What's The Best Time Of Year To Buy A Hot Tub?
After a long day working, the thought of easing into a hot tub and letting the high-powered jets massage your muscles is appealing. You want to kick back and relax while the bubbles soothe your worries away. In order to enjoy that luxury, you need to have a hot tub. Maybe you are replacing an old hot tub, or perhaps this will be your first time taking the plunge. You need to know your best options for buying the right hot tub at the best time.
The lowest prices on a hot tub will be during the late fall and winter. Hot Tub companies are clearing out their current stock to make room for new models, so you should be able to buy discounted models. Many dealers also offer sales around Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can also search for bargains like hot tubs with cosmetic damage, second-hand hot tubs, or using a third-party dealer.
Keep reading for the benefits and disadvantages of each of these options. Then you can make an informed decision about finding the best value for a hot tub.
The Best Time of Year For Low Prices on A Hot Tub
Buy a Hot Tub in the Late Fall and Winter
Like many other retailers, hot tub companies produce new styles with new features at the beginning of the calendar year. In the fall through the winter, hot tub retailers are clearing out their warehouse inventory. They start reducing prices early in the fall, and by the end of winter, the discounts are at their highest.
Year-end clearance sales can be an excellent opportunity for you to find a quality hot tub for a great price. The limitation of this option is that you must choose from what they have in stock. You may not get the exact size, color, or features you are looking for, especially late in the winter. On the other hand, if you are not particular about features, this is a great way to save money.
As the winter progresses, you may be able to negotiate a lower price as the retailers try to move old products out to make room for new models.
Hot Tub Holiday Sales
Typically, there are two other times of the year when hot tub retailers hold sales. Memorial Day at the end of May and Labor Day at the beginning of September are often great times to purchase new hot tubs at discounted prices. If the prices of the actual hot tubs are not discounted, you may be able to find good package deals that include accessories, installation discounts, and lower-priced maintenance contracts.
Year-Round Ways To Save on Hot Tubs
If you are replacing a broken or damaged hot tub, your timeline may not allow you to wait for the perfect sale. The same holds true for those who are remodeling their homes or landscaping their backyards. When the time comes to put in the hot tub, they may not be on sale.
Besides, if you know exactly what you want, you may need to special order your hot tub to specify the size, the number of jets, lighting, cabinet, and other additional features. Regardless of the time of year, there are possibilities for saving on a hot tub.
Manufacturer Coupons and Rebates
As you research your hot tub purchase, look for coupons and mail-in-rebates for different manufacturers. You may be able to stack these discounts and reduce the cost of the hot tub you’ve got your eye on.
Hot Tub Packages
Keep an eye out for package deals. Sometimes, a dealer or manufacturer may offer accessories, delivery and installation, and maintenance packages at a discounted rate even if the cost of the hot tub doesn’t change.
Discounts for Special Groups
Check with your local dealers for military, veteran, first responder, and other discounts for groups of people.
Cosmetic Damage or Returned Hot Tubs
You may be able to purchase a hot tub that has only cosmetic damage, which may be a dent or scratch on the cabinet and not affect the functionality at all. If the dealer you are working with accepts returns, you may be able to purchase a gently used hot tub. Perhaps a previous owner misjudged their ability to pay for one, or it was not the size that they wanted.
Second Hand Hot Tubs
Watch for personal sales of previously owned hot tubs. Remember, though, that buying a hot tub from an individual comes with some disadvantages. There will likely be no warranty on the hot tub. Also, the hot tub’s lifespan is likely to be shorter than a new one since it has already been used.
When to Avoid Buying a Hot Tub
There are a few situations when it may seem tempting to buy a hot tub; however, you should probably avoid these. Hot tub booths at special events like county fairs and going-out-of-business sales may offer a lower initial price, but the cost in support and value is steep.
County and State Fairs Selling Hot Tubs
When you are at a big event and see the hot tub booth, the price may be lower than a hot tub in the dealer showroom. One reason is that they may have hot tubs on-site to sell, and they don’t want to ship them back to the showroom or to another location. Furthermore, the salesperson at the event may not be an expert in hot tubs but just a person hired temporarily to close sales.
The problem is that the dealer at the convention center may not be your local dealer. Therefore, you may not have any ongoing support once the hot tub is delivered and installed. If you want to follow through on the idea of buying a hot tub at a trade show, take a few minutes and call the manufacturer. Ensure that the warranty is thoroughly explained and see if they offer ongoing support for your area after the purchase.
Going Out of Business Sales
A going-out-of-business sale is another option for finding a fantastic low price on a hot tub and related accessories. Of course, you will only get the styles and features that are in stock. The problem you may face is, again, that of ongoing support after the dealer closes.
The manufacturer warranty will still most likely be valid, but will you be able to get service and maintenance for your hot tub. Be sure that you can arrange for ongoing care before your purchase from a going-out-of-business sale.
How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?
Now that you have some ideas about when to buy a hot tub and how you might save some money, you may be asking how much a hot tub costs. Not surprisingly, you can find hot tubs from low-priced economy versions to high-end luxurious models.
Inflatable Hot Tubs
If you are a renter or you don’t use a hot tub very often, an inflatable hot tub may be the perfect choice for you. Inflatable tubs range in price from $300 to over $600, depending on size and features.
Inflatable hot tubs are not insulated as well as permanent ones and do not work outdoors in temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, be aware that inflatables use air bubbles, not water jets, for the massaging sensation.
The inflatable hot tubs in the $300 range are somewhat flimsy and insubstantial. They allow room for two people.
The $400-500 range inflatable hot tubs are of good quality. They are reasonably well insulated and generally hold four adults. Most inflatables in this range are round.
Inflatable hot tubs over $500 become more substantial. They may be rectangular for more comfortable legroom. Some hold up to 6 adults and have additional features like cup holders and seats.
Like permanent hot tubs, inflatables need chemical water treatments, a cover, and regular maintenance. Inflatables need to be drained and refilled more often than their acrylic counterparts.
Installed Hot Tubs
Permanently installed hot tubs are available at price points accessible to most homeowners. The lowest cost models start at about $3,000, while luxury models can be $18,000 and up.
Entry Level Cost
The least expensive hot tubs are $3000-$5000. These are made of molded plastic. They are smaller, have fewer jets, and have less insulation than higher-priced models. They are not as comfortable as the higher-priced hot tubs. These lightweight hot tubs are likely to last 4-5 years of good quality use.
Mid-Range hot tubs are $5,000 to $8,000. They are reliable, sturdy, and comfortable. These hot tubs are made from acrylic and generally have synthetic wood cabinets. They have more powerful jets than the less expensive models. Hot tubs in this class may have some features like lighting and better-quality insulation.
Ranging in price from $9,000 to $12,000, high-quality hot tubs are made from high-quality molded acrylic. They often have natural wood solid cabinet surrounds. Multiple powerful jets are strategically located for the most comfort and hydrotherapy. These models have extra features like LED lights, Bluetooth speakers, and cupholders.
Luxury Hot Tubs
Starting at $13,000, luxury and custom hot tubs can comfortably fit six or more adults. These models may include lounge seats with targeted hydrotherapy jets, fountains, waterfalls, LED lighting, sound systems, custom colors, custom-made wooden surrounds, and more. Luxury hot tubs have the highest quality insulation and filtration systems and may be suitable for saltwater systems.
Third-Party Hot Tub Vendors
One way to save money on the initial cost of the hot tub is to purchase it from a third-party vendor instead of from a dedicated hot tub dealer. In some cases, the cost savings can be significant — up to half the showroom price.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages to purchasing from third parties. First, they may offer warranties that are not as long or as thorough as the original manufacturer warranty. Next, you would have to find a contractor to install the hot tub for you. Finally, you would also have to find someone to provide ongoing maintenance and support for your hot tub.
Is Buying a Hot Tub at Costco a Good Value?
There are clear benefits to buying a hot tub from Costco. They offer the same high-quality name-brand hot tubs that you would purchase from a hot tub showroom at significantly discounted prices, ranging between $2,500 and $12,000. Another benefit to Costco is that they take returns if the hot tub is not to your liking.
Costco usually sells their hot tubs online, which keeps the cost to the customer low. However, that means that as the customer, you can’t touch, sit in, or physically inspect the hot tub until it arrives at your home.
Once or twice a year, Costco has traveling hot tub roadshows. Check out the listing for your region to see when the hot tub roadshow will be near you.
Is Buying a Hot Tub from Wayfair, Overstock, or Home Depot a Good Value?
Wayfair has over 100 models of high-quality brand-name hot tubs for sale at discounted prices. They also offer free shipping and a 30-day return policy.
Overstock has fewer choices, around 50 models, but they are good quality name-brand hot tubs. Overstock also offers free shipping, which generally takes 2-4 weeks. Their return policy is a partial refund within 30 days.
Home Depot has the economy line of a couple of brand-name hot tubs. They are at a lower price than you would find in a showroom. However, they offer a third-party warranty that is not as complete as the original manufacturer’s warranty. Home Depot may charge for delivery to your home.
Disadvantages to Buying Hot Tubs from Third Party Vendors
Although you may be able to get a great price of a hot tub from Costco, Wayfair, Overstock, or Home Depot, that initial discount is the only real benefit. You will be ordering those hot tubs online, so you cannot get a feel for the sturdiness and comfort of the model you choose until it is delivered to your home.
While many of these companies deliver the hot tub for free, that delivery service means that they bring it to the end of your driveway, not to the spot in your backyard where you want it to set it up. Therefore, you will need to hire someone to move it to the proper location on your property.
Furthermore, none of these companies offer installation services or regular maintenance. You will need to hire an electrician and possibly a hot tub maintenance company for regular servicing.
Finally, you may not be able to get the original manufacturer’s warranty through a third party. Contact the manufacturer for more information about warranties.
With careful planning and saving, you can find a reasonable price on a hot tub or a hot tub package. Shop at the end of the year with hot tub dealers for clearance prices on last year’s models. Ask about discounts for cosmetic damage or floor models. Consider carefully if you decide to purchase a hot tub from a third party. You will most likely get a significantly lower price but possibly a weaker warranty and no ongoing maintenance support.
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