Hot Tub Covers and Covid-19
How the Covid-19 pandemic has effected the hot tub cover industry
The hot tub cover industry was hit pretty hard at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic for a few reasons. And as of March 2022 it doesn’t appear that things will be getting better in the near future.
In 2008 the USA and the rest of the world experienced a global recession and that caused a domino effect that we are still feeling today. Many of the hot tub cover manufacturers either went out of business or they moved their operations to countries such as Mexico and China. It was a tough time, fortunately Spa Covers Etc. was able to survive and we are still in business. located in Southern California.
Did you know that the companies that make hot tubs/ spas do NOT make the covers that they sell with their hot tubs?
In March of 2020 we were hit with Covid-19 and the world came to a stand still. Well… not really. What really happened was that everyone stayed at home and got really, really bored. Some were paid to stay home and some were fortunate enough to retire early, blah, blah, blah. My point is sales in industries such as HOME IMPROVEMENT went NUTS! Sales of hot tubs began to soar. Customer’s with existing hot tubs wanted new hot tub covers. Suddenly everyone wanted a new hot tub cover but the industry wasn’t prepared for the demand.
Since the 2008 recession ONLY 2 of the 3 manufactures of hot tub covers in Mexico are still in business. And the 3rd was acquired by one of the remaining two, creating a huge back-log.
TODAY – March 2022, Boy, Oh Boy have I heard stories from other customers about the nightmares they have gone through. AND frankly, I cant believe the patience some people have. I’m actually amazed. As recently as last year 2021, Spa Covers Etc. was offering a standard production time of only 2 weeks. Today its EIGHT (8) weeks. At first I thought 8 weeks would be a deal-killer. Then I found out that the “industry standard” of 6-8 weeks that all my competition quotes on their websites had been raised to 12 weeks “and up”. In reality production was taking over 6 MONTHS. I had a customer referred to us by our competition. He said he was told it would be over 1 year before he could get his new cover. WOW!
So what’s really going on?
You heard about the back-logs of container ships waiting at the Port of Long Beach & Port of L.A., right? YES we have been hit a couple of times last summer. That didn’t help
You have heard about a trucking shortage? Partially True. The real problem is the INCREASE in shipping/ freight charges. I’m not just talking about how much it cost to ship a box with UPS to your neighbor. When materials are shipped from another country you rent the container that it being shipped in. The rental fee has increase OVER 1000% in the last 18 months.When you have a spa cover shipped, it is shipped by an independent freight company. Their fees have also sky-rocketed by over 300%.
OK, but why the big delay and long wait?
The back-log at the ports don’t help. The lack of truckers isn’t great. In MY opinion this is the real reason for the delays: The Hot Tub Mfg. CAN’T sell hot tubs without hot tub covers. They have relied on a cheap supplier of covers for years and when the pandemic hit they were in a world of hurt. Already in February of 2020 a friend of mine that sells hot tubs told me that a customer wanted a new hot tub but couldn’t get it for 9 months due to the lack of covers. For awhile the Mexico/ USA border was closed and the covers made in Mexico couldn’t get to their destinations. They had to find a new source. The Mfg. of Hot Tubs began to source hot tub covers made in the USA but there aren’t many left. However, some of the hot tub cover manufacturers saw big $$$ ahead of them and decided to take on the new customers. They knew that the Hot Tub companies would order 150 covers a week, usually the same model and same color. The hot tub covers could be mass produced. BUT what about the replacement spa covers? There are OVER 1000 models of hot tubs out there. Spa Covers Etc offers spa covers in 16 colors. That alone would create a need for over 16,000 different possibilities. The obvious answer – sell hot tub covers to the hot tub manufacturers and put the little guy, that only needs one (1) replacement cover, on the back-burner.
Spa Covers Etc. deals EXCLUSIVELY with the retail public. We specialize in replacement hot tub/ spa covers. Our covers are Made in USA since 1989 so we don’t have issues with the USA/ Mexico boarder closing. We WON’T put you on the back-burner in order to please a customer that is willing to spend more money. Our standard production time is about 8 weeks. Sometimes less, sometimes a bit more. The thing most people do not realize when they are told how long the production time is, it ONLY takes a few days to make your cover. The wait time is waiting for your turn. The factory is able to make hundreds of covers per week but its those that are waiting in the queue ahead of you. This is where the wait time comes from when you buy from Spa Covers Etc.. Best Customer Service! Quick, Local Production, Custom Covers, Free Shipping in California – That’s Spa Covers Etc. in a nutshell.
Call Chris (the owner) today to discuss your hot tub cover project.
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