Black Friday 2014: Kohl’s Offering 32-Inch HDTV For $99, But There’s A Catch

Black Friday 2014 is already brimming with sales on electronics, and Kohl’s appears to be setting the standard for televisions.

Leaks have showed the department store’s list of “doorbuster” deals that will be available to anyone willing to cut Thanksgiving dinner short and head out to the store at 6 pm on Thursday. The store’s Black Friday 2014 ad was leaked by the website, showing one of the best offers on televisions yet this Christmas shopping season.

Kohl’s will be selling a 32-inch LED HDTV for $99, which is available while supplies last.

But there may be a catch. As the Albany Times-Union points out, the television isn’t exactly a brand name.

Shannon Fromma writes: “From the Kohl’s Black Friday ad, it’s unclear which brand the set is. The ad says the TV is ‘Direct,’ but I’ve never heard of any brand named Direct.”

There could be a reason the Kohl’s Black Friday 2014 deal sounds a bit strange. As Forbes pointed out, retailers have a habit of putting out special products for Black Friday doorbusters, ones that are often substandard.

In order to offer models at bargain prices, some manufacturers produce “derivative models” — that is, scaled down versions of their normal TVs. However, most consumers don’t realize this, looking only at the brand name, the size of the screen and perhaps what type of HDTV it is (LCD, Plasma, LED, etc).

These derivative models are toned down versions of standard ones, perhaps offering a reduced number of HDMI ports or lower quality components. However, it’s hard to say — it can even be hard to tell which specific TVs are derivatives, requiring a careful scan of a model number which could total eight or nine digits.

What might be most alarming about derivative models is their production run. The manufacturing companies produce the derivatives to sell for only a few days. They might manufacture them for only a few weeks, as compared to their normal models which they can produce for a full year. This short production run might mean that the TVs are more prone to error.

There are plenty of other items at Kohl’s for people who are wary of televisions. Other Black Friday 2014 deals from Kohl’s include (via the Times-Union):

* Bluetooth Sound Bar — $39 (normally $79)
* ILive Bluetooth Headphones — $19 (normally $39)
* 40-inch Bluetooth Tower Speaker — $39
* Sony On-Ear Headphones — $9.99

* XBox One — $329
* Monster N-Tunes Headphones — $79 (normally $149)
* Zeki 7-inch Android Tablet — $49
* Jambone Mini Jambox Bluetooth Speaker — $99
* iHome Character Headphones — $12.99

The full Black Friday 2014 ad from Kohl’s can be seen here.

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