How to Choose the Right Bounce House for Your Rental Inventory

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One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a new party rental business owner is buying units that you THINK will rent instead of what  will rent. It’s tempting to buy similar equipment to what your competitors have, but that’s a rookie mistake. You may spend thousands of dollars on units that only go out once or twice a month (or less). 

Here are some things to remember when putting together your roster of rental items (especially for your first 10-20 units).

  • Wet/Dry Bounce House Slide Combos: These versatile units are ideal for starting out in inflatables. They can be rented in summer and colder months and offer great value with features like slides, basketball hoops, and pop-ups.
  • Water Slides: Excellent summer rentals.
  • Obstacle Courses: Popular with schools and churches but not recommended for the first year. They take up space and don’t rent as frequently as bounce house combos.
  • Inflatable Interactive Games: Also popular with schools and churches but should be avoided initially. They rent out less often, which can hurt your bottom line.
  • Dunk Tanks: Easy to set up and have potential, but consider how often they get rented. They usually need towing and take up significant space.
  • Mechanical Bull: This is not recommended for new operators due to the high safety and insurance requirements. It requires an attendant and is high-risk.
  • Games: These are great for order add-ons, especially Giant Connect 4 and Giant Jenga. They require little maintenance and can be purchased easily.
  • Concessions: Due to maintenance and cleaning issues, cotton candy, snow cone, and popcorn machines are common but often not worth the hassle.
  • Tables & Chairs: High demand but challenging for small companies due to space, cleaning, and transport needs. Start with a limited number of tables and chairs.
  • Tents: High demand and potentially lucrative but risky and labor-intensive. They require a skilled and responsible team for safe setup.
  • Foam Machines: Offer a unique experience. Options include drop-and-go or staffed machines, which can enhance the rental experience.
  • Yard Cards: Gained popularity post-COVID. They are a good add-on but can be challenging to store and manage.

You want your first 10 inventory items to be high-demand units that get rented every weekend, all year long. That’s why it’s recommended that you stick to bounce house slide combos that can be used wet or dry. Consider having 80% of your inventory consist of wet/dry combos and the other 20% water slides and obstacle courses. This way, 90% of your units can go out, whether it’s hot or cold outside.

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