Market Umbrellas Buyers Guide

Trees are doing a lot of the work here, but market umbrellas for a wedding ceremony can sometimes be an absolute must.

Why should you buy Market Umbrellas?

The last time you were scrolling through Pinterest looking at beautiful wedding ceremony set-ups, how many of them included market umbrellas? A lot, right?

Not only can market umbrellas be the finishing touch for an event, but they serve a concrete need by protecting guests from the scorching rays during the “I do’s”.

Alternatively, using patio umbrellas over tables for the main event in lieu of a tent can give the party a more informal, country feel.

So with that said, carrying an inventory of market umbrellas is a must for any event rental company, wedding venue or event space. Your clients and their guests need options, and many of them will choose umbrellas for their events.

Once you’ve decided you need to buy market umbrellas, there are a lot of factors to consider to make sure you get a good, positive ROI (return on investment), and happy clients.

A nice small wedding ceremony with natural market umbrellas providing shade for each arriving guest.

Market Umbrella Prices

The first thing that will come to mind when shopping for umbrellas is the cost. You’ll see prices all over the board, from $30 to over $300 an umbrella.

As with many other things, you get what you pay for. Market umbrellas are no different. Less expensive umbrellas will be made from cheaper wood, with generally polyester or other inexpensive fabric. Higher-end umbrellas will be made from quality wood, aluminum or fiberglass, with fade-resistant fabric and rust-free fasteners.

The choice you have to make as a rental operator or event venue manager is all about ROI. You can achieve a fast, positive ROI on less expensive umbrellas - you just may have to replace them more frequently. The other way to go would be to buy high quality umbrellas, with will take longer to realize your profit, but you’ll be able to count on years and years of dependable use (and a longer warranty for peace of mind).

EventStable has you covered here no matter which way you go (especially if you’re standing underneath our umbrella), with value-priced wood-frame and steel-frame umbrellas (with free shipping by the way), as well as high-quality umbrellas with fade-free canopies.

Looking to save even more? Of course you are. That’s why all umbrellas sold here at EventStable include free shipping. Not only that, but if you’re looking to buy market umbrellas wholesale, check out our bundle packages that include bulk umbrellas and bases, again with free shipping.

For more information to help you make the best buying decision, read on…

Wooden frame market umbrellas are quite popular, but explore different frame options for maximum longevity.

Umbrella Frame and Fabric Warranties

Manufacturer warranties are often correlated with umbrella pricing. Often, lower priced umbrellas will not carry a warranty while higher-end umbrellas will have a warranty on both the frame and fabric.

Frame warranty

Generally, the warranty will cover manufacturer defects on the frame, ribs, crank (if applicable), tilt mechanism (if applicable) as well as the workmanship of the fabric cover.

Fabric warranty

Higher-end fabrics will carry a warranty that covers loss of color or strength from exposure to normal conditions. Specifics will vary between manufacturers, but overall a quality umbrella fabric will come with a worry-free warranty lasting well after you’ve seen a great return on investment.

A word about wind

Generally speaking, manufacturer’s warranties will not cover acts of God or wind related damage. Umbrellas should not be left open when unattended, and especially not in high-wind situations. It is highly recommended to seek the appropriate base weight that is fastened properly.

For market umbrellas with great warranties, shop our selection of commercial patio umbrellas.

Umbrella Frames

Market umbrellas come in a variety of materials, allowing you to shop for the aesthetic or function that will serve you best. The frame consists of the pole and ribs, which can be made from different materials.

Wooden framed umbrellas

- arguably the most aesthetically pleasing material, natural wood is a hit with event venues and rental companies all over. You’ll find different shades of stain used, and different quality woods. We have value-priced wood framed umbrellas as well as higher end wood umbrellas that are made in the USA.

Steel Frame umbrellas

- steel is a budget-friendly material that often features a crank to raise the umbrella canopy. Many steel frame umbrellas are paired with economical polyester canopies. These can make a great rental item, as the low cost allows for a quick ROI often with only one use per week.

Aluminum frame umbrellas

- as a material that does not rust, aluminum is often used in quality commercial market or patio umbrellas, especially those that are left outdoors. They are strong and lightweight, and can come in a variety of colors for the frame. Strongly consider an aluminum frame for commercial-use applications like restaurants or busy event venues hosting multiple events over the course of the week.

Fiberglass umbrellas

- Fiberglass rib umbrellas are considered the cream of the crop. The fiberglass material refers to the ribs only, as the pole is generally aluminum. Fiberglass umbrellas are ideal for high-wind situations, as the fiberglass ribs will bend and flex letting wind flow around the umbrella. Choose fiberglass for windy areas (and don’t forget to pair with a nice, heavy base) for peace of mind during events.

Fabric Makes the Difference

The fabric used on a market umbrella impacts the price and performance almost more than the frame. A variety of fabrics are used, and each has their pros and cons when it comes to wind-resistance, color-fastness, and warranty.

Polyester fabric

- Polyester is most commonly used on economically-priced market umbrellas. Although polyester is a resilient fabric, it does not have the same color-fast properties as higher-end acrylic fabrics. As anyone who has ever left a t-shirt out in the sun for weeks on end knows, the sun can quickly take the color out of fabrics. Polyester is no different.

We recommend a polyester fabric umbrella for anyone who knows their umbrellas will get limited use, such as a rental company who may send out an umbrella one per week, with it receiving only a few hours of sunlight at a time. These value-priced umbrellas can last a season or two, giving you a good, quick return on investment.

We do not recommend polyester canopy umbrellas for companies that will leave the umbrellas outside often, like restaurants or busy event venues.

Acrylic Fabric

- this is commonly used in high-quality umbrellas because of it’s performance in the elements outdoors. Look for a 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabric for the ultimate in color-fastness, as well as protection from sun, wind and rain. You’ll see warranties lasting as many as 10 years on acrylic fabric. In addition to all this, acrylic fabric is easy to clean and can be bleached, which is a huge plus for party rental companies.

We recommend everyone consider buying market umbrellas with acrylic fabric, if your budget allows. For most special event purposes you can virtually guarantee the fabric will never fade, and the easy-cleaning characteristics make acrylic fabric umbrellas a solid investment.

Available Colors

This is an easy decision to make - go with what you like and what makes sense for your venue and customers. Many of our event rental and wedding venue customers choose lighter colors like white or natural. It may be important for you to offer a variety of colors to your clients as well, as their needs vary. You may also choose colors to compliment your venue.

On the value-priced, imported umbrellas, we carry fewer than a dozen or so colors. The USA-made premium commercial umbrellas carry a wider variety of 40+ colors, plus the opportunity to do alternating panels, patterned fabric, or even custom printing. If you’re interested in these services, please contact us.

Umbrella Shapes

As you’ve probably seen, market umbrellas come in several different shapes. Most commonly you’ll see eight-sided (octagonal) umbrellas, but at EventStable we also carry hexagonal, square, rectangular, and even half-octagonal umbrellas (commonly placed against a wall).

If you’re going for the classic market umbrella look, choose a six or eight-sided umbrella. For a cool modern look, consider square market umbrellas.

Market Umbrella Sizes

Not only are there a variety of shapes, but market umbrellas come in a bunch of different sizes, ranging from 5.5 feet to 11 feet or more.

Most commonly for special events, you’ll see 9’ market umbrellas. 11’ umbrellas are common as well and offer more shade, but also require a larger, heavier base because they catch more wind.

Square vs. Octagon Market Umbrella sizes

Square umbrellas are measured along the edge, whereas octagonal umbrellas are measured by diameter (along the ribs). Thus, a square umbrella with a smaller measurement might cover a similar area as an octagonal umbrella that is “larger”.

Lift (Opening the umbrella)

Market umbrellas work the same way as just about any other umbrella in the way they open - the ribs that form the canopy are all connected at the hub and slide along the pole to open and close the canopy. The mechanism that drives this is what differentiates umbrellas.

Pulley & Pin

- Common on wooden framed umbrellas, this will use a rope and pulley system along with a pin that goes through the pole and prevents the hub from sliding back down. This is a simple system that can be easily fixed if necessary. Just take care to not open or close the umbrella too quickly so the string gets caught up in the pulley system.

Pop-up & Pin

- similar to the way a rain umbrella works, this version requires the user to manually grasp the hub and slide it up the pole, opening the umbrella. A pin then keeps the assembly in place, similar to the pulley system.

Crank

- common on steel and aluminum umbrellas, and helpful for larger umbrellas, these umbrellas feature a crank housing build into the pole. A simple rotation of the crank handle raises and lowers the umbrella canopy. This method is especially helpful for when the umbrellas will remain outside and in the same place, as the user can quickly open and close umbrellas with one hand.

Tilt or No Tilt?

A tilting feature is something common in patio umbrellas because it allows for more sun protection as the evening sets in and the sun gets lower. The tilt feature is simply a break in the pole that bends it, tilting the umbrella to the side.

This is a great feature for patio umbrellas at home or even restaurant umbrellas. For wedding venues and rental companies you’ll have to decide whether the tilt feature is necessary.

Neat use of offset patio umbrellas to provide shade for a small wedding ceremony.

Offset Patio Umbrellas

Not commonly used by party rental companies, but these may be useful at your event venue for a semi-permanent shade solution. Offset umbrellas are different from traditional market umbrellas in that there is no center pole - rather, the umbrella canopy is suspended from a cantilever pole and support system.

Offset umbrellas require a heavier base to keep the umbrella from tipping over. They most often include a “base” consisting of a base pole and cross stand that requires additional weighting to anchor the umbrella. Specific offset umbrella base weights may be used, or common large pavers available at your local hardware store can be subbed in. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much weight to use.

Umbrella Bases

No doubt a crucial component of owning market umbrellas. No matter what, your umbrellas need something to be set in. The base needs to be stout enough to keep the umbrella upright, as well as handle the occasional gust of wind without tipping over.

In a special event situation the trade-off between weight and the ability to easily transport is a tough call. You want an umbrella base that is heavy enough to hold umbrellas in a breeze, but light enough to be able to move without an injured back.

Your needs may vary, and please account for wind, but in general you will want to pair the following umbrella sizes and bases:

  • 7.5’ Octagonal & 5.5’ Square - 22-40 lbs. Base
  • 9’ Octagonal & 6.5’ Square - 50 lbs. Base
  • 11’ Octagonal & 7.5’ Square - 70-90 lbs. Base

Fortunately, many heavier weight bases include wheels so they can be easily rolled in and out of storage, or the delivery truck.

Once you have the appropriate base weight locked down, choose the style that best fits your needs. At EventStable you can buy umbrella bases in a variety of styles, from plate steel that is round or square, decorative cast iron, decorative concrete-filled bases, or even granite umbrella bases.

Alternative base ideas might include anchoring your umbrellas to your plywood banquet tables with some 2’’ metal pipe and pipe flange, or even using repurposed wine barrels as combination umbrella stands/cocktail tables.

Storing and Transporting Your Umbrellas & Bases

As any party rental company knows, efficiency with storing and transporting equipment can make the difference in profitability.

Market umbrellas are a great rental item because they are easy to deliver, and don’t take up a tremendous amount of space in the warehouse.

Umbrella bases, on the other hand, can be a little tricker to store and move well. For storage, you’ll want to stack and stagger, and consider building or setting your racking at just the right height to maximize storage.

If you’re short on storage space and carry mostly 9’ umbrellas, consider this steel plate umbrella base, with a cutout for space-saving nesting: 18’’ steel umbrella base

Another consideration that unfortunately is an afterthought for many special event companies is storing and transporting your market umbrellas in protective bags. Yes, it’s an extra expense and some will most certainly get lost along the way, but they are worth the cost. Storage bags eliminate a lot of the cleaning (think man-hours) that can eat into future profits.

By storing and delivering your umbrellas in bags, your clients will be encouraged to take better care of the umbrellas. Not to mention keeping them clean during storage and in the back of box trucks for deliveries.

Shop umbrella bags here

Customizing your Market Umbrellas

Though not as commonly done for party rental companies, customizing your market umbrellas with your company name and logo is a popular option on commercial umbrellas. You may consider this at your event venue, and most certainly if you’re outfitting your restaurant with new patio umbrellas.

Umbrellas can be printed with your logo - commonly on two or four panels. Not only can solid-color umbrellas be imprinted, but umbrellas can be customized with multiple colored sections as well.

If you are interested in custom market umbrellas for your business, please contact EventStable directly.

Where to buy the best Market Umbrellas

The best market umbrellas come from a supplier offering the best quality chair at a great price, delivering value throughout the whole buying process.

So what are the best market umbrellas? Well, like we discussed you may find a higher-end, commercial patio umbrella is the way to go for your business. Alternatively, you may find that a value-priced umbrella will lead you toward a faster return on investment.

We of course feel that the best market umbrellas and bases can be found here at EventStable.com. We're happy to help answer your questions and supply a great product, with awesome service at a great price.

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