Hope You Didn’t Buy a 3D TV Last Year

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Last year, prices on 3D TVs plummeted by 33%. But anyone who bought one in 2011 thinking they’d scored the deal of a lifetime should probably stop reading now: One prominent bargain-tracking website says 3D TVs have already dropped to a new record low this year and predicts prices will keep falling as the year goes on. 

As deeply as we love our American Idol, Teen Mom and all those catty cliques of housewives, we’re stubbornly resistant to watching them on 3D TVs — much to manufacturers’ chagrin. Lack of consumer enthusiasm (which some have blamed on the goofy glasses you have to wear to watch in 3D) drove makers and sellers of 3D sets to slash prices again and again. By the time 2011 was over, you could buy a 3D TV for a third less than it cost at the beginning of the year, according to data compiled by dealnews.com.

Just over a year ago, the best price you could find for a 55-inch 3D LCD HDTV was around $1,400. Now, that low-price benchmark has been slashed in half. Dealnews unearthed a $699 deal on a 55-inch set last month.

(MORE: The 5 Items That Will Get Cheaper in 2012)

Lower-end TV brands getting into the 3D business and cranking out entry-level models are driving these predictions of huge price drops this year. For instance, that sub-$700 deal is on a model manufactured by Sigmac — not exactly a household name.

Dealnews also predicts prices will be pulled down when Westinghouse rolls out a lower-end line of 3D TVs that don’t have some of the bells and whistles that have been standard for the category so far. Although the list price for a 47-inch 3D TV from Westinghouse is expected to be around $900, dealnews says, “Once it hits stores, we anticipate seeing the first deals slash as much as 25% off, dropping it to about $674.”

(MORE: Now Is a Great Time to Buy a New TV)

If you like your electronics to carry a brand name, the site predicts 2012 will be a good year for you, too. The influx of lower-end 3D TVs will force big name brands to drop their prices in order to compete. If established pricing trends are any indication, dealnews says that after Black Friday, shoppers could get the opportunity to grab a brand-name 3D set for a bargain-brand price.