Jump to content

Pricing For Vanguard


sagefoolht
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi, I've done some wet tests and like the HS Vanguard the most thus far, just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts about the quote I got.

$11.8k before taxes for the 2011 model with ACE and delivery and starter kit. Which seems pretty steep to me based on looking through the forums, though the prices I've seen have been for tubs a few years older. They charge $1400 for the ACE system, so if I did without that I could drop it to 10.4k (but then presumably it would cost more monthly for chemicals if I wanted to do something like SILK, though just clorine/bromine would still be quite cheap I imagine.)

They would also give me $500 off for a floor model or 1k off for a getting one with no cabinet (The tub is going to fit into a deck so so that is actually OK for my situation.) I live in Marin near San Francisco, so certainly it is generally just an expensive place to be. But this is a high volume dealer (they claimed to be the highest volume dealer in the US, which might actually be true as they have a number of stores around the Bay Area) so it still seemed a bit steep. They do have a good reputation as a dealer and have been in business for 30+ years so that is a plus.

Does anyone have any thoughts? The MSRP on the tub is 12.4k but obviously there are pretty solid margins on these things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, I've done some wet tests and like the HS Vanguard the most thus far, just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts about the quote I got.

$11.8k before taxes for the 2011 model with ACE and delivery and starter kit. Which seems pretty steep to me based on looking through the forums, though the prices I've seen have been for tubs a few years older. They charge $1400 for the ACE system, so if I did without that I could drop it to 10.4k (but then presumably it would cost more monthly for chemicals if I wanted to do something like SILK, though just clorine/bromine would still be quite cheap I imagine.)

They would also give me $500 off for a floor model or 1k off for a getting one with no cabinet (The tub is going to fit into a deck so so that is actually OK for my situation.) I live in Marin near San Francisco, so certainly it is generally just an expensive place to be. But this is a high volume dealer (they claimed to be the highest volume dealer in the US, which might actually be true as they have a number of stores around the Bay Area) so it still seemed a bit steep. They do have a good reputation as a dealer and have been in business for 30+ years so that is a plus.

Does anyone have any thoughts? The MSRP on the tub is 12.4k but obviously there are pretty solid margins on these things.

That's about on the mark for a new vanguard with ACE. The ACE system is about $1000 (not sure why your dealer is charging $400 more), he is knocking off $500 for floor model, so that puts you at $10,300 for the spa.

I own a Limelight Glow with an ACE system. I've had nothing but problems with my ACE system, however they are new to the Limelight models. I learned how to maintain my water quality without the ACE system. Chlorine isn't very expensive, even cheaper if you use the bleach method. If you are trying to save money, skip the ACE. It can always be purchased later, and installation is very simple.

I loved the Vanguard, however it turned out to be too big for the space I wanted to put a spa. If I was in your shoes I would offer $10,000 cash. Most dealers will knock off anywhere between 2%-3% off the price if you roll with cash. My dealer has a floor model Vanguard he is selling for $8900. So $10,000, that's including tax would be a good offer IMO.

Again you live in California, your Spa was assembled in that state, so your dealers shipping costs should be low. You should have a little wiggle room in your price negotiating.

BE SURE TO WET TEST!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being in places like the SF area often causes higher pricing which I'm sure isn't news to you. If you want to keep the price down take him up no the offer to drop it $1400 by excluding the Ace. Chlorine isn't expensive and its easy to maintain with a standard routine the dealer can set you up with.

As far as sinking it in a deck, it is my strong opinion that the best method is to partially sink it in but leave the tub 12-15" above the deck, this makes for getting in/out MUCH, MUCH easier. When its fully sunk in I don't like crawling in/out. I know it may look nicer to some fully sunk in but practicality takes a drop when you do that IMO. There are lifters designed for such a set up so take him up on the offer to include the cover lifter but remind him of your set up so he doesn't give you a standard one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Mark SC - I hadn't see the aftermarket SWCG stuff, I looked through the forums some and am not quite sure about it - seems like it floats around in the tub and has a cord that goes over the edge? Also I know there is lots of marketing spin on everything but are the aftermarket SWCG comparable to ACE? Seems a bit weird that aftermarket could sell at 300 and turn a profit and ACE sells at 1000 (or 1400 lol) without there being some additional cost to the system which one would imagine is a benefit to the consumer. I've looked for threads about ACE but honestly it tends to degenerate into dealers and spa people bickering at each other. Maybe I haven't found the right thread?

Mostly I'm just looking for ease of use, I'm quite technical and engineering minded so doing normal water maintenance isn't something I would have any problem with, I'm just trying to minimize things I need to do every week / X days.

@new2spa I definitely hear you on the wet test. I wasn't thinking of the vanguard for any other reason than it was available to test and fit the space I have. I liked it more than the aria (shoulder jets seemed weak when set to just turn on the lounge side, and when all the jets where max the current from the other side pushed me out of the lounge, oops) or the limelight flair (lounger was short for me (i'm 6'2"), great shoulder jets though, but I'm thin and the bottom jets actually went past me on either side - fail.) I'll probably see if I can get a bit of a better deal, I can pay in cash (the hot tub fund finally filled up after a couple years of saving) so hopefully that would help. The area is sadly just expensive so they don't have to make huge concessions to keep things going.

@walleye thanks for checking around, that is a good datapoint as I can add the 1k ACE apparently goes for and see 10.2 which would be good for negotiating.

@spatech (the unreal one) I've thought about doing the partially sunken, the only real problem is the location - this is on a fairly steep slope so basically the front would be exposed and the back and one side would have decking around it, in order to have any decking it needs to be at the height of the spa. I could maybe step it down as it goes down the hill, but that starts to look pretty odd. I could post a picture of the sketchup mockup if you where interested. I was thinking of just orienting it such that the warming seat could be used for ingress/egress.

Thanks for all the useful info everyone, very helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not uncommon for a long established reputable dealer to be priced a little on the high side. While there are no guarantees, in a sense you are paying a lttile extra for the increased liklihood that he will continue to be in operation for the life of your tub. Maybe 30 years of making a profit has allowed him to keep the doors open. The more complex your tub (ie - getting ACE)the more you will want to be sure that he will be there for you.

Maintaining water chemistry is simple and routine, once you get the hang of it. SWG attempts to make it more convenient but will be more costly over the life of your tub than what 95%+ of what other tub owners pay. Also, it is not the foolproof "set it and forget it" system many have hoped for and some have had major problems. Some are quite happy, some are not. Most find chlorine or bromine regimes easy, cost effective and understandable.

I agree with spatech on the partially sunken tub. Your sketchup image might help us understand why you feel forced to go with a fully sunken spa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not uncommon for a long established reputable dealer to be priced a little on the high side. While there are no guarantees, in a sense you are paying a lttile extra for the increased liklihood that he will continue to be in operation for the life of your tub. Maybe 30 years of making a profit has allowed him to keep the doors open. The more complex your tub (ie - getting ACE)the more you will want to be sure that he will be there for you.

Yeah fair enough, I guess the question is if it's a little _too_ high even with the local high costs (but lower delivery costs and high volume) since it seems like others are getting the same tub for ~1.5k less (I can get closer with the floor model or no-cabinet, but ~1.5k seems like a big difference when just comparing apples to apples)

Maintaining water chemistry is simple and routine, once you get the hang of it. SWG attempts to make it more convenient but will be more costly over the life of your tub than what 95%+ of what other tub owners pay. Also, it is not the foolproof "set it and forget it" system many have hoped for and some have had major problems. Some are quite happy, some are not. Most find chlorine or bromine regimes easy, cost effective and understandable.

Is there any real difference between the ACE and the aftermarket SWCG? (Other than the cost and that ACE is built in with a nice interface?) I keep talking myself into it then out of it. I assume I could just add it later if the standard regiment wasn't for me, so maybe I should just go with that and see how I like it.

I agree with spatech on the partially sunken tub. Your sketchup image might help us understand why you feel forced to go with a fully sunken spa.

Sketchup model: http://radiantenergy.org/tub.skp If I wanted it partially sunk it seems like I would need to either raise the tub (which I didn't want to do because of the support structure I'd need to build - being cut into the hill like that the tub is very stable (not sure is a retaining wall under the tubs front edge for additional support)) or to lower the deck which is a problem since the deck is already at grade on the hill side. I could do that by digging out more dirt to lower the deck and putting in a retaining wall behind, but honestly I've moved something like 21 tons of retaining wall blocks down into the yard for this terracing project mostly by hand and I'm pretty done with it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Mark SC - I hadn't see the aftermarket SWCG stuff, I looked through the forums some and am not quite sure about it - seems like it floats around in the tub and has a cord that goes over the edge? Also I know there is lots of marketing spin on everything but are the aftermarket SWCG comparable to ACE? Seems a bit weird that aftermarket could sell at 300 and turn a profit and ACE sells at 1000 (or 1400 lol) without there being some additional cost to the system which one would imagine is a benefit to the consumer. I've looked for threads about ACE but honestly it tends to degenerate into dealers and spa people bickering at each other. Maybe I haven't found the right thread?

Technichlor is a portable unit that sits in your tub and you remove during use. That's the one I have and have posted about. The same manufacturer makes an in-line unit that ties into your circ pump and that is listed for just over $300 on Amazon. My local Hot Springs dealer installs that one in its tubs and raves about it. However, I would think the removable unit would be easier to service and adjust settings. You do need an external power supply for either type of unit. Yes, it is identical in function to ACE. All ACE does is manufacturer chlorine and ozone with a hybrid SWCG/ozonator. You don't need the ozone (it's actually counterproductive when combined with chlorine). The SWCG function is identical to the aftermarket units.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To follow up on the pricing: I went with the Vanguard they had with no cabinet with ACE and talked them down $600. I basically gave them the average of the better prices I found here and offered to split the difference with them (since the location is very expensive vs the rest of the country and I do value purchasing from some who is highly likely to be around for the life of my warranty) and with a little bit of talking about it they agreed.

Now I just need to finish the electrical and the slab so I can get it installed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

To follow up on the pricing: I went with the Vanguard they had with no cabinet with ACE and talked them down $600. I basically gave them the average of the better prices I found here and offered to split the difference with them (since the location is very expensive vs the rest of the country and I do value purchasing from some who is highly likely to be around for the life of my warranty) and with a little bit of talking about it they agreed.

Now I just need to finish the electrical and the slab so I can get it installed.

And to follow up, the tub is in, and I have been loving it. No problems with anything thus far (though it's only been installed for a couple of months.) Use it maybe 5 days a week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Sage,

Would you mind giving us a little bit of insight on how you've been using your ACE system? Everyone else seems to get quite annoyed with it on the boards here...

Been lurking these boards for a few months now (AMAZING information) trying to learn as much as I can; I'm being trained as a salesman at a pool/spa store, and I really value the information found here.

We haven't gotten the ACE yet in Canada, but everyone at my store touts it as being the best thing since anything ever. I'd really love to hear what it requires on your part in terms of maintenance, any issues you've had, etc.

Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Sure, thus far it seems to be quite minimal maintenance. I use the tub regularly (~5 times a week) which probably helps, but the time I'm in the tub does vary quite a lot 10 minutes to 45+ minutes so that makes it a little harder to dial in - since obviously very regular use makes a very regular demand for chlorine generation. I have been bouncing around a bit between 3 and 4 use level and checking about once a week that my levels are OK. The test strips that came with the tub seem kind of crappy, at least for me it seemed like the color from the bromine would leak down into the chlorine area which would mess with the color (even holding the strip flat) and even when that wasn't an issue they didn't seem super accurate. I've been testing with the taylor kit which seems way more consistent.

It seems like the logical extension of the ACE would be to have an automated chlorine level test and would then adjust the chlorine output up and down. So if any nice dealers in the SF/BA want someone to test something like that let me know. ;)

Hey Sage,

Would you mind giving us a little bit of insight on how you've been using your ACE system? Everyone else seems to get quite annoyed with it on the boards here...

Been lurking these boards for a few months now (AMAZING information) trying to learn as much as I can; I'm being trained as a salesman at a pool/spa store, and I really value the information found here.

We haven't gotten the ACE yet in Canada, but everyone at my store touts it as being the best thing since anything ever. I'd really love to hear what it requires on your part in terms of maintenance, any issues you've had, etc.

Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...