Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where Can I Buy My Swimming Pool Supplies?

I get this question a lot on my YouTube Channel and since I don't sell any products myself people tend to trust my unbiased opinion. If you are an "Old School" type buyer then you will get your supplies from a brick and mortar store. I will cover the online stores also.

BRICK AND MORTAR CHOICES:

#1 FIND A LOCAL MOM & POP POOL STORE IN YOUR AREA.
Malins Pool Supply Chino, Ca
This is your best retail choice in most circumstances. You local pool supply store will stock and carry a wider variety of pool products than the large corporate pool stores. In most cases they also run a pool service company out of the store so the staff will have practical hands on experience. The owner usually is a pool man with several years of experience. They will also be honest about the products they sell since there isn't a huge incentive for pushing one product over another. So if you are looking for a good automatic cleaner, they will sell you the one that they think is best and not the one with the largest mark-up. They also usually don't try to up-sell you products you don't need. They want your return business and they also want you to call them if you run into a problem that is too big for you to do on your own. So they are usually customer service centered, plus they live in your neighborhood.

#2 A CORPORATE POOL STORE.
Leslie's Pool Supplies
In my area the largest corporate pool store is Leslie's pool supply. One thing you will notice is that their prices usually will beat your local Mom & Pop Pool Store. They can buy 10,000 Kreepy Krauly cleaners and thus keep their mark-up low. So as a price point you will do well here. They also make their own chemicals which are top notch and comparable to other major brands. The drawbacks are that most of the staff are trained in a board room and have little or no hands on pool service experience. They only know what they learn from the managers who also might not have any real service experience. So the knowledge base is on the low side. They are basically a retail store. They also try to up-sell you products that you probably don't need. Again, think retail. The managers make a commission on total store sales so if you go in looking for a basic automatic cleaner for $300, don't be surprised if they try to push you to buy a $1,200 robot cleaner. Leslie's pool serves it's purpose in the market - they are a retail pool supply store. You also can't get liquid chlorine at these stores which is a preferred sanitizer over the bags of shock.

Pinch-A-Penny
Pinch-A-Penny is found back on the East Coast and are not in the Western area of the country. They are similar to Leslie's pools in that they have over 200 locations, but they are a franchised pool store so there is a good chance the owner of the store has some real practical pool service experience. They also boast that their staff is the highest trained in the industry. The prices in the store are very good and you can get a large variety of products. I still lean towards the smaller Mom & Pop type pool stores but you will do okay if you have to shop in these larger company type stores. Both Leslie's and Pinch-A-Penny have extensive websites so if you don't have one near you, you can still order products online.

#3 WALMART, LOWES, HOME DEPOT & COSTCO
Home Depot
This would be my last choice for you if you are shopping for pool supplies. The selection is usually limited to one brand. I know Walmart uses just Kem-Tek which is not a bad brand but you are limited to no choices basically. Finding someone with even limited knowledge of a product will be a problem. You will just have to stand there and read the package for yourself. You can also not get any equipment or automatic cleaners from these stores. They carry just the basic pool supplies and you will probably have to go to one of the above mentioned places anyway, so just forgo these stores. Plus, the chemicals &  stock is usually not very fresh which matters when buying your pool chemicals.

ONLINE POOL SUPPLY STORES: INYOPOOLS, POOLSUPPLYWORLD & POOLcenter.com

AMAZON.COM
Many pool products are now AmazonPrime items so they are very safe to purchase and return if you don't like the product.. It is a great source for pool supplies and I have ordered from them. I like their generic pool cleaner parts from China as they work great and are super cheap.  I personally love amazon.com and last year I spent over $2,700 buying stuff (my wife is shaking her head). I am also in the Top 500 of reviewers on amazon.com. I just caution you that if you are unsure and don't know exactly what you need it is better to go to your local pool store.  Amazon.com is a great choice if the price point is your only concern.




This is also a great choice for online shopping. Pool Supply World also has an extensive YouTube Library of the products they sell and go beyond just making a sale. They try to educate the consumer so that you will make the best possible purchase. They also allow you to post reviews of a product which is a great way to also make sure you are getting a good quality product. You can see their YouTube Videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/poolsupplyworld. They are almost as good as my YouTube videos ;).
I like these two suppliers because they are again not just trying to unload products on you but try to help you make the best purchase for your dollar. They know that pool supplies are expensive to begin with and don't want you wasting your money on something that wouldn't suit your pool needs.

So these are your buying options for the Do-it-Yourself type. Again I don't sell any products myself so I am offering you an unbiased guide here. Hope you found this helpful.