Updated: Apr 4
This business all started when my wife wanted a bounce house for our daughters 2nd birthday, after a couple calls we were shocked by the prices quoted, we didn't need anything big or fancy considering all the kids coming would be at most in elementary school, nor did we need one all day long the party was only for a couple hours. After discussion, research, and planning we decided to buy a couple smaller commercial units to fill this niche - smaller units cost less, which allowed us to charge less and to add even more price flexibility we decided to offer 2, 3, 5 or 8hr rentals vs. the standard 4 or 8 hour rates/timeframes for parents that were in our exact situation.
What we noticed is our smaller units got a mixed reception at delivery, some customers were super excited, loved the unit, our pricing, and how much fun their kids were having, others assumed we were providing a standard size or larger commercial bounce house (13x13 bounce area or larger) and even if they didn't express it verbally you can just see in the reaction that some seemed disappointed, at least initially. We go above and beyond as far as listing sizes, dimensions, age ranges, pictures, etc. on our site, and even reconfirming sometimes in messages with customers that these are smaller units, but expectations still don't always align despite our best efforts (most bounce house rental businesses just have 1 picture of the unit up with a short to non-existant description).
Before I go into size comparisons below I want to point out I've never seen a kid disappointed in the size, while the adults are questioning the size (i.e. asking their child if it's big enough) or revisiting our website on the phone to compare the picture to the unit in front of them their kid(s) are eagerly waiting outside the bounce house as I'm getting it ready (setup/clean) with the "is it ready yet?" questions. On one rental as I was setting it up when the kids came outside and cheered "it's just like the one at the pumpkin patch!!" and the parent was like no it's not, it's smaller, this was followed by the kids arguing with the parent that it was just like at the pumpkin patch, and they finally resigned and said sure - kid's don't care so much about the size, what important is they can bounce and slide. I've had a church on a budget rent one of our smaller unit this past year, the pastor came up to me after the event was over and thanked me, told me how in the past they spent a ton of money on the large units/slides, how we saved them hundreds of dollars, and even though ours was on the smaller side he still had 100+ kids rotate though and everyone had a blast. Bottom-line: If you are renting the unit solely for kids 10 and under a smaller unit works just fine and you will save some money, but if you intend on having teenagers and adults jump around in them a large unit is the way to go.
Bounce House Comparison:
Little Tikes Jump n' Slide (residential model for comparison):
Size: 12Lx9Wx6H (9x9 Bounce Area) Weight limit: 100lbs/person, 250lbs total Manufacture recommended capacity: 3 kids at a time Manufacture recommended age range: 3-8yrs old (main limiting factor being weight listed above and height of unit)
Magic Combo 10 (one of the smaller units we have):
Size: 15Lx10Wx8.5H (10x10 Bounce Area, 5'L Slide/climb platform) Weight limit: 200lbs/person, 800lbs total Manufacture recommended capacity: 6 kids at a time Manufacture recommended age range: "all ages" (due to unit size/height our recommended cut off is around 10yrs old - main limiting factor being weight listed above)
Magic Combo 13 (A larger version of what we have - 13x13 bounce area, what's considered a standard sized Commercial unit):
Size: 19Lx13Wx10.5H (13x13 Bounce Area, 5'L Slide/climb platform) Weight limit: 200lbs/person, 800lbs total Manufacture recommended capacity: 8 kids at a time Manufacture recommended age range: "all ages" - main limiting factor being weight listed above)
13' X 30' Rainbow Mega Wet/Dry Combo (Commercial unit from a different manufacturer for comparison):
Size: 30Lx13Wx15H (13x13 Bounce Area, 17'L Slide/pool area) Weight limit: ?lbs/person, 800lbs total Manufacture recommended capacity: 6 kids at a time Manufacture recommended age range: not specified - main limiting factor being weight listed above)
Summary between commercial models: You'll notice all 3 commercial units hold the same weight, the main difference is the size of the bounce area (13x13 vs 10x10) and the 13x13 units are 2' (Magic Combo 13) and 6.5' (Rainbow Mega Combo) taller allowing larger sized/older users to use them more comfortably. If the party is for 5 kids ages 4-6 the fun factor between a 10x10 and 13x13 is probably going to be the same. The main reasons for going with a larger bounce house is to accomediate more users at once and to accomediate larger users (teenagers and adults) in those cases a larger unit is the way to go. (PS: we've started adding larger units to our inventory to accommodate all ages as of Spring 2015)
Summary between residential and commercial models: The difference between the residential model and commercial models is significant, although the Little Tikes model has a 9x9 bounce area vs the10x10 bounce area in our smaller commercial unit, it only holds up to 3 users (vs 6 users) and 250lbs total (vs 800lbs) this is primarily due to it's design (different materials, weaker blower, etc.) limiting it's capacity. If an adult sat on or got in a residential unit it would most likely start collapsing/loosing air (and may damage it), which doesn't happen with average sized adults in a commercial grade units.
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