When the summer sun is blazing, the BBQ is cooking away and the guests have arrived, the essential piece of garden equipment is a marquee. Luckily, with the presence of a folding marquee, a perfect shaded area can be set up or packed away as needed. Buying one can be tricky however, as there are many factors to consider. The height, width and depth are all factors that will affect the buying decision, whilst other features such as the style, colour and material of the marquee will also impact the decision. To make sure the right item is bought, this guide will help outline some of the key features and considerations, as well as how to buy one on eBay.
Key Features of Folding Marquees
There are some features that are specific to marquees, and there are plenty of variables too. When it comes to making a purchase, all the factors and features need to be considered so that ultimately the right decision is made. Below are some of the key features that should be considered when making a purchase of a folding marquee:
There are three main types of material available, and the choice of each will depend not only on the user and their preference, but also the purpose to which the marquee is going to be used. The three main materials to choose from are:
· Polyethylene – Probably the most commonly used material in marquees as it is easy and cheap to mass produce. It is made of strands of polyethylene fibres that are tightly woven together and then coated to make it waterproof. The downside of polyethylene is that it is a synthetic material – it looks and feels like plastic and is very noisy once the wind catches it. Another downside is that if it tears, the tear will soon start to expand due to the nature of the latticed fibres.
· Polyester – Polyester is a step up from polyethylene, as it looks more like a natural fabric. It is soft yet durable, and coated with a PVC layer to make it waterproof. Both polyethylene and polyester are useful when making folding marquees as the material is sturdy yet easy to fold.
· Vinyl – Vinyl is usually used for professional marquees due to the fact that it is extremely hardy, incredibly weatherproof and has a long lifespan. It would be unusual to find Vinyl on anything but a professional marquee, but some foldable vinyl ones are available.
The diameter of the tubes will impact on the sturdiness of the marquee. Those that are slimmer may be more affordable, but they will not stand up to weather that is anything less than perfect. Typically the diameter of the tubes should be at least 38mm - anything less and the poles may bend or even break under strain. The steel used in the tubes should also be noted, and should be at least 1mm thick to ensure the sturdiness of the structure is maintained.
Always ensure that the marquee has corner joints of some sort, as they are integral to maintaining the integrity of the structure. Some budget models will have brittle plastic joints which slip onto the corners – this means that they are susceptible to breakages and fractures which can be frustrating. If possible always try and purchase joints that are made of fabricated steel. This saves having to purchase new joints every time the plastic ones break.
Part of the appeal of marquees is that they are meant to keep the sun and rain off and the wind out. Because of this, it is important to ensure that a marquee has a Velcro connection all the way down the sides and back of the tent. Without these connections, the bottom and sides of the marquee will be susceptible to leakages of both rain and wind.
It is possible to purchase a separate privacy curtain, however some manufacturers will provide one with the marquee itself. They are useful for adding another layer of protection from the elements, as well as for general privacy.
There are some other factors that should be considered when buying a folding marquee, and these are outlined below:
The cost of the marquee will differ depending on the customer. There is a wide range of prices, as the material, size and features will differ between models, so it’s important to research the needs of the user and budget accordingly.
It is possible to purchase marquees from new as well as those that are used. This will depend on the user, but it is more than possible to purchase a used tent that is very cost-effective.
It is important to assess the use that the marquee is going to be put to. This includes the space it is going to occupy (height, width and depth), the environment that it is going to be used in (the type of cover that it will/will not have, the elements it will be exposed to), as well as the function it will serve. Be clear with the intentions, as it will have a big impact – a folding marquee that is going to be in constant use, being put up and taken down regularly, will need to be as robust as possible.
Buying a Folding Marquee on eBay
Once the above features have been considered and decided upon, it’s time to start buying. Visit eBay and the Home & Garden section of the site, and then either do a keyword search or visit the structure and shades section. Once this section has been navigated to, there are some features of the site that make finding the right item really easy:
At the left of the site is the refinement filters. These allow the user to pick and choose from a number of different variables that will show only the items that meet those criteria. Numerous refines can be made on aspects such as brand, price and condition.
Detailed Product Information
After all the necessary refines have been made, a list of only relevant products will be displayed. Clicking on one of these products will open the listing page for that product, where information such as a detailed description, image gallery, delivery options and seller information can be found.
If a user wants to know more about the seller they can click on the seller’s name and that seller’s unique page will be displayed. This shows all their vital stats, such as their seller ratings and comments made by their previous customers. It is also possible to contact the seller to find out more information about a product.
Auctions and Buy It Now
Once a desired product has been found, there will be listings that are either registered as auctions or buy it now. Auctions work just the same as normal auctions, where bids can be placed during the time limit with the highest bid winning the auction and paying for the item. The other option is to buy it now, meaning just that.
Buying a folding marquee on eBay is an easy process with a little bit of knowhow. The site features makes searching and refining easy and there are plenty of products available. Make sure that the correct features are selected for the individual needs, and don’t worry about shopping safely – eBay’s buyer protection programme makes sure things are secure.