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Negotiation is a skill that Americans rarely use. No matter how you try, bargaining does not work in retail stores. Prices are fixed, and the employee who accepts the payment usually does not control these prices. The main negotiation experience is buying a car or home or getting the services of Long Island movers. But in some cases, you can also bargain with the price per unit of storage. We have five tips for negotiating with storage facilities.

What are the main tips for negotiating with storage facilities

1. Shop online

Finding the best storage unit for your needs can be tricky. There are a number of factors to consider. And only a few online resources describe everything you need to know about short-term storage.

Storage units
Using our tips, you can find the perfect storage unit at a lower rate.

Traditionally, you go to the Yellow Pages and call each institution in your area asking the same series of questions:

  • How much are 10 × 10 units?
  • Is it inside or outside?
  • Does the unit have climate control?
  • Is it on the second (or third) floor?
  • Is there an elevator?

Self-service online directories can help reduce the time and effort involved in this process, allowing you to search and compare objects in one place. They list a set of legitimate storage facilities and also provide average local price data. Just browse their city pages for this information, which can help determine in which price range you should shop.

2. Find the best price

Even if you have already decided on the storage unit, it is worth taking a look online to see if any special lower tariffs have been published. Some storage facilities have separate entry and advertising rates, just like in any other service business that wants to promote itself. Check out the exclusive prices that you can qualify for, such as military or student discounts.

Do a quick Google search on the name of your institution and check out some of the popular websites that display offers. Even if a particular transaction is no longer on the table (for example, a discount on student storage, which applies only to the big month of May), you can mention the transaction and begin negotiating with storage facilities.

3. Know what rate is for different units at different facilities

When negotiating with storage facilities, you must first find out what is the rate for various units at other facilities. In general, a 5-by-5-foot unit can be expected to cost between $40 and $50 a month. And a 10-by-15-foot unit from about $75 to $140 a month. You should also take a look around to find out if other establishments offer a promotion or discount for the first-time tenants. Knowing the market can give you the advantage you need to impress the manager or owner.

Old lock
Some services offer free disk lock or free short-term truck rental. 

Do not settle for the first bet you are given. Most often, you can agree on the best rental rate or rental conditions if you know what the market rate is. Ask for a meeting with the manager or owner and do your research in advance. It is better to fix a better rent rate, that to lose a storage unit due to disability to pay for it.

4. Go for a group discount or referral bonus

If you work for a company or are a member of an organization that usually relies on storage (for example, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry who need to store drug samples), you can enter into a group transaction if you rent storage units together. Bring three or more people on board. Find a storage facility that meets everyone’s needs, and ask the manager for a discount for the group. Any facility with several free units will gladly sacrifice a little profit to rent three or more units at a time.

Another option is to ask for a referral bonus. Depending on the level of employment, most facilities are ready to help you in exchange for increased profits. The most common referral bonus is getting $25 back. Or one month of free rent in exchange for a successful referral of the object to a friend.

5. Fix a lower rate with a long-term contract

While most storage facilities are leased monthly, some storage facilities offer an official discount on your commitment for a longer period of time. One example is the summer storage discount that many facilities offer to college students. A flat rate valid for the entire three-month period. If you know that you will be renting for more than a few months, ask the manager of the facility if you can get a discount for a longer period.

You can get a lower six-month or one-year rate if you conclude contracts for longer periods. Instead of choosing a regular monthly rental. After you sign such an obligation, avoid canceling ahead of schedule. As you may be liable for the cancellation fee and/or balance of the rent due on the lease.

People negotiating with storage facilities
The facility manager usually has some discretion in pricing to help secure tenants.

If you are already using an online discount or other negotiation points, you probably cannot add a discount for the long term. But signing a long-term contract still benefits the company, because it guarantees income from this unit. And it is beneficial to you because your rate will be fixed for the entire period. Please note that from time to time, funds increase rents for existing tenants. And some limit advertising rates, in any case, rely only on your first six months in the department.

Although some storage facilities have very tight prices and cannot negotiate, the facility manager usually has some discretion in pricing to help secure tenants. With these tips for negotiating with storage facilities, you can save a few hundred dollars a year on self-storage.

About Author

John G.
John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011