For big purchases, like houses, cars, and even boats, buying second-hand has always made economic sense. As people become more aware of the environmental cost of buying new, it’s also become more popular with things like homeware, tech, and children’s toys.
However, it’s only a great deal for a used item if you are aware of any flaws in the first place, especially in the case of used bouncy castles for sale. They might be cheap but what if they only inflate the first time or have a leak in the side? How can you avoid these potential issues? We’ve got some top tips right here.
Check out the manufacturer
When looking at bouncy castles or other inflatables, always check out the manufacturer. Are they a reputable firm? Do they have good reviews on (and more importantly off) their site? Have they been around for a while or is this an unproven business? Does it give any manufacturing information? If you wouldn’t buy new from them, don’t buy their products used.
Consider the seller
When buying second-hand, you might be dealing with the manufacturer who is selling returned goods that are still in perfect working order or a private seller whose kids might have outgrown bouncy castles.
Private sellers might be offering a lower price, but they might not be giving you all of the information about your purchase. They might not know that a hole has developed since the last time they used it and, if there is a problem, you might not know until after the 30-day return window common on private sale sites.
On the other hand, manufacturers selling second-hand bouncy castle, like Bebop Fun, are more likely to be able to repair or replace an item within a warranty period because they need happy customers.
Inspect the product
Clearly, the best way to do this is to visit the site and have the bouncy castle inflated in front of you, but if that’s not possible because the seller is too far away, ask them for a recent video of that specific item being inflated.
If you can get there in person, here are signs to look for:
- Thread giving way
- Abrasions on the vinyl
- Seams separating
- Drag marks on the bottom
- Mould or mildew, even if it’s just the smell
- Tears or nicks, even if covered by duct tape or mismatched vinyl
- Wear or cracks on the electrical connections to the blower or fan
- Rattling when the blower is on
- Wear to the impellor blades
What to ask the seller for
If it all looks in good condition and you want to buy, ask the seller a few questions before handing over the cash.
If they’re not the manufacturer, ask why they’re selling the item. They might reveal more in a private message than in the ad itself, like for instance that it took forever to inflate. Also, ask for proof of purchase to ensure that it's not stolen and to determine the true age of the product.
Then, regardless of who is selling, ask for manuals, any repair equipment that came with it, test certificates, including a recent PAT test for the blower, and any maintenance records.
Follow these guidelines and you should be the proud owner of a good-quality second-hand bouncy castle very soon.