Spatex-stand-pic-3-(2)Many people will be heading off to EventCity this weekend and hoping to look at hot tubs at the Ideal Home Show, Manchester. Perhaps you’ll be one of them? Before packing the car up, here are a few tips to make your hot tub buying experience a lot easier on the day, and a lot less painful on your pocket in the months and years ahead.

Plan your visit.
If you have specific needs in mind, be clear about them before you go to the show. Things like number of seats, lounger or all-seater, lighting packages, stereos etc, so that you have a shopping list of things to talk about, rather than what a salesman wants to try and sell you. Then, when you get to EventCity, pick up a show guide and make a note of where all the hot tub companies are so you can you can visit each hot tub exhibitor’s stand in turn.

Check out each exhibitor.
Check out the credentials of each exhibitor, in particular, where they’re based. Some north west-based companies exhibit at their local show to benefit from exposure to local consumers they may not have been able to attract by their other marketing methods. However, some exhibitors may well have no local dealer and trade only on the internet, or from offices at the other end of the country. Bear this in mind when you’re potentially spending several thousands of Pounds with them and how this may impact their ability to deal with you should you get any issues that need to be dealt with under warranty. For example, here at the  Hot Tub Outlet, we’ll only sell to consumers in the north west of England and north Wales because we couldn’t provide the level of service to a customer in, say, the home counties, that they deserve and that customers on our doorstep enjoy and expect.

Get the show deal, but don’t buy on the day.
This is a really important point. All exhibitors at the Ideal Home Show in Manchester will be making show offers, and hot tub companies are no different. So, if you see a product you like, make sure you get the show offer, but don’t feel pressured into buying on the day. A salesman at a show will try their utmost to get you to commit on the day, by saying that the offer is only available at the show – which is understandable as shows are expensive to put on and attend, and they’ll be looking to recoup their considerable costs. That said, in all our years in the industry we have yet to learn of any show exhibitor who, when presented with a buyer a few days or weeks later saying they’d like to spend thousands of pounds with them but they’d like their show deal, hasn’t honoured it as long as they’ve been presented with some kind of evidence of receiving the show deal.
The other reason this is important is because some exhibitions negotiate to have only one or two hot tub companies at their show. This can be bad news for visiting consumers as they are a captive audience and it gives little opportunity to compare and contrast products and prices at the show, compared with a show where there are lots of hot tub exhibitors. We once had a customer who went to a show in London and saw a hot tub he liked made by a north American manufacturer which he felt was reasonably good quality and suited his needs. It was showing a RRP of £22,000 on the board next to the spa. He spoke to a couple of sales people on their stand and they offered him a show deal of £14,000, which he further managed to negotiate down to £11,000, a saving of  half the marked price. He did not buy on the day though and visited us the following week. Not only were we right on the doorstep of where he actually lived, but he then found out that one of our hot tubs that was of the same quality, also made in north America, same size and similar seating layout with the same number of pumps and similar number of jets had a recommended retail price of less than £9,000!! So he was very glad he didn’t buy on the day of the show!

Happy visiting.
So there you have it. If you are going to the Ideal Home Show with a view to looking for hot tubs, plan your visit well, check out each exhibitor, get the show deals, but don’t be pushed into buying on the day. You’ll then have a painless and productive visit, a great day out, and will ultimately get the spa of your dreams at the best value price!