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Consumer Alert: Where’s the scariest place to buy a hot tub or swim spa?

Answer: A traveling hot tub or swim spa expo.

Avoid Traveling Hot Tub & Swim Spa Expo Shows, Austin.

Here’s Why: Hot tub and swim spa expos are typically advertised as “national events” and insinuate that all major manufactures are present. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, these expo events are set up quickly and ran by high-pressure sales staff who leave town and disappear as soon as the event is over never to be seen again.

At a traveling expo, the endless aisles are no place to make an informed decision about a relaxation investment of thousands of dollars to last for years to come.

You need to make your decision in peace. At O’Neill’s Pools & Hot Tubs, we suggest you even schedule a consultation in your own backyard before you take delivery. That’s an offer we can provide as local company that you cannot get from a hired gun at an expo who will disappear after the event.

Additionally, most tubs at an event can only be dry tested.

Should a traveling show actually have a spa filled with water to test, you would have to be ready to get in your swimsuit in front of a crowd of people. And who wants to do that? O’Neill’s Pools & Hot Tubs offers you the opportunity for a “wet test” before you buy. Take a test soak in a hot tub in a private room. These wet tests allow you to feel the jets, make sure the water depth fits your height, and the seating fits your body.

You’ll also feel the sales pressure at a traveling expo.

Sales reps want to close deals as fast as they can to earn their commission and keep your deposit. The claims and counterclaims you’ll hear for their products will boggle your mind. In fact, you are likely to hear that if you’re not going to buy today, they can’t help you because they work on commission.

Don’t fall for the “this price is only good right now!”

When the “expo” price says 50 percent off, chances are that’s their regular price you’re looking at. Frequently, the expo price is even higher than the regular price, so that the sellers can recoup the high cost of putting on the show.

Don’t be left without a local company to answer questions and provide service.

One of the main reasons to avoid the traveling expo is because when the event ends the expo leaves too, and often without a local showroom or anyone to answer questions, much less provide service after the sale. That’s no way to buy a hot tub or swim spa. Take your time when buying a hot tub.

When shopping, take along these 9 questions to get you started:

  1. Do you have brick and mortar showroom in my local area where you can test soak the models I’m interested in?

  2. How long have they been in business? How long has the manufacturer been in business?

  3. Can you provide reference and reviews about your hot tubs and swim spas?

  4. What about delivery? Is it driveway drop-off or full service to the exact spot where I want it?

  5. After it’s in place, will you get it filled and up and running so we can ensure everything is working properly before you go?

  6. Will you go over the functionality and familiarize me with chemical recommendations for my new hot tub?  

  7. Do you provide your own service or it via a third party?

  8. Can you give me a copy of the warranty for this hot tub or swim spa?

  9. What’s your cancellation policy? Can I get a refund of my deposit if I change my mind?

After you see some hot tubs at the traveling expo, we invite you to visit O’Neill’s for a free test soakfree backyard consultation and pressure-free information about Caldera Spas. You won’t find that at any traveling expo.

See you soon!


We appreciate our friends at Olympic Hot Tub in Seattle, Washington, and Georgia Spa Company in Atlanta, Georgia for compiling most of this information and allowing us to share it here in Texas. If you ever find yourself in Washington or Georgia stop in one of their stores and say hello!