Chapter 4 Topics

4-O: Manufacturing Location


Feeling Patriotic? The tag on the left doesn’t mention that all parts were made in China because the end product can technically be categorized as “Canadian”

Hot tubs made in North America tend to be far superior to imported spas. But beware of misleading claims. “USA product” or “Made in Canada” can actually mean engineered and fabricated in China, but assembled in Florida or Quebec. The Canadian Spa Company (one of the brands we sell) is actually made in China. But at least we’re upfront about it so you’re making an informed decision.

One of the top 3 Brands recently moved their production factory to Mexico, but they have their official headquarters in California, where they put it all together and ship them out of there as an American product. Their quality standard has dropped significantly since they made this move.

“Made in Canada” sound patriotic but the truth is that even with the top Canadian brands, almost all the molds, equipment and materials come from the USA. The only thing “Canadian” about the product is the forming of the shell, and the labour to assemble and package the American-made products at a Canadian location.

As nice as “buying local” sounds, when it comes right down to it, I find that shoppers are most interested in getting the best deal.  Canadian factory workers expect higher wages and more benefits than those who live south of the border, and manufacturing is more expensive in the Great White North. It feels like treason to say it, but the sad truth is that in this current economy, you get more bang for the buck if you buy American.

If the “made in China” category doesn’t matter to you, we do offer some low-end overseas options because there will always be people interested only in the lowest price possible. One of the low-end brands we sell (Whistler Creek Spas) has the “Made in Canada” sticker on it because it was assembled locally. But the truth is, it’s actually designed and fabricated overseas. The hot tubs look okay, but they are definitely an inferior product. I always tell people “If you choose this brand, you have to promise that you won’t get mad at me if you end up not being happy with it, because I couldn’t have been more clear about the fact it’s a cheap tub”. I invite you to come to our showroom and I can show you the differences.

Hot tub salespeople might adamantly deny they carry imported products because they may not even be aware of the above facts. Perhaps their boss never told them, and the business selling them can legally get away with saying it’s a domestic product. There’s no way for the consumer to know otherwise without some deeper investigation.