OK, here is the story:
In my area (the Harrisburg, PA area), every once in a while there is advertising on the radio for things to bid on with local businesses. Well, they mentioned a local place that sells Harmans. I went to the auction and there WAS one there for an "in-stock" "Harman" "Wood Stove" and the starting bid was $750.
Now I bid on one of these several months back where I got a $50 gift certificate for $25 at a restaurant. Well, when we went there, they said we HAD to use all of the $50 in one visit! AAAArrrg! So basically we spent $25 on the certificate only to get $20 of food that night. When I looked at the auctions closer (with a magnifying glass), there seemed to be a "catch" on EVERY auction.
Knowing all this, I tried to anticipate what huge pitfall there would be if I tried to get the Harman TLC 2000. There were 2 as far as I could see: (1) They may try to say that the TLC 2000 is not a wood stove; (2) They may have nothing "in stock" worth over $1000 or some low number. They MAY keep it in a warehouse a few doors down or something tricky with "In Stock" ...or the one on the floor is not "in stock."
So I went to Harman's website and the TLC 2000 is listed as a "Wood Stove" ...BINGO! So, I figured I was covered with the wood stove question: who could be more of a authority than the maker itself! On the "In stock" I issue, I tried to think of everything, like taking my wife with as a witness and asking if it's in stock 5 minutes before the auction ends and going to the car and bidding. But according to the auction, it may take over a week to get the $2500 certificate, where they could remove the "good stuff" from stock into their secret warehouse in Lex Luthor's basement 2 DOORS DOWN! Then I thought, maybe I could put $20 down on it for them to hold it for me. But they may not operate that way (a law-away plan). My wife and I discussed it for 2 solid hours(!) and we couldn't think of a sure-fire method to stop them from burning us with the "in-stock" issue. They're good ...reeeaaaally good.
So my strategy was to get there 15 minutes before auction end with my wife and bid on it with my cell phone, so we did. The price on it was $1800. I was willing to go to $1100. I DID WIN THE AUCTION. So we went in and talked to the guy and instead of covering my bets, I flat out told him that we were the winners of the auction and wanted the TLC 2000. The first thing he said was "It's not a wood stove, it's a coal stove." My wife and I stared at each other for a good 5 seconds with both of us thinking "Let the games begin." They did have a tag on it labeling it a coal stove. We pleaded with him, pointing out that the stove was on the MANUFACTURER'S WEBSITE as a wood stove!! I told him the only reason I bid on the auction was that the manufacturer calls it a wood stove. The shop keeper went to the website and said it's a mistake and that Harman hasn't changed their website yet. He also said he "cannot sell it as a wood stove." Well, things were looking real bad.
But after going around and around on it, he finally called the owner ...the owner agreed to do the deal. OMG, whew! I was going to be throwing a fit because I already used up all of my material; all I had left was: "I'm from Grantville, PA; there's gonna be consequences and repercussions!"
Soooooo, I want to report a success! My first choice was either a Hitzer, Alaska, Keystoker, or the hideous looking, HIDEOUS, I say) DS Machine, but for 1/2 price, it's hard to turn down the TLC 2000 ...which has the largest glass area ...which is really why I'm buying. We already have a 100,000 BTU hand fired box-thing from the 1970's, but wanted something nicer.
NOW, I saved the best for last: we got the darn thing for $810! (the winning bid) WoooHoooooo!! Can I get an AMEN Brother?!