Tradeshows and viewing days
There are many ways to buy a bouncy castle. Until the year 2002 it was common for English clients to buy a bouncy castle during tradeshows and viewing days of a sales company. These fairs usually took place at the end of the season and just before the beginning of the new season. This used to be one of the few options for the manufacturers to invite potential customers and show them their new collection.
Clients were forced to buy these bouncy castles during these viewing days and fairs even though only few new bouncy castles were available to see.
Often both manufacturers and resellers did not have a large stock, which resulted in long lead-times before a new bouncy castle could be delivered to the client.
Starting 2002 a small revolution took place and the first resellers and manufacturers started selling their bouncy castles through the internet and online shops.
Today only a small portion of bouncy castles is being sold through web shops, mainly because of the high prices that are involved, the fear of buying a poor quality item and the (sometimes justified) mistrust in some resellers. There have indeed been many sellers and manufacturers going out of business in the UK and Ireland, which made clients suspicious. Even today to many (re)sellers of bouncy castles there’s nothing more than just a small storage room and a website.
Bouncy castle showroom
In 2004 JB-inflatables build the first bouncy castle showroom in the world. In this showroom customers could see and try all possible models themselves.
This first showroom for bouncy castles was originally build as a sales showroom for luxury cars, so in fact a place where Ferrari’s, Porsches and Bentley’s would be sold. But it was eventually used to sell bouncy castles and to offer the possibility for clients to see, test and try all different types of bouncy castles.
This manufacturer was the first to have an enormous stock of bouncy castles which customers can buy directly in their showroom.
Since a couple years you’ll find more and more companies specialized in the sales of bouncy castles who copied the idea and started their own small showroom, where customers can buy and try some bouncy castles. It is also quite common for all manufacturers to have a bigger stock nowadays, so more bouncy castles are available directly to the client.
Stock and delivery times
In Europe most companies who sell bouncy castles have a stock of about 30 to 50 bouncy castles and inflatable slides. A few examples are Airquee, VIV, Bee-tee and Inflatable world.
Lead times of 6 to 8 weeks are no exception for these companies, which is quite long in comparison with other companies with a bigger stock.
Companies like AAA-inflatables, BOING, C2J and Profab keep a larger stock of around 100 to 200 bouncy castles, as Air-inflatables usually offers about 400.
Europe’s biggest bouncy castle manufacturer, JB-inflatables has over 2000 bouncy castles in stock! This means that almost every model can be purchased from stock at this manufacturer.
Bouncy castle suppliers without big stocks usually prefer a downpayment of 30 to 50%, after which the bouncy castle still has to be produced and the customer will have to wait until it is finished. This process usually takes up to 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the season. Most customers therefor prefer to buy a bouncy castle from stock, as they can use it right away and won’t miss out on lost rentals.