1) UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE BUYING A SWIM SPA
Our first swim spa buying tip is the most basic; understand why you’re buying a swim spa in the first place. Before setting foot in a store you should think about why you’re buying a swim spa. Common reasons for buying a swim spa include:
- A Pool For The Kids.
- Year Round Swimming.
Defining the primary reason the you’re buying a swim spa now will help you to narrow down your choices later. The fewer swim spas you have to choose from, the easier your choice will eventually be.
For example, let’s say that you’re buying a swim spa mainly for fitness. Your main focus should be the quality of the swim current and size of the swim area. If instead you’re looking for a pool that you can use year-round, you might want to put less emphasis on the swim current and more emphasis on how energy efficient the swim spa is.
No swim spa is perfect. Each will have its own pros and cons. Knowing how the swim spa will be used can help you decide which features are more important than others, ultimately helping you narrow your search to the swim spa that will best suit your needs.
2) CONSIDER LONG TERM COSTS AS WELL AS PURCHASE PRICE
While most people know what they’re willing to spend to purchase a swim spa, few fully consider what the long term cost difference between two swim spas will be. Getting a great initial price doesn’t mean much if it costs you an arm and a leg to run the swim spa. For this reason you should consider both the “cost to own” the swim spa as well as its purchase price.
While one might be $5,000 less to purchase, it might end up costing you an extra $10,000 over its lifetime in extra installation fees and a higher cost of ownership (energy costs, repairs and maintenance).
Energy costs are one of the biggest ongoing costs of a swim spa. Ensuring that the swim spa you buy is energy efficient is therefore one of the best ways to reducing your long term costs. When judging the energy efficiency of a swim spa there are a few things to consider:
- How much insulation it has.
- The energy efficiency of the pumps and heater.
- The size of the pumps (smaller pumps require less power).
- The run time of the pumps (less time, less expense).
- Does the insulation protect the pumps and heater?
While the first 4 are pretty self explanatory, the last point is one that most people don’t consider.
Most manufacturers insulate around the shell of the swim spa. This method keeps the water in the swim spa warm but is not the most energy efficient way to insulate a swim spa. This is because it wastes all of the excess heat generated by the pumps and heater.
By adding insulation around the cabinet of the swim spa, some manufacturers (like Hydropool) have starting trapping that excess heat and using it to heat the water further, increasing the energy efficiency of their swim spas.
This added layer of insulation also helps protect the swim spa equipment from the elements, keeping them out of the intense winter cold and stopping them from freezing in the event of a power outage. Protecting the equipment in this way also helps to extend the life of your equipment, further reducing your cost of ownership.
EASE OF MAINTENANCE
Along with the monetary cost of owning a swim spa, there is also a time cost. People buy swim spas to relax but there is nothing relaxing about cleaning and maintaining a swim spa. That is why it is important to consider how easy the swim spas you’re looking at are to maintain.
Pressurized filtration systems like Hydropool’s Self Cleaning system take care of most of the work for you. They allow you to keep your swim spa clean and clear in only a few minutes a week!
3) BUY AT THE RIGHT TIME
When looking for a great deal on a swim spa, timing is everything. The best time to buy a swim spa is typically during an event sale. There are three reasons for this:
- When businesses purchase several swim spas at once, the manufacturers give them better pricing and free freight. This means that the business can sell their swim spas for less than they normally could.
- These businesses typically spend a lot of money to set-up and advertise these events, meaning they have to sell a lot of swim spas just to break even.
- If they don’t sell all of their swim spas the retailer is either stuck with the remaining swim spas or have pay to send them back to the manufacturer. This gives owners extra incentive to get rid of every swim spa at the sale.
No event sales on right now? Talk to the owner of the business to see if there are any coming up. Swim spas for event sales usually need to be ordered weeks or months in advance. Owners will know exactly what they’ve ordered and usually have no problem pre-selling a few event sale swim spas. This means that you can get your swim spa at event sale pricing, even before the event sale happens!
If you miss the event sales entirely, don’t worry, you can still get a great deal on a swim spa. Talk to the owner of the business and see if there are any floor models they are looking to move. If you’re not picky about colours, there will usually be at least a couple of floor models that the owner will be willing to give a great deal on!
Traveling Event Sales: Something To Avoid
One type of event sale to avoid are “traveling” event sales. These are swim spa sales put on by specialty chains outside of their normal selling territory. These chains hire professional “closers” to sell as many swim spas as possible. These closers usually have little knowledge of the product they are selling and work purely on commission. This can lead to shady sales tactics, and unrealistic promises, just to get a sale.
Once the event is over, service is also usually a big issue. Since the company that sold it to you isn’t from your area, they can’t properly service your area. They usually rely on subcontractors with limited experience and few in-stock parts to deal with repair work. This usually leads to swim spa owners waiting long periods of time for repairs to be completed.
Before buying a swim spa at an event sale, you should first find out where the company selling it is from and how they plan on servicing your swim spa after the event is over.
Our final swim spa buying tip is simple; negotiate the price with the retailer. The first price you get for a swim spa is rarely the best price. This is why it is important that you try to negotiate as much as possible when buying a swim spa. While salespeople and managers can usually drop prices a bit, you will always get the best price from the owner.
Most owners are willing to take around $1000 off the price of a swim spa in order to close a sale. Unlike salespeople and managers that only get paid commissions on the initial sale, owners think more long term. Selling a swim spa also means having a chance to sell you chemicals, filters and other accessories. Even though they are giving up $1000 right now, they can make it up in other sales over the course of you owning the swim spa.
If you meet some resistance when negotiating the price, try for free or discounted upgrades and accessories instead. Don’t want any upgrades? Get them to throw in some accessories like cover lifters, filters or chemicals instead.
The last thing to consider when negotiating your price is how you’re going to pay. Businesses are charged at least 1-2% of the purchase price when you buy something with a credit card. Changing your method of payment from credit to debit or cheque saves the owner that fee and can make them more willing to negotiate further.
You should now be armed with everything you need to make sure that you get the right swim spa, at the right price!