Consumer Alert: What You Need to Know Before Buying at a Spa Expo

You may have recently seen ads for a spa or hot tub “expo” offering deep discounts from “major brands.”  These expos bring one expression to mind: Caveat Emptor—or “buyer beware.”  Mainely Tubs has been serving the New England market for more than 40 years, and we take quality and customer service very seriously.  Unfortunately, every year we meet customers who purchased a spa or hot tub from a traveling expo who are disappointed with their purchase, so before spending thousands of dollars on this important investment, please consider the following questions carefully: 

Who will service your hot tub?

Would you buy a car from a company that did not have a means to service it?  Traveling expos must rely on third party service firms for warranty repairs—in fact we have known many expos to try to tell customers to “just call Mainely Tubs if there is a service need.”  The reality is that most dealers, including Mainely Tubs, are only authorized to provide warranty service for hot tubs that we sell. 

Expo buyers have described to us a painful process of trying to get an out-of-state manufacturer to return their calls when they have a warranty issue, followed by a scramble to find a local independent repair service. This can be extremely frustrating as a consumer—particularly if your tub breaks down in the middle of winter! If you buy a product from Mainely Tubs you can rest assured knowing you’ll join over 35,000 happy customers that can count on service when they need it, rain, snow, or shine. 

"Pushy" is not pretty. 

At traveling expos, salespeople tend to be a little more "in your face" when it comes to trying to make a sale because they are typically paid 100% on commission. Sounds anything but relaxing if you ask us. 😉 When purchasing from Mainely Tubs, you can feel confident knowing our team of Wellness Consultants are non-commissioned and solely interested in helping you find whatever product best meets your specific needs. 

“50% OFF this weekend only!” 

Expo sales staff will often say “prices are half-off for a limited time.”  However, the “discounted” prices you see are often the full retail price for a comparable product.  In fact, expos have been known to markup their products more because they need to cover venue fees and travel and hotel costs of their commissioned sales teams.  Be sure to carefully compare their quoted prices against hot tubs of similar quality from a local dealer.

What “Major Brands” are Represented? 

The highest rated and most established spa brands do not sell through expos—they rely on networks of seasoned local dealers with the service capabilities to stand behind the warranties of their products.  Mainely Tubs sells only hot tubs and swim spas from Watkins Wellness, the world’s largest manufacturer of hot tubs.  We believe that the Hot Spring, Caldera, Endless Pools and FreeFlow brands are the highest quality in their categories, and you will only find them at leading dealers such as Mainely Tubs. 

What questions should I ask at the expo? 

If you do find yourself at a spa expo, here are some questions to ask to help make an informed decision: 

  1. Do you have brick and mortar showroom in my local area where I can test soak the models I’m interested in? 
  2. How long have you been in business? How long has the manufacturer been in business? 
  3. Can you provide local references and reviews about your hot tubs and swim spas? 
  4. What about delivery? Is it driveway drop-off or full service to the exact spot where I want it? 
  5. How long is the warranty for?  Can you give me a copy?  If there is a problem with the hot tub, do you provide your own service or is it via a third party? 
  6. What’s your cancellation policy? Can I get a refund of my deposit if I change my mind? 

Finding your Perfect Hot Tub 

Ads for spa expos are meant to generate excitement, and they can sure be tempting. Just remember—a high quality spa can last for years when properly cared for, and whether your goal is improved wellbeing, increased relaxation, or more high quality family time, this is a purchase decision you do not want to rush. At Mainely Tubs, we take the time to help you find the best hot tub, swim spa or sauna to meet your needs, and we do it in a relaxed, “no-pressure” environment—in contrast to the high-pressure environment often found at an expo. 

So, if you want to relax and enjoy a pressure-free shopping experience, stop by any one of our  6 New England Showrooms  and meet with our friendly and knowledge team of Wellness Consultants. 

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