Don't be fooled - compare before you buy.
As a consumer myself, I don't like being ripped off nor do I like a vendor giving me a lot of hype about their product. I write this article because this is exactly what I see happening to you when your shopping for a replacement catalytic combustor for your woodburning stove. Trust me, I know because I have sold catalytic combustors for 18 years to stove manufacturers, dealers, and consumers. I also know what they should sell for at a reasonable prices.
I'm not talking about quality of the product, I strictly talking price. All catalytic combustors for wood burning appliances are EPA approved and have basically the same noble metal coatings. Therefore, I am not promoting any manufactures product. I just want you to beware of the so called "sale price" and other hype you see when trying to buy a replacement catalytic combustor for your wood burning appliance.
Here are a few examples that I recently ran across on-line:
1. I noticed on e-Bay a seller offering combustors for a so called "special price". They say, the retail price is $163.79 and are telling the consumers they will save $45.69. I take this to mean the consumer pays $118.10. However, the manufacturer sells the same product and combustor size for $109.51. I ask, is this a marketing tactic, hype or rip off?
2. I found a dealer advertising a big combustor sale. "Prices slashed". So what's wrong with that? As I studied this "big sale", I noticed they advertised only by stove model and not by combustor size. Since many combustors are the same size and interchangeable with other stoves and models, I feel the combustors should be sold for the same price. These combustors are sold to dealers by part number and sizes, not by the stove they are used in. In other words the same size combustor should be sold for the same price. Sale or no sale.
What this store was doing, was putting special prices on their home page to lure you in, but offering deals only on combustors for stove models that don't sell and probably never will. In fact, the stove companies have been out of business for over 20 years. The catch is, combustors of the same size and used in other stoves still made today, were priced at their regular price.
Don't be fooled, shop and compare before you buy.
If you have a story to tell or need advise on buying a catalytic combustor for you stove, please let me know.