To be frank, I was a newbie in the storage business just a year ago and the growing demand for this service (because of COVID-19) pushed me to study the industry from scratch. After a certain period of operations, it was satisfying to see how relieved people are knowing their stuffs sorted and stored safely. Since we are unable to help people looking for similar service outside Beijing, I decided to share the experience and knowledge we gathered to help you find the suitable storage experience in China.
There're two ways to go:
Two things to consider:
Sometimes SH*T HAPPENS...and when it happens you want to know whom to point your finger to. Not all storage companies provide all extra services such as packing or transport. Which is why when things go wrong (broken, lost or missed items), each provider may start finger-pointing at each other, even if they are the ones who referred the 'partner' company. So, always ask whether the company is a ''full-service'' storage provider, even if you do not need those services. These storage companies are relatively more professional and reliable.
Mergers and acquisitions, or M&A (in simple words, when two companies get combined or owned by one of them) are common in the storage business in general. So you might face this in China as well. Usually, it doesn’t affect much on the fate of your belongings, however, there are cases when the company can just stop your contract, move your stuff somewhere else, or just increase the rent fee after M&A. So to guarantee yourself from such unexpected surprises, make sure you negotiate M&A conditions with the company in advance and include them into your agreement.
Never ever miss the payment deadlines, otherwise, you can find your belongings in the middle of the street. To understand the harsh policy of the storage companies towards the payment deadlines, you need to look at their business model. The major source of the business income is the SPACE! And when you hold that space without paying, you are holding a space that can be given to others. So don't do that and make your payments prior to the deadline (usually 5 days prior to the expiration date).
All storage companies know that you are not a permanent customer: the day (the doomsday for companies) will come when you pick your stuff, say goodbye, and (sadly) perhaps never see the company again. Realizing this, some SMART companies offer incentives for existing customers to stick around, or bring new customers. So, if you hear about discounts, referral programs from such companies, worry not, it's not usually a scam. It's purely to keep you engaged.
Arbus, who speaks 4 languages but not Chinese (well, he tries). When he's not getting down and dirty at his digital maker space, he can be found sipping espresso.
Relocates frequently, somewhere in Europe currently.