If you’re like me, you hate to shop. At least I hate to shop IRL (In Real Life). However, I don’t mind online shopping. My dislike of shopping included shopping for the things I needed to run my business. I dreaded trips to The Home Depot, Office Depot, Five Below and the party store to buy supplies and game pieces. I finally realized a few years back that I could do all of this on Amazon and in many cases save not just time, but money.
Here are 10 of the products I used to buy…
1) Pure Citrus Spray (Orange) - Although it is billed as an air freshener, it works great for removing gummy stains like tar and silly string. It’s 100% natural and has a strong orange scent.
2) Basketballs - With so many inflatables including a basketball hoop inside, it is nice to supply a lightweight basketball with the rental. At one point I would make trips to 5 Five Below for basketballs, but it was really hit-or-miss as to what would be available. Once I found these basketballs online, it made things much easier and saved money.
3) Wristbands - When you have a pay-per-play event and you need to sell wristbands, Amazon is the way to go. I used to pay 4 times as much for wristbands at a local party store.
4) Mini Sledge Hammer - I’ve found these to be the best sledges for hammering in 18” J-hook stakes. It works fine for 36” tent stakes as well. If all you do is tents, maybe a bigger sledge would make sense. But if the majority of your staking is 18” J-hooks with the occasional 36” stake, then this 4 lb mini sledge is the way to go. This particular sledge has a 14” handle which gives you good leverage as compared to similar weighted sledges with shorter handles.
5) Vinyl Cement - I’ve found the HH-66 brand Vinyl Cement to be the best for making inflatable repairs. I recommend having your delivery crews take along a repair kit that includes a fresh can of vinyl cement to all of their setups.
6) Snow Cone Scoop - If you rent out snow cone machines, you know it is always nice to have a couple of extra scoops on hand for when rentals come back without them. A Gold Medal Sno Kone scoop can cost you close to $30. This one from Paragon is half the price. Ladles that you find in stores just do not work correctly for scooping snow cones. This scoop is made for exactly that.
7) Headgear - If you rent out inflatables that require headgear, you know the headgear only lasts so long before it starts to look beat up. And it is nice to be able to have a couple of sets available for larger events so the next two contestants are ready to go as soon as the prior two exit the inflatable. But headgear can be expensive if you go to your local sporting goods store to buy it or if you buy from the inflatable manufacture. I’ve found this headgear to be perfect for the job and fairly priced.
8) Neon Orange Duct Tape - While you should never use duct tape to repair your inflatables, it is very handy for a lot of other uses. We mostly used it for taping down electrical cords that crossed walkways. And it that is what you are using it for, it is good to use something bright.
9) Adjustable Rubber Straps - These straps are great for keeping things from moving around in the back of your pickup truck or van. Obviously, I don’t mean the inflatables (use ratchet straps for those), but these straps are great for securing handtrucks, blowers and other miscellaneous equipment that might otherwise be loose in your vehicle or trailer. They are not as stretchy as traditional bungee cords, but they are much more durable. And they have intermediate holes spaced along the strap to make them infinitely adjustable.
10) Matt-Kleen Disinfectant - This is what we use to clean and sanitize our inflatables. Just 2 ounces of this concentrate makes a gallon of cleaner, so it will last a long time, even for larger rental businesses.
About the Author
Rob Wright is Founder of Bounce Rental Solutions and Co-Owner of Boing! Bounce Rentals