Second hand marquees buyers guide - How to get a great deal

Second Hand Marquee PartsBuying a second hand marquee can work out to be a great deal, but it is also a pretty daunting experience and there is lots that could go wrong.

If you are looking at used marquees for sale and need a little help on what to look out for, we have made this guide to help you spot the common issues that can arise when buying second hand marquees.

Everything from how to source marquees, what to look for when viewing, what questions to ask and of course how you can solve any problems that may arise after the purchase.

If you follow these steps and get a little bit of luck, you may be able to find a great bargain!

What type of marquee do you need?

There are lots of different types of marquees and depending on who you talk to, marquees can be described differently. See our list of types of marquees below:

  1. Traditional canvas marquee - Canvas marquees, or pole marquees, are the originals. They can give a vintage vibe to your event and are often used by marquee hire companies for large events.
  2. Modern PVC Marquees - PVC marquees are often used by hire companies too, but usually for smaller events. As they are more affordable and easier to erect, they are also used for fetes, shows and other events where businesses need some shelter.
  3. Modular Marquees - Again usually used by hire or event companies, modular marquees can be built in bays, giving the flexibility to change the size to suit the event.
  4. Pop up Marquees - also referred to as pop up gazebos these versatile shelters are the fastest and easiest of all to erect. These are often used at markets and trade shows. Maximum size is 6mx6m.


What to ask when buying a second hand marquee

Perhaps before you even view the used marquee, here are some useful questions to ask.

Who is the marquee manufacturer?

Finding out who the manufacturer of the marquee is can be invaluable. This will allow you to check if they have a spares backup service which could make your life a lot easier for both the first time using it and also in the future.

How many times has the marquee been used?

Often the majority of the damage, wear and tear and loss of parts comes during the erection and take down/pack away periods. Finding out how many times this has happened is useful to gauge the condition.

Why are you selling it?

When buying anything second hand, it is always useful to know the reason for sale.

What to look out for when viewing a marquee

Used Marquee CoversMarquees often come with hundreds of parts. The ideal way would be to view the marquee erected. However, it is unrealistic to expect the seller to put it up for you on the off chance that you will make the purchase, only to then have to take it down again.

Sometimes marquees come with instructions, and most will come with a list of contents. It is really important to check that none of the parts are missing, as it can be difficult to find replacement parts. A good gauge would be to check how well the parts are organised, if they are piled up without any care, then there is a pretty good chance that there will be missing parts.

Checking for frame damage is obviously also essential. Frames can often suffer from rust, bent poles and snapped joints. We would recommend checking over each part in order to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for and you won't get any unexpected surprises when it is too late.

Perhaps more common is damage to the covers. Roof covers can sometimes suffer from pinholes which cause leaks. The only way to check this is to hold the roof up and check for these holes. Depending on the size of the marquee this can sometimes be a difficult job, but well worth doing! Both roof covers and side panels also have a tendency to go mouldy. This happens when the covers are folded away before they are totally dry. The covers can be cleaned with soapy water and a soft brush, depending on the material they usually come out well, but it is still something to keep in mind.

You should also check for any evidence of fixes made to the material and pay extra attention to these areas.

Do your research

Buying second hand can seem like the cheapest option and there are some great deals around. However, when you factor in your time to view and collect plus the risk of missing or damaged parts it is important to figure out which is the best option.

Where can you find used marquees?

Finding a used marquee sales company can be difficult. However, we have a list of the best places to buy. Curlews Marquees offer a huge range of second hand marquees through classifieds. As they specialise in marquees it is safe to say that they should be your number one destination. Gumtree is also another nationwide classified ads website which lists lots of used tents Midland Marquees are the number one seller of new marquees for sale, so if you want a great price, without the hassle, speak to us now!