(how confident are you about the place you’re buying from?)
Fly-by-night brands & even apparently established stores can be here today and gone tomorrow
Every time the economy picks up and hot tubs are a hot item, a whole bunch of new places suddenly spring up to take part in the action, and new brands appear. When things slow down, and/or if the new business venture isn’t turning enough of a profit, they can vanish as quickly as they appeared.
I saw it happen before the 2008 economic crash. All kinds of hot tub brands were on the market, and hot tub stores were everywhere. When the economy tanked, a shocking percentage of the hot tub stores folded up, and many factories closed down.
It weeded out the new and weak, and only the long-term established businesses survived. Sometimes companies were acquired or taken over by another company, but in doing so, they absolved themselves of any warranty work that the previous owner may have promised their clients. More than once, I’ve watched companies in financial trouble make one last-ditch effort to blow out problematic tubs knowing that they won’t be around to have to deal with the aftermath.
I sense a similar environment lately. The pandemic created a huge demand for hot tubs, and there are currently lots of places to shop for tubs. Now that things are slowing down, I’m willing to bet that we’ll see some places close their doors as consumer’s budgets get tighter and the demand for hot tubs subsides. At the time of this writing, I know of a local hot tub store that seems to be in the early stages of receivership as we speak, but you’d never know it if you walked into their place of business.
It may not seem like the end of the world if a factory or store goes out of business, but it does matter when it comes to after-purchase client care and warranty issues because you have no recourse if the factory or store no longer exist, or if they were bought out. And as explained in 4-G and 4-H, most brick & mortar hot tub stores don’t like helping people who purchased their hot tub from a competitor.
So it’s best to buy from a place and choose a brand that has a long history and solid track record, that you can count on them being around for a long time.