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How to Sell Shipping Containers

Are you looking into selling shipping containers? You’ve come to the right place! The shipping container industry is growing steadily year over year, as demand for storage space continues to grow for both commercial and residential customers.  Luckily, there are tons of ways to sell shipping containers, both online and in-person. Whether you’re just getting started or you have an established shipping container business, check out 360Connect’s complete guide to selling shipping containers. 

Getting Started

New to selling shipping containers? No worries! If you know you want to start selling shipping containers, you have a few options for getting started. If you plan to sell shipping containers for the long-term, consider setting up your own shipping container business. You can start small and work to grow your business over time. On the other hand, if you are looking to simply sell a few shipping containers, you can auction them online using reseller platforms and websites. Learn more about these two options below.

1. Set up a Certified Reseller Business

If you are looking to start a long lasting business around reselling used shipping containers, you will want to take the necessary steps to setting up your own reseller business. Setting up a shipping container business can be a very lucrative opportunity, as shipping container demand is rising as of 2020. Plus, setting up a business means you also have the option to rent or “rent to own” your shipping containers to customers. This can often lead to an increase in revenue.

Before diving in and beginning to set up your new business, make sure to do your research and fully understand the industry. Take a look at the benefits and challenges to entering the storage container industry.

When you’re ready to get started with your reseller business, there are a few steps, including getting several certifications and licenses ,you will need to pursue.

  1. Determine your business name.
  2. Register your business with your home state.
  3. Register with Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  4. Get a reseller number and certification in your state.
  5. Set up a tax identification number (EIN) with the IRS.
  6. Obtain a business insurance policy.
  7. Decide where and how to source containers, ie. in bulk or investing.
  8. Join the NPSA to network with other shipping container businesses.

This is just a quick list of things you will need to do to get started. However, as mentioned, these things will pay off if you plan to continue to sell storage containers for the long term. Also feel free to check out these steps and tips for starting your own storage container reseller business. 

2. Auction Reused Containers Online 

If you are simply looking to sell a few reused shipping containers, you can do so by auctioning them to buyers online. This method is not going to be a sustainable selling method in the long term. However, there are online marketplace platforms that will allow you to manage a one-off shipping container sale. 

Shipping containers are commonly sold on EBay and Craigslist for these purposes. However, be aware that today, many buyers look to more credentialed, reliable online sources to buy shipping containers. Check out this source for understanding where buyers typically make their storage container purchases.

Where to Sell

You can either sell shipping containers online or in-person. Many shipping container businesses sell and rent their products using both locations. For instance, you might own your own business property where you store your shipping containers. This way, buyers can visit and take a look in-person at what you have to offer before making a decision. Then, you may also have your own website where you offer an e-commerce platform, so buyers who prefer online shopping can easily buy or rent online. 

It’s up to you whether your business model will utilize online or in-person sales, or both. Take a look at the differences between each method.

1. Online

More and more buyers are going online to purchase/rent shipping containers than ever before. Setting up an e-commerce sales model for your shipping containers is also quite simple. Make sure to set up a business website with assets and information such as:

  • “About us” section that describes your business
  • Images, videos, and other visual assets to show off your containers.
  • Self-service e-commerce platform, if possible. This will allow buyers to easily buy or rent containers using your website.

Keep in mind that buyers today want a quick and easy purchase, and “going digital” with your container sales is likely to pay off into the future. Take a look at these tips for selling storage containers online.

2. Local (In-person) 

You can also choose to sell containers in-person by setting up your own shipping container lot. Essentially, you will want to obtain a business location with a large property where you can store your shipping containers. Then, buyers can visit your site to view shipping containers in person. While this sales strategy is becoming dated with time, it can allow you to show off your containers’ features and benefits in person. Also keep in mind that you can combine these two strategies, and use both in-person and online sales methods.

How to Scale your Container Business

Already have a shipping container business but looking to sell more containers? 360Connect is your go-to source! We’ve been working with shipping container suppliers for over 10 years and we understand the ins-and-outs of scaling your shipping container business. Here’s 3 quick tips to start growing revenue now.

1. Invigorate your marketing strategy

Like any successful business, and especially if you are just getting started, it’s important to focus on finding new customers and introducing them to your brand. Seek to spread awareness about your container business by developing your marketing strategy. You can use channels such as email marketing, social media, paid search, content marketing, and more. Accomplishing effective marketing will help you source in low funnel leads, or buyers that are actively looking to buy or rent a storage container. Check out our guide to customer acquisition marketing to better understand how to find new customers. 

2. Boost your online presence and digital sales strategy

As we mentioned earlier, making sure to develop an online presence for your container company is crucial to growing. People today go online to find shipping containers to buy or rent. If your business isn’t visible when someone searches for a container online, how will you win new business?

There are a few ways you can grow your online presence and connect with online buyers more efficiently. Consider partnering with an online marketplace which will display your business as an option when customers search for containers. This strategy can also help you spread the word about your brand.

Also make sure to connect with online buyers fast and often! For instance, send an email to interested buyers as soon as you find out they’re interested in a container. Be sure to check out these best practices for utilizing online container leads.

3. Set up a Nurture Strategy 

Do you ever reach out to a potential customer, only to find out they’re not interested in buying “right now”? This can be frustrating, but remember that just because a potential shipping container customer isn’t buying now, doesn’t mean you should rule them out forever. 

Set up a nurture strategy to reach out to leads every so often – for instance, once per month. Chances are, when they’re ready to buy a container, they’ll remember your container business! 

4. Join a Lead Generation Program

Did you know you can partner with a lead generation company to help you find and close new business? Oftentimes, small shipping container companies don’t have the sales and marketing teams, time, or money to source new leads. But you can allocate a small budget to a lead generation company, who are experts in finding active container customers and sending them your way.

Check out 360Connect’s lead generation program to see how we can help you save time and find new business regularly!

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