Storage containers (aka shipping containers) are in high demand today. People need cost-efficient, durable storage units for both residential and commercial uses. Given all the different types of storage containers on the market, as well as the vast amount of container dealers, it can be difficult to figure out who to buy your container from and where to source it. Not to mention, reused storage containers come in lots of different conditions, so you want to be sure you’re getting a high-quality container.
Do you know all the different sources from which to buy your storage container? Check out our simple guide on where to buy a storage container. We discuss online vs. in-person purchases, as well as national, local, and third-party dealers.
Where Can I Buy a Storage Container?
As with most business to business products and services today, you have two options when it comes to buying a storage container: online or in-person.
Online storage container rentals and purchases are becoming the norm, especially since 2020! Digital purchasing is becoming easier and more affordable, since buyers can compare options and save money. There are tons of online storage container sources for you to choose to buy from.
- National seller websites
- Local seller websites
- Third party vendor comparison sites, like 360Connect
- Third party vendors or resellers, via Craigslist or eBay
Pros and Cons
One advantage of buying online is finding a great deal through good research. Today, there are many platforms that allow you to compare your options, negotiate deals, and ultimately find a container that fits your budget. Additionally, online buying is typically more convenient and saves you time. You can research, compare, and buy all in one place without leaving your office or home!
At the same time, there can be disadvantages to online buying. When buying online you cannot see the storage container in person before the purchase. Although vendors are usually upfront, honest, and accurate about their containers, you don’t truly know what you are getting until it arrives.
To this point, be very careful about third party resellers such as Craigslist and eBay posts, as there is no way to verify quality and condition through these sources. The last thing you want is for your container to arrive with unexpected damage. We recommend choosing a verified supplier if you are choosing to buy online. Our network of storage container companies here at 360Connect are top-rated, verified, and reliable vendors.
You can also choose to buy a storage container in-person, by going to a storage container lot and picking out your own container. Both local and national container dealers typically have lots where they keep their containers, and you can make an appointment to go have a look. Although this method is not used as frequently these days anymore, it can be a good way to ensure you are getting the right container for your needs.
Pros and cons
One advantage to buying a storage container in-person is ensuring you are getting the quality and condition you prefer. When you can lay eyes on the container yourself and “get a tour” of it, you can rest assured you’re getting the unit you intend.
One disadvantage is that it requires time to visit a container lot and pick out a container. Many people today would rather do their purchasing from the convenience and comfort of their own home. Additionally a storage container lot will have a limitation on their offerings, whereas online the possibilities are endless.
Note that there are some buying factors that won’t charge, regardless of whether you buy online or in-person. For instance, you’ll likely still have to pay for delivery (unless you have the means to transport the container on your own). Additionally, the price of the container is roughly the same when buying online or in-person (beware of very low prices on third party websites, as the quality is likely poor).
Who Can Sell Me a Storage Container?
So you can buy a storage container either online or in-person, but who exactly can you buy from? When it comes to storage container manufacturers and dealers, there are national, local, and third-party sources. Let’s discuss the most common sources where people typically buy storage containers.
1. National Dealers
You may already know that there are national storage container companies, such as WilScot or Pac-Van. Many of these dealers have branches set up across the U.S. and Canada, so local agents can help you find the right container for your needs. A national dealer will have a website where you can buy directly. Some may even have a local storage container lot if you’d like to go look at their containers in-person.
National dealers’ containers will be top-quality and highly secure, and of course, quality and security comes at a price. However, due to the fact that storage containers will be holding your important assets and belongings, it’s often a good idea to go with high quality.
2. Local Dealers
There are tons of local storage container dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Many of these are small businesses that cater to local customers. Most local dealers, again, will have their own website, where you may be able to buy directly. Many will also have their own local storage container lot for in-person sales.
There are many benefits to choosing a local dealer. Most local dealers offer storage containers that are comparable in quality as national dealers, and many times their prices and delivery costs are lower. Additionally, choosing a local dealer means you are supporting small local businesses, and can develop a long lasting relationship with that local brand!
3. Auctions & Third-Party Resellers
Finally, you can also buy storage containers through auctions and third-party resellers. There may be a local or online auction where you can find a storage container for a low price. Additionally, online resellers such as Craigslist, eBay, and other sites often offer low cost storage containers.
While the prices of containers from this source are often the lowest, there are some risks involved. For instance, quality and condition can be poor. These resellers also cannot walk you through the buying process to give you helpful recommendations, and they do not offer rental or rent to buy options. Lastly, resellers cannot provide you with permits for your container, and they often put delivery in your hands. This means that although the cost of the container is low, you’ll have to pay high delivery prices for a low-quality, permit-free container.
Compare Prices Now
There are tons of places online to compare and buy storage containers. Not every source is reliable. But here at 360Connect, our goal is to help buyers find high-quality, reliable storage container dealers in their area, who offer the best prices. Get started by comparing quotes on a storage container in your area and save up to 30%!