Third-Party Resellers include any Dealer that is acting as a ‘middle man’ in the marketing and sale of a given product.
For infrared saunas, these third party resellers include all the major hardware stores, household name big-box discount retailers, and the low information, limited product disclosure 'get rich quick' vendors with hastily built websites. Most third party dealers have hopped on the far infrared sauna bandwagon in recent years, hoping to cash in on the ever-increasing popularity of infrared saunas.
These third-party retailers generally function only in a “drop ship” capacity and usually do not carry infrared saunas in stock. From the time you order your sauna until you take delivery can take a few weeks, up to a few months.
Nearly all Third-Party Resellers deal primarily in price-driven, low-end saunas with limited product information and only a few pictures of the inside and outside of the sauna.
With third-party vendors, it is difficult to discern just what you are getting for your money. (i.e. number of heaters, size and types of heaters, interior view, assembly method, construction quality details, close up view of radio/ location, Chromotherapy lights, reading light, oxygen ionizer)
Customer Service is almost non-existent with third-party resellers. First, they don’t carry parts in stock. Secondly, most have no real Customer Service infrastructure to handle customer service and warranty claims.
Typically, it is difficult to reach a knowledgeable customer service representative by phone with third-party vendors. Since the infrared saunas are not serviced by the seller themselves, all you get with your new sauna is an 800 phone number for customer service and warranty issues. You have no idea who their customer service personnel is or where they are located. Most Third party reseller products do not have knowledgeable Technical Support personnel and customer service/ tech support is outsourced.
It has been my experience that Third-party resellers lack an adequate inventory of ‘in stock’ replacement parts. Long waits for back ordered parts are no fun. Look out for cheap generic brand stereos and low-end speakers, 2nd and 3rd tier quality chromotherapy lights, reading lights.
Nearly all Third-Party Resellers offer infrared saunas that carry only Limited-Term Product Guarantees. Lack of proper safety features and an inadequate number of independent laboratory safety certifications are quite common in low quality, price-driven far infrared saunas.
Discount retail stores that are actually third-party resellers may switch the actual Infrared Sauna Brands or Manufacturers two or three times in a calendar year. Many times discount retail stores, hardware stores, and Internet Pool & Spa “wholesalers” are simply clearance outlets for overstock and last year’s models. Many unsuspecting customers purchase a generic sauna with the idea that all saunas are created equal.
When you are sauna shopping, I recommend that you explore exactly how customer service and warranty claims are handled for these ‘knockoff’ brands and see if you can even find a phone number for a customer service representative in the United States.