By Leigh Hinsperger
In this day and age, the retail market is tough and, unfortunately, this filters down to the manufacturing sector as well. They are inevitably tied together and thus dependent on each other to co-exist. Therefore, due to the aggressive nature of the current retail and economic model, price points have become the be all and end all for those in the hot tub cover industry. Retailers and manufactures are continually looking for ways to produce, sell, and earn more profits.
As a result, some hot tub cover manufacturers have cumulatively introduced lower-priced (low-end) options for retailers as a way to be different or as a way to offer customers something cheaper. When it comes to purchasing agents, price points are the first thing they want to talk about with their supplier or manufacturer, and cost is the first question most consumers now ask the retailer.
In the current economic environment, it is not uncommon for consumers to ask a retailer, “What are my options and how much does it cost?” And this is fair, as an increasing number of consumers try to be more conscious of what they are buying and where they are spending their money. It is human nature to look for the best deal.
The reality of the situation
The fact is, when pricing goes down, so does the quality of the products being sold. Every consumer, at one time or another, has gone with the “to good to be true” deal. Unfortunately, in most cases, the consumer ends up regretting the purchase, as they realize quickly it was not a deal after all. This can often be the case with small scale purchases (e.g. lawn sprinklers, plastic gardening tools, garage organizers, etc.) from mass merchandisers.
What many of these products have in common is they are smaller, easily disposable and/or exchangeable, and hopefully recyclable. However, there are some products a consumer must buy that are none of the above. In the case of a hot tub owner, for example, a standard (low-end), bi-fold cover purchase would fall into this category.
When folded in half, a hot tub cover is approximately 0.3 m (1 ft) thick by 2.1 m (7 ft) long and 1.2 m (4 ft) wide, making them large and hard to manoeuver. They are not easy to carry across the backyard to the hot tub, let alone transporting it home from the store. To be quite honest, hot tub covers can be a pain for the consumer, as they are big, awkward, and fragile.