Shopping in today’s world can be a confusing mess. There are options everywhere. National brands, private brands, house brands, natural, organic, retail stores, e-commerce options, marketplaces, etc.. How do we sort through the noise to find the best product fits for us? Do we value brand? Do we shop by price? Do we read reviews? Do we believe the reviews? Who can we trust? In the pool and spa world, it can be just as bad. or worse….especially as it relates to water chemistry. Treating a pool has challenges, even for the most educated and experienced operator. For those newer to the process it can be downright mysterious.
The options are plentiful and advice flows freely. However, the advice is not always accurate. All products and brands claim to make maintenance easier, solve problems and provide the answer to pool water quality. Can they all be the answer? What is the best fit? The right answer? Who to trust? The good news is there are choices. The bad news is; how can a pool owner, operator or technician possibly sort through the noise?
There are a couple of basic strategies I recommend to evaluate options and build trust in the solution. First, focus on quality and value as these are directly connected. The most important question related to pool chemicals is; what am I really getting? Is the product loaded with active ingredient or is it mostly filler? EPA registered products are very straightforward, telling you the percentage of active ingredient in each product. This allows for easier comparisons and understanding of the products in question. As an example, algaecides containing copper. They can be compared easily on the percentage of available copper as well as additional complimentary active ingredients. Other product categories such as clarifiers, enzymes and stain and scale products can be harder to quantify. The best measures of quality for these products are most often the effective dose and the time required for treatment….the less product and time needed to see results, the better quality and likely value of the product.
Second, look at reputation. Yes, this is where brand and reviews matter. Products in this category don’t survive without delivering some level of performance. As a second check on the strength and value; what are people saying about the products? How long has the brand been in the market? Reviews are helpful to provide context…remembering that no product will work perfectly for every user in every situation…there are just too many variables. Over time however, reviews reveal trends and a theme. Does the fact that a brand has been around for many years matter? Yes,to a degree. Staying power of a brand over time is important and a good indicator of value. Reputation spreads and staying power indicates others have found lasting value in the product or brand. Combined with the evaluation of strength and dose needed, reputation is a very persuasive indicator.
Finally, we get to price. Real value at this point means; what is the cost per use of this product, not which product is the least expensive on the shelf. We all know inherently that cheap does not mean good. We also all know the saying “you get what you pay for”. However, do we actually remember this when it is time to buy? Viewing pool chemicals through the lenses of quality, value and reputation leads to a clearer evaluation of whether the price aligns with the results. What is the cost per effective dose and how does this compare to the other options? Is a product with half the dose, meaning twice as strong, but 3-4 times the cost worth the premium? Likely not…However, is a product with 10 times the strength or 1/10 the dose worth a 10-20% premium? It certainly should be in nearly every case.
Finding products that work, deliver value and performance with the right price, can mean the end of pool maintenance headaches. Making the right choice and then finding the right product can be difficult. However, when the brands that are chosen align with the strategy of concentration in product and value, then the search is easy.
Bio-Dex Laboratories, provides this value equation with a variety of the finest, most concentrated products in the industry. We focus relentlessly on performance and competitive pricing. We believe that our focus on quality and value, along with our reputation, make these products an excellent choice for all who are searching for them.