Both a fair and commonly asked question for us.
If you do any kind of shopping around for your next custom printed pop-up tent, you’re going to find out pretty quickly that the quality and price spectrum in the event tent world is wide. Like, the Mississippi at its widest point kind of wide. There’s the cheap stuff you use at soccer games, entry-level frames for the technically professional, but really just “once a year golf tournament” types of events, and then there are the heavy-duty for the seasoned commercial users who have replaced more tents than they care to think about.
And if event tents aren’t your world – we get it, the tent nerd thing is a pretty small community – then it can seem pretty mysterious. Why are some tents $79 and some of them $2,500? That’s a pretty big swing.
Well, for the same reason that some cars are $15,000 and some are $50,000. Four tires and a steering wheel makes it a car, but the quality of materials and craftsmanship are what separates the Kias from the Cadillacs.
Spoiler Alert: We’re focused on being the quality leader, not the price leader.
We can be upfront with you right now. We’re not the cheapest option you’re going to find, but we believe that there is a difference between cheap and frugal—and that difference is value. We power-pack value into our tents like it’s the single carry-on duffel bag we’re taking on an international flight. It is stuffed.
Professional, Lasting Quality
Since our priority is to build a high-end heavy-duty frame, we’re making all of our sourcing, engineering and designing decisions with that goal in mind. We can’t maintain our premium standard and cut corners, so ultimately the decision will always land on what’s going to provide the highest and longest-lasting quality.
Higher quality materials cost more money. Using aluminum is more expensive than using steel, but it’s also longer lasting, so it’s no contest. All of our frames are aluminum. Every canopy is digitally printed. It costs more than putting a sticker on a stock color polyester, but it also looks nicer, never peels and doesn’t crack, so that decision is also easy.
Long story short, there are cheaper alternatives to every decision we make, but we are always going to invest when it adds value.
Speed and Focus on American-Made
We’re the fastest in the industry. And it’s not an accident or happy coincidence. It’s because we’re the only tent vendor in the marketplace that is also an American based manufacturer, building every tent frame to order in the USA.
It’s no secret that American made goods cost more than their imported counterparts. That’s just economics, right? A lot of places where commodity goods are made are fueled by cheap labor and frankly questionable working conditions. It’s cheaper for a reason and part of our decision to bring every step of the process in-house was to support American manufacturing.
There is a cost associated with American made tents, but there’s also a considerable value-add when it comes to your return on your investment. Our speed isn’t controlled by the arrival of imported goods from overseas. Our speed is based on how quickly we can work, and we move fast. Our standard is to build a frame to order and custom print all of the soft goods within three business days.
It also means we can quality check every single item that goes out the door from the point when it’s a print on a piece of material, all the way to when the canopy is on the frame and ready to be boxed up. That’s a lot of eyes on your pop-up tent making sure no mistakes sneak out for delivery.
Initial cost vs. long-term cost
Here’s a question: is TentCraft really that much more expensive than everything else you’re considering?
Let’s assign a time value to this to help illustrate the point. Our heavy-duty line, the MONARCHTENT, has a lifetime warranty on it, but let’s say 10 years to be conservative. If you go all out with a fully printed 10x10 MONARCHTENT, you’ll spend roughly $2,800. An investment for sure, but with reasonable care, you can expect that to be your cap for the next decade.
Now let’s compare that to a standard 1-year warranty frame that goes for $500 fully printed. Replace that every year for 10 years and you’ve spent $5,000 in annual increments. That doesn’t take into consideration the time you spend searching for a vendor, going through the design process, waiting for it to be delivered, all while you’re standing under a tent featuring your brand that clearly needs to be replaced. Is that how you want customers to view your brand?
Very often, quality costs less if you’re playing the long game. And you are – we all are – because that 10 years is going to pass either way.
Let’s Wrap This Up.
To finally answer the question in the last paragraph, why is TentCraft so expensive? Because it’s worth it. Mic drop.
Just kidding (only about the mic drop). It’s really pretty simple. Our work is more of an investment because we make really nice stuff. Because we make decisions to affect the quality and because we want to make a custom tent or event structure that is going to stand up to the outdoor elements and deliver a long-term ROI. Our philosophy is awesome and if that’s what you’re into, we’d like to work with you.