Consumer Alert: What’s the WORST place to buy a high ticket item? Answer: A traveling show.
Here’s Why: Hot tub and swim spa expos are typically advertised as “national events” and insinuate that all major manufactures are present. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, these expo events are set up quickly and ran by high-pressure sales staff who leave town and disappear as soon as the event is over never to be seen again.
Don’t get taken for a ride at the traveling hot tub and swim spa expo. Hold on to your wallet.
You won’t find the world’s best manufacturers there such as Watkins Wellness, or local dealers who sell their products at these pop-up expos. In regard to home shows, the local dealers only participates in established, reputable home shows in their service area.
At a traveling expo, the endless aisles are no place to make an informed decision about a relaxation investment of thousands of dollars to last for years to come.
You need to make your decision in peace. We suggest you find your local dealer and schedule a test soak or consultation in your own backyard before you take delivery. That’s an offer only a local company can give you not a hired guy at an expo who will disappear after the event.
Additionally, most tubs at an event can only be dry tested.
Should a traveling show actually have a spa filled with water to test, you would have to be ready to get in your swimsuit in front of a crowd of people. And who wants to do that? Local dealers offer you the opportunity for a “wet test” before you buy. These wet tests allow you to feel the jets, make sure the water depth fits your height, and the seating fits your body.
You’ll also feel the sales pressure at a traveling expo.
Sales reps want to close deals as fast as they can to earn their commission and keep your deposit. The claims and counterclaims you’ll hear for their products will boggle your mind. In fact, you are likely to hear that if you’re not going to buy today, they can’t help you because they work on commission. They’ll try to sell you what’s on hand, and if you order something like a customer color it could take months for delivery – and that’s if you receive it at all!
Don’t fall for the “this price is only good right now!”
When the “expo” price says 50% off, chances are that’s their regular price you’re looking at. Frequently, the expo price is even higher than the regular price, so that the sellers can recoup the high cost of the booth and expenses from you.
Don’t be left without a local company to answer questions and provide service.
One of the main reasons to avoid the traveling expo is because when the event ends the expo leaves too, and often without a local showroom or anyone to answer questions, much less provide service after the sale. That’s no way to buy a hot tub or swim spa.
Take your time when buying a hot tub or swim spa. Take along these 9 questions to get you started:
- Do you have a showroom in my local area where I can test soak the models I’m interested in?
- How long have you been in business? How long has the manufacturer been in business?
- Can you provide reference and reviews about your hot tubs and swim spas?
- Do you have energy costs for a 4-6 person hot tub used in our area four to five times a week for 30 minutes at a time (the average use period) that has been certified by an independent testing lab?
- What options do you have for water care that’s chlorine and bromine free?
- What about delivery? Is it driveway drop-off or full service to the exact spot where I want it?
- Do you provide your own service or it via a third party?
- Can you give me a copy of the warranty for this hot tub or swim spa?
- What’s your cancellation policy? Can I get a refund of my deposit if I change my mind?
*We appreciate our friends at Olympic Hot Tub and Georgia Spa Company for compiling this information and allowing us to share it.