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I’m lookIng into to purchasing a therapeutic hot tub for my Family and lower chronic back pain.Give me your top three spas in the 9k price range.I’m open to all suggestions.

 

Thank You!

@rdspaguy. @castletonia Hot Springs?

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What options do you have local to you?  A brand is irrelevant if they don’t have local representation.  

I sell Hot Spring and Caldera so I have bias towards them.  I would also consider Marquis, Sundance, Jacuzzi, D1, Artesian, Arctic and Bullfrog to be premium brands.

Start by seeing what you have as local options.  Then research your dealers because the dealer is who supports you after the sale, not the manufacturer, hence the importance of a good dealer.  

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I believe almost every brand is available in my area.The local  Bullfrog dealer wont budge on price.The dealer in Ventura ca 200 miles away will discount the spa but he Can’t sell in another dealers area.I just started looking at the Vanguard by hot springs and really like it.The dealer who offers this brand has been in business 20 plus years I’m sure they have solid reputation.I might have to wait a year for the demand to pull back a little to get the deal Im looking for which I feel is very reasonable offer.

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Who’s this Chris guy from Hot tub university? He doesn’t list Hot Springs in his top ten spas.Does he have a hidden agenda? I’m not sure if I buy into this guy.

 

@castletonia

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2 hours ago, Supersix said:

Who’s this Chris guy from Hot tub university? He doesn’t list Hot Springs in his top ten spas.Does he have a hidden agenda? I’m not sure if I buy into this guy.

Affiliate marketer (and dealer?) who fails to clearly specify his sponsors and how much they contribute to the site - https://www.whatsthebest-hottub.com/forum/index.php/topic,24525.msg216066.html

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https://www.poolspanews.com/business/this-spa-guy-is-an-internet-superstar_o

I have never heard of him until now. 

Watkins products (hot springs, caldera, etc) use many proprietary parts which means no competition on pricing. They are well made, but difficult and expensive to repair. As a repair tech there are few brands I dislike seeing more than a watkins. But they are very popular and last a long time with regular maintenance. I owned a Caldera for 3 years (which is a long time for me to keep the same spa) and I loved it. As much as I don't like to work on them, I can't say that they aren't good tubs. 

But the bottom line is; every spa will have issues. Some more than others. Some due to poor design, some from user error, some from cheap equipment, some from unpredictable situations. The big factor, in my experience talking to thousands of owners, is dealer reliability. The best spa bought from an unethical, short-term, or inexperienced dealer is going to yield unhappy customers. Conversely, the biggest POS bought from an ethical, reliable, knowledgeable dealer is going to have happy customers. It's the relationship with the dealer that makes the difference.

I know a hot springs dealer who will only service under warranty. Once the warranty expires, you're on your own. Being one of a very few who would work on them, I would often hear about the difficulties they had in finding me. And they were always unhappy about their spa and the dealer, even though I would see them much less often than owners of some other brands that had more problems but were easy and cheap to fix, and much cheaper to buy.

Thus my usual advice: a good dealer is more important than a good deal. Owning a spa that is a headache to get fixed is worse than owning a spa that needs frequent repairs but is hassle free to get fixed.

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2 hours ago, Supersix said:

Who’s this Chris guy from Hot tub university? He doesn’t list Hot Springs in his top ten spas.Does he have a hidden agenda? I’m not sure if I buy into this guy.

 

@castletonia

He is a Master Spas dealer.  Basically if any competing brand uses proprietary parts or isn't willing to offer him a tour of their factory he trashes them.  While I personally think very little of Master Spas corporate, they make a decent product but this guy is part of the reason so many despise them.  If you can't sell your product ethically, then don't sell at all.  

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21 hours ago, Supersix said:

I believe almost every brand is available in my area.The local  Bullfrog dealer wont budge on price.The dealer in Ventura ca 200 miles away will discount the spa but he Can’t sell in another dealers area.I just started looking at the Vanguard by hot springs and really like it.The dealer who offers this brand has been in business 20 plus years I’m sure they have solid reputation.I might have to wait a year for the demand to pull back a little to get the deal Im looking for which I feel is very reasonable offer.

Options are good.  Research each dealer because if you have quality options, the dealer may be the x-factor in what you choose.  I can't really comment on how another dealer prices their products.  What I can say is this; demand is at an all time high and product is in short supply.  I personally have not changed my pricing or my pricing policy because of Covid-19 but I have not also had any scenario's where I have felt the need to low ball or drop my price unreasonably to make a sale.  I think most dealers probably have the same thinking because there is no reason to make a sale at a reduced margin when there will be someone coming sooner than later that will buy.

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Great feed back👍 Thank you!
 

I’m curious what spa is the most comfortable to sit in.Hot Springs,Sundance or,Bullfrog?  

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6 hours ago, Supersix said:

I’m curious what spa is the most comfortable to sit in.Hot Springs,Sundance or,Bullfrog?  

This is a very subjective question, all three brands are built by different manufacturers, all of them make decent tubs.   I'm a Hotspring fanboy, but I feel a HS is only worth the money if it has MotoMassager jets, those are proprietary to Hotspring exclusively. You'd need to wet-test a tub with those jets to determine if you like the experience they provide.  For the wife and I, it's our favorite part of the whole tub - I like to shut off the other jets and send full power to the dual motomassager jets plus neck/foot jets in that seat, but my wife finds that too powerful for her comfort. 

Bullfrog tubs have a very innovative jetpack design which has a lot of pros and a few cons.  You'll note that the seats tend to feel more upright and "flat" to accommodate the jetpacks themselves and how they slide into place - but this may be a moot point for you personally.  Won't know until you wet-test a bullfrog tub to know for certain if they are comfortable to you personally and your body type.

I would start by researching the models you like in your budget, then visit the dealers and see how things go.   If you REALLY like one brand and the dealer, schedule a wet-test to test something from that product line (doesn't have to be the exact same model, just something from that same tier/class to give you an idea of how the jets and seats feel).

As others have mentioned, the dealer is a major part of the equation as they are the ones covering warranty labor costs if/when the tub needs service.  Be sure you trust the dealer to do the job right if it needs service in a year or two, and not simply hire the lowest-bidding spa tech in the region.    Some dealers specialize in one brand of spas exclusively, other dealers might be big-backyard HGTV makeover style selling multiple products/brands. Not all spa dealers are alike, when you go to look at a hottub, don't just look at the tub itself, but be sure to ask questions about the dealership themselves - how long have they been in business, do their sales reps work on commission or salary, do they have techs on staff, what is their call-out fees, what do they charge for maintenance items like filters and chemicals, etc.   Some would argue the dealer you buy from is just as important as the brand you buy, be sure to keep that in mind when shopping for a tub.

I would also suggest you check out what Marquis and Nordic have to offer - they make a decent tub at a competitive price from what I've been hearing lately.

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8 hours ago, Supersix said:

Great feed back👍 Thank you!
 

I’m curious what spa is the most comfortable to sit in.Hot Springs,Sundance or,Bullfrog?  

Comfort is subjective.  I sell Hot Spring and Caldera.  They are both owned by Watkins Wellness and I will never suggest one is better than the other.  Each company has their own unique layouts and if you walked into my store and asked which one to buy my response would be the one that is most comfortable to you.

I’ve never had the opportunity to sit in a Bullfrog or Sundance so I can’t offer guidance in comparison.

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1) The one that fits my body best

2) The one that is backed by a reputable dealer

3) The one that fits my budget

If the spa does not meet all 3 move on

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I too have been looking at spas in Ventura ca. I looked at a bullfrog X8 I think it was. I liked it but it didn’t have a couple features I wanted. I think I’m gonna go with a Jacuzzi to 80 hours I like the price and I like that it’s a larger one. Let me know what dealers you’re dealing with will see if we could compare notes.

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