Is Buying a Hot Tub Harder Than Buying a Car?

Rear view of young woman enjoying outdoor bathtub in her terrace during a cold winter evening.

Not if you ask the right questions.

Buying a car consistently ranks as one of the most difficult consumer experiences that exists. Cars are expensive and car salespeople can be overly pushy. The buying process is stressful.

So why would buying a hot tub be HARDER?

The answer is simple: Most of us know something about cars, but our knowledge of hot tubs is little to none. As a result, shoppers don’t know the right questions to ask when determining what spa makes sense for their family.

As a dealer with two stores in Wichita, KS, we talk to shoppers every day. Based on these conversations we’ve identified the most important questions first-time hot tub shoppers should ask – to prevent a bad buying decision you’ll regret for years to come.

What to ask when you’re buying a hot tub:

  1. Are the jets high quality, with the calibration and horsepower I need? New buyers often ask about the number of jets, instead of the quality. Quantity is not the answer; it’s about quality and positioning. Not all jets are designed the same or serve the same purpose. The jets that matter are the ones that get to YOUR aches and pains. And by the way, having lots of jets without hydraulically calibrated pump size/horsepower are going to be wasted jets (a common trait of cheap-o spas).
  2. Does this spa have FULL insulation for energy efficiency? Every spa manufacturer has a fancy sounding name for their “insulation”. The reality is, unless you have FULL insulation, there’s a good chance you’re going to be paying a sizeable amount for electricity. Arctic-packs, “blankets”, partial insulation, and recycled materials are all questionable. Remember, an extra $25/month cost on a poorly insulated spa equals $6000 over 20 years! So much for that “deal” you found…
  3. Do you have a local, in-house service department? Most people wouldn’t buy a new car without knowing the local dealership will be nearby with service and parts when needed. You should demand that your hot tub dealer has the same. Many shoppers don’t even ask. If you buy online or from a big-box store, the answer is NO. A common trick these companies use is to simply look online and call local dealers to ask us to help their unsuspecting customers. However retailers typically only work on spas they sell, including Flint Hills Spas. Don’t just trust, VERIFY. Ask a series of questions. Do you have an IN-HOUSE service department? How many people does it consist of? Does warranty work include parts AND labor? What is your typical service lead time? Do you ever outsource service work?
  4. What is your reputation? May I see some references? Sadly, our industry still has more than its fair share of sales people and dealers that will tell you whatever you want to hear to make the sale. Or, push the wrong product for you because it’s “right” for the salesperson. Trickery catches unsuspecting spa buyers all the time. Watch out for smoke and mirrors. Go to someone you can trust. The bottom line is you need to shop around and find an informative, educational dealer you’re comfortable with. You need to work with a real live company with real live stores. Get referrals, check google reviews, do your homework.

We want your experience to be a good one. If you have questions, come see us before you buy from anyone else. We’re happy to answer any questions to help with your selection. And we will be here after the sale.

Visit Flint Hills Spas at one of our 2 stores in Wichita. or shop online at

Happy tub shopping!

Click here to learn the secret to quick and easy spa care.

West Wichita: 6730 W Kellogg Dr, Wichita, KS 67209

East Wichita: 6350 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67208

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