Need to get rid of your hot tub, or wondering what a used hot tub is worth (and how to sell one)? You’re in the right place.
At some point, you’ll need to know how to get rid of it one way or another; you can either sell it, trade it, or part it out if it makes sense.
In this blog post, I’ll cover the basics for how to sell a hot tub, and a few homework items to ensure you get top dollar.
What to know before you sell a used hot tub
Most used hot tubs sell for a substantial discount compared to new ones, even if they are pristine. Hot tubs lose about 8% of their value each year, and around 20-30% the first year. Depending on the age of your hot tub, factor in depreciation, as well as your current market conditions in your area.
Should you resale, trade, or dispose of your hot tub?
The easiest route is trading your hot tub; most dealers will remove your old hot tub so long as you purchase a new one; trading is typically the easiest option. Another benefit: when you trade for a new one, you’ll also get a warranty.
Since dealers will likely refurbish or part out your hot tub, don’t expect more than a few thousand dollars.
If your hot tub is over 10 years old, you may want to simply let it go for a few hundred dollars if you can. Chances are, the market will be diminished few people. Unless you have a premium model (or have kept your hot tub in great shape), older hot tubs may sit a while on the resale market.
If you do have a hot tub in decent condition, you can receive the most money if you sell it on your own. Without further ado, here are 3 things to know before you list your hot tub for sale.
Step 1: Determine if your hot tub is worth selling
Before you do anything, do your research and know if your hot tub is worth the time and effort; you must list your hot tub, show it, handle tons of questions, and deal with a lot of calls, emails…and people. Personally, I wouldn’t want random people showing up at my home if my hot tub is only worth a few hundred dollars.
If you have an older hot tub, you may find it more practical to trade it or have it hauled off by a junk removal company rather than to sell it; if you do your research beforehand, you’ll know if your hot tub is desirable.
In this section, I’ll break down a few important factors to consider.
Cosmetic and mechanical condition
Before you list your hot tub and take pictures, here are a couple checkist items to run through:
- Are there dents, dings, or scratches in the shell that need to be repaired or polished?
- Is your hot tub heavility faded or discolored? Can you make it look and work better without spending much?
- Are all the jets working?
- Do the pumps, heater, and filter work properly?
- Are the controls undamaged and functional?
- What is the condition of its surround?
All these questions serious buyers will ask about; you’re better off fixing as many simple cosmetic details as possible (that don’t require an arm and a leg).
Features and amenities
If you have extra amenities, these can increase the value of your hot tub and marketability. Many of the features and amenities you can find in your owner’s manual or online. When listing your hot tub, take plenty of high-quality pictures, even videos showing it in operation if you have any.
Here are a few things you’ll want to mention:
- Does the hot tub have a cover with (or without) a lifter?
- Is the cover in good shape?
- How many jets does it have?
- Any water features, LED lighting, built-in speakers or TV, Bluetooth/remote capability?
- Does its surround have features like steps or a rail?
Size and configuration
What is the capacity of the tub? What is the seating configuration and capacity? Are there any special seats? Are there any cushions or headrests?
Step 2: Set your price
You don’t want to simply guess, you want to research what similar hot tubs are going for.
How to find comps for used hot tubs that have sold
To determine a price for a used hot tub, consider using the eBay app to search through Sold and Unsold Listings. While many hot tubs aren’t sold on eBay, you can find some good sales data on comparable models.
People can ask for any amount of money they want, so simply looking at active listings on marketplaces may not help you get max value. Another route is to visit a dealer’s showroom and see how they have priced their used hot tubs.
Step 3: Find a market to sell your hot tub
If your used hot tub is at your home, I highly recommend you try to sell your hot tub to people you know and trust first; I’m not a fan of opening my backyard up to strangers…especially if you have children. Just be safe, no matter how you go about selling your hot tub. A simple call or video chat beforehand will help you screen potential buyers.
Here are a few marketplaces where you can list your hot tub
- Craigslist: it’s available pretty much everywhere
- Your local community marketplace
- Your community Facebook group
- Kijiji (Canada)
If your hot tub isn’t in the best condition cosmetically, but most of the parts work OK, you could take it apart and sell the mechanical components separately. eBay is a great marketplace for used hot tub parts.
Depending on how you value your time, it may not be worth parting out.
3 most desirable used hot tub brands
There are so many hot tub brands it will make your head explode, so I’ll start with the ones most valuable on the resale market if you don’t know much about the hot tub you’re selling.
1. Jacuzzi® and Sundance® Spas
If your hot tub is a Jacuzzi®, you’re in luck: it’s such an iconic brand that people call any hot tub “a jacuzzi.” Jacuzzis® are very reliable, with the largest network of dealers for regular or repair service.
Jacuzzi and Sundance are both owned by the same parent company Investindustrial VI L.P.
2. Hot Springs Spas®
Hot Springs are also made in America, and have a ton of mid-tier options. the features on the luxury models are not quite as extensive as Jacuzzi or Sundance, but still a good entry-level to mid-tier brand for people looking for a quality hot tub.
3. Master Spas
There are a few other top hot tub brands like Master Spas that have good entry-level models, plus premium models endorsed by celebrities like Michael Phelps. Other brands like Integrity Spas, Cal Spas, Marquis Spas, Canadian Spa Company, and Dimension One Spas® are also highly rated.
This post by The Cover Buy breaks down some of the top brands to know, and may even help you write your listing description.
How to prep your hot tub to sell
Start by testing your hot tub’s controls before listing it to sell. You want your hot tub to be fully functional, although you can note if anything needs repair or replacement in your ad.
Once you are satisfied, disconnect the utilities—electricity, water, and gas if it has them. Then drain it completely, including water in the piping; use the drain spout if it has one. Get the rest of the water out of the shell.
To start, clean the shell thoroughly with a non-abrasive product like Clean & Perfect and a soft rag. Then rinse to remove any residue and drain again. This video will walk you through this process:
Next, clean the surround and clean the cover thoroughly, making any minor repairs or patches necessary.
It’s also a good idea to remove and replace the filter; make sure you note these things in your ad.
Take a lot of photos of the tub and the equipment inside it so that potential buyers have a good idea of what they would be getting.
What hot tub parts are worth selling?
Every component within a hot tub is on sale on eBay, but larger parts like the pump and control panel often sell for more than $100. Smaller parts don’t get much.
If you’re not in a hurry to get rid of an old hot tub, parting it out can put a few dollars in your pocket before you junk it.
How to dispose of a used hot tub if you can’t sell it
Many junk removal companies will pick it up and take it away for a fee, usually around $150.
To minimize the cost, you should do all you can to facilitate the removal, especially clearing a path to the street.
Many dumps won’t take hot tubs, but people do often saw their hot tub into pieces. I wouldn’t recommend this method for disposal; it’s much easier and safer to have it hauled off!
While a bit inconvenient, you can sell most newer hot tubs for a few thousand dollars if you put in the time and effort. If you are in the market for an affordable hot tub, I recommend Integrity Spas. They are a 17-year pioneer in selling hot tubs online and offer a wide variety of hot tubs, lifters, and accessories; they also offer customer support you typically won’t find on online marketplaces.
Check out my post on my favorite top hot tub accessories if you’re in the market for a new hot tub and need some new ideas for your space.