Do you know how to save money with self storage? With the economy making people nervous, most people are looking for ways to save money.
We get it. Eggs are expensive, so we thought we’d give you some ideas how to save money with your storage unit.
There are always going to be people who say to just get rid of it, but they aren’t always right. Sometimes, the stuff people keep in a storage unit is only valuable to them. Other times, there is an intrinsic value to the stuff that is stored. Only you can decide how much the stuff you are storing is worth.
But you can probably save money on self storage with these tricks:
Save money with self storage: Rent from an independent owner operator.
One of the most consistent complaints we get from people from new tenants is about the competition. They tell us they are switching from a chain storage company that is constantly raising their rates.
Several have said they have seen rate increase three or more times in a single year. One was even told he could move everything in his 10 x20 storage unit to the unit right next door and get a discount of nearly 50%. But after a month or two, those prices would go right back up to what he was previously paying.
It’s a concept we at Spacemall don’t understand.
Why offer a lower rate to get someone in the door just to chase them away with constant increases?
The theory is that if you raise their rates a little bit at a time, people won’t notice or they’ll just decide it’s not worth the effort to move their stuff. It works, sometimes. The customer who told me this story had been with that store for more than a decade.
But he had finally had enough. Now, he rents with us.
Benefits of local ownership.
We are a small, family-owned business. Our owners have exactly 2 storage facilities. Our advertising budget is tiny compared to the big chains. We rely on good prices, great service and word of mouth to bring in customers. We have to offer better prices than they do to get people in the door. Once people are here, we need great customer service to keep them.
Many large companies will offer introductory prices and then raise your price within a month or two.
Mark Aselstine, who used several storage units for his former business, Uncorked Ventures in California, told the Washington Post said the low introductory offer was the worst. “After that great intro rate, they up the price, figuring it’s more work for you to move than to pay the increase.”
Ask about price increases when you rent. Here at Spacemall Storage, we’ll be happy to talk to you about how often we raise prices and the procedure for doing so.
For that 10×20 the customer transferred to from our competitor? We have raised prices on them about $50 TOTAL in the last NINE years. On average, we raised the price just over $5 a year.
Keep your money local.
When you rent from an independent owner-operator, you are also likely investing in your community. People who own a small number of storage facilities usually live local to one of them and care about the reputation their facility has in their hometown.
Forbes magazine says that local businesses are the backbone of the American economy. ” Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local nonprofits and community causes, creating a positive cycle of giving back locally. This includes local charities, youth organizations, local first responders, local service groups and more.”
In addition, because they are local they tend to offer better customer service. You save money on your storage unit and know that your money is being reinvested in your community.
Check for hidden fees.
One of the best ways to save money on your self storage unit is to avoid extra fees.
Some companies will advertise one price, but then tack on extras when you walk in the door. Administration fees are an industry standard, but should not be a significant portion of your rental cost. At Spacemall, we charge a $5 administration fee. We often run specials waiving that fee and the fee for the lock.
Those are the only typical fees we have here at Spacemall. There is a cleaning fee if you do not remove your belongings when you move out and fees associated with non-payment. But we don’t charge an insurance fee or require that you buy insurance through us. In fact, we recommend that to save money on your self storage unit, you don’t buy additional insurance.
Don’t pay for separate insurance.
Our advice to tenants is to check with their insurance agent. Most home owners policies and renters’ insurance policies contain a proviso for items stored away from home. There is usually not even an additional fee for the coverage.
Some companies will also charge “convenience fees” for using a credit card to pay your rent or even charge you for sending you a bill every month. Some will charge a premium for extended access hours.
To seriously save money on your storage unit, discuss the fees upfront when you rent the unit. Opt out if a company intends to charge you for the privilege of paying them.
Recently, as market research, we looked at renting the cheapest unit one of our chain store competitors had. They required we either buy insurance or prove to them we had insurance to cover it. Then, they started adding on the fees. The lock fee was almost $20 and the administration fee was $29. To rent that $20 unit that day was $73.13!
When shopping around for a storage unit, make sure you understand all the fees that you will be required to pay before you sign any lease.
Save money with your self storage unit: Pay on time with autopay.
Many people are reluctant to set up an ACH or credit card autopay for their storage units. That’s definitely costing them time and probably costing them money.
Most self storage facilities have a late fee after a specific due date. For us, if the rent is received after the fifth of the month, you owe us a late fee. And that almost never happens for people who are set up on autopay.
There are a few who get a new card and forget to call, or who don’t have the money available on the due date, that end up owing us a late fee. But aside from those type of anomalies, our credit card and ACH autopay tenants avoid that fee. Since time is money, they also save money on their self storage unit by not having to think about it.
When you use autopay, you receive an email when the bill is due and a receipt when it is paid. No need to call or spend time writing a check, hunting for a stamp and stopping at the mailbox.
Protect your investment.
One of the ways that people save money with their self storage units is protecting their stuff.
Here in the Audubon area, winters can be long and harsh. That means things like your patio furniture, lawnmower and beach/boating gear needs to be moved inside for the winter. Either you can give up your garage to your stuff, moving your car sits outside in the snow and ice or you can store that stuff somewhere else.
Moving your mower into an unheated storage unit for the winter can prevent rust on the blades. It can help keep the motor cleaner. It can prevent dry rot in tires. One winter might not kill your patio furniture, but two or three years in the elements will likely mean you need new furniture. The cost of a storage unit is tiny compared to the cost of a new patio set.
Ask Spacemall about saving money on storage.
When you call Spacemall to rent a storage unit, ask us about saving you money.
We have standard discounts for first responders, active and retired military, and not-for-profits. We have multi-unit discounts and typically have specials several times a year. You can save more by paying for six months or a year at a time.
We understand that you’d rather keep more of your money. We can help you do that.