The bubbling second-hand spa market is currently red hot news on Internet search statistics, social media groups and the number of enquiries to retailers.
The surge in pre-loved sales is being generated by a happy coincidence of selling and buying influences. Firstly, a significant wave of home hot tub purchasers are looking to upgrade to new and improved models, generating a pool of pre-owned stock. At the same time, that trade-in stock is meeting the needs of a new spa-buying demographic; the second hand spa purchasers. Most retailers actively market to customers who have hot tubs that are more than five years old with information on new models, tempting them with information on updated technology and features.
“Selling second hand, pre-loved hot tubs is all about integrity and building the trust of the customer,” comments industry expert and Hot Tub and Swim Spa Scene editor, Christina Connor. “The inherent human fear of the unknown always makes buying a second hand item tricky – but the power of a good bargain can definitely outweigh this. “Offering a warranty of any kind, and encouraging customers to see the product in person, before they purchase, builds confidence that will help even the most sceptical person take the plunge.” Perhaps faced with the need to change the pump, the control unit, or repairing a leak, offering to accept customers’ old tubs for a reduced price on a new one is a great way to encourage upgrade sales. Christina points out: “Of course, much like cars, once you’ve traded-in a customer’s hot tub, you’ve got to sell it on. “With a price tag averaging between £2k and £6k, pre-owned hot tubs are a great fit for customers with modest budgets butwho still want to take the home hot tub plunge. “Again thinking of the car market, some models are more likely to sell than others. They will need to be sold with integrity following a complete overhaul and at least a one year warranty on product to bolster confidence.” The prospect of getting a good quality second hand tub for the same price, if not less, than a brand new but inferior model, is an offer many customers find hard to refuse.
Switched-on sellers have been quick to up-scale their marketing messages to the second hand market. Many retailers are now offering pre-owned product alongside their new display stock and this is a market that looks set to grow. As it opens its new centre of spa excellence with 25 hot tubs and swim spas on display in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, 1 Stop Spa is switching its existing Lincolnshire location to a designated pre-owned show centre to cater for this significant buying demand. “It is much easier selling to existing customers because they know and trust your product and your after sales service, “ points out Chris who has been marketing trade-in offers to 1 Stop’s existing customer base. “We have been selling spas for a decade now and we are now in a position to sell new models to customers we have already sold to,” he adds “We are selling the pre-owned spas
to a customer who perhaps would not have otherwise owned a hot tub, perhaps because they could not make the credit score on finance or some other reason. “We generally replace the union seals and heater because that will be the main cause of problems but offer the preowned customer a one year warranty and a guaranteed trade-in value on their spa which means we keep them as customers,” adds Chris. “We did have ten pre-owned spas on show but we are down to two already, because they are selling like hot cakes,” Chris adds.