What to expect when buying a pool or spa from big box stores


So you’re ready to reward yourself with a little slice of luxury. You want that portable spa or pool that you and the family have been eyeing for a long time. The big box stores and membership wharehouses have it on sale, now is the time to strike. They have the purchasing power and now have it down to where it’s easily within reach. Before you pack up and make the trip down to their huge facility, slow down and look at what you may — or may not — be getting for your investment.

Who’s The Expert?

  • When you go to select your model, you’re sure to have some questions. A big box store often has revolving door issues with various departments. If Don or Donna is employed in that particular department, just how much do they know about the product you are about to invest your hard-earned money into?
  • With the box store, you may have spoken to one person on Tuesday who gave you information. On Friday, they’re off and you’re speaking with someone else. Realistically, neither Don nor Donna may be there and your salesperson has been pulled from the curtain and blinds or paint department to help you with your purchase. Even on a good day, how much training has the salesperson had. How long have they worked in that department?
  • When it’s delivered, you want it as near as possible to the area where it will be permanently located. The box stores have a clear delivery policy. You can choose from curbside delivery or delivery at curbside. From there, you’re on your own.
  • Was the warranty information explained thoroughly? Is there a warranty after it’s delivered? If the merchandise is flawed, the box stores do not have service technicians to come to your home.
  • Who installs your prized possession? If it becomes damaged during installation, what recourse do you have? Who takes ownership of the problem? You?

Certified Experts

  • Big box stores thrive and survive on sales. Secard Pools thrives on customer relationships. When you’re a customer instead of a sale, the experience can change — dramatically.
  • Pricing from your local big box store  can sometimes be a misconceived value. While you may be able to save on cereal or saw blades, portable pools and spas are not their forte. Not only are the products from Secard Pools far more superior, you may be surprised to know that they cannot beat our prices.
  • You can expect your salesperson at the local Secard Pools to be knowledgeable. This is what they do; this is their area of expertise. They don’t sell paint, blinds or storm doors. Their training is from the factory and years of experience. They are proud of their product and they want you to know all about it.
  • With proper access, delivery is made to your specifications. Your spa or pool comes to your home and is placed where you want it. A home visit for a problem is simply a call away.
  • Secard Pools can easily provide installation. We know the proper installation methods and, should there be a problem, it becomes our problem, not yours.
  • At Secard Pools, we explain and support all aspects of warranties that apply. Your protection extends past the sale. Secard Pools takes ownership of our product and your satisfaction.
  • Any water chemistry issues can be handled by your local Secard Pools retail location. Bring a water sample to us for free analysis and a quick resolution of your problem. The box store is not equipped to handle such issues.

Would you rather be a customer or a sale? At Secard Pools, a customer is a long-term agreement between us and you. A sale is a short-term relationship and something big box stores thrive on. Once you’re gone, their only concern is the next sale.

Photo credit Patrick Hoesly


  1. IGnatius T Foobar on July 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    And yet with a pool purchased at a Big Box Store, you will pay about a tenth of the price of going with a place like Secard Pools.  Some of us have a limited budget.  The trick is to get yourself educated *before* making the purchase.  If you’re willing to spend some time on the project it can be done just fine.  Otherwise, you spend the extra bucks on letting an outfit like Secard handle the details.

  2. Art Cancro on July 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I see you deleted my comment because you don’t agree with it.  Censorship does not reflect well upon your reputation.  It’s pretty clear that you are a shady outfit that charges rapacious amounts of money to people who don’t know any better.  Good luck staying in business with that kind of attitude.

    Whether you like it or not, the big box stores are going to clean your clock.  The new vinyl pools bring the enjoyment of a private backyard pool to lots of people who couldn’t previously afford it.  You should be selling supplies and services to us instead of telling us that we’re morons because we didn’t waste money on an overpriced Secard pool.  And with the Obama Depression still in progress, there are going to be far more people looking for affordable pools than there will be people with surplus money to waste with Secard.Where is your dignity?  Where is your sense of respectable business practices?  You seriously can’t accept the fact that there are people who are perfectly happy buying a vinyl pool from a big box store?  You’re so intolerant of it that you have to actively censor the comments section of your web site?  If you really want to conduct a one-sided discussion then you really shouldn’t have a comments section at all.

    I’ll be telling everyone I know not to buy from Secard, and I’ll be giving you a bad review on Yelp.

  3. secardpools on July 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Art Cancro, Ignatius T Foobar,
    During our daily spam sweep yesterday, while I clicked delete…delete…delete, your post must have been mixed in the shuffle. We certainly did not intend on “censoring” your comment and for the confusion, I apologize.

    I’m sure the public is grateful for your insight on this topic but I feel that together, maybe we can educate them a little better. While big box stores and home improvement chains are great at discounting items to save the general public a few dollars, it is unfortunate that their service ends there. What you may not know Art is that in addition to our own line of pools, Secard Pools offers the exact same affordable vinyl lined pools as you described,(officially branded as the Intex pool) that the big box stores offer. Not only do we offer them at all 10 of our retail stores and through our wholesale division around the nation, we do it at the same price. The difference is in the service. While you may not be able to pick up a year’s supply of baby wipes or a new leaf blower from us, we can certainly assist you with free chemical analysis, professional advice on best maintenance practices, chemicals and fulfill all of your pool supply needs. Therefore, not only do we sell the “new vinyl pools that bring the enjoyment of a private backyard pool to lots of people who couldn’t previously afford it” as you stated, but we will also continue to provide supplies and service to all pool customers, even to ones that “didn’t waste money on an overpriced Secard pool” as you mentioned. Additionally, I will dedicate some time to compose my next blog about the differences between an Intex pool and a Secard pool so that we may continue to educate the masses about their options. We are proud to offer both.

    • Art Cancro on July 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      @secardpools:disqus Thank you for a reply that was far more restrained than my follow up post. I had concluded that there was an effort to censor because when I came back the second time, Disqus indicated that my account had been banned from posting (and my Disqus account still is, btw). Please feel free to delete my follow up post and leave only the original.

      I’m happy to hear that you agree there is a proper place for both kinds of pools, and that you offer service for both. I once heard a mechanic at a bike shop tell a customer “we love department store bikes — they generate plenty of business for us” — I’d guess the same sort of thing applies for department store pools.

      I hope to have the budget for a hard side pool someday.

  4. Peter Simmons on December 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I didn’t know that there were certified pool experts out there, but it’s wonderful to know. I’ve been thinking about purchasing a pool this spring, and I want to do as much research as I can in the meantime. I’ll have to make sure I’m checking warranties on different models. Great article, Bob.


  5. KATHY on March 16, 2015 at 11:37 am


  6. MedSpa Fiona on July 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

    When buying anything at a big retail store its important to do your research, before you get to the store.