ISS Blog

Kudos to the Martians

I'm a shameless eBay junkie, and a hard-core one at that. Whenever I need to purchase anything, I first research it through standard retail outlets to get a sense of prices and features; then I look for it on eBay. Nine times out of 10, I can find it there, and at a much better price than anywhere else.

Needless to say, when eBay sales emerged last year as a budding add-on profit center for self-storage, I just about tingled at the concept. But selling on eBay is radically different than buying, and I wondered whether storage operators would truly embrace it. The eBay process involves complex policies and procedures, and its community really is an otherworldly retail universe.

So in a fit of curiosity this morning, I did a little poking around to see if there are, in fact, self-storage operators selling wares on eBay. Immediately I stumbled across the store of Mars-Evans City Self Storage, an established eBay member since 1999. Not only is the facility handling consignment sales for tenants and the general public, it has achieved eBay Power Seller status, which means it is a top seller with a consistently high volume of sales and mostly positive feedback from buyers.

What are they selling? An eclectic mix including a 1926 antique table lamp, a vintage pin-pall game, clip-on pearl earrings and signed Mata Ortiz pottery. The range is a bit wild, but typical for eBay sellers, who cater to everyone and anyone.

What's more is the facility advertises its eBay service in three different places right on the home page of its website. That's just plain good marketing. I'm impressed with the operation's grasp on the art of ancillary.

On a different note, we're winding down a Friday afternoon here at ISS, and its been a bear of a week. Our annual Factbook officially enters production on Monday, and I have to say I will not be disappointed to see that project put to bed for another year. You can look for the final published work in mid-November. Pre-orders are already under way, and our circulation team is even offering a 20% discount. (How's that for a subtle sales pitch?)

This week also marked the culmination of the three-part webinar series on Internet marketing, which was highly sought after by our audience. If you were not able to participate in this valuable series, session recordings are being made available at If you're interested in learning more about the topic or related servcies, feel free to contact our speaker, Megan Eckert, executive vice prez of, at [email protected].

Idea for the weekend: If you haven't already, you'd better get in touch with your inner child and start piecing together that Halloween costume! The best season of the year is upon us, and before you know it, all the truly spooky stuff will be whisked away by your fellow boys and ghouls.

Been doing some Halloween decorating in your self-storage office? Send me some pics! And if you've got a community thing planned, please do share itI love to read about facilities' special holiday events.

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