Should I Buy a Used Hot Tub?
If you're thinking about bringing a hot tub into your life, and you're a deal-conscious shopper, you may be considering buying your spa used. Previously-owned hot tubs in all ranges of quality, from inflatable hot tubs to luxury spas, are available on Craigslist and other websites; it's also not uncommon to buy a used hot tub from a yard sale or from a friend or neighbor. Often, used hot tubs can even be purchased from a certified dealership for a lower sticker price than a new one. For many, a used spa seems like a great investment—a way to get all the enjoyment of a brand-new hot tub for a fraction of the price. However, as you scroll through Craigslist looking for the best deals in your area, keep in mind that buying used does involve a few trade-offs. Before you hop in your car to go meet a seller, there are a few questions you might want to ask.
THE BENEFITS OF BUYING USED
When you buy used, you can sometimes find good-quality items, often at much lower prices than their newer counterparts. When you're shopping for clothing, furniture, smartphones, appliances, and even vehicles, buying used can save you a bundle or grant you quick access to rare or unique things.
The same came be true for hot tubs. While you can't be assured of finding a used spa with the latest and most powerful pumps or Bluetooth-connected speakers, you may stumble onto an exciting find. Some hot tubs are sold barely used and in like-new condition, while others may be well-loved, well-kept older models with a style of their own. After all, if a high-quality hot tub is properly maintained, it can be expected to last for several years of continuous use. Whether sold via a dealership, a website, or a personal connection, used hot tubs are likely to cost less at initial purchase than new models. However, in balance with these benefits, there are some trade-offs involved in buying a used hot tub.
THE TRADE-OFFS OF BUYING A USED HOT TUB
The benefits of buying a used hot tub come with a few drawbacks. For one, your selection is limited to what's available at your time of purchase. While you may stumble onto a great deal, buying used won't afford you the same amount of choice as buying from a dealer. Similarly, unless you purchase from a dealership, you most likely won't have access to delivery services, and thus will need to rely on your own resources and ingenuity to bring your hot tub home. You'll also be solely responsible for the installation of your hot tub.
Warranties are not typically offered on used hot tubs, which are usually sold as-is. As a result, should any maintenance be required, you'll have to pay to hire a technician or handle the repairs yourself. Used hot tubs will naturally have more wear and tear on them than new models, which increases the likelihood of required maintenance soon after purchase. When considering buying a used hot tub, it's a good idea to make a sound assessment of the hot tub's likely need for repairs over its remaining lifetime. Without a warranty or service plan from a dealer, these repairs may end up costing more in the long-term than you initially saved by buying used.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING A USED HOT TUB
In general, is it a good idea to buy a used hot tub? It depends. Before you make a decision, it's important to do research on all your available options, for both old and new spas. When considering a purchase of a used hot tub, ask yourself a few questions:
- How old is this hot tub?
- Do I trust the seller?
- What maintenance will this hot tub likely require? Are maintenance records available?
- Who will deliver and install this hot tub? How much will that cost?
- What will I do if I need to make repairs or replace a part?
If you're satisfied with the answers to each of these questions, it might be a good idea to get a used hot tub. For instance, if you make your purchase from someone who kept meticulous notes about regular maintenance, you might feel reassured that you're getting a used hot tub in good working condition. However, if your answers indicate some potential future difficulties, compare the trade-offs of buying used against the benefits of purchasing a brand-new hot tub from a dealership. You may be surprised at which turns out to be the better deal.
At Hot Spring® Spas, we make sure to make the hot tub purchasing and ownership process as smooth as possible for our customers. We're here to support you throughout every stage of the process, from exploring your options through years of satisfied spa ownership. Our dealers offer warranties on our hot tubs, as well as service and repair plans. The high quality of all our spas guarantees top-notch performance for the lifetime of your hot tub. To learn more about our high-quality hot tubs, download our brochure.