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Maximizing Self-Storage Retail Sales: Presentation, Pricing and Service

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Offer special quantity discounts, for example, price small boxes at $2 each or $1.50 when a customer buys a bundle of 25. Or offer the fourth mattress bag free when the customer buys three. You can even create fun daily specials. Try this one: Buy any 10 boxes and get a free box knife or marker.

Customer Service

Treat your customers as you’d like to be treated when you spend your hard-earned money. Be helpful, kind and honest. If you don’t have the item a customer needs, know where he can find it. Or offer to special order the item and call him when it’s available.

It’s also important to have a fair return policy. If your customers know they can return unused boxes, they’ll buy more now. Let them know about your policy early so they’ll trust you and relax about over buying.

Likewise, show them you care by suggesting the best and most secure lock for their storage unit. Explain how the lock is designed for self-storage and how difficult it is to remove.

There are a number of helpful suggestions you can make to customers, most of which can lead to a sale. For example, ask if they’re moving beds, and then explain how a mattress bag will keep out moisture and dirt. Or try this one: “I can’t believe how handy it is to have a big, boxed roll of bubble wrap when packing up a china cabinet. One box will go a long way, and it’s really protective.”

Subliminal suggestions can be made simply by displaying one best-selling item next to a product that can be used with it. For example, display moving blankets with stretch-wrap rolls to suggest solutions for wrapping odd-shaped items.

When it comes to selling storage and moving supplies, self-storage operators have a great advantage. When customers shop with you, they have the convenience of pulling right up to the door and loading their vehicle without having to walk through a big store or wait in a checkout line. We must be prompt and eager when our customers are ready to pay. They want to be focused on, respected and appreciated for giving us their business.

We can encourage and promote customer loyalty by being there when they’re ready and help them load their vehicle or just simply hold the door open for them. We’re here to serve them, and we’ll be rewarded in return with bigger retail revenue.

Nancy Martin Wagner is vice president of marketing for Chateau Products Inc., a lock-and-latch manufacturer specializing in the self-storage industry. The company offers disc locks and padlocks for resale, cylinder BEZEL latching systems, retail-store fixtures and packing supplies. For more information, call 800.833.9296; visit

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