Selling Used Party Rental Equipment After Seeing Your ROI

Selling Used Party Rental Equipment After Seeing Your ROI

Used Party Rental Equipment Ages Gracefully, but Ages Nevertheless

Our customers love that their party rental equipment will see ROI—a return on their investment—in ten rentals or less. It’s a major reason why so many of our customers operate successful rental businesses. But what happens with your used party rental equipment after you’ve earned back that investment?

Not to brag, but our party rental equipment lasts a good long while. With the right TLC, one of our commercial inflatables or party tents can last several rental seasons. They should easily outlive those initial ten rentals to pay for themselves, and then some.

Eventually though, you’re probably going to want to get rid of that old equipment. Maybe you’re making space in your warehouse, or perhaps you just want to finance an expansion. But selling used party rental equipment is definitely a profitable option when that day does finally arrive.

So how do you go about selling used party rental equipment? Where can you find a buyer for used bounce houses or used party tents? And what should you take into consideration before and after selling off your aging gear? Let’s find out!

Is Your Used Rental Equipment Ready to Sell?

So here’s a question: just how long should you keep renting out your used party rental equipment before you consider selling it? That’s a big question, and there isn’t really a single definitive answer to it, either.

Each piece of equipment is different, and each unit has its own backstory. There’s no magic number of rentals to go by or specific date to unload it on. But chances are, you’ll be able to tell when a piece of equipment is reaching the end of its life as a commercial party rental.

Party rental equipment will eventually start showing signs of wear and tear. Stitching might stretch, or material in high traffic areas will scuff, or coloring will fade from sun exposure. When these signs begin to show, it’s probably time to consider selling the used equipment and replacing it with something new.

You’ll of course also want to make sure the unit has spent enough time in your inventory to earn for your event and party rental company. In the very, very least, you’ll want to see each unit pay for itself. And realistically, you should see the unit turn a decent profit for you before you unload it. If you’re pricing the unit to see ROI in 10 rentals, maybe sell it after 20 or 30 rentals (and after it’s showing wear, of course). With proper care, your commercial inflatables and party tents should pretty easily last well beyond that.

Preparing Your Equipment for a Potential Sale

When you think your used rental equipment is ready to sell, you’ll want to take some time to get it prepared for that sale. And that of course means pulling it from your rental rotation completely and updating your website to reflect that the unit is no longer available.

Deflated bounce house ready for cleaning

Your next step will involve taking care of any minor repairs necessary, and then giving the unit a thorough deep cleaning. You’ll want to scrub it down as if it’s going into storage, taking extra care to disinfect the full unit. You’ll want your used rental equipment to be sparkly clean for our next step: a photo shoot.

Set up your used party tent or inflate your used bounce house and take photos of every angle of the unit. Be sure to take close up photos of any areas with damage, wear, or fading. Not only is it important to be transparent with a potential buyer, but those images might protect you if that buyer fraudulently claims the unit had any undisclosed damage.

Once you’ve taken an ample amount of photos of the unit, pack everything up as if it's going into long storage and bundle any items you intend to sell with it together. Once it’s packed up and ready for shipping, put it someplace safe, clean, and dry where it can wait to be sent off to its new home.

Pricing Your Used Party Rental Equipment

Now that your used party rental equipment is ready to be sold, you’ll need to figure out a fair price for it. So let’s be really honest here: what condition is the unit in? How much wear and tear does it show? This is a key factor in determining how much your used party rental equipment is worth.

If the unit is in mint condition—you honestly can’t find a single thing out of place—you can probably get away with selling it for 80 to 90 percent of its retail value. With minor wear and no physical damage, you can go with 50 to 80 percent. If there’s minor wear and minor damage, 20 to 50 percent. Any damage beyond that, you should consider selling it for 30 percent or less. 

Of course, these are just broad numbers. You should examine the unit carefully and then ask yourself what you would be willing to pay if you were buying this bouncer from someone else. No one is going to pay full price for used party rental equipment. The lower the price you give the unit, the more likely you are to sell it. And if you’ve made your ROI and the unit has paid for itself already, anything you get out of a sale is bonus cash, right?

Finding a Buyer

Used party rental equipment is usually purchased by one of two types of people. In one corner you have event and party rental professionals looking to turn a profit. And in the other, you have consumers, usually parents, who may not want to pony up the dough for a brand new party tent or inflatable.

Millions of people use eBay every day to buy and sell new and used items online.Other rental professionals are going to give your unit more scrutiny than consumer buyers. They understand the inner workings of your used party rental equipment better than your average consumer. So take that into consideration as you decide where to show off your used rental equipment.

If you want to keep your sale local, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and LetGo are good options for selling items. The benefit of selling local is that your customer can pick up the item; no one has to deal with shipping, which can be challenging with big rental units. The downside of course is that you might be selling to a competitor.

If you decide to sell the unit nationwide, sites like eBay, Amazon, and Bonanza will let you sell items to broader customer bases. However, you’ll need to work out shipping; these customers aren’t likely going to travel to you to pick up their used party rental equipment. And as you probably remember from when you bought the unit, shipping this equipment can be pricey. 

Inflatable Trading Post is a popular site for unloading used commercial inflatables, with an audience made up mostly of rental professionals. They might be a good option if you want to sell your used commercial inflatable to another rental company, without worrying about enriching a competitor.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Selling off your used party rental equipment is a great way to free up warehouse space while giving that item one last profitable hurrah. But it also means you’re now looking at a gap in your rental inventory. And unless you’re hanging up your sledgehammer and retiring, you’re going to want to fill that gap with a brand new unit.

If the unit you just sold was popular with customers and quick to turn a profit, you might consider simply replacing it with a brand new version of the same thing. Otherwise, you’ll want to take some time to consider this unit’s replacement strategically.

Upgrading a unit seems pretty straightforward. Maybe you just sold a bounce house and want to upgrade to a combination bounce house with a slide. Or maybe you got rid of a 20x20 frame tent and think it’s now time to upgrade to a high peak tent. But try to keep your customers in mind here, too. 

Was this unit popular because it was a cheaper rental? Is there another unit in your inventory you can rent at that price? You don’t want to price yourself out of contention for a potential customer’s party or other event.

If you need some help choosing the best new commercial rental equipment to replace your outgoing used item with, give Tent and Table a call today at 1-716-832-8368. We’ll discuss the used party rental equipment you just offloaded and help you find great replacement options to update your inventory with.

Selling used party rental equipment presents a few challenges, but it’s ultimately worth the work. Customers appreciate renting fresh, new equipment. You and your employees like spending less time worrying about repairs, too. And getting that last sizable drop of profit from an already profitable unit is pretty awesome too.

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