The purchase of a new commercial grade inflatable for your business is not something to be entered into lightly. Not only is it a large monetary investment, but this will also affect what services and products you offer your customers for years to come. The key to purchasing a high quality inflatable that will last through wear and tear is to make sure you order from a reputable manufacturer. There are many details that go into the manufacturing of an inflatable that really make a difference in the long run.
When shopping for an inflatable you will want to consider the following:
- What kind of vinyl and what thickness is being used? A high quality commercial grade inflatable will use 15 to 18 ounce vinyl. Any thinner than this and the longevity of the inflatable will be compromised.
- Are the inflatable stitches reinforced? Double to quadruple stitches is recommended for commercial grade inflatables.
- What additional items come with the inflatable? Are the blower and sand bags bought separately?
- What is the manufacturer’s warranty? You should look for a manufacturer offering a three year warranty.
- Details on the manufacturer are an important factor when considering where to purchase an inflatable. Find out how long the manufacturer has been in business, the lead time on supplying the products, and ask them to provide customer referrals that you can contact.
Once you have selected a quality manufacturer you should evaluate your business to determine what your needs are. Consider your existing inventory, what types of functions you have been servicing and any customer requests that have come in. Size and weight is also a big consideration. If you are a one person company you will need to make sure the inflatable is manageable to be moved, set up and taken down by just one person. Also, consider size limitations of your customers and their events.
Narrow down the choices by evaluating your business conditions and determining what type of inflatable you are in the market for; bounce house, combo, slide, interactive game. If you are replacing old, worn out equipment you may want to stay with the same inflatable type. However if you are adding inventory consider something new for your customers to choose from.
From here you will need to pick your inflatable style. If your business specializes in children’s birthday parties consider a child themed inflatable. If your inventory is minimal, you may not want to limit yourself and instead choose an inflatable product that is appropriate for both adults and children. You will then need to consider the colors, which at some manufacturers are customizable for you. This should not only be a matter of taste, but again thinking what your customers have asked for.
The real key to selecting your next inflatable purchase is to understand your target market and cater to them. If you feel you don’t have a good understanding of what your customers might like to see, consider calling a few of your best customers and asking them some questions. Getting a real feel of your marketplace is important before you commit to the purchase.
While pricing will of course be an issue, purchasing an inflatable is essentially the biggest investment in your company that you can make and should not be based on price alone. A high quality inflatable that will last you through the years without damage or needing repair is priceless to your business.