Ways to purchase a walk-in bathtub
I – In-Home Sales Consultation – This is the most traditional way to purchase a walk-in tub due to the custom nature of your home and existing conditions. Usually, a sales representative will bring along pitch books, CD’s or DVD’s to show the features and benefits of a walk-in bathtub. They will go through a step-by-step home evaluation and paint the picture on how the tub will look. Many of these companies are notorious for high-pressure sales tactics and pricing that is not affordable for most people. These companies often have tremendous marketing and advertising budgets that drive their pricing to extremely high levels.
II – Showroom/Local Distributor – This is becoming a more popular way to purchase a walk-in tub because local distributors and showrooms will often have the tubs on display for consumers to see before purchasing. These distributors can be plumbing supply houses, kitchen & bath showrooms, DME stores, stair lift and ramp distributors, van conversion companies and local general or plumbing contractors to name a few.
III – Online Retailers – This is by far the most popular way to purchase a walk-in tub. There seems to be hundreds of companies selling walk-in bathtubs these days. Some of these companies focus exclusively on walk-in bathtubs while others have walk-in tubs as part of a larger product offering. The internet is a great resource for researching one company from the next, but it seems that the overall focus of these companies is to directly compare themselves to one another and talk down to one another. As a consumer, it is most important to work with someone you feel comfortable with over the phone (and via email) and utilize all resources to ensure you’re working with a legitimate business (i.e BBB). You’ll find that pricing fluctuates all over the board with online retailers and it may become difficult to delineate one from the other. Keep in mind that online retailers are battling for position with the search engines (like Google, Yahoo, MSN etc) and are primarily price driven. You will probably get lower pricing via the Internet but sacrifice seeing the product.
IV – Big Box Retailers – Some of the big retailers have begun offering this product category. Usually they are sold as “web only” products but some may have a tub on display in certain stores. The advantage to these companies is that they are well-established brands and you can buy with confidence. They may have better return policies and you may like and trust these stores. The downside is that they may not possess the same product knowledge as the other types of companies listed above. The big box retailers sell hundreds or even thousands of products and are not necessarily knowledgeable about each item.