Carnivals are a contentious beast. People go with the expectations that they are able to win prizes and then get irate when they invest their money in games only to lose. The thing is, the games are always rigged in favour of the person who has put them together. They want you to keep coming back and spending money. So, if you want to make money at a carnival, how can you do it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered from the very basics all the way up to the complex ways in which you can make money.
Carnivals, by their very nature don’t last long. They are short term events that either travel around or get opened up and packed down once a year. With this small time frame, you need to make sure that you can make as much money as you can in a small amount of time. So, you need to take this finite amount of time into consideration. You don’t want to invest in equipment with high service costs, high part replacement costs and high operation costs. You need something that can be set up quickly and cheaply, then stored so it is ready to go next year.
Food is often overlooked at carnivals, especially when you have people operating large scale rides and game. The beauty of candy floss is that the overheads are basically zero. You need a machine and bags of sugar, it really is that simple. If you are the only candy floss stall on the market, you can charge what you want for the sugary goodness and you can be sure that people will buy it. Candy floss is the staple of the carnival experience, so you want to get in there with your machine. This way you can be sure that you make money at a carnival.
Again, simple is key. The more simple your stall is, the lower the associated costs with running it and setting it up and the duck pond is no exception. All you need for this is something that can hold a large body of water, some sticks with hooks on the end and hundreds of rubber ducks with numbers on the bottom and hooks on the top. The only thing you need to invest in this stall is time. It will take a while to put all the ducks together and make sure they all have hooks, but once you have done this, then you can sit back and watch the customers come in. This game is also universal. Very young children are all able to play it, all the way up to adults and grand parents alike. This way, you can have the entire market at the carnival interested in your game and no age restrictions mean that you can access all of them!
Some carnivals charge by the size of your pitch and this is especially true of larger scale operations. In the interest of keeping your overheads low, opt for a smaller stall and equipment that fits in your stall. The lower cost that you can keep your entire operation the better you will be in the long run. It makes sure that you aren’t hit with a heavy bill at the end if things didn’t quite go to plan!
Low Cost Is King
We’ve gone through low-cost operations that you can utilise at a carnival to make money and you’ll notice that all of our suggestions are on the small and simple side. There is a reason for this and that is that simplicity is king. With candy floss, duck ponds and small stalls, the overheads and set up costs are a lot lower than the big games and rides that you tend to see at carnivals. This also means that the risk is vastly reduced. Carnivals are very weather dependant and if you have sunk a huge amount of money into a game and a large sized pitch only to have everything washed out, then you could well be left with a huge bill and no custom. By keeping everything simple, you can ensure that even if the worst was to happen you wouldn’t be left in financial disarray. By keeping the equipment simple you are also reducing the number of overheads associated with running it. There are fewer parts that can break and if they do, they are easy to replace. You also do not need safety certificates for items such as duck ponds and candy floss machines, whereas you will for large rides and other equipment. Simple means low overheads and low repair costs. It also means that you can put the equipment away for a year and when you get it back out you can be confident that it will still work.
When it comes to making money at carnivals, simplicity is key. The simpler your idea is, the lower the cost associated with it and you will also find that you have increased access to customers. Rides only cater for a very small proportion of customers, but games such as duck pond can be used by every and all visitors. Likewise, candy floss is a carnival staple. It may seem too simple, but as the overheads required to set up a stall are next to nothing, then any customers will put you in the black.