money-to-burnWe’re all familiar with super-smokin’ deals that you can find on the Internet, or on late night television.  Some of my favorite sales pitches are “only 37 left,” or “buy in the next 19 minutes and pay only 19.99 for 300.00 value.”

But is it a good idea to buy from someone you will never see or meet? Sure, the price seems sweet, but is that all there is to a sale?  Well the answer depends on the purchase item, because it can be like burning your hard earned cash because you end up with a product that has problems with no one around to help you out.

If you are buying a textbook from Amazon or from your local bookstore it probably doesn’t matter because books don’t generally fall apart, and if they do, you aren’t out too much money,(unless it is a college math book and then you spent a mini-fortune). But what if you are buying something more substantial.  What if you are planning on spending 5-10 thousand dollars on a hot tub? Are you willing to risk all the problems that come from not having a local dealer.  Before you think about buying from someone out of the area, consider this:

  • Local dealers are invested in your community and want to keep their reputation, so they will be more willing to work with you and keep you happy if you have problems.
  • Local dealers are the people you would go to for servicing your warranty.  If you buy from someone who only comes to town to sell at a road show, you have no dealer support.  This means every time you need something you have to deal with people out of town.  Service calls are more expensive and the people who come to work on your spa are not as familiar with your brand as they would be if you bought from a local dealer.
  • Out-of-Town dealers don’t care if you don’t know about water chemistry, or can’t seem to work the buttons, or have any other little troubles, but your local dealer is perfect for helping you with the details.  Especially one with a store front shop.  Come in and chat with their sales staff, that is what they are there for.  They want to help you get the most out of your product and want you to be happy so you will refer other local to them for business.  Out-of-Towners don’t really care, and most likelyBuyLocalSimpleL will give as little help as possible.
  • Parts are typically much easier to get for brands that have a local to dealer.  Local dealers will generally stock or be able to get their brand name parts, wheras other brands don’t like to sell parts at a discount to dealers that don’t sell their brands, so you won’t get the best price.
  • Buying local supports the community you live in.  Buying from fairs and conventions that don’t have local dealers keeps the money out of your town.

Don’t let the hype of the Spa Shows that come into the convention just to sell hot tubs make you think you are getting good deal. Conventions and fairs can have local and out-of-town dealers, so ask before you buy, that way you can build a relationship with someone you can count on and trust.  The smokin’ hot deals arn’t that great and will only give you a headache down the road.