If you’re a deal-conscious Kiwi who’s thinking about bringing a spa pool into your life, you may be considering buying second-hand. Certified spa dealers often offer pre-loved and traded-in models. Sites like Trade Me and Facebook Marketplace offer up all manner of second-hand spa pools, old and new, cheap and luxury. You might even find a spa at a garage sale, or have your eye on a friend’s spa pool.
Often with a dramatically lower sticker price than a new model, a used spa can seem like a great investment. But as you scroll through the classifieds looking for the best deals in your area, keep in mind that buying used does come with many trade-offs. Before you meet with a seller, there are a few questions you may want to ask, and some things you may want to consider.
The benefits of buying used spa pools
Generally speaking, buying used can mean paying far less for quality items, often in mint or as-new condition. Browsing second-hand clothing, furniture, electronics and vehicles can grant you access to rare or unique things.
The same is true for spa pools. While you may not find a spa with the latest mod-cons like fitness features or Bluetooth speakers, you may stumble upon an exciting and spectacularly-priced find. Some second-hand spa pools are barely used. The owner has decided that the purchase wasn’t for them, or has not used it as much as they thought they would. Others may be well-loved, well-kept older models with a style all their own. If a high-quality spa pool is properly maintained, it can be expected to last through decades of continuous use.
Advantages of buying used spa pool
- Cost savings: The first and most obvious benefit of buying a second-hand spa pool is to save money. Buying a used spa pool can be a far cheaper option than buying a new spa pool, and as mentioned above, if you choose wisely, you could find a machine that looks and performs like new!
- Depreciation: New spa pools instantly decline in value as soon as they leave the dealership, as this is the moment they turn from brand new to second-hand. When you buy a used spa pool you avoid this automatic depreciation, as the machine is already second-hand. A note that while a level of depreciation is unavoidable when buying new, it can be minimised: choosing a high quality brand like Hot Spring means that the spa pool will retain more of its value for longer, as second-hand customers are willing to pay more for machines that have proven their reliability.
- Availability: You want a spa pool, and you want it now. While there are a wealth of brand new spa pools sitting at dealerships that you can take home today, choosing custom colours, features and accessories may lead to your ideal spa taking weeks or months to be built and delivered. While a long shot, you could find something closer to what you’re after on the second-hand market and pick it up today!
Whether sold via a dealership, a website or a personal connection, a used spa pools is likely to cost far less at initial purchase than a new model. However, in balance with these benefits, there are some trade-offs involved in used spa pools that a buyer should keep in mind.
Is it safe to buy a used spa pool?
As with buying anything second-hand, buying a used spa pool is as safe as you make it. If you’re aware of the risks, it can make it easier to minimise them.
Risks when buying used spa pool
- Hidden costs: The upfront price of a spa pool, whether new or used, only ever tells part of the story. You also need to consider delivery and installation costs, running costs (power, water and chemicals), and potential repair and replacement part costs. Buying used means you won’t enjoy the support and assistance of a spa pool dealer on any of these fronts, which makes it more difficult to understand the true cost of your used spa.
- A lack of warranty: Spa pool warranties only apply for a limited time, and will usually be voided if the spa is unsold. Unless you buy a genuine used spa pool from a dealer, you probably won’t enjoy a warranty.
- Diagnosing issues: You can’t just ‘pop the hood’ of a spa pool. Accessing and inspecting the mechanics of the spa will often require expert knowledge. Again, buying used from a dealer will ensure the spa has been checked over.
- Giving it a test run: There’s no way to tell whether a spa is in good working order if it’s empty. Always ask for a test soak before buying second-hand.
What to look for in a used spa
If you choose to buy second-hand, how can you tell the best from the rest? Here’s what to look for in a used spa to ensure you’re investing in a quality machine.
- The condition of the cabinet and shell: Check for scratches, cracks, discolouration, wear and tear.
- The condition of components: Turn the spa on and listen for odd noises, like vibrations or knocking. Where possible visually check the componentry for signs of wear, tear and possible failure.
- Water and electrical systems: Check that the water care, filtering and control panel systems are all functional and performing as they should.
- Jet performance: Turn on the jets to ensure they are all producing the pressure they should. Check the ability to adjust each jet through the control panel.
- The spa pool of cover: Check that the spa cover is free of wear and tear, well insulated, that the insulation isn’t waterlogged, and that it forms a tight seal with the cabinet (all of which will help keep power bills down).
- The warranty and supporting documentation: If you purchase a second-hand spa pool from a dealer, check whether it comes with a warranty. If it does, read the supporting documentation to see exactly what that warranty covers.
What to consider when buying a second hand spa pool
While the benefits of buying a second hand spa pool are tempting, there are a few drawbacks. Your selection is limited to what’s available at the time of purchase. While you may stumble upon a great deal, buying used won’t afford you the same amount of choice as buying from a dealer. Similarly, unless you purchase from a dealership, you probably won’t have access to a delivery service. You will probably have to bring your spa pool home yourself, wherever in Aotearoa that might be. You’ll also be responsible for the installation of your spa pool.
Unless you buy a genuine, trade-in spa pool from Hot Spring, warranties are not usually offered on second-hand units, which are usually sold as-is. As a result, if maintenance is required, you’ll have to pay a technician or handle the repairs yourself. Used spa pools will naturally have more wear and tear on them than new models, which increases the likelihood of maintenance being required. When considering buying a used spa pool, it’s a good idea to make a sound assessment of the spa pool’s likely need for repairs over its remaining lifetime. Without a warranty or service plan from a dealer, these repairs may end up costing more in the long-term than you initially saved by buying used.
Questions to ask when buying a used spa pool
In general, is it a good idea to buy a used spa pool? It depends. Before you make a decision, it’s important to do research on all your available options, whether second-hand or brand new. When considering what to look for when buying a spa pool, ask yourself these questions:
- How old is this spa pool?
- Do I trust the seller?
- What maintenance will this spa pool likely require? Are maintenance records available?
- Who will deliver and install this spa pool? How much will that cost?
- What will I do if I need to make repairs or replace a part?
- Are spare parts available to make repairs?
If you’re satisfied with the answers to each of these questions, a used spa pool might be the right choice. For instance, if you buy from someone who kept meticulous maintenance notes, you might feel reassured that you’re getting a used spa pool in good working condition.
If your answers indicate some future difficulties – perhaps the parts for a particular model are no longer available – compare the trade-offs of buying used against the benefits of purchasing a brand new spa pool from a dealership. You may be surprised at which turns out to be the better deal.
Where to find a used spa pool
Wanting to enjoy the benefits of purchasing through a dealer and the savings of buying a trade-in spa? Good news: at Hot Spring New Zealand we offer refurbished spas to fulfill this second-hand demand! We also make the spa pool purchasing and ownership process as smooth as possible, supporting you through every stage, from exploring your options to trading in your spa pool years later. Our dealers offer warranties, servicing plans and repairs on every second-hand spa pool. We hold spare parts for a minimum 20 years and alternate parts after that. The high quality of all our spas guarantees top-notch performance for the lifetime of your purchase.
The same goes for our larger swim spas. As a more significant investment, you can greatly reduce the average cost of a swim spa by buying second-hand. And by purchasing through an authorised Hot Springs dealer, you’ll gain access to the best swim spas for the money you’re looking to spend.
Leaning more towards buying new? More good news: as the renowned manufacturer of market-leading products, Hot Spring spa pools hold their value incredibly well, and in years to come you can trade in your spa pool for a brand new model, giving your beloved spa a new home. If you want a Hot Spring spa pool but are on a budget, see our spa pool deals or learn more about how to trade in your hot spa here!
Alternatively, you can have your own spa refurbished, adding the latest features and upgrades like more powerful jets, state-of-the-art water care options and advanced energy efficiency, as well as a comprehensive new warranty. Conditions apply.
Why buy from Hot Spring Spa?
Hot Spring Spas has been manufacturing spas for 40 years, and over that time we’ve built a reputation for manufacturing high quality spas that last. All Hot Spring spa pools hold ISO9001 certification, being manufactured to the highest possible standards. Our refurbished spas come with a one year warranty, and buyers will never be left out in the New Zealand cold – our service, including spare parts and repair support, is as good for our refurbished spa customers as it is for those who buy new.
To learn more about our high-quality spa pools, contact our friendly team today.