When a business idea really takes off and captures the imagination of the buying public, you are almost certainly going to find unscrupulous businesses trying to cash in on the trend. In recent years, mobile photo booths have become a major hit at weddings, parties, and corporate events, and the number of businesses offering these services has grown. It stands to reason that not all these companies are going to be legitimate, and there is in fact several scams that you should be on the lookout for before you rent. Let’s look at 5 red flags that you should be watching for when you go with a photo booth rental company:
1) No references – This red flag comes in a couple of different forms, and usually begins with the company not having a gallery of pictures on their website. A good photo booth rental company will have a lot of pictures, and will be more than happy to post references and testimonials from clients that they have served in the past. If those are not available on the site, or are not made available to you when you call to ask, avoid that company.
2) Bait and switch – Daily deal websites like Groupon are a great way to save some money, but it’s also where unscrupulous companies often go to reel you in and take your money. They will post a fabulous deal that leads you to book a date, only for you to find out on the day that the deal you paid for is not actually valid. You are put in the situation of paying the extra money to have the photo booth rental company stay, or losing what was essentially a deposit, and having no service at your event. Most people end up begrudgingly paying the difference.
3) Hidden costs – The price quoted to you for photo booth rental services should be what you expect to pay, but that is not always what happens. You will have companies that will add in set-up and break-down costs, as well as other odd service charges, to your bill on the day of the event. Again, you find yourself in a ransom type situation where you are force to pay the extra or forego having the service provided by the cowboys.
4) No instant photos – When you have a wedding, there is an expectation that there will be a bit of a wait to receive the final prints from the official photographer, but that should not be the case with a photo booth set-up at the reception. The photos taken should be printed out and be of the highest quality in a matter of seconds. You should not have to wait days or weeks to see he finished images.
5) No experience – Yes, every company has to start somewhere, but you are taking a risk if you go with a photo booth rental that has only been around for a few weeks or months. This is especially true if you are booking well in advance of the date of your event, as new companies can quickly fold and no longer be in business when your big day arrives. It’s always better to go with a company that is established, and which has developed a solid reputation.