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Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part Five: Quality and Price

This is the fifth and final post in the series “The Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa.” In this series we have been discussing the most important considerations when choosing the hot tub that is perfect for you. We encourage you to leave your comments, thoughts or opinions below.

Tip #5: Quality and Price

This topic is easily the most debatable and misunderstood in the realm of the entire hot tub industry. Every spa dealer and every manufacturer is going to say that their brand stands much taller than their competition in quality and craftsmanship and is virtually superior in very possible way. That’s just the way it is; and honestly, don’t you want them to be excited about what they are selling? As for price, it can be very difficult to understand how much a spa should cost when you first begin your search. Pricing in the hot tub industry can be as elusive as the legendary Bigfoot or Chupacabra. While there is no magic bullet to find out how much a spa is worth, let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you may consider in finding your perfect spa.


Quality plays a large part in the cost and value of a hot tub. The first four posts of this series have really been all about quality and features that make one hot tub brand stand out from the other, so we won’t go into much detail about these topics again in this post. To find out more, simply click on any of these links: Comfort, Hot Tub Therapy, Filtration & Maintenance, and Energy-Efficiency.

Other measurements of quality may include accolades and awards such as a Consumers Digest Best Buy or SpaSearch.org Certification for manufacturers or certain models. Quality doesn’t end with the spa, if you are buying from a dealer, be sure it is someone you would like to do business with after the sale. You will likely buy your chemicals from them and want to call them should you need service or repair for your spa.


The warranty of a hot tub is definitely a major selling point when considering a new hot tub versus a used one or even one brand over another. The warranty on a hot tub is considerably long for a luxury item, especially when compared to other products such as TVs, electronics, appliances, and automobiles. Some of the top spa manufacturers offer as long as a five year warranty on components, equipment, plumbing and even heaters. Many manufacturers offer a 10 year no-leak warranty and 7 year surface warranty for the shell. Ozonators, lights, stereos, and speakers generally have a one year warranty. The exterior of the spa can range from 1 to 3 years, maybe more for some brands. Factory spa covers should also include a warranty on the materials and workmanship for at least 1-2 years.

In most cases, a warranty is non-transferable from one spa owner to another, so do not fall victim to this wary practice of second-hand spas. However, a spa may have a limited warranty if sold as a used or refurbished spa through a dealership, but make sure to receive a document stating what the warranty length and limitations are before purchasing.

Note: Please understand that these warranty guidelines do not reflect any specific manufacturer and we cannot guarantee your spa will meet or exceed any of these generalizations.


If you are like most people, you may be on the defensive when you step foot onto the showroom floor. As customers, we don’t enjoy feeling like we were sold something, but yet we love to buy. It doesn’t really matter what it is, it just feels good to make purchases. In some cases, a purchase may enhance our quality of life or increase our self-esteem, while others may be an impulse-buy while standing in the checkout line at your local grocery store. It just feels good to get what we want and purchasing a hot tub is no different. What is different is that a hot tub is actually more than just a purchase, it is an investment. You are investing your time, your family’s time, your health, and your well-being into this product. Educate yourself, so you can make the right choice.

New vs. Used Spas

It can be difficult to find pricing for new hot tubs, without consulting a dealer. Many dealers don’t even display prices in their stores. When the prices are displayed on spas, you may have the tendency just to quickly look at prices and hurry out of the store. Give the salesman a moment of your time to explain what makes this hot tub exceptional and to point out some of the key differences within their own line of spas and some of their competition. There are many enhancements and options even within one brand of spas that can increase or decrease the retail price accordingly. Also, be sure to ask the dealer what else is included in the purchase price – does it come with a cover, cover lift, steps, chemicals, delivery, set up, etc? It’s a good idea to visit at least a few of the dealerships in your area to help decide what features are important to you and also to gauge what price you are willing to spend. If you have questions about pricing or you want to make sure you are getting a good deal, please visit our forum and get feedback from others who are probably going through the same process as you.

When searching for a used spa, it is a lot easier to search by price and we offer free listings for both used and new hot tubs to help you find the best deal possible. When purchasing a used spa, you will most likely pay a cheaper price, but there are other considerations to factor into the cost such as moving the tub from one location to another, site preparation, electrical wiring and hookup, and possible repair expenses. You may find a used spa in your local classifieds, our find a spa page, or even from your local dealer. It is difficult to know how much to pay for a used spa, so do some research to see what is available in your area. You will likely spend more on a used hot tub from a dealer, but they may offer a limited warranty on a refurbished model. When dealing with private sellers here are a few ideas to consider: Is the spa in working condition? If so, you could wet-test it or at least make sure everything seems to be working. If possible, it is a good idea to hire a local hot tub service technician to give it a thorough inspection before you buy. A small service charge is a good investment before spending $1000s on a used hot tub, if you don’t know what problems to look for. Be sure to keep an eye out for cracks or bubbles in the spa shell and look at the equipment for visible leaks or problems.

Which hot tub is right for me?

That is really the question, isn’t it? There is no perfect hot tub, no perfect model or manufacturer. There are major brands that produce far more spas than some of the smaller brands and you will be fine if you stick with one of the top competitors. Finding the right spa is about what works for you, which may mean comfort, style, design, or ease-of-use. This is why we recommend looking at different brands, researching online, and talking to others about what they have found when searching for a spa. There are definitely things to look out for and factors to consider, which has been the goal of this series of posts and we hope that it has been helpful to you. If you found these posts helpful, please let us know in the comments section below.

If you missed the first part of this series you can find it here:

–> Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part One: Comfort

–> Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part Two: Therapy

–> Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part Three: Filtration and Maintenance

–> Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part Four: Energy Efficiency

As always, we would love to learn from your thoughts and questions in the comments below…

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One Response to Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa – Part Five: Quality and Price

  1. Bonnie B March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Warranty shows a lot about how the manufacturer feels about the spa. When you get up to 3 to 5 years warranty, you know that’s a spa the manufacturer believes in.

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