Buying Hot Tubs at the Fair is a Bad Deal for Consumers
Autumn is here and this means fair season is in full swing. Food, rides, shows, and great fun can be had at the local and state fairs. Many people look forward to purchasing a new hot tub or swim spa this time of the year. Spa companies spend big money to exhibit hot tubs to thousands of potential customers and love to promote the GREAT DEALS they have available. However, buyingÂ hot tubs at the fair is a BAD deal.
Let’s look at what it costs to participate in a fair:
State and regional fairs attract a lot of paying customers and typically last anywhere from 1-3 weeks. Booth space at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas can cost up to $30,000 for a modestly sized booth for displaying spas. Many spa companies don’t spend that much money each year on rent for their actual store. This cost is factored into the price you will pay and is a reason why buying hot tubs at the fair is a bad deal.
Set Up and Take Down
It takes a tremendous amount of manpower to set up and take down the spa displays. Most spa companies will have between 10-40 spas on display along with swim spas, patio furniture, outdoor kitchens, and any other products. Tables, seating, signage, steps, and gazebos are scattered throughout the booth. It takes 2-4 days just to get everything set up and a few days to take everything out of the booth at the fair’s end. This costs a lot of money in time and logistics to accomplish. This cost is factored into the price you will pay and is another reason why buying hot tubs at the fair is a bad deal.
Most shoppers don’t realize the salespeople at the fair do not even work for the company they are representing. Many consumer product companies hire ‘show teams’ to sell products at expos. These ‘sharks’ (as they are referred to in the spa industry) travel from town to town and work for whoever will pay them. They have no loyalty to any particular brand and will promote any hot tub to make a buck. The next week they will be in a different town selling against the very same brand they just told you is the ‘best spa in the world’!
The sharks get paid a higher commission than typical salespeople and use high pressure sales tactics since they have only one shot to sell you a spa. Unfortunately for consumers, this high commission is factored into the price and is another reason why buying hot tubs at the fair is a bad deal.
I recently attended the largest state fair in the world. As I browsed through various hot tub booths, every single spa company had marked their spas up as much as $2,500 HIGHER than what they would normally cost in the store. A spa that can be purchased any day of the week for $7,000 was advertised at $12,000 but could be bought at the “Fair Special Pricing” for $9,000! This is the oldest sales trick in the book. Do not give in to impulse buying and high pressure salesmanship.
This practice is not limited to only spa salesmen. I saw people selling everyday items for 4 times the price that they cost at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store. A pair of tweezers that sell for $1 were being sold for $4 at the fair. Now, imagine that amount being multiplied by thousands of dollars in relation to the cost of a hot tub or swim spa. This is just another reason why buying hot tubs at the fair is a bad deal.
Visit Your Local Spa Dealer for the Best Deals
The best place to get a consistent, legitimate deal on a hot tub or swim spa is at your local dealer. A local retailer will have the same general pricing 365 days/year. The dealer is invested in their customers, the community and is available if you ever need service. If you buy a spa at the fair, it is unlikely you will ever see your salesperson again as they have nothing invested in YOU. Sadly, they just have YOUR money and are off to the next show.