This is an extremely useful video for anyone who has invested in some new inventory for the upcoming season and can’t quite figure out where to place your pricing, but it’s particularly helpful for those brand new to the rental business and in need of guidance when it comes to getting the best ROI.
Tom walks us through pricing everything from plastic and resin folding chairs to wood folding tables and even the wood crates that store your glassware.
If at anytime you want to skip around or in need of a quick read, we provided jump links for you right here:
Plastic Folding Chairs - 4:07
You all know ‘em, you all love ‘em. Some refer to them as “Samsonite” chairs(we call them our TitanPRO Plastic Folding Chair), they are the backbone of our industry and provide a great opportunity to receive some return on investment.
Tom suggests a 10:1 ratio principle on these chairs, meaning you should price to rent at 10% of your purchase price. I needed this explained to me like I’m a 5 year old so here’s an example: a $12 chair should rent for $1.20.
A good place to start if you’re looking to break into the party rental industry is with our Folding Chair Bundles
Resin Folding Chairs - 4:53
What’s the rental rate on resin folding chairs? 10:1, just like your plastic chairs. Resin folding chairs are initially going to cost you more up front but it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor and finding it hard to even keep these chairs in house for a weekend.
Like plastic folding chairs, the resin material allows for little to no maintenance and the inherent polypropylene with UV protectants that are included in the molding process creates one of the most durable seating options in the event industry.
Buy padded folding chairs now and use them over and over again at your next wedding, graduation, concert, or any outdoor event for the next 10-15 years.
Wood Folding Chairs - 5:03
To the untrained eye, wood folding chairs and resin folding look nearly identical but like Hallie Parker and Annie James in the Parent Trap(shouts to lohan - you're doing great, sweetie) they are anything but interchangeable.
The recommended price point is 15%-20% of your purchase price per chair. Why the increase from resin folding chairs if they look so similar? While the wood folding chair has a more classic and warm feel, it has a cost and that cost is maintenance.
Now, you won’t be in the shop after every event applying paint due to scratches and dents but over time, that sort of labor will be required.
Where you might get 10-15 years out of your resin folding chairs before replacing or refinishing, you’ll most likely only get a 5 year life span out of your wood folding chairs, thus the justified price increase.
Folding Tables - 6:21
There’s no certainly no shortage of folding table brands and sizes out there for you to choose from. Personally, we think our Titan Series™ and TitanPRO™ folding tables are the best bang your buck but I digress.
Due to the variance in pricing for an 8’ x 30’’ wood folding table for example, an 8-15% price point is recommended.
Here’s a pro tip from Tom: He says if he has to choose from a cheaper or more expensive table that’ll undoubtedly last longer, he’ll buy the cheaper table but price it as if it’s the higher end table just because he’ll replace it more often to keep it looking fresh for his customers.
Stacking Chairs - 7:47
Just like those JNCO jeans and Airwalk sneakers you thought would last forever, fads are just as fleeting when it comes to investing in certain stacking chairs like gold chiavari chairs or cross back chairs.
Usually there’s a higher return on investment but they also take up a lot more storage space when compared to your plastic folding chairs that nest together.
To further explain how this could impact your day to day operations, a 24’ box truck can handle about 2000 plastic folding chairs while it can only hold about 500 chiavari chairs. It’s vital to account for all the labor costs and time included with stacking chairs from storage and transport to setting up an event and breaking down.
In short, The best advice is to consider how trendy the chair is, how much space it will take up and price accordingly.
Flatware - 9:20
What might be the smallest items in your inventory, probably demand the most care. With flatware comes counting, washing, bagging and shining before the next event.
With keeping that prep process in mind and amount of necessary care, you should rent flatware at 30-40% of your purchase price
In theory, it seems you’re paying for your initial purchase at a higher rate in 3 or 4 events but there’s a lot more behind the scenes spending in labor, cleaning and maintaining every piece of flatware.
Glassware & Chinaware - 11:02
Same principle as Flatware when it comes to accounting for care and behind the scenes manual labor in handling your glassware and Chinaware.
With glassware, you have to account for breakage by customers and crates that actually store the glasses. In many cases, the crates are actually more expensive than the glasses it’s protecting.
Here’s a prime example: 25 glasses at $3 a glass = $75 in a wood crate that initially cost you $70. So while you’ve covered the cost of the crate, you still haven’t made money on the initial glassware investment, thus the need for a higher rental price for a quicker return.