by Daniel Horning

“But wait, there’s more!”

Remember that phrase from somewhere? A late night TV ad for a cardboard box that refolds into a full-size couch? It’s used to push customers over the “I’m interested” mindset into the “I’ll take two” action.

What’s interesting about storage units is that there are plenty of people who’d be wise to take advantage of some extra space, but just aren’t completely convinced to reserve a storage unit. When they are ready to rent, there’s a ton of competition between local mom and pop shops and big name operators slinging storage units in neighborhoods nationwide. Facility owners know this, and spend lots of time and money at conferences to get educated on how to bring in more customers. Here’s how to use their eagerness to your advantage:

Ask what the “free extra” is.

When the manager gives you a puzzled look, just ask what makes their four metal walls different than the four walls at the facility down the street. Is there a free moving truck they keep onsite for new tenants to borrow? Do they offer full-service movers to come load your storage unit? If you pre-pay for three months, how much of a discount are they willing to give? Do they partner with the local spa to give out free massages with each new storage rental? That one might be a stretch, but it couldn’t hurt to ask what types of referral deals they’ve set up with local businesses.

Especially in competitive markets, the customer usually has the upper hand in negotiating some pretty cool freebies added on to the reservation. If you’re feeling lucky, go for it and ask for that free back massage gift card with your unit. Let me know if you find a facility that says “yes.”

Daniel Horning is a lover of just about anything free. Not everything— broccoli flavored donuts, for example, would still be something he’d avoid, even if they were offered to him at no charge. He’s happy to work for, a company fanatically devoted to making moving easier, safer, and in some cases, cheaper.