Why Buying a Hot Tub from a Home Show May Not be a Good Idea

We have learned from many customers how buying a hot tub from a home show can be quite unsatisfactory and frustrating. This piqued our interest as a topic we felt worth exploring. At Imagine Backyard Living, we are dedicated to understanding what’s important to the consumer so we can better communicate the pitfalls of buying a hot tub at a home show. Here is what we have learned:

  • 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 the amount very small and use a credit card so you have cancelation privileges. Get in writing that 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 that right.
  • Many companies send professional sales teams to Home Shows that are accustomed to pressuring people to buy…its the only way the salesman makes any money. 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.
  • 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 hot tub stores going out of business and leaving customers high and dry. Be sure you know who the dealer is and what type of history and experience they have in the Valley. Ask for references.
  • You can’t test soak 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. After all, you are investing in a hot tub for the hydrotherapy and soaking experience. Home Shows don’t offer this essential component. Would you buy a car by just sitting in it or looking at it? We think you will make a better decision by test driving it.
  • Who will service your after the product is delivered to your home? Are they certified by the factory? Hot tubs built by lesser known or unreliable brands are known to have lots of service issues and if you aren’t sure about the brand, or how it will be serviced, you likely are 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. Many of these dealers do most all of their of their business at a home shows so they have to get lots of sales or they are in trouble. 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 by a high pressure sales person.

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