Some stores also offer rentals. While costumes may be the most obvious party rental, props and decorations can also be borrowed for short-term use. Others have printing services for creating personalized party favors.
On top of this are activity-centered businesses that can bring everything from performers to bounce houses to a party. While not party supply businesses per se, many offer complete packages that include decorations and party favors. Caterers can supply dinnerware and table settings, while DJs can bring lighting equipment. Part of planning a large party is figuring out what will be brought by these services and what will need to be provided.
When is it best to buy party supplies, and when should they be rented?
Since most supplies are only needed once, party supply rental spreads the cost over several clients, providing high quality goods at a low cost. However, if storage space is available, it may be better to buy items for a yearly party: Smoke machines, disco balls, and other props pay for themselves after two or three uses.
Weddings are a different matter: The shear scale and rarity of the event means renting high quality items like dinnerware, candelabras, and table settings can make a huge impact on the feel of the event. Some of these decorations will need to be sourced from a party supply store, while others may be provided by services like catering.
Helium tanks for inflating balloons can be purchased or rented. Disposable tanks have a maximum size of about fifteen cubic feet of gas, which is enough to fill 50 9″ latex balloons, or 20 foil balloons. Rental services use common gas cylinders like those used in welding. These can range from twenty-seven to 260 cubic feet, or enough helium to fill anywhere from 50-1,000 9″ balloons, or 30-600 foil balloons. Rental is cheaper per balloon, but only if all of the helium is used.
How long does it take to get personalized party supplies?
Most companies can produce custom printed supplies within five business days. If shipped by ground, the total time from ordering to receiving the supplies will take up to two weeks.
Who dominates the party supply industry?
- Party City: The largest party store chain in the U.S. has retail stores under its own name and Factory Card Outlet, as well as a massive website.
- Oriental Trading: This company sells most of the toys seen in gumball machines, and are the largest manufacture of party favors. While their products are only offered in bulk, they can be extremely inexpensive.
- Halloween Express: While their retail stores are only open in the fall, they sell costumes online year round.
- Personalization Mall: Their website specializes in personalized items from napkins to backpacks, and has a turn-around time of just two days on most items.