People often wonder when is the best time to buy a hot tub, and the answer can vary depending upon several factors. The best time for you to buy a spa, may not necessarily be the best time for everyone. For instance, you may be flexible with colors, size or delivery date and be looking for the lowest possible price, or maybe a finance special is what appeals to you, or perhaps getting the most bang for your buck (music, salt water system, cover lifter system, etc.) is what appeals to you. Every backyard, every budget and every customer can have a different definition of when the best time to buy a hot tub is. It is with this is mind, that I am writing this article to help you to decide when the best time is for you to purchase is.
THE LOWEST POSSIBLE PRICE ON A HOT TUB – INVENTORY AND FLOOR MODEL CLEARANCE SALES
WHEN: FALL THROUGH WINTER
There is no denying, this is probably a consumer favorite. There is a selling season for hot tubs, spas and swim spas and it begins in spring when consumers start venturing in their backyards again and it ends when the kids are back in school and the holidays begin. Therefore, beginning in September, you will find spa retailers are looking to start clearing out their excess inventory. Making this a great time to buy a hot tub.
Typically it goes like this. Starting in September you will find spa retailers offering discounts on in-stock, warehouse inventory spas. Stores are motivated to clear out inventory they carry during their season as it is often being financed and they will soon start paying interest on what has not sold. As fall progresses, and dependent upon how quickly the inventory sells, the next phase to be released are floor models and demos which are on display at the store. While it may be true that discounts can continue to increase through-out the fall and into the winter, as they become more motivated to clear out all remaining models to bring in the new year’s models, it is not without sacrificing on the selection. So while waiting until the last minute, could net you the absolute best price, it will also mean fewer selection.
Keep in mind that during this season, the store is not motivated to sell a hot tub that need to be ordered from the factory. Therefore, you will be hard pressed to find a great price if the spa has to be factory ordered. In addition, many of the higher quality manufacturers shut down production sometime during December and during the holidays to do clean up and re-tooling of their manufacturing facility. This could result in longer waiting time to get the spa you want from the factory.
AMAZING DISCOUNTS – DAMAGED/2NDS/PRE-OWNED
WHEN: YEAR ROUND
If you are flexible and just looking for the best possible price on a hot tub, always ask your sales person if they have anything in stock that has perhaps been discounted because of cosmetic damage. Depending upon the damage, the discounts can be fairly significant. Also, ask if they have any factory seconds, or pre-owned spas. Not all stores can offer this, but when they do, they are definitely some of the best prices you will find.
WHEN: SPRING & FALL (Most Often)
Most retailers that offer financing will have a 0% APR for 6-month program that is available upon approved credit. However, from time to time the financial institutions will offer special rates for longer months. From my experience, this usually happens sometime in Spring to kick off their season and again in Fall to assist with inventory clearance sales. If you don’t see financing advertised, be sure to ask the store. Perhaps they know of a special that is coming up soon and you may find it is worth waiting for.
MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
WHEN: SPRING AND INTO EARLY SUMMER
Spring…the time when people venture back into their backyards and sales of outdoor products, including hot tubs, spas and swim spas, begin to soar. Buyers are excited, and focused on the experience they will be having in their backyard this season with their family and friends. Making this the time when hot tub buyers are looking for more bang for their buck. If you are looking for salt water systems and music, fancy lifter systems, etc., often you will find them included. Looking for a gazebo, or patio furniture to compliment the new spa? They can probably work out special package pricing. Be sure to always ask if they have anything in stock because while it may not be as big of a discount as you may find at the end of the year, when combined with all the extras you get with the purchase, it can often add up to more overall savings.
WORST TIME – HOME & GARDEN/FAIRS & OFFSITE EVENTS
WHEN: THROUGH-OUT THE YEAR
There is a big misconception that outside events are the best place to buy your hot tub and that couldn’t be further from the truth. This belief is the result of consumers not knowing the true costs and being lead to believe that it is less than a brick and mortar location. This is not true. County fairs are by far the most expensive place to display and sell hot tubs. In our area, a fair that runs 4 weeks, can be anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000 for booth that is large enough to displays spas. Home and Garden Show floor space can be more affordable, usually only about $10,000…but that is only for 3 days. Keep in mind that the figures above do not include set up, break down, electricity, water, insurance, commissions, hotel and airfare (for flown in professional sales people). And then there are the independent hot tub sales events which are not only paying thousands for their space and everything else mentioned above for a three-day event…but they have extremely high costs for their aggressive TV advertising campaign. Because of this high overhead, prices are often more than at a local store, but the flown in professional sales person is able to sell you a story that there is a huge savings.
If buying from an offsite event appeals to you, then be sure to do some homework. When you are at the event and you find a spa that you are interested in, always ask for name of the manufacturer. Then, on your smart phone, go to the internet and find the website for the manufacturer…not the dealership. There is a difference. On the manufacturers site, you should be able to find an option to locate your nearest store. This is very important because you want to make sure you have local support to service the spa should anything go wrong. Now call that store. Then ask them if they can do better on the price. You might be surprised to find they can, and the best part is, because they are local, they will take better care of you in the long run.
Just a word of caution, if you are unable to find the manufacturer’s website, it would be advisable to move on. You will want to ensure that the product you are paying thousands of dollars will have the support of a manufacturer behind it.
This article has been brought to you by Coastal Spa and Patio Store in Placentia, CA. We are a family owned and operated store and have been selling spas in Orange County since 1988. We sincerely hope that the information contained within will help you in your search for a new spa. While we may not sell or offer services outside of the Southern California area, we hope that if you happen to be in our area that you will consider Coastal Spa and Patio as your place to shop for your new spa. We are committed to not only offering our customers quality products and great service, but we want you to know that you are getting the best price.
Best Price Guarantee – For 90 days following the purchase of your spa, Coastal Hot Spring Spas guarantees that you will not find a Hot Spring, Limelight, Hot Spot or Caldera Spa advertised for less at any other dealership or we will refund you the difference plus a $50 gift certificate towards chemicals.
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