You may have seen commercials that tout huge savings on spas when you buy factory direct. While this seems like a deal that can’t be beat, you may be sacrificing critical quality and support.
Buying through a local dealer allows you to test the spa before you buy. Dealers are experts who can answer any questions you may have, offering excellent service while you shop and providing dedicated support for delivery, set up and lifetime of your hot tub.
Here’s some more information about why it’s best to avoid buying a factory direct hot tub.
A factory direct hot tub may lack quality
Simply put, factory-direct hot tubs lack the quality design, construction and materials to make them worth your while. Poorly designed seats can mean you’re constantly fighting to stay put. Inferior materials can lead to poor energy efficiency and can create more maintenance problems than you care to deal with. On the other hand, a high-quality hot tub from a manufacturer like Caldera Spas can help you avoid those problems so you can focus on comfort and relaxation.
When prices are too good to be true from the start, you must wonder where the cost savings are coming from — and where the manufacturers may be sacrificing quality. The absence of equipment such as a quality cover can significantly raise the price of owning your hot tub in the long run — and seriously get in the way of enjoyment due to poor insulation that will need more energy to heat the water.
A lack of other spa side options such as cover lifter, handrails, and steps may not directly affect your hot tub, but their absence can further hinder your ability to enjoy the spa.
Factory direct hot tubs don’t offer expert installation, service, or support
The best source for long-term support of your spa’s mechanical and electrical systems is a local dealer that can physically assist with your spa if you need help installing or troubleshooting. Without this assistance, you may have trouble keeping your hot tub in operation.
You may even have trouble installing your spa in the first place. If a factory direct hot tub is a model that can be directly wired to your home, you’re left to figure out the installation on your own.
A dealer, on the other hand, will help to guide you in installing your hot tub. With a depth of experience in your area, they can recommend a reliable professional electrician who has direct experience with the dealer’s hot tub models. This makes the installation efficient and hassle free.
Unlike reputable hot tub brands that make their manuals and installation directions available, a factory-direct spa’s documentation may be incomplete or not easily accessible. The same may be said of the equipment needed to keep the spa in good repair.
Hot tubs require periodic servicing, including cleaning or replacing filters, water treatments, and occasional replacement of parts. A factory direct hot tub that came from thousands of miles away may not have the needed water treatments or parts available in your area. You’re left to try and make do with off-the-shelf chemicals from your local pool supply store or to match part numbers off of an online list without guidance. These are parts and services that a local dealer can easily assist you with. At the very least, they can provide answers to your questions.
While a quality experience may be possible from a factory direct hot tub, it is far more likely that you’ll enjoy a hot tub made by a known and reputable brand purchased from a local dealer much more. Buying a factory-direct hot tub is a gamble, and your money is better spent on a sure thing.
You can’t test a hot tub before you make a purchase
Going to a local dealer and having a test soak is helpful before buying a hot tub. This way you can sample the massage jets, the water quality, and the feel of the seats. You can also witness firsthand the quality of the cabinet, shell, and hardware.
When you purchase a hot tub from a brand without any local representation, you could miss out on this critical step to ensure that your big purchase is worth your money. A test soak can help you test the following things:
- ✔ The comfort of the seats
- ✔ The power of the jets
- ✔ The range of jets for different massage actions
- ✔ How easily the jets adjust
- ✔ If the controls are easy to reach and intuitive to use
A test soak could influence your decision to choose a different brand or model, which is a decision you can’t make when buying factory direct.
The next step: Choosing the perfect hot tub
Once you’ve decided to purchase a new hot tub, it’s time to pick out your perfect model. Browse the entire lineup of Caldera Spas, or check out our learning center for resources that can help you identify those features that are most important to you. Then visit a local dealer who can answer any of your questions and help you pick out the perfect spa.
Our spas and accessories are backed by a global network of dealers and customer service professionals. To experience the quality of a Caldera® spa for yourself, locate a dealer near you to take a test soak and request a brochure to find the best spa for you.