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When shopping online there are many choices, do you purchase from an internationally known retailer like Argos, eBay or Amazon, or do you opt to purchase from a specialist retailer who can offer a more personal service, better value and greater climbing frame experience.

Define a Climbing Frame

Windale Climbing-Frame

The very first thing to look at for a comparison is to give a definition of climbing frames and this is one that is online at Cambridge dictionaries “a large frame made of bars that children can climb on” This definition is applicable if you take bars any method of construction and to say it has to be specifically “bars” is short-sighted our any many specialist retailers of climbing frames use panels and slats especially those of us who specialise in wooden climbing frames.

Large frame, this a matter of perspective large to a small baby may only be a matter of feet above the ground toddlers may find great joy in what an older child will become very bored with. When searching for climbing frames we are confronted by the entire range and many of us search by price, the lowest price points will be dominated by small frames and those with very simple construction and manufacture. These will likely only be suitable for the very young if your kids who have already explored small slides and will not have a long lifespan of usage purely due to the rate a child grow and develops.

Children can climb on, this surely is the most important part of the definition and size and being age appropriate is very important a climbing frame has to be a suitable size.  So as a child grows what was a climbing frame, becomes discarded and thrown away.

Our climbing frames are suitable for ages 3-10 this is because they have the features like a rock wall climbing ladder this has a slatted ladder and molded hand and footholds for kids to use. This means that once they have mastered one they can move onto the other.

I would like to see “long lasting” and “suitable for all young children “added the definition this then would far better describe our climbing frames, that is because our climbing frames will last for an entire childhood maybe, I’m getting distracted by what climbing frames UK sees as a good frame.

Argos, Amazon & eBay

cheap climbing frameWhat do they have in common? Argos, eBay and Amazon all well knows brands which can be trusted to provide what they advertise, but, unfortunately, there is a cost associated with doing this because they are all supplied by manufacturers or wholesalers who need to make a profit too. This means to come up with affordable products quality, functionality and ultimately value have to be compromised to avoid high prices. With the online portals like Amazon and eBay where the wholesaler / manufacturer is running a shop, they will still be paying a high cost of sale this creates the same issue with eroding margin and quality of product at the price point.

The frames available by these retailers do tend to be smaller and offer much less choice than is really out there, to be fair they do offer a very wide range of accessories which can fit on a frame, although where they can fit on frames available on these sites is questionable, also many frames are metal or plastic this makes it much harder to modify for the average DIY enthusiast.

The other issue with the retailers is that they are ill-equipped to deal with freight, which is how a proper climbing frame is delivered due to its size. Four-foot deck heights with suitable climbing walls and slide can’t be delivered by a van, one could, but a delivery for one person would create a prohibitive price that few could afford.

Specialist Retailers

Brightside Climbing-FrameSpecialist retailers are different, especially if your purchase is from a company like Climbing Frames UK, or, who manufacture and retail direct. Buying from a retailer who manufactures the product gives them an advantage of 8-18% which would be taken by a retailer in the sales process. This shows in the quality of products and service received. Manufacturing climbing frames and retailing them direct to customers giving us a great advantage over the competition. It means that we use quality wood like cedar that is used in more expensive timber frame buildings as it lasts longer than other woods due to it’s natural characteristics.

With that extra margin not going towards cost of sales means that slides and swings are often included at similar prices so the climbing frame evolves beyond just a climbing frame. With more variety on swing features and different slides available.

Customers going directly to manufacturers who retail get better deals so consider that and are making the product and have an established delivery network to deliver maximum value to customers here in the UK. Not to mention we are a UK based business, unlike the large auction and selling sites.

As specialist retailer we offer so much more and offer a really good product to our customers and get very frustrated by those who bring small plastic toys that we don’t see as climbing frames and call them the same thing as us – stealing our search rankings to boot.