It's a classic story. You get quotes on inflatables and one quote is much lower than the others. You go with the bargain company thinking you have saved your company or your client a lot of money. Afterwards you might begin to have trouble with your purchase. As it turns out, this “bargain-priced” inflatable doesn’t have much value and becomes a burden.
The old saying, “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” really is true. There are companies out there who will offer rock bottom pricing on inflatables. However, if you look closely at the major differences they do not tell you about, you will quickly see that saving a little money on the front end can cause you or your clients lots of headache and frustration down the road. Usually those companies do not last longer than 3 years.
Quality adds To the Cost
When you purchase a quality inflatable, it will be designed to last for years to come, to install flawlessly every time, and to hold up well through many inflations, deflations and shipments. That is why quality inflatables all have certain things in common.
Construction & Design
Look for at least double-stitched seams at least at the pressure points. Sometimes welding might be recommended. Also ask questions about the specifics of the anchoring principles. Nothing ruins a promotion more instantly than an inflatable that tries to “fly away” in the middle of all the action. Apart from an inflatable tearing apart …
Does your inflatable look “lumpy”? That means the design, and particularly the visible interfaces, were not executed carefully. Inflatables of questionable quality will lack smooth, flat surfaces and nice curves. Also pay attention to the pattern design when possible. Is it realistic ? Does it match your expectations for your logo, mascot, or product ? Ugly or ridiculous replicas really damage branding.
Heavy winds in particular, especially in combination with other elements can really damage inflatables. The hardware and anchoring system coming with your inflatable should be of the highest quality in order to keep your inflatable steady and in place throughout its life.
None of the above really matters if you don’t have an inflatable that looks exactly like you imagined. Poor artwork or/and mediocre print quality and substandard craftmanship can lead to a replica of your inflatable product or mascot that appears “messy”. Discuss upfront details intensively and always ask to see already produced samples before ordering an inflatable. Be sure the supplier and their staff are skilled enough and experienced with inflatable reproductions of this type.
Once you have the whole story about the quotes you have received, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which inflatable truly offers the most value for the price.