can advertise a few low-priced items to get in bargain-hunters and then profit when they buy other items.

      • ecwis says:

        @wasabipeas: Using loss leaders is not really Walmart’s approach. Their profit margins are very small on all their products but they make their money based on the massive quantity that is sold. There may be some exceptions but in general, Walmart does not use loss leaders.

  10. Brazell says:

    If WalMart could beat NewEgg or Amazon this holiday season, then I’d buy from them. I’m in line for a mid-sized TV for my basement… and if WalMart delivered a good product for a solid price, I’d happily purchase from them over, say, BestBuy.

    But, likely, I’ll go the Amazon or NewEgg route.

  11. Brazell says:

    If only Wal*Mart would come out in strong, vocal support of the Government Option in Health Care, it’d definitely cause the Consumerist and the bulk of its readers to come out against it.

  12. riroon says:

    I get the same vibe. I’m a big game video nut, and — don’t ask me why — I have to buy my games at Gamestop or Target. Something about putting my Madden 10 or Arkhan Asylum in a wal-mart bag that tarnishes the buying experience. Silly, I know.

  13. chipslave says:

    Makes me think of Turkey TV. I used to watch it on Nickelodeon as a kid. Good times…

  14. ionerox says:

    Who buys turkey? It’s free at grandma’s house….

  15. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Walmart ran a n ad in the Chicago Tribune today & is selling Stovetop Stuffing for 78¢ a box.
    That would be a minor thing, but that’s cheaper than we can buy it at the Kraft employee stores here in our Kraft office buildings!

  16. working class Zer0 says:

    “Walmart said it reduced prices on seven items, including turkey, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing, a five- pound bag of red potatoes, dinner rolls and a pumpkin roll cake, for a $20 dinner serving eight people. A $20 meal for 8.”
    You can bash Wal-Mart all you want but this is a big deal to a lot of people (especally this year) who otherwise would not be able to provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal to their family.
    As for Wal-Mart meats I find the Sam’s Choice frozen meats are some of the best quality foods of that kind on the market.
    I have some issues with Wal-Mart but when it comes to their food (selection, quality and prices) I’m a big fan.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @working class Zer0: I understand if you have to skimp a lot, $20 to feed 8 people is a huge deal. And it really is a huge deal. but just for a little more than $20 you can have Thanksgiving dinner without canned vegetables, canned cranberry sauce, and real pumpkin pie too.

    • VagrantRadio says:

      @working class Zer0: If you can buy a thanksgiving meal for 8 for under $20 at Wal-Mart, I’ll pay you the $20 to shop somewhere else.

    • catnapped says:

      @working class Zer0: Then they raised the prices on everything else to make up for it. Might be different elsewhere but they’re definitely NOT cheap around here…I can go elsewhere and buy a lot of what Wally supposedly “shopped the competition for” cheaper.

  17. DoubleEcho says:

    “Oh my God….Turkey. With pillowly mounds of mashed potatoes..”

  18. Darkneuro says:

    I try not to buy food at WalMart. They’re fine for toilet paper, but I’ve seen the state of their back room. I won’t buy veggies from them, much less meat!

  19. katia802 says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Keep an eye out on your local grocer’s circulars. Don’t know bout where you live, but there’s always at least one of the three major stores here offering a free turkey with a minimum purchase (eg spend 250.00 get a free 10 lb turkey) One year we ended up with 6 of em. Remember if you’re buying frozen ones to be very careful with the thawing process and allow yourself extra time.

  20. bohemian says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: The final death of our CRT TV was what forced us into buying an LCD TV. They didn’t have any CRT TVs left when we were looking.

  21. Toffeecake says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: We fry our turkey every year. I usually inject it with a butter/Cajun seasoning mixture, although once my uncle fried a turkey injected with Tobasco. It tastes sooooo good, and best of all, once I season it, I can hand it over for the husband to cook outside!

    Last year, we did a turkey at my in-law’s house, while they baked their own. My turkey “won” hands down, but nobody wanted to say anything so my mother-in-law wouldn’t feel bad….

  22. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Good tips, everyone. Thanks for all the advice! I’m not sure how many people I need to feed – at least ten.

    I have the Nov/Dec issue of Cooks Illustrated and I think I’m going to follow that advice on cooking thr turkey – it’s just that I don’t think there were any instructions on buying the turkey.

  23. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    @treimel: I usually use about a pound of bacon for a big turkey; half a pound for a breast. (I’d buy 2 lbs. and just eat the rest later on!)

    What I love is that it makes the turkey “set it and forget it” so I can prepare other things while it roasts instead of dorking around with basting.

  24. blandname says:

    Best Buy won’t tell you the motherboard specs or RAM speed either, and for most consumer uses (web browsing, word processing, etc) it really doesn’t matter. Oddly enough, the computers I have seen at Walmart really weren’t very good deals, either more expensive or with lower specifications than models at Best Buy or Fry’s. @acvicari:

  25. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    @Hoss: @econobiker: A lot of people are questioning the quality of WalMart food on this post, but the grocery department at my local WalMart is so much nicer and cleaner than my local supermarket. The aisles are nice and wide, the selection is far better AND fresher. You can knock the quality of a lot of WalMart items, but I have never had a problem with their food.

  26. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @floraposte: I know Cooks is more discerning because they contrast turkeys with each other. I’ll buy a brand name in my price range, even if it is a ho hum Butterball. I’d like one that tastes the best, but if my guests aren’t taste testing various turkeys, how are they going to know that I didn’t spring for the best turkey ever? :P

  27. webweazel says:

    @Outrun1986: Another good option for thawing turkeys is to put them into a large Igloo-type cooler submerged in lots of water with a little bit of ice, and let it thaw over a few days. Keep the temperature at 36-38 degrees (no higher than 40) by stirring the water, and then adding more ice every day, as needed. At the very least, you can stick it in the garage or laundry room and saves room in the fridge.

  28. NoDavidOnlyZuul says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: my fiance’s mom makes the best cornbread stuffing from scratch. my mom can also make a good stuffing from a box. the key is to not make it by itself. she kind of puts the stuff in the pan and then the turkey on top of it. Delish! It is even better the next day when it has congealed in the fridge.

  29. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @pecan 3.14159265:
    You’re missing my point!
    Walmart is selling the stuff cheaper than Kraft is & the Kraft employee stores, there are three in the northern suburbs are always the cheapest place to buy Kraft products.
    This is even cheaper than Aldi’s no name brand.

    And I’m too lazy to make my own stuffing!

  30. drjayphd says:

    @econobiker: Oh, come on, the arsenic was for added freshness.

  31. gnoswal says:

    @henrygates: I’m sure the turkey feels much better having known you before it dies. Personaly, I have a meet and greet with the whole meal before I sit down for thanksgiving dinner. I have everyone introduce themselves and we get to know each other a little better. The mashed potatoes and gravy…very personable…the cranberries…very standoffish…just thinks he’s better then everyone else.

  32. wasabipeas says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Weird. I was wondering how Walmart could afford to price so low (if they profit, it’s marginal, otherwise it sounds like somebody is taking a bath here), but they know that shoppers never show up just to buy one box of stuffing — they’re going to buy other things while they’re there, from groceries to clothes to electronics to hardware. They can advertise a few low-priced items to get in bargain-hunters and then profit when they buy other items.

    (Augh, this comment system is making my head hurt!)