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Purchasing a tanning bed can be a lot of fun, but many people do not ask enough questions before they purchase, and end up with less tanning bed than they were expecting.   This can be frustrating and expensive.  The purpose of this page is to help you ask the right questions before you purchase, even if you are purchasing from someone else.

A few minutes of research can ensure you get decades of use from your new tanning bed.  We have also included some of the most common questions asked in general.  The questions and answers are set out here in FAQ form.  Just click on the right question to jump to the answer.

Is it safe to buy online?
How big is the tanning bed?
Are 220v tanning beds more powerful than 120v?
What does the warranty really MEAN?
Is there a money back guarantee?
What if the tanning bed is damaged in transit?
What if I need service or parts?
How will my bed arrive?
How long does it take to assemble a tanning bed?
How long have you been in business?
Are you an internet only reseller?
What is the expected delivery time of the tanning bed?
Do you sell lotions, lamps and accessories?
Where is your actual business located?
What kind of construction does it have?
Does the top of the bed have a "canopy grid"?
Is this a Wolff tanning bed?

Is it safe to buy online?
We can't speak for other retailers, but it is very safe to purchase from UVA\TanningBeds4Less for several reasons. First, our site offers 128 bit encryption, which is the strongest security measure available. This means when you send your credit card data, no one can intercept it. Second, rather than rely on an ad hoc shopping system, we have hired Yahoo! to provide the connectivity for collecting funds. As one the largest publicly traded web portal in the world, they have the ability to insure your personal information is kept safe. Third, our own datacenter is a secure facitility with multiple safegaurds to insure your information can never leave our building. All credit applications and other special apps we use to process your orders are housed in this facility.

We conduct regular audits, including "virtual hacking attempts" to insure our systems are as secure as possible. We have maintained the same IT manager for over 10 years, with never a single data breach, even after many millions (yes, MILLIONS) of page views. Rather than use off the shelf Windows® solutions, we use our own customized versions of the Linux operating system for all our mail, web and data servers for maximum security. The shopping portion of the site uses FreeBSD for even higher security. This means all the new "Windows exploits" you hear about can not possibly affect us. No system is perfect, but no one spends more time, energy or funds to better insure your privacy and protection than UVA\TanningBeds4Less.

How big is the tanning bed?
Most 24 lamp tanning beds are fine if you are under 6 foot tall, and weigh less than 180 pounds, but taller and heavier tanners will feel quite cramped in any 16 lamp tanning bed, and most 24 lamp tanning beds.  If you are heavier, and the tanning bed is less than 36" wide, you will not be comfortable, thus you are likely to NOT use it very often.   This means you will have wasted your money, and not gotten the tanning experience you were looking for.  Make sure the tanning bed is big enough for EVERYONE that will be using it.

Are 220v tanning beds more powerful than 120v?
This is the #1 misconception in tanning.  Let us make it perfectly clear:  There is NO difference in performance based on whether the power coming to the bed is 220 volts or 120 volts.  Tanning lamps don't care.  Large industrial motors will large moving parts DO run more efficiently with 220v power, but tanning lamps have no moving parts.  Its about the quality of the electronics, not the voltage.  Generally speaking, 220v electronics do not run very well in the USA because they were designed for European voltages, 220v@50hz,  instead of American current, which is actually 240v @ 60hz.

Some 220V tanning beds are very sensitive and will not function correctly if the voltage is not EXACTLY between 220V and 230V. Other manufacturer's will flatly VOID your warranty if you can't prove you had a buckboost transformer installed by a licensed electrician. Fortunately, the 220V beds we do sell, Alpha Sun, are not as delicate and can operate in a broader range, 215V to 240V, and your warranty will NOT be voided. Before you purchase any 220V from any reseller, make sure you are not at risk of getting your warranty voided in this manner.

What does the warranty really MEAN?
Many warranties look great at first, with "Lifetime coverage on workmanship".   When was the last time your "workmanship" broke?  These are intentionally vague terms that allow them to "puff up" their warranties, while the actual parts may be covered for just a few months.  What really matters is how long the REAL PARTS are covered.

Is there a money back guarantee?
Ok, granted, this is a trick question because SunMaster is the only manufacturer to offer a money back guarantee on new beds purchased directly from them, and we extend this policy to the Alpha Sun tanning beds we offer.  Some tanning bed dealers offer a money back guarantee, but it is worthless unless it is in writing.   If they won't put it in writing, assume they will not honor it.  SunMaster, Alpha Sun and Virtual Sun home tanning beds purchased from us have a very simple 30 Day Money Back Guarantee:   If you don't love it, call us within 30 days of purchase, get an RMA, we will schedule a pickup of the tanning bed, you pay for shipping, you get a refund for the tanning bed.  No fine print, no questions asked, no hassles.

What if the tanning bed is damaged in transit?
Many tanning bed dealers will ship tanning beds as "freight collect" to avoid any liability.  It is very important that you NEVER allow them to do this to you!   When a tanning bed (or any item sent on truck line) is shipped, any damage claim must be made by the person who is paying the trucking company the shipping fees.   When you are getting a tanning bed "freight collect", YOU become the shipper, and must any and all claims regarding damage.  From 20 years experience, we can assure you this takes months and usually ends up with no claim being settled.  We don't even file claims anymore, instead just overpacking and crating our tanning beds.   If you buy a bed from us, we pay all shipping, and if it is damaged, we just send you a new tanning bed the next day.  No hassles, no headaches.  If a dealer will only ship "freight collect" then you should buy from someone else.

What if I need service or parts?
For the most part, you will have to get an electrician to work on your tanning bed if you can't do the work yourself.  This is because there just isn't a tanning bed repairman in every town.  This is not a big deal, but it will become a problem if you can't get the parts.  Over half the Internet Tanning Bed Dealers do not stock parts, (or even tanning beds, they just drop ship them).  This means that when you need a part, you will be refered to some other company.  We are a manufacturer, so obviously we have the parts for your tanning bed.  There are also several other good dealers that stock parts for their tanning beds, but they are few and far between.

How will my bed arrive?
For the most part, unless you are having the system installed, tanning beds are shipped via truck line.  A large 18 wheeler will show up at your drive with a 4 ft by 7 ft wooden pallet, and two boxes strapped to it.  You will need to cut the banding and remove the two boxes.  This is true of any tanning bed seller.  Each half of the tanning bed will be in a box, usually with the lamps already installed.  How much each half weighs depends on the system, but can vary from as little as 100 pounds, to as much as 300 pounds.  Most of the time, you will be able to get the tracking information from the seller and arrange a time of day for the system to arrive.  In some cases, the driver will help you unload, in others cases, you will have to provide all labor.  This depends on the part of the country you live in (We have discovered the farther south you deliver, the more likely the driver is to help you.) 

How long does it take to assemble a tanning bed?
Most tanning beds take from 30 minutes to 120 minutes to assemble, depending upon model.   SunMaster beds take about 45 minutes, Alpha Sun takes about 1 hour, other brands vary according to design.  This doesn't count any time to install any special wiring if your tanning bed needs it.

How long have you been in business?
Being in business a long time doesn't mean they are a great company, but a company that less than a few years old may not be your best choice.  As with any major purchase, it is best to buy from an established company.  This increases your chances of a long term relationship, and your ability to get support, parts and service.  For reference, we started in 1985.

Are you an internet only reseller?
You have to be very careful here.  Over half the companies selling tanning beds on the internet do so out of their homes or part time.  They do not have a building.  They do not stock tanning beds.   They have no staff, no investment, no parts or service.  You can literally sell them out of your bedroom with a lap top if you can get a manufacturer to drop ship items for you (ie: They take your money, they buy the bed from a manufacturer, they get the manufacturer to ship to you).  It is very simple:  How many tanning beds do they have in their physical location?  None?  Move on.  Nothing personal against people who work from their home, but if you are going to spend $2000 to $3000 on a tanning bed, you want to buy from a company that is devoted to the tanning industry, not just trying to make some quick bucks with a slick web site.  Odds are, next year they will be selling something different, and if you need support, you will left out in the cold.

What is the expected delivery time of the tanning bed?
Always ask so you know what to expect.  Keep this in mind as well:  From February through April, it is going to take 1 to 2 extra weeks to get a tanning bed, no matter who you purchase it from.  There are very few exceptions.  This is because the demand during these months is ten times higher than the rest of the year, and it is expensive to manufacture and warehouse enough beds for this very busy time.   They stock half of what they need, and must build the other half according to customer demands.  You can find last years models and certain overstocked models (ie: unpopular) but often the most popular systems will be backordered for a few days or more.   Be patient, don't settle for less, just order what you want and wait the extra few days.  Why buy a tanning bed that you don't like, just to get it a few days quicker?   It would be a mistake you would have to live with for years to come.

Do you sell lotions, lamps and accessories?
It isn't strictly necessary that a tanning bed reseller also sell these items, but it does give you some information as to how committed they are to the industry (ie: how long will they be around) and gives you the opportunity to purchase all your tanning related items from a single source.  Remember there is a difference in "I can get you that" and "We have that in stock".  Just as you expect a new car dealer to have mechanics, parts and a body shop, you should expect your tanning bed salesman to have more than just the tanning bed itself.

Where is your actual business located?
This ties in with some companies being Internet Only Sellers.  Again, we are not saying that selling tanning beds out of your living room makes you a bad person, but we ARE saying that as a customer, you are much better off purchasing from an established company that is "Click and Mortar", where you can actually walk into a *real* building, see the equipment and speak with representatives.

What kind of construction does it have?
This is very important.  Many plastic tanning beds say they use a "steel frame" when in fact, much of the actual structure is plastic.  Plastic is fine for the outer shell, but is STRONGLY recommended against for the structure.  As this:   What are the hinges made from?  What are the end caps made from? (the end caps are the ends that tie in the front rails of the bed).  With cheaper systems, these are plastic, and this is something you want to avoid at all costs.  End caps and hinges should be made from steel or aluminum ONLY.  Anything less may be asking for trouble down the road.

Does the top of the bed have a "canopy grid"?
This is also referred to as a "protective grid", which is more than a bit ironic.  The grid is a cross section of wire used instead of an acrylic shield.   This means you can actually TOUCH the lamps.  This also means that if a lamp breaks, you can expect to be showered with broken glass shards.  Using canopy grids save the manufacturer $20 to $40, at the expense of your safety.  Obviously, you should avoid canopy grids at all costs.

Is this a Wolff tanning bed?
Ok, this is a trick question, and you don't really need to ask it.  Wolff does NOT make tanning beds.  We know you have all heard about Wolff tanning beds, but its not what you think.  ANY tanning bed can be a "Wolff Tanning Bed" IF they pay a royalty to use the name and lamp.  The name Wolff has exactly NO bearing on the quality of the bed, good or bad.  In the 1970s, Wolff was the only way to make a tanning bed.  While the Wolff lamps are fine, there are many brands out there, many of which we consider superior.  Do yourself a favor, and forget the Wolff name (since it isn't a bed anyway) and instead focus on the quality of the unit, the features and the other factors that make a good tanning bed.



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