In 2005, Billy Stallings sold upwards of 80 new hot tubs.
That same year he moved approximately 15 used spas — a nice
supplement, but nowhere near his core business.
Today, the story is quite different. As of August,
Stallings’ store had sold 35 used spas vs. just three new
“I don’t even display new tubs in the showroom
anymore,” said the president of The Spa Guy Inc.
in Madison, Tenn. “Instead, I keep five used hot tubs
As new spa sales decline, used hot tubs are becoming an
increasingly important source of revenue, according to a growing
number of retailers across the country. Much like the market for
used cars, customers looking for pre-owned spas can get “more
tub” for the money. And because the units typically
don’t cost the dealer much to obtain, margins often are
higher on resale.
More often than not, the used hot tubs are purchased from
existing customers, as well as Internet sources such as
Craig’s List and eBay. And trade-ins for new spas are
Jack Greene, owner of Orca Spa & Pool in Anacortes, Wash., noticed a
significant jump in interest for used spas beginning in 2007.
Today, he said he sells five times more used spas than new ones,
totaling about $30,000 a year. As far as product age goes, he likes
to stay within a limit of 15 years.
Interestingly, the more expensive models are better sellers for
Greene, who said most of his customers buy pre-owned units in the
$4,500 to $5,000 range.
“Maybe it’s because we’re in a niche
market,” he said. “But those tubs generally sell the
second they’re out there.”
Once they’re reconditioned and put through a wet test, the
hot tubs then are displayed on the retailer’s Website, on the
showroom floor or, in Greene’s case, outside the store.
Scott Clark sold eight pre-owned hot tubs over the Memorial Day
weekend. The co-owner of The Spa & Sauna Co. in Reno, Nev., now
averages sales of four used spas a month, he said.
His most popular models usually fall in the range of $2,000 to
“That $1,999 seems to be the magic price point,”
Clark said. “By units, it makes up about 20 percent of our
business. But dollar-wise it’s our No. 1 selling