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Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Selling Boxes ... the Right Way

By Amy Campbell Comments
Posted in Blogs

Yesterday while out and about, a sign outside a self-storage facility caught my attention. It looked like a chunk of plywood that was painted white. Then someone spray painted, “Boxes $1.”

While I give the operator credit for advertising he sells boxes, the execution was poor. Yes, it caught my eye. The sign was large, but close to the ground. It did convey what passersby needed to know: the facility sells boxes for a buck. But it also looked like a sign you’d see announcing a yard sale in a shoddy neighborhood. And this is well-known, national self-storage chain.

If the self-storage operator couldn't be bothered to create a decent-looking sign, how well will these boxes hold up when I’m packing them and moving them around?

Let’s face it, facility operators are fighting for every dollar. They must attract new tenants—and retain their current ones EVERY DAY. Letting non-tenants know you carry boxes is one way to draw people into your facility. Once you have them, you can ask if they need storage. Maybe they need boxes because they’re moving and storage isn’t a necessity right now. But once you’ve got them in the door, you’ve made the first contact, which could lead to business down the road.

Offering a variety is another key component. If you only offer one size of box, no wrapping paper or bubble wrap, or even tape, why bother? People want convenience. They want to make one stop and buy everything they need.

Are your boxes of decent quality or do they look like the freebies you’d get at the grocery store? (We’ve all done that!) Will your tape stick? Will your permanent marker write after the first five boxes? Selling shoddy products isn’t in your best interest. True, you may never again see the person who walks into your facility one time to buy retail items. But a good experience purchasing products at your facility could lead to a new tenant down the road.

If you don’t know what to look for in a quality box, check out this article from the ISS archives. Need advice on selling retail products? Read this article to become a merchandise-selling, cash-extracting expert.

Or are you like the facility in my opening example and not sure how to advertise your retail products? This article offers sound advice for telling everyone in your community you offer more than just storage. It also offers tips on turning walk-in retail customers into self-storage renters.

Maybe you’re having trouble moving product or not sure what product you should even carry. If so, check out this thread on Self-Storage Talk. You’ll be surprised what sells in one store, but not in another. Or post a comment below, telling us how you promote your retail products. 


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