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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Birthday Parties and Inflatables (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

B Hackler
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I am looking at buying Inflatables and adding them to my birthday party business. I was wanting to know if anyone else on the Café rented inflatables? If so any advice to anyone getting into the business? Thanks
Skip Way
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B-Man, Check your local laws regarding licensing and taxes. In some areas, inflatables are taxed as amusements and must be inspected and licensed annually. Also, you'll want to look into good liability insurance coverage for each inflatable.

I know several in this area who simply rent out the inflatable and have the parents sign a hold harmless waiver against injuries...I wouldn't risk that. One of my best friends has a stable of 20+ inflatables. Her units are manned by an employee at all times to guard against damage and unsafe practices.

I can tell you this...if your competition isn't too stiff in your area and you don;t mind the extra work involved, these things pay for themselves in no time.
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B Hackler
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I will be the only one in town that will have inflatables. I am the only magician in town as well. I stay pretty busy I guess that means I am either good or people are hard up for a magician.(LOL) Thanks for the help Skip Way.
MrGreggy
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You're lucky to be the only one with inflatables. Here in Atlanta the market is completely saturated.

I agree with Skip, make SURE you have liability insurance. I've seen children injured in these things, it's not pretty. The biggest problem I've noticed is teenagers getting in with the smaller kids. That can be a big problem.
keeblem
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Hi B Hackler

I have tried this a few years ago and my advice would be DON'T DO IT!

Obviously I'm speaking from my own experience (I live in the UK and there was already a lot of competition in my area)

First of all - it's *** hard work. Commercial units are extremely heavy. Just loading/unloading and getting the thing in and out of gardens soon got on my nerves. Make sure you have plenty of room in your car/van and house to store the thing.

Secondly the PL insurance is very expensive over here. Because of the competition I had the business never really took off - and it seemed at the time I was doing all that work just to pay for the insurance.

I soon realized I just wanted to entertain children - not lug heavy, awkward objects around getting sweaty, grazing my knuckles and just plain p*ss*d off for a few extra quid.

Mark
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2009-11-06 15:23, Skip Way wrote:

I know several in this area who simply rent out the inflatable and have the parents sign a hold harmless waiver against injuries...I wouldn't risk that.


Definitly. Again I'm speaking for a UK perspective - but I remember reading a waiver would not hold up in court if you were sued. If an accident was deemed your fault - you would be liable no matter what a piece of paper said you managed to get signed.

A few years ago a giant inflatable (it wasn't a normal bouncy castle, I believe) came loose from it's fixings in windy conditions and actually killed someone.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/28......ce-trial
B Hackler
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Thanks for all of the help. I don't think I will take the plunge and buy inflatables. I was hired by a school to perform and they also had inflatables out side of the school as well. The school rented the inflatables from a company that was 2 hours away. I thought I could buy inflatables and make some $$$$$ since I would be the only one in my area but what I have finally relaized is that I can either perform magic or lug around inflatables. Sometimes the $$$$$ looks great and blinds people until they stop and think about it. Take care
revlovejoy
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You probably made the right decision. I am sure there are profitable ways to do that business, but I can tell you about my immediate area, where people are 20 times more likely to have a bounce castle than an entertainer at a party... still, I know a person who invested in a good number of them to rent, and is down to an inventory of 2. Also, our church borrowed one from a family who bought their own after renting them repeatedly for parties and did the math. They are dropping in price enough that I think you'll see more churches, scout groups, and other organizations buying them outright instead of renting.
MrGreggy
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I think you made the right decision to stay away from the full-size ones also. Not worth the trouble. Perhaps you could work out a commission deal with an established company that handles inflatables. That way you can offer that as an option, but you don't have to deal with the hassle of setting them up, etc.

Another idea is to get a very small inflatable. I've seen them for as low as $100 in Toys-R-Us stores. They are designed for toddlers, and can hold maybe 3 or 4. Much smaller, easier to set up, and can be a good selling point for parties where the kids are too young to enjoy a magic show.
curtgunz
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Just a personal not on liability issues. Be SURE you have lots of insurance.

My teenage son was on a church mission trip in another state and the church had an inflatable. My son tried to do a flip and landed VERY wrong.

He broke his fibula and tibia had to have two surgeries, still has a metal plate etc. It was not pretty.

Of course it was a church event and we didn't even THINK of a lawsuit but I shudder to think what might have happened to a fellow performer who had this kind of mishap on one of his inflatables.

By the way, the sponsoring church and our local church had good insurance so this very expensive accident did not end up being too bad for us (financially anyway).

Even with just paying for the medical treatment (nothing for "pain and suffering) it cost a lot.

Your very first outing with an inflatable with no liability coverage could ruin you.
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doubletime
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Reading through these threads reminds me of the great old days.

I cut my teeth doing kids parties.

it's given my a great career now.
TonyB2009
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I do some inflatables, but that side of my business has never expanded. At the right time of the year it adds a few pounds to the bank balance, but to make it work properly involves a huge amount of work - and a lot of advertising.

Also, you need to change your car to a van (trailers are less practical), and you can be hit badly by a change in the weather.

They are heavy. I have one which, when wet, can weigh close to 300lbs. I am a strong man, but I can't handle that on my own. Not without doing myself an injury.
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