For retailers, the busy season means one thing: Water tests, and lots of them. While everyone can agree recurring water tests are a critical part of pool and spa care, many are divided on the issue of charging for them. What is your policy on water testing? Industry pros share their insights:

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THE QUESTION:

Eugene Staab
North Metro Pool | Woodstock, Ga.

"For those that run retail stores that test water, what is your policy regarding providing results without a purchase?"

 


THE ANSWERS:

Alan Wing
Innovative Water Care | Phoenix, Ariz.

"It's the biggest sales tool you have in the store. Do the test for free, spend time talking and find opportunities. I'm sure if you have a retail store, you have much more to sell than chemicals."

 


 

Chris Reynolds
Chautauqua Pools and Power Sports | Jamestown, N.Y.

 


 

Michael Calore
Superior Pools & Spas | Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

"If they buy their sanitizer from us, the service is free. If not, we charge $14.95. It's posted above our test station and is easily viewable. We inform 'newbies' in advance, who generally are looking for guidance and have no problem with buying chemicals (sometimes a lot of chemicals). Some folks with small pools and spas with little sanitizer demand come in once a week for their test, but we figure we can't be picky — that it's better they be here than not — and chalk it up as the cost of doing business."

 


 

Marsha Brown
Leslie's Pool Supply | Webster, Texas

"Since the internet is here to stay, if you do not provide superior customer service and things like free water tests to support your customers, they will shop the internet and they might not come back to you. Educate your customers while you're doing the free water test...and hand them better products that they need at that very moment. Show them why you are better than the internet."

 


 

Jason Roberts
Aqua Palace | Council Bluffs, Iowa

"$10 for a water test without the purchase of chemicals. It has pretty much cut out the riff raff on people abusing the water testing. Before the change, they would come in, get the information and go purchase chemicals somewhere else."

 


 

Abigail Carpenter is Editorial Assistant of AQUA Magazine.