Hot tub blue book

Hot Tub Blue Book

If you're buying or selling a used hot tub, it's important to understand the factors affecting resale value. There isn't anything as simple as a "hot tub blue book" you can turn to, so where are you supposed to start?

Fortunately, we know the hot tub industry inside and out. Read on for everything you need to know about buying or selling on the used hot tub market, be it the most important factors affecting selling price, issues for potential buyers to look out for, or how to maximize the value of your old hot tub.

How Much is a Used Hot Tub Worth?

Factors Affecting Used Spa Pricing


In the pool and spa industry, as with other luxury items, the brand can have a significant effect on the prices of used hot tubs and swim spas.

Well-known brands such as Jacuzzi, Hot Springs or Master Spas will tend to sell for a higher price than similar models from less famous manufacturers. This is because many buyers consider a big name to be synonymous with quality and reliability.


Specifications and Features

Hot tub models vary significantly in size, type of shell casing, pump power, number and type of jets, water care system, and other features. The higher the level of specification you are looking for in your used hot tub purchase, the higher the price you need to be willing to pay in the used market.

Some used hot tubs are also sold with extra accessories, for example steps, covers and cover lifters, or sound systems. These will also need to be factored in when calculating fair prices.

Age and Condition

Both a hot tub's appearance and whether it is in good working order affect how much money people should be willing to pay. Always insist on conducting an inspection before buying, you wouldn't buy a used car without a test drive, so why would you for a used hot tub?

An inspection should cover the following points:

  • Condition of the cover: Fabric hot tub covers can crack or tear, which lets water in and results in degradation of the insulation.
  • Inspecting the shell casing: If the shell is cracked or damaged, water can get into the electrical components and affect how the hot tub works.
  • Corrosion check: Corroded jets, controls, or other surface features can affect proper function and also indicate further unseen damage. Although new jets are not usually very expensive, this does vary by brand.
  • Operational checks: Fill the hot tub and check for leaks, then turn it on and make sure every function of the hot tub works.

In the hot tub industry there is also such a thing as a "wet-test", i.e. actually get in the spa and see how it suits you. There's no value in an unsuitable spa model, no matter how good the price seems.

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Where your house is can also affect the price of buying and installing a used spa. The original purchase price from new varies from town to town and state to state, which has a knock-on effect on the local price in the used market.

In terms of installation costs, these can depend on anything from transport distance, the distance from the road to the hot tub's eventual location, local electrical/plumbing regulations, etc. It may be worth asking a local dealer to advise you on this.

Trade-in Value

Many dealers in the hot tub industry offer trade-in deals when you buy a new hot tub. This means they will take your current hot tub in exchange for a reduced price on the new model. Although hot tub trade-ins are very convenient since you don't need to search for someone to buy your old tub, the trade-in value from a local dealer is generally significantly less than you could get by finding a buyer to purchase the spa directly from you.

Should I Buy a Brand New Hot Tub?

The range of market scenarios in used hot tubs makes it hard to get an accurate estimate of value, even if you know the model, age, and condition of the spa itself. If you're looking to sell, you could see what a local dealer offers you as a trade-in value and work from there but that's not so useful for buyers.

Hot tub ownership, even in terms of a used model, is not cheap. There are also a lot of things that can go wrong that even an inspection might not pick up. For overall peace of mind, it is worth at least considering a new spa.

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Filling out the form below will let local dealers know exactly what sort of models and features you're looking for. This means they can send you the very best value quotes on the most suitable hot tubs.


About The Author

Meredith Kiley

Full-time staff writer at and stay-at-home mom.