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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign: Making Retail Signage Count at Your Self-Storage Facility

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For example, put signs on different sized boxes that explain their uses such as “Small box: for books, dishes, tools and other heavy objects” or “Large box: for linens, pillows, clothing and other light, bulky items.” Such information will not only help customers choose the boxes they need, they’ll serve as selling tips to your staff when they’re helping customers.

Signs can trigger sales when they spotlight specials such as “Buy by the bundle and save,” or “Save your receipt. You can return unused boxes.” This will encourage extra box sales. Hint: Most customers won’t bother to return one or two leftover boxes.

“Sale” signs can pump up sales sometimes without discounting. If you’ve discontinued merchandise, pile it in an inexpensive dump bin with a “sale” sign. Users have reported increased interest even when they don’t mark prices down.

Signs can also help cross-selling to increase your average sale amount. If you’ve assembled boxes on display, add a “Don’t Forget” sign with tape guns, bubble wrap, and/or markers atop them. Customers won’t forget to buy those additional items or your helpfulness.

Signs can also help to sell box assortments. Most customers have no idea what kinds or quantities of boxes they’ll need. Signs that suggest the proper assortment plus tape and cushioning material are needed for a kitchen, bedroom, apartment and so on. Adding prices for each gives the customer (and your manager) a starting point and makes your facility seem more knowledgeable.

Not All Signs Are Signs

Displays that demonstrate how products are used can be more effective than a sign explaining it. A garage sale end table or dresser showing how stretch wrap can hold drawers shut in transit is one example. To demonstrate a glass or dish-pack kit in use, cut a diagonal “window” on one side of a box and pack up bargain dishes or glassware. Then customers can see how the bubble bags and dividers inside protect their valuables.

Adding New Signage

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Borrow concepts from other self-storage facilities and major retail outlets. Visit these places and make note of how other professionals use signs. Before you try to create and deploy all these signs on your own, however, consider consulting your retail-products supplier representatives. They should be eager to make suggestions and be able to set you on the right path. After all, they’ve seen many examples of effective signage in facilities similar to yours all across the country. They’ll also have inexpensive signs and displays in stock. Good luck.

Rob Kaminski is vice president of Supply Side USA, a national distributor of packaging, moving and storage supplies for more than 50 years. He has helped self-storage owners improve their retail sales for more than 25 years. He has written numerous articles on the topic and speaks at industry tradeshows. For more information, call 800.305.6110; e-mail; visit .

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