To prop or not to prop, that is the question. There are risks when you invest in props. Sometimes people get a little carried away after consuming too many adult beverages and bye-bye props. Sometimes the children get a hold of them and the only chance for your prop’s survival is to be made out of stainless steel and bolted to the floor! Regardless of the risks involved, the solution is simple: offer props because they make customers happy.
Props come in all shapes, sizes and prices. You will find the average prices between $2 and $5 per piece. It’s recommended to find as many props as you can that cost $1 or less. Do not forget to include shipping costs to your prop package prices when applicable if ordering online. Also remember to add 20% for your time and effort.
Decide whether or not you want to get crazy with all these props. You can quickly find yourself spending several hundred dollars building up a large inventory. You can try to build up your supply slowly over time, with each event. Also see how the different props stand up to different types of revelers’ use.
You can try charging a flat fee for the use of the props which can cover the cleaning costs and earn you a small commission. You may also want to try charging a flat fee for a prop theme kit package that guests can keep. Whichever way you decide, remember to have fun with it and communicate that fun to your customers.
Building a large and diverse inventory of props is the not the easiest step in your business. Start with the classics like over-sized mustachios, lighted glasses, and big hair rock-n-roll wigs! Then move on to oversize cowboy hats, pirate hats, sombreros, top hats, and Uncle Sam hats. Don’t forget the inflatable air guitars, tommy-guns, and police batons. Every prop should be over the top, outrageous and fun. And remember to build your inventory of accessories for specific events!
Online Prop Shops
There are many sites out there offering affordable products. Some of our favorites are:
Each company offers a great variety of props in dozens of different categories. These sites are easy to navigate and offer convenient as well as affordable shipping rates. However, never underestimate the ability to find great pieces at toy stores or even a random yard sale!