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Author Topic: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?  (Read 1388 times)

Davekro

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Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« on: December 22, 2023, 10:36:21 pm »
I read here that buying from a reputable dealer with an established history is pretty important. Some have said that the dealer is as important as the spa's quality. That may be coming from dealers on this forum. Please know that I am in no way diss'ing the many valuable forum members who are dealers. They contribute a wealth of knowledge and seem to be very respectful not to dump on different brands. That is a gift all it's own! Heck, I'd be saying it if I was an established spa dealer.  ;)

I ask because I have been quoted pricing on the Bullfrog A6L & A7L, all three trim levels, by a brand-new spa dealer which are very significantly lower than the largest dealer in my area with many stores. ≈ 28% lower on the two spas for the Standard Trim. ≈ 19% lower for the two spas for the Plus Trim. ≈ 20% lower for the two spas for the Select Trim. That's between a $3,000 to $5,000 difference from the large dealer's website posted prices.
The new dealer has two stores. The one that is an hour away has sold spas for 9 months. The store that I am talking to, 30 minutes away, has been open for 2 months. This new store also sells fireplaces. They have been in the fireplace business for 89 years and just added spas. This store has 13 spas on display, eight of them are Bullfrogs (A5L, A6L, A6, A7, A7D, A9L which is filled for wet tests, M8). That is way more than the larger dealer, because he also sells Sundance, which I believe is their primary over Bullfrog. I will be going to their store between Christmas and new year's with my wife to wet test all the JetPaks in the A9L, which has 8 JetPaks and 3 Jet Pumps.

Granted, I have not called the large dealer back and asked if they would price match the new store in the area. I would certainly do that when I get closer to settling on the specific model and Trim Level.

Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that the larger dealer would drop their price ≈ 1/3 of the new dealer's discounted amount. What dollar amount or percentage of price discount would you pay above the low price offer, to get the more experienced dealer? A dealer is obligated to Bullfrog Parts, Plumbing & Labor 5-year warranty.

To save $2,000 - $3,000 on the purchase price, I think I might lean on Bullfrog's reputation for quality and think there might not be any significant problems in that 5 year time frame. If it means saving $5,000 or 30%, I would definitely roll the dice for that amount of money personally.

So bottom line, what is the dollar or % amount you'd pay extra for a perceived, potential more experience service team for your five-year warranty. I am assuming the larger Bullfrog dealer's service dept would not deny servicing my Bullfrog tub out of warranty, when they are billing for parts and labor. Correct me if I am mistaken on this.

Thanks for any input from this knowledgeable community!
Dave
PS. Although it may seem like I am spamming the forum with Davekro posts, I am just very excited to learn as much as possible quickly so I can make a well-informed hot tub purchase decision. OK, and maybe somewhat OCD. LOL  ;)
I am glad this community is here. I hope I am not annoying forum members with too many post/ questions. I will definitely post back what I learn here on the forum about my questions and other posts that I have some knowledge to share. I do believe posting back info... But that may become TMI also. Oye  ::)

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Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« on: December 22, 2023, 10:36:21 pm »

Davekro

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2023, 01:55:02 pm »
Anyone experience their dealer going out of business before the selling dealer's obligated to Bullfrog Parts, Plumbing & Labor 5-year warranty?
1) What would be Bullfrog or any other manufacturer's solution in this case?
2) What might be another local dealer's attitude or willingness to fulfill the last few years of a tubs Parts, Plumbing & Labor 5-year factory warranty?
3) Do dealer's bill the manufacturer for replacement parts -and- labor hours?
4) Or, do selling dealers just bill the factory for Parts and absorb the Labor Cost due to their sale of the tub and agreement with the manufacturer as a condition of carrying their line?
5) If #4 is the case, would another local dealer probably be willing to service your tub under warranty for Parts only, and they'd need to charge you for labor?
6) If #% were the case, after paying labor for a diagnostic service call, what are the chances of the manufacturer supplying parts directly to the customer to install himself?
7) Or leaving a dealer out of it, would Bullfrog send replacement parts to a customer directly? If so, I wonder what kind of proof of failure Bullfrog might require? Or would Bullfrog only cover parts that: a) a Bullfrog dealer's service tech said was required,  b) any independent spa service tech said was required?

Thanks, Dave

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2023, 02:32:56 pm »
Little bit of advice...I would go in and find a spa that you and are interested in purchasing before worrying about negotiating between dealers, there could be other factors in the price gap, for example some dealers will price in long term financing (36/48/60 months @ 0%) which will cost the dealer between $1,500-$2,500 on average) so they have to cover those costs or some dealers just prefer to start higher than others which will allow for more of a discount.  Some dealers price in delivery + setup, some don't, some price in a high end step and a nice cover lifter, some include the cheapest lifter and steps available, etc. etc.

Once you find the spa you like, let both know you are prepared to buy and you'll find out their best price when your checkbook is in your hand regardless of posted or advertised prices.  Also buying from a newer dealers shouldn't be a deal breaker but I would check into how they are setup for servicing that spa, do they have in-house experienced technicians for example would be a great question to ask.

Also, just FYI the A9L has 7 jetpaks/3 pumps/circulation pump is optional, go in and test that bad boy, I'm sure you will love the jetting as it's incredible on all the Bullfrog A/M Series models and you almost have to go 'Select' which gives you the ability to pick from the 4 upgraded exteriors which are some of the best looking cabinets in the industry and the price gap between a 'Plus' and a 'Select' isn't really all that much relatively speaking to the cost of the spa...Good Luck!

Davekro

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2023, 02:59:13 pm »
@BullFrogSpasMN ,

Thanks for the good info. I do feel less apprehensive once I narrow down to my 12 specific 1st choices between the BF A6L & A7L, which Trim Level, I'll run those specs past the established dealer for their price. When I went through Bullfrog's build a tub sequence on their site, the options got confusing. LOL, I was actually typing you a PM to ask about some of the option, since the board has been so quiet for responses lately. (maybe because I have bombarded the site with so many newbie questions in the past week! ;o)

I'm not sure how to navigate the 15 JetPak options! I'll need to choose at least 4, or 5 if I decide on an A7L Plus or Select. Any tip on how to make JetPak choices? We will be going in to the new dealer, hopefully Tuesday, to wet test the A9L's 78 JetPaks. :) Are there 5 'most popular, go to' JPaks? Just go with the recommended 4-5 from the site, or what a floor model already has in it? Actually, this new dealer has 8 Bullfrogs on his floor (A5L, A6, A6L Select, A7 Standard, A7D Plus, A8, A9L-'wet for testing', and an M8). If there was one particular JetPak I wanted that was not in a floor model I really liked, would a dealer be ok with swapping a JetPak from another floor model (all never wet).

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2023, 12:46:21 pm »
@BullFrogSpasMN ,

Thanks for the good info. I do feel less apprehensive once I narrow down to my 12 specific 1st choices between the BF A6L & A7L, which Trim Level, I'll run those specs past the established dealer for their price. When I went through Bullfrog's build a tub sequence on their site, the options got confusing. LOL, I was actually typing you a PM to ask about some of the option, since the board has been so quiet for responses lately. (maybe because I have bombarded the site with so many newbie questions in the past week! ;o)

I'm not sure how to navigate the 15 JetPak options! I'll need to choose at least 4, or 5 if I decide on an A7L Plus or Select. Any tip on how to make JetPak choices? We will be going in to the new dealer, hopefully Tuesday, to wet test the A9L's 78 JetPaks. :) Are there 5 'most popular, go to' JPaks? Just go with the recommended 4-5 from the site, or what a floor model already has in it? Actually, this new dealer has 8 Bullfrogs on his floor (A5L, A6, A6L Select, A7 Standard, A7D Plus, A8, A9L-'wet for testing', and an M8). If there was one particular JetPak I wanted that was not in a floor model I really liked, would a dealer be ok with swapping a JetPak from another floor model (all never wet).

personally I would go larger (A7L) just because I like a little bigger spa and do prefer the 2 pumps as standard.  Jetpaks are a personal preference but some top sellers and my personal favorites include: Deep Relief, Trio, Versa, Wellness, Alleviate, NeckPlus, SpinalHealth.  Trim level will depend on if you're a 'features' guy, personally I really LOVE the cabinet options and extra lighting in the select package but I can completely understand saving thousands of dollars and going with a standard model, after all you are still essentially getting the very same spa, just not as many creature comforts/feature upgrades.

Davekro

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2023, 04:17:13 am »
I was considering stretching my already stretched budget, but that mental battle never started after my wife agreed to go do the wet test with me the day after Xmas at the new dealer w/ great pricing. She hates to participate in (to her) my extremely involved research projects. Once she saw the spas in person, she was then interested. I really wanted her input on shell and exterior colors. From our discussion on shell color, I was looking at the Platinum (white w/ light gray swirling). The almond shell, my mind kind of blocked out as 'one of those dark colors'. She really liked the almond shell the best. As I looked at the A6L- Select floor model, knowing 1) that tub could have gotten at a great discount... now. 2) My wife really liked that whole package of A6L, Select Trim, Almond shell. The fact that she joined in my excitement with that tub, that made me decide: "OK, we deserve to splurge for the select trim model!"  LOL.

So I put down $3k deposit to hold it, because I told the young sales guy, that I really like, that for due diligence I needed to see if the local larger dealer had a comparable floor model at as good or better price.

I thought the other dealer would come close, but if that was true, it would confirm my price as very good. Actually before I asked about the floor model, I asked the price to order a new A6L-Select Spec'd the same w/ EOS as the only Optional item, but with Platinum shell instead (implying Platinum was what I really wanted.  ;) I really just wanted to see his best price on a new 'ordered' spa vs the same spa as a floor model. He offered the floor model for $15,900 A6L Select, EOS, Almond shell, $100 worth of chemicals, a Covermate l or lll, my choice, Delivery included. (I did not need a step).

The internet sales rep for the large 8-store chain told me she had pass along my $15,900 sales agreement I sent her up to management to see what they would do,

They have two A6L floor models, both wet testers. One is a Standard, one is a PLUS. She said both these A6L's have the BT Audio option. I said I was'nt really interested in paying a big premium for audio, as it was not even on my radar to consider, but send me your best price on the A6L PLUS wet tester w/EOS and BT Audio, and I'd consider it.

She has not gotten back yet. wanting to know what the Audio option price for an A6L was, I asked my new dealer the option price for audio on an ordered A6L and he said $600. I was surprised it was that low. I heard the transducer speaker system in the A9L we wet tested. I was REALLY surprised that it sounded as good as it did. Obviously, at the A9 Select's price point, they can afford to put in A-LOT of transducers, a decent amp, and mabe even two subwoofers, IDK. But when I heard the A6L audio was only $600, I am wondering if they only put one or two transducers and a very small am, maybe no subwoofer. I'd be really curious 1) to confirm the option price for A6L PLUS to add audio. That way I can know how much to 'value' that option for my maybe/ maybe not decision if their price is a good bit below the $15,900 Select amount. I assume that Wet tester A6L has been at a busier store testing away for a year or more. The $15,900 A6L Select is only two months old in a store with low, low traffic as yet.

Ellen Gallagher

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2024, 05:25:14 am »
Hey Dave, it's great that you're researching so thoroughly before making your hot tub purchase! It sounds like you've found a new dealer with some tempting discounts, but you're also considering the value of experience and service from a more established dealer. Since a dealer's service team can be crucial, especially for warranty support, it might be worth paying a bit extra for that peace of mind.

If the larger dealer can match or come close to the new dealer's price, that could be a good compromise. Ultimately, the decision depends on how much you value the potential for better service over the savings.

Sean Lawrence

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Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2024, 04:11:36 am »
While price is a significant factor, especially with such substantial differences, considering the experience and reputation of the dealer is wise. It's crucial to weigh the potential savings against the assurance of reliable service and support over the warranty period. Given Bullfrog's reputation for quality, saving $2,000 to $3,000 might be reasonable, but a larger discount of $5,000 or 30% could warrant taking a chance. Ultimately, ensuring service availability beyond the warranty is essential for long-term peace of mind.

Hot Tub Forum

Re: Buying a tub at a 20% to 35% savings from a brand new dealer?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2024, 04:11:36 am »

 

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