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Quality inverters seldom sell at "discount" though there are occasional "sales." Some people think this is price fixing, but it's really not. Respectable dealers have a limited range of prices. Most will operate at the bottom of that range (or near it). This allows them a reasonable profit and you a fair deal. Considering that these things are expensive, that dealers must spend a great deal of time with customers before the sale, and that respectable dealers often will spend even more time after the sale in educating you, it all makes sense. Respectable dealers will often "sweeten" the deal a bit, though, by furnishing extras, such as switches, battery connection cables, free UPS shipping and the like.
I used the word respectable several times in the above. BEWARE the dealer who isn't. Some dealers, in order to avoid price guidelines, will call themselves "distributors" and will sell you an inverter with you being listed as a "dealer." Some people think this is great. They love to get things "wholesale." Well, they're not really getting it wholesale. What they are getting is absolutely no support after the sale. I've seen dealers pull this scam. They'll claim to sell an inverter at "cost." Baloney! If they did that, they couldn't remain in business. Once done though, when you ask for help, they refer you to the manufacturer and may even say something like, "You're a dealer now, you're supposed to know, contact the manufacturer."
An added page at the end lists a few respectable, trustworthy dealers. There are many more. Read the ads in "Home Power" magazine. Use your consumer skills. Since the prices are all about the same, I recommend you choose a dealer who will be there, available to help, when you need help. (Here's the benefit you gain from stable pricing: They have to compete with one another. If they can't do it with $, they can do it by offering service.) You might have to pay for a telephone call. It'll probably be worth it. And you might get referred to the manufacturer if necessary. The manufacturers mentioned (and some others) will help you. They'll talk you through a trouble shoot. If that doesn't work, they'll have you send it back. Failure Rates run less than 1% among major inverter manufacturers. Almost unheard of in any other product.
phred Tinseth © 1998-2000 Reproduction Permitted