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Second-Hand Advice for the Used Hot Tub Market

Hot TubResale professionals who purchase luxury items might be seeing an uptick in the number of estate sales offering hot tubs. Sales of hot tubs began to grow in the 1960s and climbed steadily until demand skidded to a halt in 2007. The pool and spa industry is currently seeing a modest recovery as more home buyers and renovators regain their confidence, particularly when it comes to purchasing spas and above-ground pools. Yet, consumers are looking for a deal. The trend has created an interesting demand for a used hot tub market for buyers—and resellers.

The Enduring Hot Tub

Consider this when you see a hot tub at an estate sale: it has always been a popular item. While consumers are returning to the hot tub market, they just aren’t spending as much as in prerecession days. That doesn’t mean they don’t want a four- or six-seat spa with 48 jets, programmable heaters and iPod docks, they are just wary of the hefty price tag that comes with the luxurious features. Instead of a new, top-of-the-line hot tub, you might be able to bridge the gap between the desire for the best and the desire to keep costs down by buying and reselling second-hand hot tubs.

Evaluating Used Hot Tubs

It’s worth it to look at hot tub maintenance guides to determine what’s on the market, particularly the more luxurious models that were more popular in days past and the kind you are likely to see at estate sales and in new homes. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate a used hot tub:

  • Is it the hot tub currently operating? If it is, ask the seller to demonstrate how it works. Make sure all the motors run properly.
  • Ask if there is a transferable warranty.
  • Ask if the hot tub has been filled regularly. Hot tubs should never be drained for extended periods of time, unless they have been professionally winterized (with documentation to prove it). Keep in mind you, too, may need to properly drain and store it if it does not sell quickly.
  • If you work with a regular clientele or have someone in mind for the hot tub, ask if you can make an appointment to “wet-test” it. You don’t want to sell a defective item to a loyal customer.
  • Minor wear and tear is not a major concern, but it can be used to negotiate a lower price.

Are Hot Tub Replacement Parts Available?

Another attractive feature of buying a second-hand hot tub is the availability of replacement parts. The best hot tub parts are not necessarily brand names, although some parts should be replaced by the same brand. Parts such as covers, cover lifts, filters and, of course, chemicals do not need to be brand-loyal and are likely to be less expensive, as well. Controllers and heaters are the mechanical items most often in need of replacement.

Perhaps the best selling point for hot tubs is they are both fun and therapeutic. In fat, in 1949 Candido Jacuzzi devised a small pump to work in a bathtub to help relieve the pain his son Ken endured after contracting juvenile diabetes. Today, Ken is an activist for people with disabilities and a former director of Arizona’s Office for Americans with Disabilities.

Contributed by Paula Porter

Paula was a project manager for a large home builder before retiring three years ago. She started writing at the suggestion of her daughter.

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