Whether you’re in the market for your first hot tub or you’re looking to upgrade from your existing one, home shows can seem like a great way to one-stop-shop. And it’s true that they can be a starting point. With a number of vendors on-site, you can get a feel for what’s out there. But the high-pressure environment is not a good place to buy a big-ticket item like a hot tub or swim spa. We have all heard of the nightmares that can go with that.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of home show visit.
Because there are so many products on display at home shows — often backed by outside sales teams — it’s easy to get sucked into the excitement. But there are some things to be wary of when shopping for a hot tub or swim spa at a home show, especially during this pandemic. If you are brave enough to go to a crowded home show, here are some things you can do to stay safe:
- Call ahead and find out if there are peak and slow times, so you can aim to go when it isn’t extremely busy.
- In the case that you cannot contact the home show, aim to go at the very start or near the end of the day, as these times are often less busy for retail shopping.
- Wear a mask to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
- Bring lots of hand sanitizer with you. You may even want to bring to-go wipes or gloves for high-touch surfaces.
- Keep a minimum distance of six feet from others.
- If it looks too crowded or you feel uncomfortable, don’t feel pressured to stay. There will always be another deal on a spa.
Look for Reputable Brands
Because there are so many products on display at home shows — often backed by professional sales teams — it’s easy to get sucked into the excitement. Salespeople will try to impress you with fancy “under the cabinet” chatter and talk about the numbers of jets and high horsepower pumps. But, a good hydrotherapy experience IS NOT about high horsepower pumps and lots of jets! It’s about the placement of those jets and the technology developed to provide maximum hydrotherapy. In fact, too many jets and high horsepower pumps will create an uncomfortable soaking experience, create long-term service issues and drive up energy costs.
Often, you won’t find the most reputable brands like Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs, Sundance® Spas and Hydropool Swim Spas at home shows as they frown on the nature of the high-pressure sales environment. If you can’t find the trusted brands, just treat the show as a chance to learn about what’s available and to get a sense of the size and seating arrangement you might be interested in.
Take Your Time
Even if you find a tub you like, don’t rush into signing a contract. The time constraints and high-pressure tactics that are typical at home shows — many events even post warnings — can lead to impulse purchases and regrets. It’s best not to sign any contracts or make a down payment. A reputable dealer will want you to take your time to make the right decision and will be happy to reconnect outside the show once you’ve done your research. If you do decide to put a deposit down, make sure to get a refund clause in writing and use a credit card so you can dispute the charge if they give you a hard time.
Do Your Research
Whether you choose to buy from a home show or a store, make sure you research the products and the dealer. Spend some time online, looking for reviews of both the brand and the dealer. Ask the dealer for customer references and if they have their own in-house service department with factory-trained and certified technicians. Or do they have you call a 1-800 number or some other local company when you need service? Visit their store or showroom so you can see if they are for real. Meet the owners and other management who you will be working with. Learn about the backgrounds of the people working for the company. Visit the Better Business Bureau or search social media for reviews about the brand and the dealer.
Don’t’ Be Pressured To Buy
Purchasing a hot tub or swim spa is a big decision and a long-term investment. Choosing the best tub for you is about your well-being and quality of life, and that’s not something that should be rushed into. While home shows can offer a starting point for your search, they’re not the place to make your final decision or purchase.
Imagine Backyard Living is the best place to continue your search for the perfect hot tub or swim spa. Check out their selection online or in the showroom and begin your journey towards enjoying the backyard of your dreams.