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Fact or Fiction?

Frequently Misrepresented Information About Spas

MSRP Pricing - What You Should Know!

MSRP's (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Pricing) are often used in the hot tubs business to make it appear that you are getting a huge discount.  MSRP's are often set 200% above the actual cost of the hot tub.  The Traveling Hot Tub & Blow Out Road Shows will sometimes use MSRP's that are literally 5x times the actual cost of the hot tub.  You can see that they have plenty of room to offer a massive discount and still make plenty of money on the hot tub sale.  However, people selling this way will usually be more clever.  They will also tell you that you're getting a huge discount because (pick one or two):

  • "We are the factory."
  • "We're getting a big discount from the factory."
  • "We cut out the overhead."
    • Because they are only here for the weekend! 
  • "We don't have to pay rent because we're a Road Show."
    • Of course they "forget" to mention the $50,000 or more they spent in advertising.
  • "Our spas are built the same or better than the Big Guys."
    • They will often use a bogus Spa Comparison Chart to "support" their claim.

High Pressure Sales - BUY NOW!

Honestly, we have never understood why people fall for high-pressure sales.  When you start hearing the "hard close" just turn around and walk away.  It really is that simple!

Here's why:

  • If it's a good deal today, it's a good deal tomorrow!
  • Take your time to research your options.
  • It's not like there is only 1 hot tub left to buy.  The manufacturer will ALWAYS be happy to make another one for you, despite their claims of "Clearance", "Only this weekend", and other nonsense. 

What Does "Factory Direct" Really Mean?

In the hot tub industry, the term "Factory Direct" is a marketing gimmick to make people believe they are receiving a discount when they are not.  Here are the facts.

  • All hot tub showrooms are "Factory Direct"!  All the hot tub showrooms in Austin buy directly from their manufacturers.
  • Companies that sell hot tubs only on the internet as "Factory Direct" sell cheap spas that are not worth even their supposedly discounted prices!
  • It is our opinion that, in the portable hot tub business, anyone using the term "Factory Direct" in their advertising to explain low prices is simply being deceptive. 

 

Should I Believe Spa Ratings?

In a word, No. 

No organization that claims to rate spas is independent.  They all take advertising money.

The one company that truly is independent, Consumer Reports, has never evaluated hot tubs.

Should I Believe Internet Ratings?

Depends - You can trust ours!  Every one of our reviews was written by a legitimate client but there is a growing problem with companies making a business of writing fake reviews.

Why does a company pay another company to write fake reviews?

  1. They want to make their operation seem better than it is because they don’t want to do the real work of improving the experience for their customers.
  2. They want to try to bury bad reviews.
  3. They want to improve their Search Engine listing without doing the actual work.
  4. It’s too darn easy!

We have more reviews on the Internet than anyone on Angie’s List.  Every review is legitimate so we know what a real review looks like for a hot tub company.  Almost always they will:

  1. Be much longer than just 1 or 2 lines
  2. Tell a story of their experience
  3. Name the people they met
    • Buying a hot tub is a process that usually takes several hours.  By the end of that time, you know the name of your salesperson and often others!

Several times a year we get phone calls from companies offering to write fake reviews.  Sadly, the Search Engines are doing little to ensure the legitimacy of reviews written on their sites.  One of the reasons we are big fans of Angie's List is because they manually screen every review.  In fact, it usually takes 3 days after someone writes a review on Angie’s List before it will appear on their site.  They use this time to check validity of the review!  

Please note: Both Google & Yelp claim to have automated processes to screen out fake reviews.  From our experience, these automated "screens" do a poor job of separating fake reviews from legitimate ones.  On the other hand, you simply cannot fake an Angie's List review because you must be a member and they manually check every review.

What is Microban®?

Microban® is basically a pesticide.  Some "inventive" folks figured out a way to add it to plastics back in the 1990's.  Now you will find a number of spa manufacturers noting that they use Microban® acrylic in their spa shells.  Via one means or another they will try to convince you that this kills bacteria.  There is only 1 small problem.  Microban®, in acrylic, has been proven to have absolutely no value.  It does not kill a thing when embedded in acrylic!  More information can be found here.

As of 2014, Lucite, one of the 2 major manufacturers of acrylic used in the hot tub industry, had stopped selling Microban®  Acrylic. 

What Does "Appliance Grade" Mean?

Several companies making poor quality hot tubs have taken to calling their spas, "Appliance Grade".  To us it means, "Stay Away"! 

None of the best spa manufacturers use this term.  This is nothing more than another bit of marketing hype by some of the worst players in our industry.

Welcome To Wellness!

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