Spas Direct™ Review (Prices, pros, cons and more…)

Thinking about buying a spa or swim spa from Spas Direct™? Wondering if they’re any good? In this article, we take an in-depth look at Spas Direct™ products, prices, customer reviews, pros, cons, and more.

We don’t sell Spas Direct™ products, but we do know a lot about spas, having sold and serviced many different brands over our 30+ years in business. We also like helping our customers make good decisions, so we decided to write a quick article on the topic.

In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa World™. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing (1 September 2020) and may change without notice.

Who are Spas Direct™?

Spas Direct™ is an Australian-owned retailer that sells a variety of spas and related products; including entry level spas, swim spas, plunge pools and infrared saunas.

They have five display centres around Australia. The Arundel Display Centre in Brisbane is the only one open seven days.

Most of its other centres offer viewing ‘by appointment only’, so you’ll want to call first before you visit to make sure they’re open.

Who owns Spas Direct™?

Spas Direct™ is owned by Sunseal Garden Spas PTY LTD, of which the sole director is Paul England. Paul England has also been associated with Sunseal Spas and Southwest Spas®.

Paul England is well known in the spa industry. We recommend you do your own research online to find out more.

How long has Spas Direct™ been in business?

Sunseal Garden Spas PTY LTD, the company that owns Spas Direct™, has been in business since 2003.

During this time it’s been known by a range of different names, most recently, Spas Direct™.

Where are Spas Direct™ spas made?

Spas Direct™ spas and swim spas are made in China. Learn more about spas and swim spas made in China.

Spas Direct™ state their products are “factory direct”. If you are considering buying from Spas Direct™ we recommend asking the company for more information about where their spas are made and who they are made by.

Are Spas Direct™ spas designed in Australia?

On their website, Spas Direct™ state their spa models are 'proudly designed in Australia'.

We recommend doing further research on where Spas Direct™ spas are designed.

You might also consider looking at the website for ‘Sunrans®’ (a contract manufacturer in China). Sunrans® manufactures a range of products, including spas and swim spas, under their own name and for third party companies who then market the products under their own brands.

When researching for this article, we looked at Sunrans® model ‘SR807A’ spa and compared it with Spas Direct’s™ ‘Trio Spa Standard’. Aside from some technical differences such as the control system and jet number – we found them to be very similar in appearance.

What products or brands does Spas Direct™ sell?

Spas Direct™ sells its own brand of spas and swim spas under the ‘Spas Direct™’ brand name.

At the time of writing, the company was advertising 17 different spas of varying shapes and sizes, 6 swim spa models, 3 types of plunge pools, and an infrared sauna.

How much does a Spas Direct™ spa cost?

Spas Direct™ spas range in price from $2,995 to $18,995. You can see the full pricing for Spas Direct™ spas on their website.

How much does a Spas Direct™ swim spa cost?

Spas Direct™ swim spas range in price from $18,995 to $42,995. As above, you can see the full pricing on their website.

Are Spas Direct™ good prices?

In Australia, spas can range in price from $2990 to $25,000+, depending on any additional specifications and design features.

Spas Direct™ swim spas and plunge pools range in price from $12,999 to $59,999+. This makes them among the cheapest spas in Australia. Learn more about spa price ranges and why they're so different in this article.

Spas Direct™ price ranges:

  • Spas (17 models) – $2,990 to $18,990+
  • Swim spas (6 models) – $18,999 to $36,990
  • Plunge pools (3 models) – $14,9990 to $22,990

What is Spas Direct's™ cheapest spa, swim spa and plunge pool?

As mentioned above, Spas Direct spas and swim spas are some of the cheapest in the market.

  • Their cheapest spa is the 3-seater Trio Standard Spa at $2,990 followed by the Trio Spa Deluxe at $4,790. These would be amongst the cheapest spas in Australia. The 6-seater Fiji Grande Deluxe, at $18,990, is their most expensive spa model.
  • Their cheapest swim spas are the Cascade Platinum Swim Spas and Extreme Swim Spa, both advertised for $18,990. The Entertainer Swim Spa at $36,990 is their priciest model.
  • Their cheapest plunge pool (also know as a 'mini dip pool') is the Mini Plunge Pool Spa at $14,990. The other two models, the Dual Zone Plunge Pool and 5.8m Cascade Grande Plunge Pool are both advertised for $22,990.

Why are Spas Direct™ prices so low?

Spas Direct™ states on its website that it is able to offer low prices as it saves money on overheads including: “hundreds of thousands of dollars each year by not having re-sellers, dealers or middlemen or commission sales people”.

In comparison, as well offering nationwide online sales and delivery, Spa World™ also has showrooms throughout Australia with experienced salespeople who are experts in spas and swim spas and can support you with your buying decisions.

We believe there is no replacement for physical stores. It means you can see the products, try before you buy, and if anything goes wrong after you purchase – the company would find it hard to avoid you!

Is a cheap spa worth it?

In our experience of many years of manufacturing spas and swim spas we have found it very difficult, if not impossible, to build a quality spa and bring it to market for much less than $5,000.

You’ll see on the Spa World website that even our lowest priced spas start at around $4999. That is about as low as we can go in order to guarantee a quality product.

Another consideration with spa pricing is that the cost of ownership is not just the initial purchase price.

Installation costs can add up to $5,000 to your spa purchase (for example if you add a concrete pad, power connection, fencing and permits) and there are also ongoing running costs.

Taking that into account, spending an extra $3,000 to $5,000 upfront for a better quality spa will likely lead to cheaper running costs, higher quality hydrotherapy, longer-lasting and better quality parts, and a better overall spa ownership experience.

Our advice when considering cheap spas and swim spas is to shop around. Compare models and brands in the same price bracket (or next tier up) from companies with a good track record of service and support, with local stores and competitive warranties.

What does ‘similar elsewhere’ price mean?

While you’re looking at Spas Direct™ pricing, you’ll notice that alongside their own prices they show a higher, ‘similar elsewhere' price.

Spas Direct™ spas aren’t sold by other retailers so it’s not clear which spa brands they’re comparing their prices with.

In reality, products that are similar to Spas Direct™ Spas™ – Fisher Spas®, Lifestyle Spas®, Silver Spas® and Fun Spas® for example – are either similar in price or in some cases, less expensive.

When shopping for spas we recommend looking at brands in a range of price brackets to get an idea of the quality difference between cheap spas, mid-priced spas and top priced spas.

Learn more about spa prices and why they are so different in the video below.

Do Spas Direct™ do service?

Yes, from what we can tell, Spas Direct™ offers an after-sales service.

It would be worth checking with Spas Direct™ what level of service and after-sales support they offer in your area to make sure you’re covered and avoid disappointment. Check their website or contact Spas Direct™ for more information.

We highly recommend that you take the time to determine the level of after-sales support offered before committing to any spa retailer. For comparison, Spa World™ has a 7-day customer care centre and nationwide after sales support.

Are Spas Direct™ good quality?

The best way to tell if a spa or swim spa is good quality is to look at how it is made, the parts used in construction and who it is made by.

If you want to know if a Spas Direct™ spa is good quality we recommend reading this article on the top features to look for in a spa, so you know how to tell if it's good quality – or not.

For this review of Spas Direct™ products, we focus on three key features of a spa or swim spa – control systems, jets and pumps, and spa shells. Keep reading to learn how Spas Direct™ stacks up in these areas...

Spas Direct™ Jets and pumps

Spas Direct™ uses generic jets and pumps in many of its spas and swim spas. We would always recommend opting for big name brands for pumps (see why under ‘control systems’ further down).

Spas Direct™ has a very high number of jets in many of its spas and swim spas compared with others in the industry - including 158 hydrotherapy jets in the 6-seater Fiji Grande Deluxe spa and 193 hydrotherapy jets in its 6-seater Entertainer Swim Spa.

Manufacturers often inflate the jet count of a spa by using lots of little water jets or air jets. However, simply having the most jets in a hot tub doesn’t necessarily mean it provides the best hydrotherapy.

Some of the best hydrotherapy spas on the market including Jacuzzi®, HotSpring® and Bullfrog®, actually have relatively low quantities of jets.

For example, Jacuzzi® Spas have 40 to 50 jets on average and certainly no more than 80 even in their biggest entertainer spas.

Spas Direct™ Control system

For their control systems, Spas Direct™ uses a Joyonway® Control System in the entry level models, while some of their more expensive units have a Balboa® touchpad and control system.

Balboa® is a good quality, recognised brand. SpaNet™, Gecko®, Jacuzzi® or HotSpring® are also good quality.

A recognised brand of control system is important as, with no-name brands, you'll struggle to find replacement parts or service centres and could end up spending a lot of money on a new control system if anything goes wrong.

Spas™ Direct Spa shell

The spa shell is another important factor as, unlike other components, it can not be replaced so you want to make sure it's good quality.

Spa shells come in a variety of materials, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Vinyl, rotomolded-plastic and acrylic are the most common materials used. Of these three, acrylic is by far the superior material - but only if its US-made acrylic.

Spas Direct™ advertises two spas with US-made acrylic shells – the Byron Bay Platinum and Palm Spa Deluxe models. Most of their other spas are stated as having either a “standard white acrylic shell” or the shell material isn’t specified.

Spas Direct™ Reviews

We looked at a range of review sites to determine what Spas Direct™ customers say about them.

What we found was a bit of a mixed bag, depending on the site – with lots of 1 star ratings and also a lot of 5 star ratings.

Looking at Google reviews, Spas Direct™ customers seem happy with their products and service (Spas Direct™ had 353 Google reviews and 4.6 stars at the time of writing).

If you are looking at Product Review™, a popular Australian consumer opinion site, you’ll see they have added a statement at the top of the Spas Direct™ listing stating reviewers may have been incentivised by Spas Direct™ with a free gift which “may explain a spike in review numbers”.

"Spas Direct encouraged reviewers to write either a positive or negative review regarding their services. Reviews published would receive a spare pool filter (valued at approximately $20). It is possible that the reviews below may have received this incentive."
ProductReview™ – Australia

When looking at review sites, it’s worth noting that Google® does not require authentication that the review is genuine and from a real customer. Facebook® reviews can also be moderated or removed by the page owner.

We recommend TrustPilot, one of the world’s most trusted review sites, as it does ensure that all posted reviews are from verified customers. Spas Direct™ does not have a profile on Trustpilot®. You can view the Spa World™ Trust Pilot® profile here.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about buying from Spas Direct™, we would highly recommend you do your own search online to learn more about the company you are dealing with.

Spas Direct™ complaints

Want to know what reputation Spas Direct™ has in the spa industry?

When it comes to buying a spa – we always recommend customers conduct their own research into the retailer before making a purchase.

A quick Google® search of the retailer's name and any relevant discussion forums, news items and review sites should provide an indication of their reputation in the industry.

Spas Direct™ on Today Tonight

In March 2018, Australian current affairs show – Today Tonight – featured this news item on Spas Direct™. Spas Direct™ released this statement in response to the news item.

Should I buy a Spas Direct™ Spa?

Overall, we’d say Spas Direct™ spas reflect their price and you get what you pay for.

If price is the main factor in your decision-making then a Spas Direct™ spa or swim spa may be ideal for what you need right now.

If you’re after a lower-priced spa; you could also check out the entry level models or the specials section on the Spa World™ website. We also have a number of spas listed on the clearance section of our website. These spas are either ‘like new’, they may have a scratch, dent, a demonstration model or they could be a second hand spa. Availability will vary depending on what state you live in.

You could also consider using low interest finance or Interest-Free (ZIP), so you can pay a bit more for a higher quality spa. This is a great option for families on a limited budget or anyone wanting a high quality spa they can enjoy now and pay off over time.

Spas Direct™ Pros and Cons

Spas Direct™ Pros:

  • Cheap prices
  • A range of products and models to choose from

Spas Direct™ Cons:

  • Website is light on technical product information e.g. not much on shell material, insulation and framing. This makes it difficult to compare models and ensure the quality and integrity of a product
  • Their cheaper spas feature 2-speed pumps and control systems from lesser-known brands
  • They don’t have a 7-day customer care centre
  • Some very poor customer reviews from what we have seen online

What products are similar to Spas Direct™?

Products in a similar price bracket to Spas Direct™ include Fisher Spas® and Lifestyle Spas as well as Leisurerite Spas® from Just Spas® and Fun Spas™ from Spa Choice™.

If you’re after something in the next tier up, you might consider Vortex™ Spas, Oasis Spas’® premium line or Signature Spas®.

If you are looking for a top of the range spa, then we recommend Jacuzzi® Spas, HotSpring® Spas or Bullfrog Spas®.

Learn more about the best spa brands in Australia.

Is Spas Direct™ any good?

In our experience, there's no such thing as the perfect spa company or perfect customer service, but there are some minimum standards we would expect from a trusted spa retailer for example:

  • More positive than negative reviews on trusted review sites like TrustPilot
  • A good reputation in the industry, even amongst competitors
  • A fair warranty policy (for comparison ask one of our sales consultants about Spa Worlds™ warranties)
  • After-sales support and service (ideally nationwide, but at least in your area)
  • Membership of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia (SPASA) – the association that governs the spa industry in Australasia (of which Spa World is a member).

We recommend you take these factors into consideration before making any spa or swim spa purchasing decisions. Learn more about finding a spa store you can trust.

In conclusion

As with any significant purchase, it’s always wise to shop around and compare products. We suggest you make a list of your top requirements. There's a handy checklist in our Spa Buyer's Guide that will help you do this.

You should also do some online research to ensure the retailer is trustworthy and has a good reputation in the industry.

Here are four important things to consider when choosing who to buy a spa from and what spa to purchase:

  1. Is price the deciding factor or will you pay more for quality?
  2. How important to you is the after-care service or warranties?
  3. What about the running costs?
  4. What do independent reviews say about the company?

We hope this article has helped you in your decision making, and of course, we invite you to try out a spa or swim spa in any of our showrooms as you seek to find the perfect spa or swim spa for you.

DISCLAIMER

The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd – the parent company of Spa World Ltd: Spas Direct™ trademark is owned by Spas Direct Australia Sunrans® trademark is owned by Guangzhou Sunrans Sanitary Ware® Co. LTD SunSeal Spas™ Southwest Spas®.

Oasis Spas® trademark is owned by Oasis Leisure Products Pty Ltd. Bullfrog Spas® trademark is owned by Bullfrog International, LC Signature® Spas trademark is owned by Spa Industries Pty Ltd (SCS). HotSpring® Spas trademark is owned by Watkins Manufacturing Corporation (Watkins). Silver Spas® trademark is owned by Silver Spas Fun Spas® Just Spas® Spa Choice™ is owned by Spa Choice Leisurerite Spas® trademark is owned by Spa Industries Limited Lifestyle Spas® trademark is owned by Lifestyle Spas and Leisure TrustPilot® ProductReview®

Affiliations:

Vortex™ Spas, Fisher™ Spas and Spa World® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. The Jacuzzi® brand is owned by Jacuzzi Inc. and exclusively licensed for use to Spa World™ in Australia and New Zealand.

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