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Pushing More Product: Tips for Stocking and Selling Your Self-Storage Retail Items

You’ve invested time and energy in designing and building your self-storage retail store. Now, it’s time to maximize its potential! Here are tips to help you successfully stock, market and sell your moving and packing merchandise.

Mark Frydman

December 26, 2022

4 Min Read
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Not all self-storage operators believe the sale of moving and packing supplies is worth the time and effort it requires, however, profit opportunities should never be ignored. People who are moving or storing items need lots of boxes. Someone who rents a 10-by-10 unit might need 20 to 30 or more. They also need items like tape, bubble wrap and other protective packaging. In fact, they could spend hundreds of dollars on supplies. Imagine if you could entice these shoppers to buy from you instead of a big-box retailer or moving company.

However, simply stocking these items at your self-storage facility doesn’t guarantee sales. If you want to improve the revenue generated from your moving and packing materials, you need to stock the right products and understand the needs of your customers. Here are some tips to help you market and sell your retail inventory.

What to Carry

Packing and moving is a complicated, stressful process. However, if you understand the mindset of your self-storage customer, you’ll be able to increase your retail profit without any new capital investment or hiring extra personnel.

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First, it’s vital to know about the products you’re selling. There are about 10 or so standard moving-box sizes. To facilitate more sales, know what they are and how customers can use them.

  • Small boxes are great for books, papers, tools and other heavy items.

  • Medium boxes are good for pots and pans, everyday dishes, and other miscellaneous items.

  • Large boxes are for well-used for kitchen appliances, toys and clothes.

  • Extra-large boxes can be used for toys, bedding, clothing and other big items that aren’t too heavy.

  • Dish packs have a double-wall carton that provides more protection, which makes them perfect for fine China, glassware, wine glasses, serving platters and breakable kitchen items.

  • Wardrobe boxes are for moving clothes on hangers, with shoes at the bottom.

  • Mirror cartons should be used for artwork (with or without glass), mirrors and glass tabletops. These can usually be telescoped to obtain the desired width or height.

  • Flat-screen TV or microwave boxes are thicker than standard cardboard boxes and provide more protection.

In addition to boxes, consider selling tape, markers for labeling, packing paper, bubble wrap, craft paper, moving pads, measuring tapes, tape guns and box-cutters. Anyone on your team can become proficient about the supplies a customer might need. You can find videos online that’ll provide the basic knowledge to competently educate your self-storage tenants.

Showing customers how to properly pack any item is a great way to build trust and keep them coming back for more. In fact, most people will underestimate the amount of boxes and other supplies they need. Ultimately, if you help them have a positive, damage-free move, they’ll ruse you again and recommend you to others.

Making Sales

As more and more self-storage customers are renting units online, it can be challenging to market and sell your moving and packing supplies. Remember, though, this is a process. Few people will have everything they need when they begin; they often need more products as their journey unfolds. The appropriate strategy is to offer products at the time of booking—whether online, over the phone or in person—and add incentives to entice them to buy their supplies from you.

One way to do this is through meaningful discounts. For example, you might offer $10 off a purchase of $50 in moving supplies. Or if they buy five boxes, they get two free. Or offer a free roll of tape with every $20 retail purchase.

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You can also employ a tiered pricing structure or create bundles. For example, a single box might be $2, but if the customer buys five, the price drops to $1.50 each. A purchase of 10 or more boxes could mean even bigger savings. This strategy can certainly lead to larger sales, as people love a bargain. You can also try bundling complementary products together at a special price, for example five boxes with two rolls of tape, a marker and some bubble wrap. Customers will gravitate toward these all-in-one deals.

The best advice I can give to you on boosting retail sales is to simply overwhelm your customers with free packaging advice. They aren’t going to get individual attention like this at a Home Depot or Walmart. Helping them determine the products they need will gain their trust.

Packing and moving supplies can be a prosperous profit center that’ll create all kinds of added value for your self-storage business. The key is to understand your products and explain their value, so customers choose your retail store for all their moving and packing needs.

Mark Frydman has spent more than 35 years in the moving and storage industry in a variety of roles. He owned and operated Box Brothers Cos., a national retail pack-and-ship chain that included LTL Packaging and Crating Centers. He’s now working with the team at Uboxes.com and Starboxes.com to expand their customer base within the retail, mailbox, pack and ship, and self-storage industries. For more information, call 866.826.9371.

About the Author(s)

Mark Frydman

Uboxes.com

Mark Frydman has spent more than 35 years in the moving and storage industry in a variety of roles. He owned and operated Box Brothers Cos., a national retail pack-and-ship chain that included LTL Packaging and Crating Centers. He’s now working with the team at Uboxes.com and Starboxes.com to expand their customer base within the retail, mailbox, pack and ship, and self-storage industries. For more information, call 866.826.9371.

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