There seems to be a fairly even split when it comes to experience with buying a custom printed pop-up tent. About half of the users I work with have gone through a handful of event tents and getting a new one is old hat. The other half are in completely unfamiliar territory and we’re walking together through their first branded canopy project. But in both cases, the concerns that come along with making the right buying decision are similar. Here are the five most common concerns.
I have one conversation on a daily basis and it typically starts like this:
“Jenn, we love your tents. They’re everything we’re looking for, but the price is just more than we’re looking to spend right now.”
That’s pretty fair, right? Budgets are real. I mean, I have a few of them myself and I know that sometimes the price point just isn’t doable. And if that’s the case, try to get creative, scale down where you can and find a sweet spot.
But what about when you can’t scale back anywhere, and this really is exactly what you’ve been looking for. What are your options then? Well, either buy something cheaper somewhere else even if it doesn’t totally ring your bell or bite the bullet and invest in your perfect match.
I suggest that you consider the consequences of both. Let’s say you find something cheaper, it isn’t perfect, but you figure it’ll do for now. You’re guaranteeing that you’re going to make another purchase down the road when “this will do” inevitably becomes “I can’t take it anymore!”
Alternatively, what if you take some time to save up and buy the exact tent you wanted the first time. You certainly delay the purchase and if you’re up against a deadline, it’s going to burn a little, but in this case, you might save money in the long run. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy the right one only one time, rather than the wrong one a few times.
I found the exact same tent somewhere else for cheaper!
Did you though? Maybe! But I think it’s worth a little more investigating. If you found two of the exact same cars, let’s say Mercedes because it’s fun to be fancy, and they were the same year, the same color, the same body style, etc., but there was a major price discrepancy between them, wouldn’t you wonder why? Then you find out that the cheaper one has 100,000 more miles on it or was in an accident. It becomes obvious, right? The worth is less, so the cost is less.
The point is, there is a reason that some things are cheaper than what appears to be their competition, and if the price difference is dramatic, it’s probably not an apples-to-apples comparison.
The good news is you don’t have to be a custom tent specs expert! Because we are! And if you tell us what you’re considering, we’ll be glad to help you sort out the differences, so you can make an informed decision.
Hard Sell Internally
Okay, let’s reframe that concern from earlier because this is one I hear all the time, too:
“Jenn, I love your tents. They’re everything we need, but my boss is never going to go for it.”
Bummer. It’s tough to talk with the folks who are using custom pop-up tents in the field and know the challenges of weak frames but aren’t supported by the people holding the purse strings to invest in the kind of quality that will make their jobs easier.
There might not be a guaranteed successful approach to this, but the best thing you can do is utilize your sales representative as a resource. Figure out what objections you’re going to run into internally and ask your sales rep to help you prepare with specs, details and marketing collateral to back your case. You don’t have to be a tent expert, but you do have one at your disposal and you should feel totally comfortable using their expertise!
You Don’t Have What I Need
You know, this one is a fair obstacle that you might not be able to easily hurdle jump. If you have a dream tent in mind, I am not going to talk you out of it, but I can help determine if it’s realistic.
Talk to us about what you need. We’ve done some crazy custom things, and we also know the industry really well. If we can’t help you, we can probably help you find someone who can!
I’ve Had Bad Luck with Pop-Up Tents in the Past
Oh man, welcome to the club. Who hasn’t chased a cartwheeling pop-up tent through a parking lot once or twice in their life?
Here’s what you need to know: there are varying grades of custom pop-up tents, starting with very entry-level quality designed for personal use (backyard BBQs, the beach, etc) scaling all the way to heavy-duty commercial-grade quality for more professional use. And there are a hundred shades of gray in between. If you’ve had a bad experience with a pop-up tent in the past, don’t let it color your feelings about the entire genre. You could very likely still benefit from the convenience of a pop-up style tent, and just need to scale up to something higher quality.
If the bad taste is lingering, consider some alternatives. For serious durability, you could move into a frame tent. They come in individual parts that need to be assembled and so the time commitment is slightly higher, but they’re semi-permanent when properly anchored. Or you could try an inflatable tent. Without the rigid structure of a frame, they can bear more wind without snapping, and still conveniently pack down into a duffle sized backpack. The best of both worlds!
How to Use This Information
Whether the price is concerning you, or you’re not sure a custom tent is even the right choice, don’t let that stop you in your tracks. The easiest way to land on the right spot is to have an open conversation about the functionality you need and the budget that you’re working with. Great communication and telling your concerns to your sales representative will make certain the solution they present is a more personalized fit for the challenges you're facing. A great sales representative will help you find the perfect setup for your needs!