Buying a Hot Tub: Being Sold a Tub from a Home Show or Expo Really Isn’t the Best Idea

While attending recent home shows and Expos, we noticed a trend in individual’s comments about how their shopping experience for a hot tub from one of these shows was quite unsatisfactory. 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 pitfalls of purchasing a spa or hot tub at a home show or Expo. Here’s what we found:

  • While these venues 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. 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 cancelation privileges. If the exhibitor 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.
  • Many companies send professional sales teams to Home Shows and Expos that are accustomed to pressuring visitors to buy. Oftentimes, these high-pressure tactics lead to impulse purchases and significant buyer’s remorse.
  • Most home shows post warnings to attendees to be careful and cautious of making purchases while there and that the home show does not stand behind any claims made by exhibitors. Expos are usually sponsored by one or two manufacturers or retailers and they will not post such warnings. They are there for the sole purpose of selling you their product.
  • 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 home 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.
  • You can’t try in privacy before you buy. 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?
  • Who will be there to service you after the product is delivered to your home. Hot tubs built by lesser known or unreliable brands are known to have lots of service issues and if you aren’t sure who the brand is, or how it will be serviced, you could be asking for lots of headaches and out of pocket costs down the road.

Although there may be some good things about home shows, 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 has to offer!

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