In my 15 years in the hot tub industry I have seen many retail companies come and go, nothing pains me more than a family arriving in our showroom or factory who are looking for a reputable company like us to supply them with their dream family hot tub as the order they had placed online elsewhere has not been fulfilled. The business model for these companies who’s actions blight the industry invariably looks familiar, incredibly low prices, shiny tubs with names suggesting a familiar place of manufacture, very little trading history, contact only via email or Social Media, good looking websites showing little ownership information and suspicious claims about why their spas are so cheap. Nowhere where you can physically view their spas. Please proceed with extreme caution.
I have again today been alerted to a company claiming that they manufacture spas in the Uk, despite them clearly using Chinese spa shells. RotoSpa is currently the only hot tub manufacturer in the UK. I can spot a Chinese Spa shell in the same way most can identify cars by their appearance. The price of these spas are around £2750 delivered to anywhere in the UK, an attractive proposition and one you are naturally going to consider and as you do so please factor in the following information borne of many years experience.
So lets have a look at the costs of retailing that imported spa at £2750
You need to consider that there is an element of £458 of VAT included which has to be collected on behalf of HMRC
It will take two men to deliver a spa of that weight safely, shall we cost that at £250 for two sets of wages and a van full of fuel. Please feel free to use another figure but it needs to be factored in.
Shipping into the Uk from the far east currently costs around £4k per container in Jan 17, typically you can get 10-12 spas in that container, there are also agents fees, import fees, duties and onward port-destination fees to pay. Lets say it costs £425 to get each spa from China to the UK warehouse.
Then we need to consider the cost of getting the spa from the factory in China, a big country, to the port. Lets say another £150 accepting that Chinese costs are far lower than our own.
The manufacturer will expect and need to make a margin on each spa it produces and cover its overheads, lets say a conservative £500
Now look at the amount left over which will be somewhere around £1000
From this amount the spa manufacturer will have had to have bought all the components they are claiming to use, US industry standard parts from leading companies like Balboa, Gecko, Davey, Aristech etc. Google these parts and see what they cost. They will also need to pay good quality staff to put them together and have a stringent quality control system if you are to get what you are paying for. Already there is very little if anything left over, and still the retailer has to make his profit, cover his overheads and be there to cover your warranty if anything goes wrong.
Something doesnt add up, some of the transport costs can be flexed but hot tubs are big items that cost money to move around and you cant get around these costs, so either the manufacture spec is dubious, meaning that you are paying £2750 for something that in reality cost a few quid to throw together with fake, unsafe parts. Or the company you are buying it off has no intention of giving you a decent product and honoring any warranty as they have no plans to be around for much longer than when the complaints start to mount up. Most likely a mixture of both. As part of your research please google tradeprice hot tubs and danzspas, both internet only operations, both no longer trading albeit for very different reasons, both leaving behind unfulfilled orders with customers out of pocket and holding valueless warranties but both charging more realistic prices for their spas than the current batch we are seeing advertise over Social Media.
RotoSpa hot tubs are relatively inexpensive because as a UK manufacturer we dont have a lot of the transport costs that drive up the price of imported spas, we charge a realistic price which includes an allowance to honour the warranty and keep our customers happy. If the price seems too good to be true then it usually is. We have been around for 15 years for a reason.
Buy quality and buy it once.