Retail stores and "Expos" (there is only one dealer and 1 manufacturer at the "expo" and you will pay more here than if you just went to an over priced retailer) that sell hot tubs have ridiculously high overhead and markups on their hot tubs. If this isn`t the case then why aren`t there multiple stores carrying the same brands in Ottawa? Why do all hot tub dealers have exclusivity in their city/territory? There is more than 1 Honda dealer, there is more than 1 GM dealer, why not with hot tubs? Stores would undercut each other on the same product and they need the high margins to cover their overhead. Where you are standing when you buy a hot tub is the biggest factor that will determine what you pay.
Why won't a single store publish their pricing like we do? They just advertise how you are going to "save thousands". If their pricing is so amazing why do you have to come in to see it or come in to get a quote?
Before reading more of this buying guide make sure you know the type of buyer you are. If you like to brag about where you bought your hot tub, you are probably not our customer. If, however, you like to brag about the price you paid and the service you received, then you're at the right place. Our prices are rock bottom so we don't negotiate or pressure you with a "deal you just can't miss" which means you can be rest assured that if your neighbour also bought a tub from us that you paid the same price!
Think about this, would you rather buy a hot tub from a sales rep that SELLS hot tubs, or experts that repair and service them (all makes and models) like we do?
Hot tubs have large mark ups for several reasons:
1. Seasonality/Rent, even though hot tubs only sell in significant volumes for about 6 months of the year, rent is due all 12. Because of this there has to be enough margin in the tub to pay the rent in the off season. Do you want to pay for a store's rent in December when you bought your tub the previous May? Simply put, this means they have to make enough money off you today to pay for those "dead" months.
2. Overhead, most people hear the word overhead but don't really think about what this really entails: insurance, vehicle wear and tear, staff, electricity, supplies, property taxes and all of the other costs that go into a retail establishment. That is a huge part of the price you are paying, and have you forgotten that we haven't even discussed advertising yet? Why do you think book stores are almost extinct? Remember Future Shop, Radio Shack etc? Think about this: 20 full time employees at minimum wage comes out to $40,000/month!
3. Commissions, sales reps need to "grind" you into a deal or they don't get paid. Most sales reps get 7-10% commissions and then another 50% if they get you to pay over a certain price. For example if a rep sells you a tub for $10,000 that rep gets $700-$1000 in commission. But if they sell you the same tub for $11,000 they get another $500 of what they call "juice" or "overage" on top of that. Do you really think you're going to get a fair deal when you've been "juiced"? Also, to make you drop your guard, some reps will tell you they don't make commission on the price, just on the unit itself, um, yeah, they make commission on the price. Also, why would someone try to pressure you into buying today? They're afraid you'll find a better deal somewhere else and not buy from them. That is definitely not one of our concerns.
We typically make less on an entire sale than a sales rep in a store makes in commissions alone.
4. OFF SITE SALES, as soon as you hear about a truckload sale, Home Show or EXPO you should RUN. A retailer that hosts/attends one of these events, now, not only has all of there previous fixed expenses but now has to pay for the venue, advertising, flying in sales reps etc etc. How do all of these extra expenses get covered? Extra markups on the hot tubs. Why else would they take that kind of risk to have a "huge" sale if there wasn't a payoff? Do you really think a business is motivated to give you a deal or to make themselves money?
Also be very wary of any retailer that doesn't post their pricing directly on their spas. The reason they do this is so that they can pull out a page and "pad you up" and show you prices that nobody ever pays for the hot tub you are looking at, then offer a huge "discount".
Components (you get what you pay for right?):
Lets look at the components of a hot tub. In reality, Hot Tub "manufacturers" should be referred to as assemblers. No spa manufacturer makes their own computers, pumps, jets, plumbing, stereos, lighting, or even acrylic. This isn't even like buying the generic brand that "says it's the same" as the name brand but it tastes a little different. Manufacturers literally buy the exact same parts from the same suppliers (excluding companies that sell products from China) and then have to come up with a story as to why theirs is better. "we have the eco-Magic water purification system......"
Now, lets say we save you $3,000 with our low overhead business model for example? (Go shop around and get pricing, you will see that it's closer to $5,000 but we'll be conservative for arguments sake.) A new pump is $400 and a new computer is $600. Most hot tubs have two pumps and 1 computer and lets say for example all three broke. That's $1400 to replace. If you didn't get service after you purchased a hot tub from us, all three components would have to break 3 times each (during the first 2-5 years) for this to have been a poor financial choice. Also, remember what we said earlier, there are many spa manufacturers but very few suppliers of parts to them. This means that the hot tub you buy from a retail location has the same pumps/computers etc in them as our hot tubs so why are you paying so much more? OVERHEAD OVERHEAD OVERHEAD.
Here is a simple way to think about this, our tubs are easily $3000-$5000 less than any competitors hot tub. There is no $4000 hot tub part so why the price difference? Look down at your feet and look at where you are standing when you make your purchase, that is what creates the biggest difference in price.
The Pump Lie (bigger must be better right?):
The biggest pump that exists for a hot tub is a 5hp. There are no pumps that are more powerful than that, period. If you see a 6hp or 7hp pump it is not the true horsepower. If you want to know the true power of a pump you need to know the amp draw of the pump.
16.4 amps = 5hp,
12 amps = 4hp,
10 amps = 3hp.
The Jet Lie:
We call this 1 jet, take a guess as to how many jets some companies will tell you it is?
Beware of the fear mongering you will experience at stores. Any company that speaks negatively of their competitors is a company you should be careful dealing with. Would you ask a sales person at Toyota what they thought of Honda? Realize you are always getting extremely biased information from a sales person when they are speaking about products they don't sell! If you go to 5 different hot tub stores you will hear that the brand they have is the absolute best. If all 5 stores have the best hot tub in the world, isn't someone lying to you?
Order what you want. You aren't going to get a deal because the dealer bought in "volume" or saved on freight (freight savings from truckload to single unit is around $200-$300). You are going to be convinced into buying a hot tub "on-site" in the colour and with the features it has because the store needs you to buy the tubs they have on hand because they have already paid for them or they have floor plan financing that they are paying interest on. Imagine you own a hot tub store and just bought 30 hot tubs for your big "sale" and a potential customer wants something different. Are you going to order it for them or try to convince them into getting something you have in stock? Are you really going to get what you want by purchasing from a store that "guessed" as to what you would want?
We are a service company (all makes, all models), it's mostly what we do so you get the best service possible from us. Most spa retailers don't want you to know that the parts that are used to make North American hot tubs come from very few suppliers so there is no need for concern of parts becoming obsolete or unable to locate later down the road. Even if you live in a small community without a local service company, plumbers and electricians can be found to service your spa.
Also if you are really concerned about service, test whomever you are considering buying from. Email/call after hours and tell them you have a pump that is making a funny noise or you think your tub is leaking and see how long it takes to get a response that will let you know the type of service you will actually receive. Hot Tubs Ottawa does not have an "off hours" time, we answer the phone 24/7!
Now that we've shown you all the reasons why you should buy from Hot Tubs Ottawa, take a look at the features of what we offer:
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We have special expertise in all aspects of hot tubs from repair to maintenance to delivery, call and find out what we can do for you. Click HERE if you need your hot tub serviced/repaired
Hot Tubs Ottawa inc.
(in ByExpress Warehouse)
2678 Lancaster Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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