Hello; I know most people are looking for ways to increase their income. Some of you are college students wanting extra income while you work towards your first job or starting that dream career. Some of you are working at jobs you hate hoping for something better to come along while you wait on retirement. Some of you are at the end of your current career and want something to supplement your income and occupy your time in your retirement. And some of you are seniors who realize that the nest egg just isn’t big enough for the life you had planned. For all of you the party rental industry may be just what you need.
Well, let’s think about it. First, most events take place on weekends or during holidays when students would be away from school and most workers away from their jobs. The events that happen during the week have to be scheduled around everyone’s work, school, activities, etc; so they are usually in the evenings and usually last less than four hours. Most standard rental agreements or price quotes are for four hours or less. So, we are talking about a business where you could work around existing commitments while you are getting started. It is also something where you probably know friends and family who would hire you were you in that business. Many of the people who have started up party rental or moon bounce rental businesses are families with several kids who either got tired of paying someone else to supply their party needs or decided that they could do it better themselves.
When most people think of the event rental industry, they usually think of clowns, magicians, birthday cakes, pinatas, moon bounces, or pony rides; but this is just a small part of it. Let’s look at a few areas of the industry.
First and last there is the food. Here, I’m talking about items like popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, candy apples, frozen drinks, and chocolate or cheese fountains. Most of these machines can be bought used for only a few hundred dollars and are solid rental items. There are many companies that only do margaritas and frozen drinks or specialize in chocolate fountains. And you could easily start with one item and branch out. And one item that most rental companies aren’t currently offering, the funnel cake, only require expensive fryers if you are planning to do large events.
Then there are tents, tables, and chairs. There are companies who specialize in just chairs and or risers. And many of the tent companies started with small ones like ten by 20 ft. and worked their way up to the larger ones. You could start with a basic white ten and expand into other colors as well. And often tent companies will sell their used ones with much life still left in them. They may just not want to sell to you if you live in the same town; so you might have to drive a little. You could also offer to provide the stage, dance floor, or sound equipment as these are also necessities at any good event.
There are companies that specialize in just games from sack races to carnival style games. Most of these items can be bought brand new for a few hundred dollars. The prizes can be as cheap or as expensive as the client is willing to pay and they are easily available. Some of the more elaborate versions of older games like twister and operation can cost more; but you wouldn’t need them to get started.
And then there are companies that rent the inflatables, the trackless trains, and the traditional carnival rides. These require more investment, but there are ways to get started without a big bank loan.
The larger rental companies will routinely sell a certain part of their inventory every year whether they need to or not. This results in many low-priced used moon walks, inflatable slides, water slides, and inflatable interactives like jousts, velcro walls, and rock walls being available for a small investment often around a thousand dollars per unit or less. Sometimes a company will buy a piece that turns out to be too much work for them or their staff. They may sell this item for far below what they paid for it to someone who has more time or energy than cash. And sometimes I even have people who want to trade equipment for a motorcycle or jet ski.
And last but not least there are companies that don’t own the first piece of equipment. They are event organizers and receive a cut of the expenses for arranging everything, making sure the event goes smoothly, and helping people pick responsible providers for all the things they will need for their fair, festival, company party, church bazaar, school fund raiser, etc.
My family has operated amusement equipment on a pay per play and rental basis for three generations now, and I’d be happy to give you the benefit of our experience. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You might find it helpful to look through some used equipment on my website. If you are one of those people searching for something extra that doesn’t require a lot of time or money to get started with; then I strongly suggest some part of the party and event rental industry.
Thanks and good luck,
Max Ivey Jr.