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More Spa Shopping Information

By: Todd Sabino, Consumer's Review Digest
August 2002

Some of the points of concern when spa shopping:

  • How long have they been in business ?
  • How strong is their dealer network ?
  • How good is their aftermarket support ?
  • Do they properly support their warranties ?
  • Can you easily repair the units ?
  • Can you easily get parts for not only this year's spas, but those of 5 years ago ? 10 years ago ?
  • How expensive are the aftermarket parts ? Are they generic or proprietary parts ?
  • Are the electronics generally stable ?
  • Are they known "leakers" ?
  • Are they generally energy efficient ?
  • What is the value for the price ?
  • What do current owners say about them ? Are they generally satisfied of dissatisfied ?

How much should I spend on my spa ?

Think about automobiles.  You can buy a Luxury Class car like a Mercedes Benz for $80,000 and you can buy a Toyota Camry for $15,000.  That does not necessarily mean that the Toyota is a bad car.  As a matter of fact it is a great car.  It does not try to be a Mercedes and the average buyer of the Toyota is not looking for a Mercedes either.  They are simply in different "Classes" of cars.

Think of Hot Tub Spas the same way.   Not everyone who goes out to buy a spa wants (or needs) a $9000 Luxury Class spa.   But there are some people who do.  Some people will buy that $80,000 Mercedes as well !  You can buy spas at all different price points and there will be a wide variety of quality available as you go from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not all manufacturers go after the Luxury Class market, but that does not make them a "bad" spa.  This is an important point.

Don't get "turned off" if a salesman tells you that if you don't get the $9000 spa, all you'll get is junk - that is not true.  There are many spas in the $3500 - $4500 price range that are darn good units.  They just may not have a lot of the fancy features and "bells & whistles" that the $9000 spa has.  However you may not need all those features.

Some people go out shopping for a spa with three or four thousand dollars in their pocket and get turned off because the salesmen only try to push the very expensive units by telling them that the less expensive units are not good.  A lot of these people end up not buying a spa at all because they don't feel that they can get a good unit in their price range.  This is simply not true at all.

Remember, you can buy a great spa for $4000 and you can buy a piece of junk for $7000 - so price does not always ensure a high quality product.  Many of the larger manufacturers now offer a wide range of price points and quality for their units.  If you like a particular brand, you can choose either their "high end" or their "lower end".  This is a very convenient situation for many shoppers.  A "lower end" unit from a quality company can turn out to be a great spa as well.

The reverse situation is also possible.  Some manufacturers do produce extremely "low end" units at very enticing price points. However, sometimes you find that both features and quality are lacking in those units.

Your best defense is to do your homework and look at a number of different units at different price points from different dealers before you make your final decision. So what does this all mean ?  It means that hot tub spas are very relaxing and you will really love having one, but you should be a smart shopper to get the best value for your money.

 Return to Spa Buyer's Guide

Pool and Spa Store - Shopping