When it comes to hot tub shopping it may be enticing to shop online from big retailers, but it’s often not the better option. With hot tubs and hot tub chemicals, a lot of big box retailers sacrifice quality over quantity because they are mass producing hot tubs and chemicals to sell more. Ultimately this decreases the lifetime and value of your hot tub and chemicals, requiring you to replace them more frequently. Among many more, here are the top 8 reasons why shopping local is better than big box retailers.
1. No Hands-On Service
If you have a particular issue with your pool, big box stores and online retailers don’t have someone there to discuss the problem with, diagnose the issue and develop a solution. Any staff that’s available to help you isn’t trained in hot tub product knowledge.
2. No Expertise
A big box store or online superstore doesn’t have anyone experienced in swimming pools and spas. Nor are they able to tailor a treatment or maintenance regimen designed specifically for your pool or spa. Brick and mortar pool stores are like pharmacists for your pool. They’ll know right away whether a chemical doesn’t work with another chemical in your spa or if certain chemicals will solve or cause problems.
3. No Testing Capabilities
When you come into a local, brick and mortar pool store, the staff can test your water and recommend the exact chemicals and dosages to keep the water sparkling.
Your Amazon shopping cart isn’t going to smile when you walk in the door. And the cashier (if it isn’t self-checkout) isn’t going to know your name and remember you. And they really don’t care how your party was last weekend. Likewise, Amazon isn’t going to place an ad in your son’s football program or sponsor your daughter’s basketball team.
5. Warranties and Exchanges
If you buy pool equipment or parts online, there is little to no warranty on the product. You’ll also have a hard time finding someone to install it. If the part fails or you install it incorrectly, who do you call? On the other hand, manufacturers recognize the expertise of pool professionals and the critical role they play in selling, servicing and installing their products. For that reason, they offer rebates, extended warranties and other perks to customers who purchase from local professionals.
6. Chemicals Are Not Equal
There are quite a few brands of chemicals sold online by big box retailers that are made of inferior ingredients, despite licensing agreements for brands that make you feel safe. If you see chlorine tablets with a label that has the most well known brand of bleach on it, you’re probably going to think it’s a great quality item. After all, you’re buying a BRAND NAME, not some cheap knockoff. And while the active ingredient is probably the same exact stuff as we sell, often times the inactive ingredients and binding agents are made of lesser-quality products.
Last season, a longtime customer called us after hearing an explosion and seeing flames on his pool equipment. When we arrived to help, we saw a bucket of BRAND NAME chlorine tablets purchased from a big box store. He had bought them in a pinch on a holiday when our store was closed. The inferior binding agent in these tablets clogged the feed line from his chlorinator to his plumbing, causing an over-pressurization of the vessel. Everything was plumbed correctly and had worked perfectly for years but after one week of using a lesser-quality product he incurred over $500 in damages.
7. Price Is The Great Equalizer
Many people are shocked to find that the price of our products is either the same or lower than big box competitors or online stores. This is for a number of reasons. We’re a small company with a small store, so we don’t need to pay hundreds of employees, heat thousands of cubic feet of space, etc. We also don’t need to warehouse truckloads of product. This allows us to sell better quality products at lower prices.
8. Shipping Times Aren’t Prime
The shipping of many pool chemicals, especially chlorine-based products, is heavily regulated and often restricted to ground. It doesn’t matter if you have a premium delivery option if the warehouse processing your chlorine tablet order is 3,000 miles away. The only way to legally ship that product is by ground, which usually takes 3-7 days to arrive after the order is fulfilled. We stock all of our pool chemicals in-store and our supply house is only 15 miles away. If you order your pool and spa chemicals from us, we can have them delivered the same day!
Interested in shopping local? Check out our online store here. Maybe you’re interested in a hot tub or swim spa? Fill out the form below and we’ll help you find the perfect backyard addition!