The swimming pool and spa industry is a very specialized industry that many of us have worked for generations to establish and build. Meanwhile, the manufacturers have permitted their products to be represented by non-professionals who are not interested in investing into our industry.

In fact, the manufacturers have established lower pricing for the outside non-professionals — people who are simply shipping boxes from a warehouse — while the professionals are investing in advertising, building the pools, delivering and installing the spas, providing the showrooms, warranty support, etc.

The manufacturers evidently believe that we professional pool and spa dealers are going to continue to do all of the work to represent and build their brand names and receive none of the reward. They are in for a rude awakening.

The professional dealers will get behind manufacturers like Baker Hydro — manufacturers that are dedicated to protecting the professional pool and spa dealers, which have, and always will be the driving force behind this specialized industry.

The professional dealers cannot compete apples for apples. However, the e-commerce mega price cutters cannot provide local representation, they do not decide what manufacturers products are installed with new pool installations, they do not decide what products are displayed in the showrooms across the country.

The professional dealerships must differentiate themselves. We need to rise above the price wars and unethical business practices. We need to get back to professionalism. A cheaply priced, cheaply made product with very little professional representation, is not what is best for our customers, clients and friends.

The mega e-commerce stores are destroying this specialized industry. They could care less. They will walk away from it as fast as they jumped into it.

Scott Long, Owner, Wet & Wild Pools and Spas, New Philadelphia, Ohio