A lifelong dream
Adventurer & Photographer 

Stephen Peel

To circumnavigate the world on a bicycle

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Getting the best price for storing your stuff

Posted by Stephen Peel - Adventure Travel - Cycling Around the World on May 12, 2017 at 2:45 AM


How to get the best deal when storing your stuff


I will describe my own process to get the best deal I could. No doubt there will be some who have managed to get the same space on internal storage for less, and if so, let’s share your experience.


I first tried to work out how much room I would need, with everything stacked on top of everything else, making use of every bit of available space, right to the ceiling.


Turned out that for my whole small 2 bed house and tools from my garage, I could get away with a room size of 100 square feet. Based on an 8ft ceiling height of an average room, that’s 800 cubic feet of space.


This is how they size the rooms for internal storage in a lot of the large storage companies like Smart Storage, Big Yellow, Armadillo and the like.


It was important to me that because I want to store all my furniture, pictures, clothes, shoes, bedding, and all my person items I have an attachment to, that the storage facility is not exposed to bad weather, and that the temperature remained ambient throughout the whole building at least.


It also had to be internal, and not like a shipping container or other outdoor storage box, as this was just asking for trouble from mould and pests. On the subject of pests, try to use brand new boxes for your clothing, bedding, and material items, because sometimes with older used boxes, there could be moths or other critters living in them.


It also had to be secure, really secure, and this is the beauty of these big internal storage companies, as they have 24 hour security and cameras everywhere, although the trade-off’s are that they are more expensive and a little bit more awkward to transfer your things into when looking for a removals firm, so chances are you will be doing most of it yourself, if not all of it.


Now here is how to get the best deal


I had a rough idea of which month I wanted to start the contract, so then started with contacting the first one, telling them that I hadn’t planned to be moving my things for a few months. I told the storage company that I will require the storage for several months, or maybe much longer, like maybe more than a year or even longer.


Saying maybe puts you in the clear if for some reason you end up cutting your plans short, and it also helps you to get a better deal, as he longer you say you need the storage, the more they want your business. So if asked to put your request in writing, always put in the maybe or possibly, which helps you remain none committed.


The first one gave me a quote of £48 per week, which is really quite high. But after asking the others, they also had a similar high price. So now starts the playing one off on the other game. I asked the company to email me the quote, then took that quote to another company in person, and asked if they could beat it, which of course they could.


Then I took this new companies printout to another storage company and asked them to beat it, and yep, they could.


Then I started phoning between the 3 companies, telling them the others could beat their quote. Remember that a lot of companies don’t want other companies to get your business and will ask you who the other company is, and you will tell them. This again will help you get their best deal, eventually.


After doing this over the course of a couple of weeks, I had managed to get the price down to £31. But this was still not good enough for me, so I just stopped contacting anyone for a week or so . It wasn’t long before I got a call telling me I could get another 200 cubic feet of storage for the £31, which was now looking better, but I told them I would think about it.


A few days later I received an email quote of £21 per week for 1000 cubic feet. It all started at £48 per week for 800 cubic feet, and now at £21 for 1000 cubic feet, I accepted this offer. 


Over the course of what could be 3 years of me being away, I will save over £4000 from the original quotes.


Insurance


They will try to sell you their own insurance, which at the place I have agreed to, is £9 PER DAY!!!. I said forget it, I will get my own. Online you will find a lot of companies providing insurance at really cheap prices. The storage companies have insurance included, but it is very basic insurance and will not cover new for old in most cases for instance, so taking out extra insurance is a good idea. 

Most of these storage companies will offer better insurance over their basic insurance, but it will be expensive. Like I said, the storage company I have gone with has basic insurance included, but offers old for new insurance at £9 per day. Time to beat the price down..


I managed to find a company online - and there are lots - selling self storage insurance for £3.99 per week, which was the cheapest I could find. I then told the storage company this, and they told me that they will beat it if I provide a printout. It goes to show doesn't it? :)


But don't get annoyed that these companies don't give you their best price from the start, it's just business and the way things seem to be done, although I hate it when I get a quote for a job to be done at home, and the contractor gives you a price your not happy with, then offers a cheaper price. The difference there is that the contractor might give you a cheaper job in every way possible, which would be horrible. I usually tell these contractors to take a jump.


When I give a price for work, I keep it that price and will not reduce it. If I could have given the customer a cheaper price, I would have done it from the start. But with regard to self storage companies doing this, it is not possible for them to do a cheaper job than simply store your stuff, so it's no problem to me that they can offer a cheaper price if you haggle. A tip too on getting in a contractor, don't be too tempted to knock them down to a crazy low level, as this will be reflected in the quality of the work they carry out. You get what you pay for after all.


And last but not least, about a pound of 20 Mule Team Borax powder is lobbed all over everything from top to bottom. Cover your nose and mouth while doing this. This stuff is an amazing bug killer, including ants, moths, beatles, wasps and even bigger stuff like mice and roaches. It's not the sort of stuff you want to leave in reach of children, as it is harmful and safety instructions are with it.


It's been amazing in my garages and I always put it around the edges of carpets around the house to get rid of spiders and silverfish. You can mix a bit up at home with sugar and water, and leave it in a tray near an ants nest, and it will kill the lot, and that goes for putting a bit near the entrance to a wasps nest too. The fine white powder gets into the lungs (or whatever) of the critters. So when ants or wasps take it back to the nest to feed the mob, anything else that eats it is doomed. Sad, but hey.


Let me know if you have done better, and how, so I can share it here.




Categories: Costs and Finances

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