Whether you're currently in the market for a photo booth rental company or will be in the future, you'll quickly find there can be many often complicated factors to consider. However I'm sure everyone's objective is simply to find the best possible service at the best possible price. I've actually found you can simplify this objective by reviewing all photo booth companies by 3 categories; quality, features, and price. This method of comparison should increase your chances of finding a company who will treat you ethically which I believe will contribute to the probability of an overall successful photo booth experience for you and your guests.
The first factor should always be quality which is more than the cost of their equipment. I'm talking about trying to predict their corporate ethics. Would they treat you with respect and fairness or do they see making and preserving $ as their ONLY motive for your interaction. Like anywhere in life ethical people generally do the right thing in all areas of their lives not just pick and choose. So determining a company's ethical quality surprisingly takes little effort and only involves asking two questions. Simply ask them first ( even if you already know the answer ) if they would briefly explain the sales tax laws in their area ( percentages, how often paid, etc ) and second can they provide proof of liability insurance? If they can't answer both of these questions I suggest moving on to another company. First, if a company is avoiding their civic responsibilities as a business owner this suggests a lack of respect to both state / local governments. Second if they don't cover liability insurance this shows a lace of respect for their own business. Ultimately I worry they would choose profits over the client / customer service if called into question. But when you find a company who can provide basic details to both questions this show me not only their respect for their industry and their business but show me they will probably extend the same respect to their clients too.
The second factor is "features"... NOT ALL PHOTO BOOTH PACKAGES ARE THE SAME SO YOU CAN NOT REVIEW ON PRICE ALONE! Once you've ( hopefully ) found two of three companies that pass the first "ethics" test above I would then move on to get written quotes from those companies. Like everything else you get what you pay for. One company I know for example on Groupon offers a two hour photo booth package for $199. If you know how Groupon works the company only gets 50% of that sale. The fact is the expenses of a responsible photo booth business cannot be met by making $99 for a 2 hour event allows me to draw three conclusions about this company. First this company is not taking the industry, their business, or their clients seriously. Second, if they are able to operate on these prices then who knows what other corners they are cutting you don't know about. Last, please do not ask a reputable photo booth company, that passes the first quality "ethics" test, to match this price because neither the quality or the features would be comparable.
Now that you have confirmed all your quotes are from ethical companies AND you've recognized the difference / similarities in their packages features only now should you begin to review their prices. You may recognize one quote offers more features and at the best price which obviously makes your choice easy. However,you also may find one company has a lower price but also less features offered. This is where you the consumer should review how important the missing services are you to? For example how important is social media to you? Maybe you're event is for nursing home who realistically won't value this feature. With this information you should be really to make an informed decision.
Bottom line, now that you've found only reputable companies who you feel confident will treat you right, please provide them the same respect and not ask them to "price match" or worse to simply "lower their price." These companies have educated themselves on their business far beyond pulling a number out of the air or going to an event, collecting a check, and watching their profits grow. There's a lot more behind the scenes to set the prices for a socially responsible business. That company has done their home work to determine how much it takes to keep the business going and make a respectable profit. That respectable profit is what they deserve for proving you not only the features you deserve but also the "quality" piece of mind before the event that that's exactly what you're getting when you've only got one shot to get your event right!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!