Save your local pool company!
Ask The Experts | 5.14.10
It's clear that major market buyers such as Walmart, Home Depot and Target, your typical "big box" stores are beginning to infiltrate the pool and spa industry by selling large quantities of pool and spa chemicals. The problem is the lack of knowledge and skills needed to provide advice to consumers who don't know what to do or how to do it. Try asking John behind the counter at Walmart or Costco how much shock to put in your pool to start the algae treatment. Or try asking Mary at Target if chlorine or biguinide is a better option. It's a waste of time and money. Large chain stores are starting to dive (pun intended) into the pool industry by selling toys and inflatable pools. Since they make tons of money by selling such large quantities it makes it very difficult for your local pool and spa store to gain an edge. Just ask Valley Spas, Monterey Spa and Stove or most recently Monterey Hot Tub Company... all victims of being forced to close stores. We are asking ourselves "How can we set ourselves apart?" Chemicals are chemicals. But knowledge is power. And so is the way that we take the time to pass that knowledge on to others. That is something these big chain stores can't do. As I mentioned before, just try asking Joe at Home Depot how much stabilizer to add to your pool each season. A guaranteed blank stare. Everyone knows that the average customer wants to save money, especially in this economy. No one knows better than Walmart. They have the power to sell things lower than retail because of their buying power. That puts small businesses such as Blackthorne at a loss. We don't have the power to buy at such low prices so a lost leader becomes a loss. As a consumer myself I always look for the best price. But sometimes the best price is not the lowest price. Sometimes the knowledge that you get from the person you buy from will save you money in the long run. I would rather spend a little more and know that there is someone I can call when I get home and can't figure it out. Someone I can talk to when something goes wrong. Someone who will help me find the part I need. Someone who will help me when my pool is green and I can't see the bottom AND I have a party this weekend. Just a thought the next time you go to shop for pool or spa chemicals, toys or even a hot tub, take this into consideration. You are dealing with a major investment in your family's happiness, health and peace of mind. So don't always look for the cheap and easy way out. Eventually you will need some advice from someone who knows. With our more than 35 years experience, no one know it better than we do.