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Used Trade Show Display

Updated on March 29, 2011

Used Trade Show Display

Many businesses have a need for a nice trade show display because there are opportunities to present at many business gatherings. Having a banner and some flyers just does not say success. There is no substitute for a nice freestanding trade show display. Unfortunately, these displays do not come cheap. They often cost around and easily above $1000. This is before the add-ons and graphics. Graphics for displays do not come cheap either. When coupled with the idea that one is already spending money for the booth and promotional materials the cost really do add up. Investing in a used trade show display makes sense if a business will be using a display less than five times a year.

If a business is needing an exhibit infrequently the best way to get a used trade show display is to rent. Most full-time tradeshow display vendors will have a rental option. The price can often run around $200 for a few days. However, the display will still need custom graphics for one's business. So the question becomes- is it more cost effective to rent or buy? In my opinion the formula the total number of uses in a two-year period and is that total less than the cost of purchasing? If not stick with rental.

Should it make fiscal sense to buy an exhibit, then consider purchasing a used trade show display. The reality is most displays are rarely used. Many businesses purchase them, then use them for a show or two, and then sit in a closet. This makes used trade show displays often very lightly used. That is why they make very good sense over purchasing new. Two good sources to find used trade show displays are Craigslist and eBay. One may also look in used office furniture liquidators, they may come across displays at times.

A hybrid option between the two (rental and purchase) is to work with a non-competing business and share the cost of purchasing a tradeshow display. As each business will rarely use the display the odds are the display will not need to be used at the same time. This way each business gets to half the cost of a used trade show display, saving both businesses money. Each business will have to develop their own graphics for when they use the display. When an arrangement is reached with another business it is a good idea to have a resolution established just in case both businesses need the display at the same time. Such as each business splits the cost of a rental.

Another cost effective way to use a used trade show display is to offer the display for rental. Perhaps offering the display for half of what a rental company would charge. So, a rental for a few days the business could charge $100. If it could be rented out monthly, then business should have the cost of the display back within a year.

Your Trade Show Thoughts

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    • SmashHitDisplays profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the article! There are so many high-end displays available to rent, which is the perfect solution for those exhibitors who a)don't have the budget to have an expensive display, b)want to test it out before making the big purchase, or c)only plan on attending a couple shows. If you plan on being a frequent exhibitor, then purchasing a display is the way to go, since it is more cost-effective. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Kayla Moosik 

      9 years ago

      Don't forget to network while you're there. So many people downplay the importance of networking with other businesses, and they shouldn't.


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