Picture of a fair

Fair Season is upon us! Be smart if you’re looking for a hot tub

July 25, 2019

Picture of a fairJuly 25, 2019 – Last week, I received a question from a blog reader about a hot tub purchase he had recently made at a fair. They had changed their mind and wondered if they had any way to get their money back on the tub or if they were stuck.

It made me realize that, even though I’ve written about this before, it might be a good idea to talk about fairs and buying hot tubs at them. Plenty of other hot tub retailers, manufacturers and customers get a little crazy when I discuss this topic. The opinion is often that I make it self-serving, and don’t give any value to the fact that many people buy hot tubs at a fair and are quite happy with them.

What I will tell you is this: over and over, we get panicked calls from folks during fair season that buy hot tubs at a fair and not a single one of them is happy about their decision. “Buyer’s remorse” would be putting it incredibly lightly!

This go round, I thought it would be helpful to give you a guide of what to think about if you truly consider going to the fair, eating cotton candy, riding a roller coaster and spending thousands of dollars on a hot tub is your thing.

Here are my recommendations to check off your list should you choose to shop for a hot tub at a fair:

  • Shop your local hot tub companies. Give yourself a good, thorough education on who sells in your market, Get educated on the things that are important when you own a hot tub, not what the hot tub team at a fair will lead you to believe are important.
  • Shy away from any hot tub company at a fair that does not have a physical business presence in your area. If they can pack up and head off to the next fair with a chance of you never hearing from them again, think twice.
  • Check the online reviews for every hot tub company at the fair before you even set foot in their space. If they don’t have a good online reputation with consumers, why would you set yourself up to be the next unhappy customer?
  • Speaking of online: research what you might be interested in for a tub before you go to the fair. If you show up at their space and say you’d like to look at a particular model, they’ll be aware you’ve done some research and may not bite off on everything they say.
  • Be aware of this: Many hot tub companies will hire “show teams” to work at a fair for them or mix them in with their other employees. These folks are paid to extract money and close deals. That’s their only goal. To think they’re genuinely interested in what you may need at home for you and your family is a gamble.
  • Be aware that hot tub companies that do not go to the fair have great specials in store that equal—or sometimes better—the offers that might be touted at a fair.
  • Savings that sound too good to be true…ARE too good to be true. If you’re getting a price quote with pricing slashed and you’re saving 25%? You’re not. Not a single hot tub company in business today can afford to sell tubs with that type of discounting. They’d be out of business in no time flat. Take a hard look at the pricing and make sure it’s a genuinely good offer.
  • Is delivery included? (Not a driveway drop off.) Do you get all the water care products you need? Is installation of any accessories included? Be sure you’re aware of what you are really getting included with your hot tub purchase.

Also, know this: The Federal Trade Commission has a regulation in place (16 CFR 429) that gives you the right to a refund of any money connected to an order placed with a door-to-door salesperson. This rule also applies to sales made away from a company’s usual place of business—a fair or home show qualify. If a company tells you that you cannot get your money back, contact your attorney general’s office right away, and send the company a copy of the FTC regulation.

Forewarned is forearmed! Remember: A hot tub is something you need ongoing support on as you own it. Water care questions, service needs and other concerns come up in the time you own a hot tub, and you want a good local reliable hot tub company that has been in the business for years as your support provider. We’re not perfect by any means at Olympic—no hot tub company is. BUT we’ve been in this business for 42 years, have carried ONE brand of hot tub for 37 of those years, and do our very best to support and service what we sell. I hope you’ll drop by and take a look at what we have to offer you—which is pretty terrific! One thing is for sure: you’ll not find us at the fair.