By Stacie Maxwell
One often overlooked source for boosting a self-storage facility’s bottom line is the added income that comes from box and merchandise sales. With or without a large showroom, and with or without a box-sales driving force such as third-party truck rentals, savvy managers are employing some very effective sales techniques to sell more boxes and packing supplies. If you’re looking to boost your merchandise sales, here are five great and easily employable tips.
No. 1: Create a Neat and Organized Display
Customers in the middle of a storage move-in don’t have time to go searching through mounds of supplies and disorganized racks of merchandise to look for items to pack their belongings. They don’t have time to look for a price sticker, much less peruse all the little extras they don’t even know they might need like gloves and permanent markers.
Even with a small amount of office space, you can create a clean, well-organized display with easy-to-read, prominently placed pricing for each item organized by item type/use. This makes it easy for customers to view and select the items they need.
Offices without large showrooms need not fret: A small space dedicated to displaying one of each item you offer, clearly labeled and priced, will work just as well as a large showroom filled with your entire inventory. It’s not the vast amount of items you offer that makes the difference, it’s the ease of understanding and selection that wins the sale.
No. 2: Offer Box-Bundle Pricing
Most box distributors deliver retail-ready box inventory in flat bundles for the basic four sizes of small, medium, large and extra large. Why not leave several stacks bundled up and offer a nice discount if the customer purchases the whole thing?
For example, if your small boxes are $2 each, offer a bundle of 25 (or whatever bundle quantity you receive) for $1.80 each, a 10 percent discount. This method works well, as it provides a nice savings and makes the boxes much easier for the customer to transport.
No. 3: Present a Box-Buyback Program
Customers are often hesitant to purchase a large numbers of boxes, even bundles, as they’re just not sure how many they’re really going to need. Take that worry away by offering to buy back any flat, unmarked, ready-for-retail boxes purchased but never used. This works well to increase bundle sales as well.
Just make sure you tell the customer his purchase receipt is required for the buyback program, so you can refund the right amount if a discount was given on the original purchase. You don’t have to buy them back at the full purchase price, but if you offer to compensate the customer for his “anticipated loss” from buying too many boxes, you can sit back and watch your sales grow as customers are released from the threat of buyer’s remorse.