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Old 13-05-2019, 02:20 PM
Loonorm Loonorm is offline
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Default Asking for old display balloons....
So, there’s a thread about stealing display balloons, to which I posted my story. Here, I wanted to post another story, and question about display balloons.

About 20+ years ago, I was able to get the courage up to ask a very pretty real estate agent for all the balloons from her open house. That netted me 50+ balloons! Again, that was 20+ years ago!! I also a few times, able to get some display balloons from stores at the end of the business day. While few in number, it was always a ‘pleasure’ to ‘save the balloons’ from destruction, only to have that pleasure later.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve done any ‘stealing’ of, or asking for, display balloons, until recently.
Late in 2017, I did get the courage, again, to ask another real estate agent for her old balloons. Over the course of a few weekends, I was able to get around 30+ balloons from her.
I have been in contact with a local party store about their display balloons, but have not had any success. I have also tried a couple of PARTY CITY stores, and have been politely told ‘No.’, because they cannot ‘resell’ the balloons.
The only recent success that I have had, has been with a couple of local JEWEL FOOD STORES, in their floral department. One success story was at a store that had 1/2-dozen 16” balloons that were being sold for $6.99 each. Every time that I went into the store, the balloons just sat there, being moved around. Finally I went to the lady in the department, and asked her what she was planning to do with the old balloons if they were not sold. She mentioned that they would be popped, but she was ‘confident’ that they would be sold. I said asked if they were not sold, could I get them at a discounted price. Three weeks later, went back to the store and there they sat. I asked again (different lady), and got them for $2.00 each, with the stick and all! The only other ‘success story’ at a JEWEL STORE, was getting old mylar balloons from holidays. I have been able to get many from the store for as little as 49 cents apiece! I am getting ready now to go and get the unsold MOTHER’S DAY balloons! While I am not a big fan of mylars, a balloon is a balloon....
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:35 PM
PBK PBK is offline
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Default Re: Asking for old display balloons....
Good job! And great story!
I've been getting them for the villa I've been staying at in Houston from a local restaurant I eat at. They frequently use balloons to promote regular events (Easter, St Patrick's Day, a holiday in Mexico, Oktoberfest, etc) and this very nice lady that works there gives me some of their balloons when they're done with them. No questions asked. If she's working she even sets a few aside for me when they take the display down and dispose of the rest. I take them back to my villa and they're nice to have around. They're just 11" rounds not too overinflated but whatever they're free and they're nice. When the World Series was on and they had all their décor set up for that I did score a very under-inflated white 36" with baseball stitching hand inked on to it from this restaurant.
Anyway, another success story of asking nicely for display balloons.

Last edited by PBK; 21-05-2019 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 31-05-2019, 08:31 PM
BalloonAus BalloonAus is offline
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Default Re: Asking for old display balloons....
I was in a supermarket one night a couple of years ago and they were taking down some display ones for Pringles. There was a full shopping trolley of balloons, some on sticks.
I asked one of the workers if I could have some and she said that they were going to be popped and I could have as many as I wanted. It was cold, windy and raining outside so I took about 10.
I should have moved my car into the underground carpark and gone back up and taken the whole trolley in hindsight.

There is a Domino's store here that has a Customer Appreciation weekend once a year. 2 years ago, they had lots of helium balloons and I went past late at night and grabbed a couple from a pole outside.
Last year they had a huge garland covering the whole store and 5 or 6 bunches inside the store. I strategically went in and ordered a pizza right before closing time. I asked and they said I was able to take some and was welcome to the WHOLE GARLAND if I wanted. Unfortunately my car is only small or I would have taken it!!!!
I managed about 3 bunches of 4 that night.
Their special weekend is coming up in a few weeks so fingers crossed I can try again.

In February this year I was in Bangkok on holidays, I was out walking at night and felt like a crappy pizza for dinner. Again found a dominos and went in to find a few balloon displays in a corner. I got my pizza and ate it. As I left I asked if I could take one of the displays, their english wasn't great but managed enough communication that they allowed me to take it. They were a bit old and dusty but I managed to untie them and bring them back to Australia with me.

There is a few stories for my first post on these forums
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:35 PM
PBK PBK is offline
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Default Re: Asking for old display balloons....
Another success story from me:
Yesterday was the civic parade in a town close to Calgary. I went because my daughter was participating in the floats and wanted me to see her.
There were LOTS of balloons. The local grocery store had a man handing out very underinflated 9" helium balloons with the store's logo on them to all the kids. I wasn't really interested in those. I was interested in the tightly inflated balloons decorating the floats.
I tried to get to the floats after the parade and ask for their decoration balloons before they popped them. No success. By the time I got to the floats they were cleaned up and the balloons were long gone. Bummer.
Towards the evening we were driving home and we passed a small roadside bakery/eatery and the there was a big bunch of oxidized 12" balloons very well inflated being taken down by the lady that ran the place because it was closing time. We stopped and I asked her if I could have them. She said "No problem. Take them all. I was just about to pop them anyway." SCORE!
So it was a good day, after all. I did manage to score a bunch of balloons otherwise destined for the trash. I now have this oxidized bunch of tightly inflated 12" balloons sitting in my living room.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:34 PM
Helium1234 Helium1234 is offline
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Default Re: Asking for old display balloons....
More often than not it sounds like people are willing to give them away if you remove the clean up they would have to do. I am always curious about the unsold balloons in grocery stores. I may have to try that one time and see what I can get.. *Dreaming of 3ft heliums*
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:40 AM
BalloonBoyUK BalloonBoyUK is offline
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Default Re: Asking for old display balloons....
The first rule for any kind of balloon requests, is: always ask, never steal.

The second rule, is: be polite. Make sure you ask kindly, explain why (so have a reasonable excuse ready, as most stores/businesses will want to know), and be prepared for them to say "no", for whatever reasons. If they do say "no", then thank them, and leave. Don't make a fuss, as it won't make you look good.

Third rule is: if they say "yes", make it as easy for the store/business as you can. Do whatever they ask, be kind, be on time to collect them, Thank them profusely, and don't leave any mess behind.

Asking someone for balloons, shouldn't be too hard, as long as you go in prepared, and are cool and calm about things. And remember, that they are doing you a favour, not the other way around. You may think that by taking the balloons away from them, that's helping them (which it is to a certain degree), but it is they who are doing you a favour. So be prepared. You'll be asked "Why do you want them" or "What's going to happen with them". So make sure you have a reasonable, sane answer to give them. Mention a child or sibling who loves balloons, but don't get too needy. I've seen people ask, and get stroppy when they are told "Sorry, no". Not the way to do it!

Also, cultivate a relationship with that store. An occasional Thank You card, or a small gift (box of chocs, some flowers, etc) will work wonders. Don't let the relationship be just about the balloons. Show respect and kindness, and be a good looner! It'll be welcomed, and it makes us all look good as well.
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