Hot Tub Blue Book
Unlike the ample resources available for cars, there is no reliable listing for determining the value of used equipment in the hot tub industry. That's why we decided to make the next best thing and provide you with some guidance and suggestions.
If you're wondering: How much is my used hot tub worth? What should I look for in a used hot tub? Should I buy a second-hand spa or get a new one from a brand or dealer? Come along as we answer these questions.
This is our hot tub blue book!
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Should You Buy A New Or Used Spa?
Like buying/selling anything second hand there are pros and cons to each option. The main one that most consider when looking at used items vs new ones is how much you pay. However, there are certain factors that you should take into account when looking at purchasing either from a dealership, directly from the manufacturer, or from the current private party hot tub owner.
When You Buy From An Owner
As you might expect, used hot tub models will come at a much lower purchase cost than brand new alternatives. This is really the main and only advantage that used market hot tubs offer. For many interested in hot tub ownership however, this makes all difference in being able to afford one within an allotted budget. Just like purchasing a used car, you will want to dig in and do some research on the brand, as some used
hot tubs can be expected to have more longevity and can endure higher "mileage" than others.
Since there is no predetermined price range for most second-hand spas, the owner/seller will come up with their own dollar amount based on what they think the model is worth. The value that you get, as the buyer, depends on the amount of wear and tear on the product itself.
This means you need to do a bit of research and careful examination of the spa so that you can effectively determine how worn its mileage, its age and condition, features, and that it is in good working order. Once you have a good idea of the age and condition, then you can easily determine if it's worth the price that the owners have asked for. Before your purchase, make sure the hot tub works, as it would take a lot of guess and check work to determine the problem after you get it home.
Once you do purchase a used model from a private party there is no going back. You won't get a guarantee or warranty as would be expected with the purchase from a dealer. So make sure all its features are up to par including the heater, pumps, and jets are in working order before you invest. You should also double-check the measurements to be sure it will actually fit in the space you have, and that you will be able to maneuver it into the desired location at your house.
Your prospective hot tub's electrical requirements should also be taken into consideration, as plug-and-play models are much easier to install than their 220-240V counterparts. The 220-240V models will require hot tub wiring completed either by yourself or by a licensed electrician.
There are a number of different places you can go to get second-hand hot tubs, however, one of the most common locations to find them within the US & Canada is Craigslist. Note that when you find one you like, you should check the price of it new via a dealer because the cost of a second-hand version should be at least 50% less than the original asking price. See our Hot Tub Prices article for the average estimate of new equipment. You will also need to factor in the transportation and installation which most previous owners do not include for free.
When You Buy From A Spa Dealer
For those that have the budget, buying a new hot tub model is usually the preferable option. Why? Because unlike second-hand hot tubs you get a guarantee and warranty that will cover it for a good many years. If you get it home and for some reason, it doesn't turn on, you haven't wasted your money because the dealer or manufacturer will take care of the problem for you.
People usually buy a new model from dealers or directly from the brand because they know that what they are investing in will 100% work, is guaranteed to survive and endure so that they can enjoy it for many years to come. Yes, it is more expensive, but for some it is worth the peace of mind knowing that they are getting what they paid for rather than gambling a $3,000 investment in a hot tub that may or may not stop working tomorrow. Hot tub financing is always an option for those who would rather pay monthly installments instead of the entire sum up front.
Additionally, it is always comforting to buy expensive equipment from professionals that know what they are doing. They can give you free advice on upgrades, water treatment, hot tub care, and usage. The ability to confer with a hot tub professional allows you to get the most out of your spa.
When it comes to installation and transportation, a lot of dealers will organize the delivery for you and can either do the installation or have contacts with other experts that can. This makes the entire process much easier and you get a soup to nuts service.
Hot Tub Trade-In Value
As previously mentioned, a hot tub can be traded into the dealership for a newer model much like a car. Typically, most hot tub trade-ins should be about 50% of the original purchase price or less. However, this does depend on its age and condition, and the degree of wear and tear.
Its also a good idea to check the hot tub market to see what price other similar hot tubs are going for.
There is no exact guide, as some hot tubs sell for 50% of their original price whereas others sell for 20% of the retail cost. For more information, you can always consult your local hot tub retail store. So test out the market, see how much interest you get, how responsive prospective buyers are, and adjust as needed.
A used hot tub can be a wonderful source of entertainment and relaxation, but nobody wants to get a lemon! We hope our hot tub blue book has proved to be a handy resource and that you've gained a better understanding of how the used hot tub industry functions.
No matter what kind of hot tub you're after, save time and simplify your shopping experience by getting several quotes from a single request. Its free, tailored to your preferences, and you can choose from the lowest prices. To get started, click the button below!
About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.