What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: First Time Purchaser Help  (Read 4818 times)

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 01:08:47 pm »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

$300 refundable deposit is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard....they should call it the 'We're gonna take $300 from you so if you don't buy this Hot Tub you'll have to call us 15 times and speak with a sales manager to attempt to get that deposit back" Greasy sales tactics imo

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 01:08:47 pm »

castletonia

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2018, 01:10:53 pm »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

There will be no difference between Envoy and Envoy NXT in how they sit and feel.  The only Model between Hot Spring's Highlife and NXT collection that had different jets or anything was the Jetsetter.

If the dealer is having to fill an Envoy for you, then I could understand a refundable deposit.  I wouldn't charge one, but thats just me.  It reassures them that you are a serious buyer.  I've had a lot of my time wasted by customers who seemed serious and would bail last minute.  I even came in on a day my store was normally closed to accommodate a customer and they never showed.

I can't speak for anything from Jacuzzi/Sundance.  If the models you are interested in are ones the dealers normally display, there is no reason not to allow a wet test and I would pres the issue.  You will have to decide if you want to walk away and find other options or roll the dice on $10k-$15k purchase.  If they are models that they normally do not display, then I really don't think they would just bring one in for you to try and I could understand.

d00nut

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2018, 01:12:38 pm »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

$300 refundable deposit is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard....they should call it the 'We're gonna take $300 from you so if you don't buy this Hot Tub you'll have to call us 15 times and speak with a sales manager to attempt to get that deposit back" Greasy sales tactics imo

umm... I do that.  I'm not greasy.  I'll fill up any tub for anyone, but if I am moving a specific hot tub into a private soak room, I want a little assurance that they will be coming back.  It's plain jane that it's 100% refundable.

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2018, 01:15:27 pm »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

$300 refundable deposit is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard....they should call it the 'We're gonna take $300 from you so if you don't buy this Hot Tub you'll have to call us 15 times and speak with a sales manager to attempt to get that deposit back" Greasy sales tactics imo

umm... I do that.  I'm not greasy.  I'll fill up any tub for anyone, but if I am moving a specific hot tub into a private soak room, I want a little assurance that they will be coming back.  It's plain jane that it's 100% refundable.

my bad I didn't see in his post where he mentioned they were moving and/or filling it for him, then that makes sense, thought he was talking about an already filled model, I was like WTF

d00nut

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2018, 01:22:29 pm »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

$300 refundable deposit is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard....they should call it the 'We're gonna take $300 from you so if you don't buy this Hot Tub you'll have to call us 15 times and speak with a sales manager to attempt to get that deposit back" Greasy sales tactics imo

umm... I do that.  I'm not greasy.  I'll fill up any tub for anyone, but if I am moving a specific hot tub into a private soak room, I want a little assurance that they will be coming back.  It's plain jane that it's 100% refundable.

my bad I didn't see in his post where he mentioned they were moving and/or filling it for him, then that makes sense, thought he was talking about an already filled model, I was like WTF
;)

BTW, Highlife is going to be all NXT next year. 

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2018, 11:31:59 am »
umm... I do that.  I'm not greasy.  I'll fill up any tub for anyone, but if I am moving a specific hot tub into a private soak room, I want a little assurance that they will be coming back.  It's plain jane that it's 100% refundable.

my bad I didn't see in his post where he mentioned they were moving and/or filling it for him, then that makes sense, thought he was talking about an already filled model, I was like WTF

No request to move any tub. Plenty of other tubs on the floor are filled and running. This tub is also on the floor, it is just not filled and running. We *are* asking that they put water in it and heat it up.

We have no request or need to be in a private soak room. Just asked to be able to sit in the tub with water (like the other tubs on the floor running with water).

d00nut

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2018, 12:05:54 pm »
Depending on where it sits, most tubs take 220V.  I only have certain spots where I have wires pre-run to run the hot tubs.  In order to run a different one, I need to drain and move one hot tub, and move the other in it's place.  It's a bit of work, primarily takes time, which is why I ask for a refundable deposit if I do that just to make sure they come back.   ;)

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2018, 02:49:50 pm »
Depending on where it sits, most tubs take 220V.  I only have certain spots where I have wires pre-run to run the hot tubs.  In order to run a different one, I need to drain and move one hot tub, and move the other in it's place.  It's a bit of work, primarily takes time, which is why I ask for a refundable deposit if I do that just to make sure they come back.   ;)

Fair enough. What's ironic is that the dealer may actually lose a sale because of demanding a deposit (instead of locking in a sale).

At the end of the day, they're making this process a PITA for me. I'm about to drop well over $10k and I'm already being nickel-and-dimed to put down a deposit to do a "test drive"? How are things going to go when I need chemicals or service?

Plus, it's a refundable deposit - they are just creating more headache for themselves and for me if it doesn't go well. Either I'm a buyer or I'm not. The hassle of fighting with the store owner and involving the BBB over 10 phone calls to get a refundable deposit back is not going to make me give up and change me from a non-buyer to a buyer. The hot tub is either right for me, or it isn't. $300 isn't going to change that.

The dealer can do what they want, of course - it's just unfortunate that I honestly woke up this morning and though "man, this is such a hassle, I don't know if it's worth the effort these guys are making me put into it. Maybe I'll buy another toy instead."

I read early on in my search that dealing with hot tub dealers is like working with the worst of the used car dealers. I'd love to counter that statement, but I've never put down a deposit to test drive a used (or even a new) car. Hoping these guys come around and try to make a sale instead of just fishing for $300. In the end, they'll do much better winning my business with good products and service than by forcing me into a corner with deposits.

Hottubguy

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2018, 04:40:40 pm »
Depending on where it sits, most tubs take 220V.  I only have certain spots where I have wires pre-run to run the hot tubs.  In order to run a different one, I need to drain and move one hot tub, and move the other in it's place.  It's a bit of work, primarily takes time, which is why I ask for a refundable deposit if I do that just to make sure they come back.   ;)

Fair enough. What's ironic is that the dealer may actually lose a sale because of demanding a deposit (instead of locking in a sale).

At the end of the day, they're making this process a PITA for me. I'm about to drop well over $10k and I'm already being nickel-and-dimed to put down a deposit to do a "test drive"? How are things going to go when I need chemicals or service?

Plus, it's a refundable deposit - they are just creating more headache for themselves and for me if it doesn't go well. Either I'm a buyer or I'm not. The hassle of fighting with the store owner and involving the BBB over 10 phone calls to get a refundable deposit back is not going to make me give up and change me from a non-buyer to a buyer. The hot tub is either right for me, or it isn't. $300 isn't going to change that.

The dealer can do what they want, of course - it's just unfortunate that I honestly woke up this morning and though "man, this is such a hassle, I don't know if it's worth the effort these guys are making me put into it. Maybe I'll buy another toy instead."

I read early on in my search that dealing with hot tub dealers is like working with the worst of the used car dealers. I'd love to counter that statement, but I've never put down a deposit to test drive a used (or even a new) car. Hoping these guys come around and try to make a sale instead of just fishing for $300. In the end, they'll do much better winning my business with good products and service than by forcing me into a corner with deposits.


I don’t do the hole deposit thing for wet tests but I can see why people would especially when it comes to moving tubs around. A car dealer doesn’t need a refundable deposit because it takes one guy to go grab the car and a bout 2 minutes. A hot tub needs to be drained the one in its place moved out and the one you are trying moved and wired. 3-4 guys and a bit of labor involved. Again I don’t charge to do this but it’s not as easy as it may seem to you. Say the dealer dos all that work and you blow him off?  That has happened to me a few times. The refundable deposit assures that you will come in. Like I said I don’t charge any deposits for this but understand why a dealer would. If the dealer has generally good reviews then the $300 going back to you if a sale doesn’t happen will happen. Not worth a bad review over something like that. If he has poor reviews then you may have a harder time getting it back

d00nut

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2018, 05:37:36 pm »
If it's refundable, I don't see the problem.  Somewhat like a car dealership holding the keys for your current vehicle while you test drive the other one?  Except it takes all day for you to heat a different hot tub in my business.

Can you give them some kind of other assurance that would make you and them more comfortable? 

Remember, they are probably only doing it, or have that policy, because they have been stood-up before.  If they do it, and you don't show up, they did 2 hours at minimum, of work for nothing.  Which is why I bring up the question above. 

Triple butt promise that you will come in ;)

swilly1000

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2018, 07:56:49 am »
Echo the above few posts.  People can be rude and selfish and just not show up. 

Dealer is justifiably jaded by numerous times getting stiffed.

I'm guessing that the decision to require a deposit wasn't made lightly.

silversun

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2018, 07:57:06 am »
This risk feels inherent to your industry, and should be factored into your calculations without having to pass this on to the consumer, because it absolutely erodes any trust or goodwill, and sets off alarm bells in the customer.

This happened to me during my hot tub purchase experience and I instantly crossed off the dealer from the list.


Don't listen if you think you have it figured out, but consumers are giving you valuable feedback.

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2018, 10:01:27 am »
This risk feels inherent to your industry, and should be factored into your calculations without having to pass this on to the consumer, because it absolutely erodes any trust or goodwill, and sets off alarm bells in the customer.

This happened to me during my hot tub purchase experience and I instantly crossed off the dealer from the list.


Don't listen if you think you have it figured out, but consumers are giving you valuable feedback.

QFT.

Some thoughts from a buyer - dealers, please don't get all in a tizzy over this. I may be right, I may be wrong, you may agree, you may not. My feedback is given as a general reflection as a consumer making a purchase in the lux industry - think high end cars, watches, jewelry, hot tubs, vacations, etc.

Dealers can whine all day about having to do work. I also go to work and do work all day as well. This is why we call it "work." Sometimes, the work I do ends up being for nothing and other times it ends up being valuable. It's frustrating when my efforts are for naught - but that's part of work. That's how life goes, and that's how business is, as well. At a minimum, I hope dealers are doing their best to make informed decisions as to which buyers are serious and which are not, before they start nickel-and-diming over wet tests and the like (how much time am I investing with you? What is my list of comparable products I am shopping? Are the questions I am asking total n00b questions, or are they questions that demonstrate to you that I have invested my time to do research? And, sure, profile me if you want - it's a dangerous game to play, but we all know it happens in sales... what car did I drive up in? What's my wife's ring look like? What clothes are we wearing? Do you think we have the money to spend?).

Surely, this is understood in sales. You are literally trying to convince people to buy your product. By definition, there is not a guaranteed payout in your efforts. Thus, commission. Generally speaking, the better service you can give your customers, the better their experience will be. You need to have a good product and a competitive price, but do not forget that when you are dealing in the lux industries, experience is paramount. Don't nickel-and-dime your customers. We're dropping over $10k on big bowls to hold and heat water. We're not going to be impressed by tactics that are reminiscent of Joe's Used Car Lot. You will lose many good customers (probably the customers you actually DO want, who have the money to spend are are accustomed to being doted on when buying lux items).

If you are being burned by customers, stop to consider the *type* of customer you are attracting, and also the type of customer you are *repelling* (see silversun's post above as an example). Hint: people spending $10-$15k on a hot tub are the people driving the $50k+ vehicles, not the $2k beaters from Joe's lot. Know your market, and know your customer. Corporate HQs for the big brands get this: look at the advertising pamphlets they put out - every picture they have is in a beautiful ~$1 MM+ setting. One particular brand's pamphlet and promotional videos showcase yachts in the backdrop. Again, don't nickel-and-dime these customers, if they are who you are going after (and they are - just reference the marketing). If you want to be a pop-up traveling sales tent, by all means, do that - and I recommend employing these sorts of tactics. However, if you want to attract qualified, high-end buyers - drop the games and start focusing on your customer's experience.

As anecdotal evidence to how this refundable deposit is hurting you as dealers (beyond silversun's post above), my wife and I are going to do a wet test at dealer A this weekend, who does not require a refundable deposit. Dealer B has now agreed NOT to require a deposit, but since he introduced this back-and-forth over the deposit, he is 1 week behind his competition. If the wet test this weekend goes well with dealer A, there is a chance we will tell dealer B to stop his efforts on the wet test and not even get in his tub. Had he just worked on getting things set up (the way dealer A did), we would be sitting in both tubs this weekend and he would have a shot no matter what. It may still work out for dealer B, but now there's a chance that we don't even sit in his tub/give it a shot.

We were also about to buy a bit of suppliers from dealer B (for my father's tub) as gift, but it's we're turned off enough with this dealer now (due to the $300 deposit) that we may just find another gift for my father.

Side note - we did email dealer B back yesterday to assure him that we are "serious buyers," and offered to donate some of our time for a brief phone call with his owner to answer any questions he has (supposedly he needed the $300 to convince his owner that we are serious). Dealer B has now agreed to drop the $300 refundable deposit.

And yes, there is absolutely a chance that both dealer A and dealer B get their tubs filled, we wet test, and decide that neither tub is right for us. This is what we call "the cost of doing business." Their best chance at landing a sale is to have a wide assortment of quality products at competitive prices, and to create a positive experience through good service.

If you want guaranteed sales, you want to be in commodities, not luxury sales.

Sam

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2018, 11:57:01 am »
I agree with aug0211 and would never dream of asking for a deposit for a wet test.  In a way, I'm sort of glad other dealers do this crap.  It makes it much easier for me.  It's things like this make the difference for a customer when you are competing against other good brands.  It's not hard to provide an awesome sales experience if you just put a little effort in and quit fretting over whether or not someone is gonna flake on you or buy somewhere else.  It happens.  But if I do the right things all of the time, I end up with way more wins than losses. 

Michael Russell

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2018, 12:42:59 pm »
another user...

I did 3 wet tests before buying. I did get a "thats a lot of prep work on our part, are you sure that is the tub you want to try" but no one asked for a deposit...

Refundable or not. I would walk at the question being asked.... If you need $300 in pocket to assure I come back then you are..

- Really not confident in your product and the fact that I would want to come back to see it, rather then have to come back to get my money
- Really setting poor expectations of business to come and what to expect when I need other work, service and chemicals
- Not understanding your customers demographics

Sure you will get stiffed once and awhile.. So you have another tub setup to demo until the next guy comes in.. I just cannot see any justification for this.


Hot Tub Forum

Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2018, 12:42:59 pm »

 

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