Are Hot Tub Prices Negotiable?
When it comes to major purchases, there are a few different types of shoppers. The first is those that buy the first item they see that might do the thing they need it to do. Then there are those that buy the cheapest thing they find that will do the thing they need. And lastly comes the shopper who does research, looks around, asks questions, and finds out everything they need to know to get the best bang for their buck.
Since you’re here, we’re going to assume you’re the third. That’s a good thing because when it comes to purchasing a hot tub, there are a lot of details to consider that can affect the price. Knowledge is power. The question is what hot tub items are negotiable, if any, and whether or not there’s room for haggling.
In reality, the answer is that it depends. Let’s break it down by specific details.
Are hot tub prices negotiable? Is it like buying a car or a house, where you can make a fair offer and bargain, or do you need to wait for special sales and prices? If you’re buying through reputable, big-name dealers, they generally have standardized pricing. But these same dealers do occasionally offer promotions or sales, and there’s always the possibility of negotiating optional features or specialty items. However, If you come across a spa that is completely negotiable and has thousands of dollars shaved off the price tag, this is a huge red flag. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Maximize Your Budget
When setting a budget for an investment item, it’s important that you know what you’re comfortable spending and how much room you have for flexibility in that budget. Is it stretchable at all, or is there a hard limit?
Once you set your budget, consider your needs and desires for the ideal hot tub. What do you absolutely have to have, and what extras could you live without? Do you have room to consider specific add-ons? If so, how much room, and which add-ons are priorities for you?
When you go into the store, make sure you select a model that starts out around mid-budget because chances are that you’re going to want at least one or two add-ons, such as steps or a cover-lifter. These can be added into financing, and designs and options constantly evolve, so purchasing them at the same time as your spa is always preferable if you can handle it. It’s also important to ask about water care and programming options, as well as any adjustability the spas offer because some of these optional features must be added on when the spa is built and can’t be purchased down the road. Water care systems come to mind here, and since water care is an ongoing cost, asking about it early can potentially save you a lot of unnecessary expenses.
Cheaper isn’t Always Better
Let’s be honest here. We all love a great deal, but there’s a big difference between inexpensive and cheap, and the price of a product doesn’t always reflect this. But sometimes it does. This is the part where you have to look hard at spa quality and how the product is made. For instance, how does this product fare over harsh winters or summers?
If you’re reading reviews and see mentions of freezing pipes or pumps, or cracked shells, cabinets, or other components, pay attention to those details. The truth is there is just no way for some low-low priced hot tubs to be built in a way that will ensure that they last more than a few years.
Another point to consider is the level of chemicals the spa will require. Most brands have completely different technology for clean water care, and this is a big area where you get what you pay for. If your cheaper hot tub requires twice the chemicals and has to be repaired multiple times a year, did you really get a better deal? Most well-made spas have self-cleaning or specialty water care options and strong warranties.
Make sure you’ve considered the ongoing costs of owning a hot tub because energy efficiency (or the lack of it), chemicals, and filters can add up and, in a lot of cases, end up costing you more down the road. In addition to these monetary costs, don’t forget the time required for maintenance. How much time are you willing to dedicate to caring for your spa long-term? How much is your time worth? Is there a way to minimize that time requirement?
*pro-tip: If you’re determined to negotiate something about your spa purchase, water care is one of those areas where you may be able to get some products, filters, or systems included in your spa price.
Getting the Best Deal on Your Hot Tub
Once you have a good idea of some models that fit your requirements, it’s time to go into your local hot tub dealer and talk about pricing. It never hurts to ask for a better price. Sometimes the dealer has allowed a little extra padding to their pricing in order to allow for this. Or, if they haven’t, they might be willing to tell you about promotions or deals they have scheduled. A lot of times, dealers are able to offer rebates or other special items through the hot tub manufacturer, like special financing rates, and almost all dealers plan in advance for annual or semi-annual sales to clear out older models.
If none of these are available for a while, you can always ask what else they can add to your purchase to sweeten the deal.
*pro-tip: ask your dealer if they have floor models or clearance spas they’d like to unload. It’s sometimes possible to purchase these spas at a slightly discounted rate, and most of the time, any blemishes or problems are strictly cosmetic.
The Final Negotiation
You are now armed with some important information that should inform your hot tub purchase decision. All that’s left to do now is to make some decisions on these points we’ve discussed and figure out what’s negotiable and what is not and what possible additions can be made to save you money down the road.