Purchasing Advice for Hot Tubs
You’ve thought about it. Debated about. Maybe even argued about it. Listed all the pros and cons, and finally decided. You’re buying a hot tub. Let’s face it. Most times this purchase is not a necessity (unless for medical reasons). This is a big ticket item. An expensive one. But this isn’t a new refrigerator, a roof on your house, or a minivan. This is a hot tub. Your excitement level is going to be elevated heading out the door to make this purchase. I just want you to think clearly, ask lots of questions, and most importantly remember who you might be buying from. A salesperson.
Larger hot tub dealers, let’s call them “big box” stores, have a full time sales staff. They’ve been trained to profile potential buyers. They are going to classify you into one of four personality types, and know how to sell to you accordingly. They’re going to know how to excite you and how to calm any anxiety you might have about this purchase. There will always be prefabricated answers to any questions or more importantly any objections you might have. Finally, they will have several lines rehearsed to “close the sale”. The one thing they won’t have is any hands on knowledge of the product they are selling. The formula used to sell you that hot tub will work for anything. Cars, furniture, appliances, it doesn’t matter. The sales person’s job is to not to let you out that door until you have signed for, or left a deposit for the product. Whether it is what you want or need is secondary. The sale is always first.
A suggestion I would make is to try a smaller hot tub dealer. Smaller dealers service the tubs they sell. At a “big box” store, one person will sell the tub, another separate company will deliver it, and finally a third company will be the one to handle any service or warranty issues you might have. None of these people have meet or will ever meet. Your personal touch with that store and salesperson is dissolved. At a smaller dealer the same people who sell the tub will more than likely be delivering and servicing your hot tub. Any questions you have about operating the tub, chemicals, or problems you might have will be answered by qualified technicians who actually work on hot tubs rather than sales people who only can offer what they learned reading the manual.
In my 20 years of servicing hot tubs, one thing I hear way to often is that the consumer regrets purchasing the tub before they get to their car in the parking lot. They let their emotions take over and fell into the hands of a sales person who made them feel great about their purchase. This feeling should last longer than the walk to your car. You shouldn’t buy a tub you’ll be in for years and not have the features and service you want. If your tub stops heating a year after buying it, calling that charming salesperson isn’t going to fix it. You have to call the factory or warranty department so they can send out a guy out to look at it. Most “big box” stores don’t have their own service department. They use local service companies that may or may not have ever worked on your type of tub.
At a smaller dealer, you’ll deal directly with the person who sold you the tub. If you have a problem, call them up and have them solve the problem for you. During the sales process they are more likely to be honest with you and make sure you get what you need because now you have a relationship with them that both of you will want to continue for a long time.
So remember, keep your emotions in check. Ask lots of questions, such as who will be servicing your hot tub in the event of a problem, and who will be delivering it, and who will you be dealing with for warranty issues? Beware of dealers that are too pushy and only want to close the sale, and deals that require money down today to hold any special offers. If they’re going to give you free delivery or free steps today if you leave a deposit, trust me, they’ll do it tomorrow too. Keep these few things in mind and you’ll enjoy and feel better about your new hot tub purchase now and for years to come.