Hot tubs on ebay can often appear to be a bargain but how do you really know whether you are buying into potential trouble? With a little research it is very easy to spot things that don't quite seem right. Those that lost money with Spa Serve or the Trade Price Group buying spas that never materialised were attracted by the low prices and a mass of features and it is human nature to want a bargain. The network of people and websites behind these discredited companies are still around so make sure you do not become another casualty of hot tub scammers.
* Beware the 'Private listing'...why should a hot tub sale be private? could it be so that so-called buyers of these cheap tubs cannot be contacted by other potential customers to compare feedback? Could it also hide shill bidding?
* Beware a low starting price you will never get a bargain. Even the cheapest Chinese Spa will cost £1000 trade maybe. If a listing does not rise as expected it is highly likely the seller or an associate will 'win' it. It would be interesting to know how many of these 'sales' then fall through to avoid any ebay fees.
* Beware lengthy delivery dates. They mean the tub is still in China or a container...or hasn't yet been ordered as the seller waits to get enough orders for a container load. You will get excuses until it finally hopefully clears the docks.
* Check the Company number via companies house Webcheck. Google the address. Is it a virtual office like many? Is it a private house? Google for other listings matching that address, does anything seem weird?
* Google phone numbers in the tub listing. Do they match numbers used for other types of selling indicating a chancer with Alibaba on speed dial or another serviced virtual office.
* Google the contact address details. Do not believe it is a warehouse without using Google maps. Often addresses used are serviced offices or units and map images show no showroom or ability to store the hot tubs they pretend to 'be in stock'.
* Are there several spelling mistakes in the listing? If the listing is linked to an impressive website is it strange the ebay listing seems amateur.
* Can you contact previous hot tub buyers? Will the seller allow you to see any hot tubs or hot tubs sold in your area if they dont have any 'in the warehouse' Does a seller find out quickly if you try contacting preious buyers? does the seller get annoyed that you have done so? Why should this be if you are potential spending 000's of pounds sight unseen.
* Is there a long delivery quote yet there is feedback from 'buyers' left too soon if this were the case. Are these therefore genuine or fake and there to attempt to build a good feedback reputation.
* Is there a manufacturers warranty? If the warranty is with the seller then beware it could be worthless. If there is a shell warranty it is because the lucite shell is made in USA and they are quoting a warrantly on the shell sheet material.
* Does delivery include installation or just kerbside? beware several strong men and or a specialist delivery system is required to move a heavy spa into final position.
* Does the listing link to a website offering known brands or simply complex jetted Chinese spas given glitzy names. Do some of the spa model names sound like reputable spa brands? See other guides for the dangers of some Chinese spas re the specifictions.
I will leave you with an extract from a review website placed by a 'UK' hot tub seller on ebay (a top rated one) probably translated from the Chinese badly
'In the last 5 Years we have been a director in the pattern, disposition and sales of hot tubs. Our span has a large sophistication in delivering consecration and stipend of hot tubs and swim spas. In this skimpy video.....'