Being in Steinbach, we definitely see hot tubs go up for auction in the area.
It can be a great way to score a deal on a hot tub, but there are a few things to know first.
Are auction hot tubs as good a deal as they’re cracked up to be?
These auction hot tubs sometimes claim to be “Balboa” hot tubs, but that’s a bit misleading.
Here are the straight facts.
Balboa is a manufacturer of hot tub components – not hot tubs themselves. So while you can get a Balboa control pack or a Balboa heater, there is no such thing as a Balboa hot tub.
So the insulation, build quality and shell quality could be anything.
These auction spas are not necessarily from a reputable manufacturer.
Now, Balboa is one of the top manufacturers of components, so that means we can find and replace those parts, we can’t say the same of the rest of the tub.
Sometimes they have non-standard parts and plumbing.
We recently had someone come in looking for a filter for one of these tubs but found that exact size wasn’t available anywhere.
We also found they sometimes use non-standard plumbing fittings that are hard to come by as well, so repairs can be quite expensive.
It’s also not clear how these tubs are insulated or if they’re suitable for our climate.
In many cases, they are sourced from China with no clear quality standards.
Auction tubs also carry no warranty. They are sold as is and final sale. So there’s really no recourse if something goes wrong, even the day after you buy it.
We get those calls too.
So I’m from Manitoba – I want to get a deal too. But sometimes you just get better service before and after the sale with a reputable local dealer.
I’m not going to convince people not to try and get an auction tub, but I’d feel better if people knew what they were getting into first.