Buying a Hot Tub: Being Fooled by a “Spa Show” Can Be Pretty Discouraging

Often you will see advertising for a Spa Show or other misleading promotion from local and non-local dealers trying to give the impression they are having a ‘show’ featuring many dealers and brands. This piqued our interest as a topic we felt worth exploring. At Imagine Backyard Living, we are dedicated to providing the best possible experiences for our clients and potential customers so we investigated this scenario to better communicate the reality of ‘shows’ like this. Here’s what we found:

  • While these ’shows’ can be good places to visit to get ideas, they are not a good place to make a purchase decision on a big-ticket item. Take time to investigate the dealer and the product before signing any contracts. Inspect the location-does it have staying power or is it a place that could or will pack up and leave after the ’show’. Certainly do not put any sort of major deposit as a down payment. If you do make a down payment, make it very small and use a credit card so you have cancellation privileges. If the dealer wants your business, the “deal” will be there after the show and will give you the right to cancel with full refund if you change your mind. Beware if they tell you anything different.
  • Make sure the brand is recognizable and has been around a long time. At the end of the day, the manufacturer of the spa is going to be your final source of service if the dealer fails or leaves.
  • Many companies send professional sales teams to these type ’shows’ that are accustomed to pressuring visitors to buy. Oftentimes, these high-pressure tactics lead to impulse purchases and significant buyer’s remorse.
  • Another area of concern is contracts versus verbal promises. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you think is a “good deal” when surrounded by the excitement and environment of a ‘spa show’ environment and sales pitch. One complaint we hear repeatedly is that the price and value of a perceived promise turns out later to be much different and even problematic when it comes to underlying dealers and contractual obligations. We have all seen recent stories of pool and spa companies going out of business.
  • We are huge believers that you should know everything there is about these type of products before investing in them. This include taking a test soak as a critical step to ensuring a good decision. Home shows don’t offer this essential component. Would you buy a car without test-driving it?

Although there may be some good things about sales like these, it’s important to be wary of deals that are too good to be true and high pressure sales tactics.  What’s most important is that you take your time and explore your options. This is a long term investment that can quickly turn bad if you make an impulsive choice. Visit our experiential showroom anytime for questions and a thorough tour of all that Imagine Backyard Living and the Jacuzzi® brands have to offer!

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