By Mario Maichel, Dealer Development Manager, Watkins Wellness
Think about the most valuable things you’ve ever purchased. Not the most expensive items, but those that have enriched your life the most. When I think about the things have brought my family closer together and that have brought me closer to the life I want to live, a few things come to mind, but one thing sticks out—my hot tub.
I can say without a single doubt that I attribute value and fulfillment to my spa. But what’s just as important is that I’m lucky enough to have a job that allows me to share my hot tub knowledge with our dealers and share great hot tub shopping tips here with prospective customers like you. Every day, I take pride in helping dealers deliver an exceptional shopping experience to their customers, because I know firsthand the compound value hot tubs offer: years of relaxation, improved physical and mental well-being, and deep connection with family and friends. I also know that investing in a home spa is a big decision and that wading through the options can be overwhelming. Sure, I had the advantage of choosing my hot tub based on my insider’s perspective—but now so can you. Just follow my lead!
HOT TUB SHOPPING TIPS FOR SUCCESS
FULLY IMAGINE WHAT A HOT TUB WILL BRING TO YOUR LIFE
I’ve lost count of the of all the stories I’ve heard from hot tub owners who’ve said their spas have changed their lives. Some admit surprise; others expected it because they knew from the start exactly what they wanted from their spa. Having imagined how their lives might change before hitting the showroom, they were in a much better position to sort through hot tub options and choose the right one based on their needs when they got there.
Once you’re in a showroom, a dealer can help you imagine the benefits and features of hot tubbing more fully, and guide you toward the models and accessories that will bring your vision to life. A great dealer will ask all the right questions, because choosing a hot tub is never just about size, comfort, or the number of jets. It’s also about lifestyle—how you spend your day, your level of stress and how tension accumulates in your body and mind, and how well you sleep. So be prepared to be as open and transparent as possible about your new hot tub needs and desires.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
If it’s your first time shopping for a hot tub, you probably have some preconceived notions, a few of which might be misguided. Perhaps you’ve had an unfavorable experience in a friend’s spa, or maybe you’ve only soaked in spas at resorts and hotels, and left unimpressed. It happens, but don’t let those incidents cloud your judgment. Many hotel hot tubs are in-ground and don’t offer the comfort, superior massage, and assurance of sanitation top-quality home spas do. Plus, always remember that no two models will offer the exact same experience.
You might also have read comparisons regarding the number of jets in one model versus another and, as a result, assume that more jets mean a better experience. But that’s not necessarily true. Avid hot-tubbers know that the number of jets matters less than whether the spa is designed to power enough water through the jets to make it an effective hydrotherapy experience. Sometimes, too many jets can mean poor water flow, which just might annoy rather than soothe you. So, don’t make quick assumptions about hot tubs; begin researching with an open mind and ready for fresh impressions.
DO YOUR INITIAL RESEARCH
Explore different manufacturers and models online, and then narrow down your choices by focusing on the benefits and features most important to you.
Read product reviews, take lots of notes, and allow yourself to get excited about seeing certain models and features in person at a dealership.
While it’s absolutely possible to buy a hot tub online, my tips and advice go only so far for people looking to do so, because that decision rejects the significance of the critical owner-dealer relationship. A dealer will be a partner to you for the life of your hot tub, but an online store can’t offer the same dedication. When purchasing online, there’s no guarantee that the website or a sales rep will be there tomorrow—or two years from now—when you need information, advice, service, or to follow up on a warranty benefit.
EVALUATE YOUR LOCAL DEALERSHIPS
An incredibly important part of hot tub shopping and hot tub ownership is developing a relationship with a dealer you can trust and lean on throughout the life of your spa.
Evaluate the information dealerships make available on their websites, including brochures, and browse dealer reviews online to learn what their customers have said. Also be sure to talk to friends who own spas and have relationships with dealers.
Choose a dealership that employs true hot-tubbers, as all of ours do. When you meet a sales rep who lives the hot tub lifestyle, your level of anxiety drops dramatically because you know you’re working with someone who believes in the benefits of the products and who is familiar with the model that will best fit your life. A great dealer can make an otherwise overwhelming shopping journey really easy.
VISIT A DEALERSHIP
The most important hot tub shopping tip I have is to get yourself to a dealership and fully experience your options for this major investment. Shopping online and looking at brochures is a great start, but you’ll want to see and touch each model before making a purchase. Think of it this way: No one can really describe the aroma of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies; you have to experience a waft of that deliciousness for yourself to truly understand!
A visit to a showroom will ensure you lay your eyes on the whole package: the true look of the spas, the design that will best complement your deck or landscape, the fit that will provide the best hydrotherapy experience for you and your family, and the feel and features that will draw you to the spa regularly. Be sure to stick your hand in the warm water while there, too. I don’t like to sell a hot tub to someone who won’t put their hand in the water. In fact, I suggest going all in! Consider a test soak, because you’ll never choose the best possible hot tub unless you slip into its seats, feel the power of its jets on your body, and are completely confident in its reliability and performance for your lifestyle. At the very least, sit in a dry tub to get a really clear sense of how comfortable it can be for your body and how different tubs compare.
Beyond the tub itself, you’re also shopping for a relationship with your dealer. Think about not only what the salesperson has to say about the products, but also his or her overall professionalism and enthusiasm. Do you feel confident in the sales rep’s hot tub knowledge and ability to answer all of your questions satisfactorily? How is the rep showing you that your interests and vision matter? Do you feel clear about the dealer’s commitment to support you long after your hot tub is delivered? Talking face to face and witnessing the dealer’s commitment to your values and needs is the best way to feel secure in your purchase.
A showroom visit will also allow you to see firsthand that factory-trained technicians, delivery vehicles, inventory, and parts are on-site and available when you need them. This shows that the dealer isn’t going anywhere, that it’s invested in the brands it sells and in the community for the long term.
These are all the components you need to set yourself up with not only the perfect hot tub, but also a reliable dealer for a long time.
DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN YOUR PERFECT HOT TUB
When making a large purchase like a hot tub, the best way to avoid regret is to choose the product that best meets your needs. A trusted, knowledgeable dealer will have your best interests in mind, help you feel absolutely confident about your purchase, and support you for as long as you own your spa. When you buy a hot tub, you’re investing in much more than a box of water with jets; you’re entering into a 20-year relationship with both the manufacturer and the dealer, who will offer service and support to keep your spa running smoothly for decades.
It’s silly to say, but I take all of this very seriously. There aren’t many products that have a large health impact on my life and that are so much fun. I know going to the gym is good for me, but I hate doing it. I know that taking a class would be rewarding, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it. Sitting in my hot tub, however, whether by myself or with my family, improves my life and puts a smile on my face. I feel great, my circulation has never been better, I get passive exercise daily, and brilliant ideas come to me as I soak because both my mind and body are relaxed.
The way I see it is simple: The most expensive item you own is the one you never use, but the most valuable is the one that’s integral to a good life.
Don’t wait to learn more about the important role a showroom can play in your hot tub shopping journey. Your Hot Spring Spas® dealership specializes in the ultimate shopping experience, so you can choose the best spa option for life. You can also request a personal price quote or download a brochure for more information now.