Are you thinking about buying a bounce house for your children? There are a lot of factors to consider, but one of the biggest challenges is this: should you go for a brand new bounce house or invest in a used one instead?
We want to help you find an option that fits your needs and budget. Both new and used bounce houses can be a great value, you just have to know what to look for. We’ll cover all the different types, pros and cons of new vs. used, and hopefully help you make a little more sense of it all so you can make the right decision for your family.
Let’s get started.
Important Considerations Before Weighing New vs. Old Bounce Houses
Besides deciding between buying new or buying used, you also should think about the type of bounce house you want to own. There are three main types to consider.
Nylon/Polyester Bounce Houses
Cheaper bounce houses typically use polyester or nylon. They’re better fits for younger children as opposed to teenagers or adults. Don’t expect nylon or polyester bounce houses to last as long as more durable models made from other materials.
Vinyl Bounce Houses
Bouncers made out of light commercial grade vinyl are more durable than nylon or polyester models. However, given the higher quality material, vinyl bounce houses are typically more expensive than nylon models so depending on your budget you may want to consider a used bounce house if you want the more durable vinyl material.
Commercial Bounce Houses
Bouncers made from heavier commercial grade vinyl will last the longest of the three bouncer types. Rental companies use the commercial variety because they can absorb the heavy use that rental customers put them through.
New Bounce Houses: Are They Worth It?
Okay, so materials aside – let’s get into the advantages and disadvantages of new vs. used models starting with the shiny new ones.
Pros of Buying a New Bounce House
No Worries of Previous Maintenance
A new bouncer means you don’t have to worry about whether the former owners cared for it correctly or not. Every bounce house comes with recommendations for how many children can play at the same time.
Weight ratings also factor into how to use a bouncer correctly. Buying new means you’re fully confident you can make your model last longer by paying attention to all of the manufacturer’s guidelines.
If you’re like most parents I know, once you spend your budget on a specific model, you don’t have much extra money lying around to replace it easily. You might like the idea of a warranty sitting there as a backup plan in case of any damage happening to your bouncer.
More Options (Most Likely)
When buying new, you have all possible options that exist on the market at your disposal. Unlike looking for whatever’s available on the used bounce house market, you can look for exactly what you and your family want in a bouncer.
Remember that bounce house’s come in all types of options. Do you want to buy one that includes a slide or some other fun feature that lights up your children and their excitement? WIth used bounce houses, you’re limited to what’s available at the time of your purchase. You might not find exactly what you want in that case. Buying new avoids any frustration here.
Delivery and Installation Perks
Think about delivery to your backyard. Most bounce houses weigh a considerable amount. Buying a new one means you can avoid renting a dolly, going to the seller’s house, picking it up, and lugging it back to your property. If you buy a new one on Amazon, for instance, they’ll have it delivered straight to your door without any hassle.
Cons of Buying a New Bounce House
The only real disadvantage when buying a new bounce house is that you’ll pay more than when buying a used model.
Used Bounce Houses: Are They Worth It?
Alright, let’s dive into used bounce houses now and some of the advantages and disadvantages you should consider.
Pros of Buying a Used Bounce House
The primary advantage is that you’ll pay a little less for a used bounce house than a new model.
However, you need to ask yourself how much less you’re going to spend in this area. You’re naturally going to gravitate toward a higher-end quality bounce house. It’s prudent to look for a situation where it’s obvious how much the previous owners cared for their bouncer.
In those cases, you’re probably not going to talk anyone down to paying less than half the bouncer’s original retail value. You have to ask yourself if that level of savings remains worth it after weighing the following disadvantages of buying a used bounce house.
For more on cost, head over to our article on how to determine if cheap bounce houses are worth it.
Cons of Buying a Used Bounce House
Unknowns About Previous Maintenance
One disadvantage to buying a used bouncer is that you don’t know for sure how well the seller cared for it. Did they do all the tasks you need to for proper bounce house maintenance? You can look at it and try to make your best judgment call. However, you simply don’t know if they washed and dried it correctly after every use or whether it’s on its last legs.
Few people pay serious attention to the weight recommendations or the guidelines for how many people can play at one time inside the bounce house. This means you might buy a used model where the blower is about to stop working because the seller’s past use already damaged it.
Potentially Tougher to Find Specific Models
The most significant disadvantage is the time it takes to sift through available used models on the market as you try to find exactly what you want. You may end up buying a new one anyway after you spend a lot of time scouring Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and other websites looking for your preferred bouncer.
How do you personally view used products? Some people love the idea of getting a “steal” and saving some money when buying a used item. Other folks don’t like the idea of going used and dealing with the stress that comes with worrying about how long it will last. If you think you might worry about your used bouncer’s longevity, then tick this issue off as another disadvantage.
In the end, your best bet is going to be finding a bounce house (new or used) that fits your budget and doesn’t compromise on the major features you’re looking for. If you go used, make sure to check for major maintenance issues and give the bounce house a thorough inspection before shaking hands on the deal.
Head over to our bounce house buying guide for a full breakdown of all the features to consider and happy searching! Let us know if you have any questions.