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What’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Hot Tub? (hint: there is one)

For some purchases, like cars, there’s a certain time of year when prices are a lot lower. But what about hot tubs? Do they have a special time of the year that could net you some big savings? So I wondered what’s the best time of year to buy a hot tub.

The short answer is yes, there is. The best time to purchase a hot tub is between fall and winter. So start shopping in late September and plan to purchase no later than the end of January. Spring is when hot tub season kicks in and that’s when prices go up dramatically.

But there’s more to know than just that, so let’s keep going!

In this article, we’ll explore hot tub pricing and how it can fluctuate throughout the year. But we’ll also look at how much prices vary depending on the price tier you’re looking at.

I’ll also explore things like whether prices are negotiable, how long you should expect yours to last, and some of the crucial things you should know before you walk into the hot tub dealer’s showroom.

Keep on reading to find out the best time to buy a hot tub!

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Confused by the terms spa, jacuzzi, and hot tub?

You’re not alone! Many have wondered if each is different or if they just mean the same thing. If you’re curious about the difference between hot tubs, spas, and jacuzzis, check out my recent articleI break down how the terms overlap but some of the ways they do actually differ.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Are hot tub prices lower during winter?

Hot tub dealers have a stock of inventory that they need to move before new models come in, just like car dealerships. This means that in fact there are better times than others to make that purchase you have been thinking about.

The best time to purchase a hot tub is between fall and winter.

The selling season for hot tubs begins in spring. This is when people begin to venture outside and enjoy the warmer weather.

Therefore, hot tub dealers will want to begin clearing out their excess inventory in September. This makes fall and winter the perfect time to purchase a hot tub because there will be deals going on due to the excess inventory that is needed to be purchased.

In September you will find hot tub dealers are beginning to offer discounts on their stock.

These stores are motivated to clear out their inventory they currently carry because it is often being financed. This means they will have to start paying interest on what inventory hasn’t been sold.

While it’s true that discounts can continue to increase throughout the end of the year, it’s not without its downside. Waiting too long means a sacrifice of the selection available for you to purchase.

While waiting until the end of winter could get you a great price on a hot tub, it may not be the exact model you had hoped to purchase.

Make sure you balance savings with available inventory.

Additionally, many of the high-quality hot tub manufacturers shut down their production during December and the holiday season. This is because they have to do a cleanup and re-tooling of their manufacturing facilities.

This means you could wait longer to get the hot tub you want if it happens to be from a factory.

What is a good price for a hot tub?

There is no exact “good” price for a hot tub.

It all really comes down to a bunch of different factors. What’s your price range? How much can you afford to spend? What features do you want? Where are you placing your hot tub? The list can go on and on.

For the purposes of this section, I am referring to what’s called portable hot tubs. These are wood framed with acrylic shells, often with plastic siding and are above-ground.

Here’s a quick look and then we’ll go into greater detail below:

Type of Hot tub Starting Price Range Top of Price Range
Entry Level $2,000. $4,000.
Mid Level $5,000. $8.000.
High End $9,000. $12,000.
Luxury $13,000 $18,000

But don’t stress out about those questions. We can break down the hot tub pricing and help you realize what you want to get. Hot tubs can be placed in different tiers based on pricing.

Entry Level Tier

These cost between $2,000 and $4,000. Many hot tubs in this tier are made using methods that produce a cheaper product with a limited lifespan. Or they are just smaller with fewer jets and no extra features.

Sometimes in the lower-price range, you get poor materials and workmanship from knock-off overseas companies. These hot tubs can be ok if you’re OK with a shorter lifespan and no-frills like LED lights or stereo systems and waterfalls.

Sometimes too, hot tubs in this range are poorly insulated which can increase the operating costs.

Lastly, I am not, however, including inflatable hot tubs here.

Those definitely have value, and there are a few great ones on the market. But there’s also some junk too. But if you’re looking for a hot tub on an extremely small budget, make sure to check out my recent article.

I get into all the pros and cons of inflatable hot tubs. But I also mention the #1 inflatable hot tub that’s almost as good as more permanent versions.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Mid Tier

These hot tubs cost between $5,000 and $8,000.

These hot tubs usually include a handful of features. They often will have more jets and better insulation. And, they do offer better reliability and comfort.

High Tier

These hot tubs cost between $9,000 to $12,000.

They come with great quality acrylic shells, in addition to solidly built frames and cabinets. They will come with better jets, comfort, and features.

They’ll probably have LED color changing lights, and things like drink trays, waterfalls, and maybe even waterproof Bluetooth speaker options.

Now, you don’t have to buy a high-end hot tub to get waterproof Bluetooth speakers!

No, there are floating speakers you can buy for any hot tub, and some are as cheap as $30 bucks! I break down all the best ones in low, mid, and high price ranges in a recent article.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Luxury/Premium Tier

These hot tubs will run you between $13,000 to $18,000.

Sometimes, depending on features and technology, they can cost even more. These hot tubs will be well-built, with a range of custom options that will allow greater personalization of your hot tub experience.

The biggest difference here will be the size of the hot tub and the amount of jets. But many of the features from the high-end options will be standard here: speakers, lights, waterfalls, etc.

You’ll see the shells made more like lounge chairs with jet packs designed to maximize the hydrotherapy experience. They may also have built-in ozone generators or saltwater generators. Improved water filtration is common as well.

Can you negotiate hot tub prices?

You may be wondering if hot tub prices are negotiable.

Is it similar to purchasing a car, a situation in which you can haggle back and forth for what you are buying?  Or, if you want to save money, do you have to wait for special sales?

In reality, it depends on the situation at hand.

If you decide to purchase a hot tub from a well-known dealer, they will most likely have standardized pricing. They will certainly have an occasional promotion or sale to attract customers. At other times, you may be able to negotiate the price of add-ons or additional features, while unable to negotiate the actual hot tub cost.

Now, when you find hot tub dealers at conventions or fairs, in these instances, the price of a spa may be completely negotiable and the discounts can seem huge.

This is a big red flag. It most likely means the hot tub itself is crafted from cheap, inferior quality materials.  The seller just priced it extremely high to allow the illusion that you are getting a great deal.

You may also want to avoid going out of business sales.

While these sales may be enticing, be wary of them. Buying from a well known and local hot tub dealer (one that isn’t going out of business/disappearing) has major advantages.

One is that they provide installation for you. Another is they provide warranty service. These two things combined offer peace of mind to buyers.

That being said, I’ve figured out how to do a lot of the repairs on my hot tubs myself, and there are plenty of repair people on Yelp I could call if I needed help.

But consider all the pros and cons.

How many years does an outdoor hot tub last?

Hot tub longevity depends on the quality of the hot tub you purchase.

Generally speaking, hot tubs made cheaply out of low-quality materials don’t last nearly as long as a premium hot tub made from high-quality parts.

A hot tub’s lifespan is based on a combination of two factors. These two factors are the quality of the hot tub materials and how well you maintain your hot tub.

A hot tub can last anywhere from five to twenty years. But 10-15 is the average.

It can even last longer, provided you maintain it exceptionally well.  Cheap hot tubs made with lower quality materials aren’t likely to last more than 10 years, even with great maintenance.

But, great maintenance will ensure a longer than normal lifespan. 

I go into much greater detail about hot tub lifespans and what you can do to maximize yours in a recent articleJust click that link to read it on my site.

Quality hot tubs that receive routinely great maintenance can be enjoyed for as long as twenty years, maybe even more!

Hot tub equipment will always need periodic maintenance to keep it running properly. The majority of hot tub manufacturers and dealers will provide a hot tub owner’s manual when you purchase a hot tub.

This manual will show you the proper way of maintaining your hot tub equipment.

But the biggest things you, as the owner, should do include the following:

I have articles on all of those if you need help figuring out how to do those and I’ve linked them above. Just click those links to go right to my articles on my site.

What do you need to know before you buy a hot tub?

Before buying a hot tub, it’s important to consider which models will fulfill both your budget and needs. Shop wisely by looking at reviews of the hot tub(s) you are curious about. Read the specifications that detail it.

  • How many jets does it have?
  • Is this one better at hydrotherapy than other models?
  • Did customers complain about parts breaking quickly?

Most manufacturers will list each hot tub’s specifications on their website. This allows for easy comparison.

When purchasing a hot tub, ensure you have a strict budget set. Once you do, you can begin to look at the different models within your budget and compare and contrast them.

Take into consideration the number of seats, number of jets, and the number of pumps. Make sure the overall size of the hot tub will fit within the area you want it to go.

Also, make sure you know the weight of the hot tub.

The weight (especially filled with water and people) will affect where you put your hot tub. If you are curious about how much a hot tub usually weighs, check out this recent article. I get into weights for all the popular sizes and how much it might cost to move it.

But I also look at different surfaces you might set yours on, including wooden decks, as some may be too heavy for some surfaces.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

If you want to splurge and get extra features then look at if it has:

  • Audio systems
  • Lighting
  • Water features (such as waterfalls).

Finally, ensure that you look at the warranty details!

It is highly recommended that you physically see and test out hot tubs before you buy them. While online shopping is convenient, you sometimes won’t get as good a deal as you thought you were going to get.

A hot tub you receive from purchasing online could be much lower in quality than the one you were expecting to get. It could also end up costing more to run it or repair it than you expected.

There are actually 23 things you must know before you buy your 1st hot tub!

Luckily, I’ve compiled them all in an easy to read list article. Just click that link to read it now on my site!

How much does it cost per month to run a hot tub?

Cheaply designed hot tubs don’t have the necessary insulation to keep out the cold without causing your electric bill to go up in cost. However, quality built hot tubs will be able to stand up to the harshest winters with a minimal increase in the cost of your energy.

While the total price of running a hot tub depends on a variety of factors, many high-quality hot tubs can cost as little as $10 to $20 per month to operate.

To dive deeper into electricity costs, how to estimate yours, and some more specifics about lowering the costs, check out my recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

If you keep your hot tub on continuously (as most people do),  your electricity bill will obviously be on the higher side. However, it’s possible to cut down the heating cost.

One way to save heating costs is to switch the mode of your hot tub from a standard mode to either sleep or economy mode. This means you’ll pay less per unit of energy. But they don’t always hit the temperature you set the panel to (which can be great in summer if you live in a hot area like Texas where I live).

A second option is to just lower the temperature the water is heated to by a couple of degrees. Because I have kids who love the hot tub, I usually have mine set between 98°-100°.

A third option is to invest in a hot tub thermal blanket.

Sun2Solar makes a great one on Amazon that is 8’x8′ and you can easily trim it to the exact size of your hot tub. It’s an Amazon’s Choice item with great reviews too and well under $50 bucks. Free shipping too!

CLICK HERE to check it out on Amazon.

Lay it across the water and it will keep the heat in, allowing you to lower the temperature but still keep it nice and hot.

What is the best quality hot tub?

The best quality hot tubs are the ones in the “premium” tier.

Typically, these hot tubs will cost you between $13,000 to $18,000. Sometimes, depending on features and technology, they can cost even more.

These hot tubs will be well built, using high quality and durable materials. They come with a range of custom options that will allow greater personalization of your hot tub experience.

Some of the features these premium hot tubs can come with include:

  • Sound systems/speakers
  • Light systems
  • Waterfalls
  • Wifi apps that allow you to control the jets
  • Better insulation
  • More massage jets
  • Cooling systems (yes, some allow you to make it cool in summer or anytime)
  • Saltwater systems
  • Ozone systems

Remember, make sure you have a firm budget set before you begin to look at hot tubs and their accessories.

A Hot tub is a long term investment and will add value to your home. It will also provide entertainment for years. That’s why it’s important to do extensive research first, and then see one in person. You don’t want to end up wasting money in the long run!

Wondering if a hot tub impacts your home’s property value?

Personally I wouldn’t get a hot tub or not get one based on how I thought it would affect property values. I’ve sold homes with hot tubs 3 times.

1 of those 3 times, the buyer asked me to remove the hot tub. Another time, the buyer wanted me to make sure the hot tub was in perfect running condition.

But, if you want to know more about property value and how hot tubs impact them, check out my recent article. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Final Thoughts

Just like cars, hot tubs have a time of year where they can be cheaper.

This is because hot tub retailers want to get rid of their old stock, so they discount them. This typically happens between fall and wintertime.

So plan to buy between late September and late January.

However, it is important to not wait too long. Waiting too long means that while you may save money, the options for you to choose from can be limited.

If you decide to purchase a hot tub from a local dealer, they will most likely have standardized pricing. But, you may be able to negotiate the price of add-ons or additional features, while unable to negotiate the actual hot tub cost.

On a tight budget, but want something better than an inflatable hot tub?

Buying used can be a great option! I have owned hot tubs 4 times, and 1 of those times, I bought a used one for $150 and fixed it up. I don’t live in that house now, but last I checked that hot tub was still going strong.

If you’re curious about purchasing a used hot tub and want to know what to look for and what questions to ask, then check out this recent articleI even get into some specifics about what to look at and what you might expect to have to replace.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

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Jeff Campbell