We have learned buying a hot tub from a home show can be quite unsatisfactory from several customers who bought under the excitement and pressure put on them while at the show. At Imagine Backyard Living, we are dedicated to providing the best possible experiences for our clients so we investigated this scenario to better communicate the pitfalls of buying a hot tub at a home show. Here is 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. Not every brand is available at the Home Show, including Jacuzzi®. Take time to investigate the dealer, shop the market and the products 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 the amount very small and use a credit card so you have easy cancellation privileges. Get in writing the exhibitor will give you the right to cancel with a full refund if you change your mind. Beware if they will not give you this right.
- Many companies bring in professional sales teams to Home Shows that are accustomed to pressuring people to buy…its the only way the sales person makes any money. Ask the salesperson if he/she is a permanent employee or just a hired gun. 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 company does not stand behind any claims made by exhibitors.
- 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 of a home show environment and a pressured 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 spa companies going out of business and leaving customers high and dry, no pun intended!
- You can’t try in privacy before you buy. We are huge believers that you should know everything there is about a hot tub before investing in one. Who is the manufacturer? How long have they been around? We also recommend taking a test soak as a critical step to making a good decision. Home Shows don’t offer this essential component. Would you buy a car by just sitting in it? We think you would make better decision by 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 likely are asking for lots of headaches and out of pocket costs down the road.
A hot tub should be one of the best investments you will ever make and, if chosen correctly, will truly be life changing for you. It’s important to be wary of “deals” that are too good to be true and the high pressure sales tactics that happen at Home Shows. What’s most important is that you take your time, explore your options and chose the hot tub that’s best for you. If the exhibitor respects your approach, the “deal” will be there after the Home Show ends. This is a long term investment that can quickly turn bad if you make an impulsive choice. And remember this very important bit of advice:
“The bitterness of poor quality and service is remembered long
after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory”