Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It’s that time of year again…Hurricane Season!

It rolls around every year the beginning of June, Hurricane Season. Those of us who live in hurricane prone areas know what we are supposed to do. But do we? No. As human nature dictates we procrastinate. Yes, we procrastinate until a storm of substantial size approaches our vicinity. Then we put together a last minute plan and try to access the information we need: Are we in a flood zone? Are we in an evacuation area and where would we evacuate to? Then we rush around frantically to crowded and often empty-shelved stores to gather the necessary supplies we need. Why, do we do this every year? ? And if you have a self storage unit full of your precious possessions, do you know all those little details about the facility?

Having lost our home in 1992 to Hurricane Andrew, I know what it is like. That’s why this year, we are making a pledge not to wait, but to gather the information needed, make a plan and stock up on supplies early. There are some benefits getting your supplies early, will help reduce stress if a storm does approach. After all, you won’t have to run to the store along with the masses and you will have more time to batten down the hatches when you are instructed to act. Three, make it easier on your budget by gathering your supplies a little each time you go to the store. Supplies? What kind of supplies? Click here to access a list. Remember, supplies are needed for all household members for 72 hours. And since you’re gathering your supplies early, why stop there. Why not take some time during a weekend:

  • Check and trim trees if necessary.
  • Remove unwanted debris.
  • Determine what needs to be brought in from the yard if a storm approaches.
  • Check window shutters to make sure in working order or prepare plywood for window covering.
  • Check and start up generator to make sure it is in working order.

After all the outside work is done, it’s time to organize and prepare in the event of a claim. One of the things I did back in 1992, was take a video of everything in my home: opening all drawers, cabinets and closets filming everything and zooming in of art and special items. Do the same with other property items or if you have property in a self storage unit. Having a video to review was especially helpful when submitting our insurance claim.

Another thing that was tremendously helpful after Hurricane Andrew was thawing, cooking and refreezing all the meat in our freezer prior to the storm. Having no electricity or generator those first few days, we were able to thaw out cooked chicken and meatloaf and eat it cold. Of course, we did everything else the officials suggested: getting cash, topping off gas tanks, putting up shutters, stocking up on water and batteries. Unfortunately, there were lots of things that we didn’t do, but wished we did. We learned the hard way; Now what I do is:

Scan all documents, put on jump drive or email to yourself:

  • Insurance Documents: Homeowners, flood, vehicle, etc,
  • Receipts for electronics, appliances, art work or collectables,
  • Identification documents Birth certificates, driver’s license, vehicle registration, passports, etc. (Will still need to replace if lost, at least you have information) ,
  • Prepare a listing of all credit cards information and phone numbers in case.

Protect family pictures/albums by double bagging and putting in a sturdy plastic bins; place in closet. Protect family collectibles by wrapping in dish/hand towels and place in sturdy plastic bins; place in closet. Freeze small water bottles to fill up empty space in refrigerator and freezer; keeps cold longer.

In hurricane seasons following Hurricane Andrew, I stored all my hurricane supplies in a large, sturdy plastic garbage can: flashlights, lanterns, cans of Sterno, blue tarps, Ziploc bags and because my children were small, life jackets for each, just in case. Thankfully, the kids outgrew the jackets without ever having to use them in a hurricane. Once a storm approached, I would empty my supplies and ready them, then put my double-bagged photo albums in the garbage can and secure it in an interior closet.

Young children are especially hard hit by Hurricanes and other disasters. Talk to your kids and help them understand what is happening: their mental well being is very important. Don’t make the mistake I did and tell small children “everything is going to be okay”. Because “everything is going to be okay” to kids means everything is as it was before the storm and no one can guarantee that. Instead, I engaged my children; making them a part of your hurricane preparations and having them help out. You would be surprised at how much kids can help; they can gather small yard items to be secured inside, clean out and fill water bottles, help with food prep and more. Have the children fill a plastic bin of their special items that they want safeguarded. After all, if you have stuff you want saved, chances are so do the kids. Involving the kids helps give them a sense of control and just reassure them that everyone is doing all they can do to prepare. By having a plan, preparing early and engaging the entire family will help put you in a better place if a storm approaches.

Be safe!

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/271-its-that-time-of-year-again-hurricane-season

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“Let's bring in the new year with a bang!”

If your New Year’s resolution includes becoming clutter-free, we can help. Store your items in one of our network member’s storage units, where they can be kept neatly until you need them again.

USSelfStorageLocator.com is the Internet's premiere resource for custom matching consumers with self storage facilities across the US. In an effort to further simplify comparison shopping experiences, the company's founders have implemented new advanced technologies that allow visitors to compare prices and features for the best available mini storage facility in their neighborhoods.

Using the new search filter capability increases convenience, ease of use, savings and effectiveness. Those searching for the perfect storage unit to meet their needs are treated to:
- A fully clickable map that shows shoppers the location, amenities, safety features, pricing and more for each storage facility; Take a virtual tour of selected storage facilities from the comfort of their homes; - View still photos of selected storage units;
- Compare prices of all storage facilities in their selected search radius;
By filling in just a few quick details about the type of public storage unit that they are seeking, visitors are presented with convenient comparisons of all available units in their areas. By entering parameters that dictate unit size, climate control options, location, desired proximity and price, comparison shoppers are able to rapidly navigate the facilities and make informed decisions. Consumers know they are getting the storage units that fit their unique needs – and also receiving the best prices available.

Vehicle Storage
The perfect place to find a storage solution for your car, RV, boat or motorcycle. Don’t keep them out in the cold, search here for the best storage place.

Business Storage
Organize your office or place of business by selecting a facility to store all your overstock inventory, excess office equipment, and unused tools.

Self Storage
For the latest in self storage, business storage and drive up storage in the USA. Compare and save with our no hassle booking self storage search engine.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/191-let-s-bring-in-the-new-year-with-a-bang

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Blog: atherton

Source: http://my.facilitiesnet.com/personal-announcements/b/atherton/default.aspx

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How To Decide If Self-Storage Is For You

You may have recently moved, or are trying to remodel your home. Or, you could have downsized to an apartment. When you have no more room to put things, what are your options? Economically, if you’re trying to save money, you may want to opt for a self-storage facility. It may only be a little unit, but it may be well worth it. Here are a couple of reasons to consider renting a unit:

  • Your place is overcrowded and you don’t have room for anything.
    When you have overcrowding, a few things happen. For one, you encounter frustration a lot quicker, and you also have a higher lighting bill. Your air-conditioning unit will work overtime to keep a packed room cool.

  • You live in a place that has inclement weather seasons and need to store outdoor furniture.
    If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or snow, there will come a time when you need a place to store your things. If you don’t have a garage, a self-storage unit will do the trick. It’s no fun watching your things blow away or become water-logged.

  • You’ve had to make room for a new addition or relatives.
    You family may be going through some changes and you need to open your doors to a relative in need. Where will you put everything? If you’re experiencing a space shortage, a self-storage unit would be the way to go, you can choose a climate controlled unit or a drive up unit, it all depends on your particular needs.

  • You’re starting a home business and need to make room for your equipment or office space.
    If you’re starting a new business, that’s a great thing! Problem is, you don’t have room for the things you need to conduct business. Moving things into a self-storage unit could be a life and time saver for you.

These are just a couple of reasons why you may need to get a self-storage unit. It could really make a definitive difference in your peace of mind, and your lighting/heating costs. When faced with certain instances, it’s always good to know about things that could make your situation a little bit easier.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/274-how-to-decide-if-self-storage-is-for-you

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How Google Penguin Will Affect Your Self Storage Website

If you operate a self storage website and understand the importance of having a sound SEO strategy, then the updates Google has made to its algorithms are pertinent to you. Employing the correct SEO tactics will help to position your self storage website in the top results on Google and other notable search engines. The importance of word placement, having sufficient keywords, quality content, and inbound and outbound links in order to increase the visibility of your self storage website cannot be stressed enough.

Google Penguin was introduced on April 24, 2012. It is aimed at decreasing the search engine rankings for sites in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Called a penalty by SEO analysts, some critics have estimated that it could change the way websites are optimized and possibly even decrease the rankings of sites which are not in violation of the search engine giant’s regulations.

Depending on whether or not you handle your SEO in-house, it is important to know how these changes will affect the online marketing efforts of your website. Google is cracking down on black-hat SEO techniques such as paid links and blog comment spam and this could put violators on the blacklist. Blacklisting completely eliminates the result from Google, even if the business name is searched. This can hurt your business since many people rely on the search results from Google when looking for self storage online.

Many persons outsource their SEO initiatives and might not understand the full scope of this new introduction. It is wise to keep informed to ensure that forbidden SEO techniques are not being used by the third party marketing company you might have hired since this could negatively impact your business. SEO companies have responded by offering to review websites and make them ‘Google Penguin ready’, for a price. Some have even increased the prices of existing packages based on these new changes due to the fact that slightly more work will be required to properly optimize pages based on new requirements.

If your self storage website has unique content and actively engages users, then there is no need to worry about your rank or fear being blacklisted. Overly-optimized sites are the ones being targeted. If your site hasn’t been affected, this is still a good time to review your content to guard against future changes Google might make.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/156-how-google-penguin-will-affect-your-self-storage-website

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How To Succeed On Your College Dorm Move-Out Day!

By: Eva Prada
It’s that time of year again, Spring time and summer move out of dorms. I would have never thought about self storage units and storing things over the summer. But this past week my husband and I went to pick up our daughters from college: UCF in Orlando on Tuesday and FSU in Tallahassee on Friday. Upon arriving at the parking area for the dorms, we noticed that the dumpsters were overflowing. At first we didn’t pay much attention to them, after all, we hadn’t seen our daughter since early March and we were on a time schedule.

As we entered our daughter’s suite, we couldn’t believe how much stuff she had. I mean, how much can one person accumulate in nine short months. I know one needs lots of things to make their dorm comfortable; storage containers, bookshelves, bins, microwave, TV, game consoles, rugs, and more. We were totally unprepared for the sheer amount of things she had to move out of her suite. Nor did we have enough vehicle space to transport all these things back home. Judging by those overflowing dumpsters we saw, I guess other parents were in the same predicament as we were or else the stuff belonged to students who are seniors and they wouldn’t need it anymore.

There had to be another way, then to dispose of the stuff that wouldn’t fit. I guess we could donate to an organization. But which organization and where are they in proximity to the university? We didn’t have much time before checkout time.

Then we thought about storing the items for the next semester. We searched on our phone for self storage in Orlando and quickly found several companies with units available, very close to the university and we were able to book them right online. Although we had to get a unit larger than what we needed, we estimate the cost for storing the items over the summer would still be less than repurchasing them again in August. Having less stuff to transport back to home made it more comfortable in the car as well. This was such a great solution, that we wondered why we hadn’t thought of it before.

It didn’t take us to long to think of this solution when we arrived in Tallahassee three days later. This time when we saw the overflowing dumpsters, we realized that this is a very common thing for college students. As we entered our daughter’s room we were once again confronted with an abundance of stuff. We couldn’t believe it. Our daughter at UCF had a suite style dorm with her own room and a shared living room, dining room and kitchen. It is understandable that she would have so much stuff; bookcases, TV, chair, tailgate stuff, pots, pans and other kitchen stuff and appliances. But our daughter in Tallahassee had a community style dorm, where she shared a room with another girl, a not very large room I might add. And although she had less stuff then the other daughter, she still had way too much to transport 8 hours back home; cube storage unit, plastic storage bins, microwave, rug, over the door racks, closet organizers and more. Of course after our experience in Orlando, it did not take us long time to search our phone for self storage in Tallahassee, find and book a unit near FSU. Next year, for our daughter’s second year of college, we will know better and plan ahead. Who says only students learn at college.

Here are some tips I would pass on to you for storing dorm stuff:

  • Search online and shop around: prices vary greatly.
  • Book early to get the size unit you need. No need to book a 10 X 10 storage unit if all you need is 5 X 5 storage unit.
  • Show them your homeowners policy, this will save you some money each month.
  • Purchase plastic storage bins and use them instead of cardboard boxes; label the bins.
  • Place plastic storage bins on floor and place other items that can be damaged by water on top.
  • Do not store any food items and make sure kitchen and appliances are clean.
  • Keep an inventory: We took pictures with our phones and emailed them to ourselves.
  • Purchase a good lock, most places sell them on site, but you can get one cheaper at a local hardware store.
  • Buddy up: Get a friend to share your storage unit, saving even more.

Good luck and Happy Summer!

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/247-how-to-succeed-on-your-college-dorm-move-out-day

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The Dreaded Kitchen Decluttering Project

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Source: http://magellanstorageblog.com/2013/07/25/the-dreaded-kitchen-decluttering-project/

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Mobile/Portable Storage and Traditional Self Storage – Which is Best For You?

Both mobile/portable and traditional self storage units are offered in a variety of sizes. The type of self storage unit you ultimately choose will be determined by a few but important factors. If you are having trouble figuring out if mobile/portable or traditional self storage will fit your needs let us give you a couple of tips to help you decide. Always keep in mind:

  • Space Availability – Portable self storage, commonly known as pods, are delivered to you at your home or office, and usually placed on the driveway, parking space, or any space available where you can keep such containers. If you have the space it can be a very good option because it offers instant accessibility. If you don’t have the space to keep such large storage container then you’ll have to stick to traditional self storage.

  • Ease of access – Your choice of a self storage unit will also depend on how often you need to access your stored items. Traditional self storage allows you to retrieve your items whenever you need them, just make sure you go to the storage facility during access hours. Portable storage is a little different. If you decide to have the storage container picked up and stored in a warehouse for long-term storage, you wont have access to your items unless a container delivery is scheduled, which can cost you extra. Portable storage is also used to store short-term, just keep the container parked outside your house or office for the time you need to store your items. This is a real convenience, you’ll have access to your items anytime and you wont even have to drive anywhere to get them.

  • Security – Traditional self storage can be a more secure option, compared to portable storage containers parked outside your home or office. Some storage facilities offer insurance, security cameras, and storage units with security alarms. Portable storage usually does not carry insurance, unless your homeowners insurance covers it. The portable/mobile storage company might offer insurance if you decide to have the storage container picked up and stored in their warehouse.

Both self storage options have a variety of features to fit the individual needs of the self storage customer. You can keep these points in mind when trying to decide on a mobile or traditional self storage unit. Compare and save on many traditional and mobile/portable self storage units by using USSelfStorageLocator.com.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/144-mobile-portable-storage-and-traditional-self-storage-which-is-best-for-you

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SMO: SEO and Social Media for SMEs

This post provides a useful guideline for businesses on how to optimise their social media profiles. It’s written by Smart Traffic , a leading SEO company currently providing search solutions to businesses in the UK, Australia and Asia.

 The three-letter acronym-laden title points to one direction: growth. Plenty of companies all aim to make sales and get the maximum returns for their investment.

 Small and medium-sized enterprises, on the other hand, can find a great business partner in social media optimisation (SMO).

 For starters, it works very much like search engine optimisation (SEO). Both work to deliver higher traffic to and more visibility for your website. SMO, however, deals more on the creative and shareability aspects of a website’s content and (more or less) does away with stringent rules created by Google.

 Social media is indeed a public sphere. It is made up of tweets, timeline posts, photos, and videos of real people. You can say that with SMO, you give a human face and identity to your business.

 Content that is related and relevant to your business makes a difference. If the users like what they see or read, they will share your webpage via their social networking sites. They’ll even look for you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, among others, which serve as links to millions of people.

 Ever heard of Internet millionaires? They started as small business owners with obscure ventures. Through years of marketing online, their businesses grew and hit the jackpot. It’s like that with SMO; you can never do little with your campaigns. Use this platform to bring out your creativity and build your own mark as a business entity.

 But what makes SMO a boon to companies? It’s absolutely free. You can do so much when promoting your business without straining your finances. And you even get to meet your prospective clients without hassles in your or their part. How is this possible? Read on.

Truly, social media spurs growth for businesses that are ready to make the most of it. For a complete guide on SMO, read this article “The Contribution of Social Media Optimisation to SMEs”. (http://www.bluewiremedia.com.au/blog/2012/12/the-contribution-of-social-media-optimisation-to-smes)  Afterwards, feel free to share what you know or think about the topic in the comment section below.

Source: http://the-bloggers-exchange.org/smo-seo-and-social-media-for-smes/

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lets Talk About Moving, How Self Storage Can Help

Moving can be a stressful time for anyone. It's hard to really imagine all of the different things that you have until you finally start to try and pack it all into some boxes. You might even find some boxes that you haven't touched since the last time you moved. Maybe you'll find some things that you haven't touched in years but know that you'll need to hold onto. Self storage can really help during a move. It can keep your new place organized, it can save you money, and it can make your life a whole lot easier. It doesn't matter whether you're looking into self storage in Dallas, self storage in Phoenix, or absolutely anywhere you need to go, self storage can make the difference for you.

Are you really going to need all of those boxes that you haven't touched in years? Moving is stressful enough without worrying about where you're going to have to store the things that you're probably never going to touch again anyway. Getting a storage unit to hold all of your seldom used items can help. This can make your new home look good and feel organized faster than ever. Using the unit, you can ensure that all of your stuff has a home, and it doesn't end up cluttering your new place.

One of the biggest benefits using a self storage unit during your move can be the money you can save after the move. A self storage unit can give you the opportunity to live in a smaller amount of space without worrying about filling it with clutter or throwing away the things you love. Storage space is a lot cheaper than apartment space. If you're looking to save a little money then put a little bit into some storage space, then you can get the perfect sized space for your everyday needs.

Coordinating the move can be a real challenge. You never know what will come up. Sometimes you need to move out one day but you can't move into your new place until a few days later. Having that self storage unit can save a lot of headaches. You don't need to worry about what you're going to do with your stuff while you wait to move into your new home. You can keep it safe and secure without the hassles. You can't predict the problems that can happen on moving day but it can always help to have a little extra space to put stuff.

Whether you need self storage in Dallas, or self storage in Phoenix, or maybe even self storage on the moon, you can use it to make your move a little easier. It can help you organize your new place. It can save you money, month after month, and it can give you an extra degree of certainty that everything will work out on the big day. If you're planning on moving then look into some self storage facilities in your area and find one that's right for you and your own personal needs.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/218-lets-talk-about-moving-how-self-storage-can-help

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Luxury Pearl Valley Property, Cape Town

Cape Town-based design studio Antoni Associates have designed the Pearl Valley 334 project. Continue reading

Source: http://bginteriorblogs.com/?p=41174

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Less is More When it comes to Home Selling – Part 1 of 3

It’s almost that time of year again, Summer Time. Everyone looks forward to summer, as a time to relax and enjoy. The days are longer, we have more time when we get home. Summer time is also the time when many people change residences and a time in which many homes are listed for sale.

If you are contemplating listing your home for sale, there are some things you should do prior. And I don’t mean interviewing 3 different realtors. Yes, you should do that. But I’m talking about sprucing up your home or “staging” it. Staging your home makes your home more inviting and gives it the illusion that the rooms are bigger than they actually are.

The first process in home staging is to rid your home of clutter. Clutter! Clutter makes rooms seem smaller and that is the last thing you want is for your home to look and feel smaller. The biggest culprit for clutter is furniture. People have way too much furniture and professional stagers have been known to whisk away about half of the owner’s furnishings. Don’t fret; and don’t discard the furniture being removed. It’s only being removed temporarily. Your furnishing can be stored it by renting a storage unit. However, before you go to the local self storage facility, wait to see what else needs to be removed and stored. That way you can see how much stuff there is to store and to determine the storage unit size you need. Costs vary according to unit size, therefore if you only need a 10 x 10 storage unit, you don’t want to pay for a 10 x 20 unit.

Furniture isn’t the only thing that clutters up a home, stuff is also a problem. We tend to collect lots of stuff; the longer we’re in one place, the more stuff we have. So clear off those bookshelves and wall units. Arrange a few books and knickknacks among the shelves so it looks open. Use medium to large pieces, so the focus will be on the items. Having the room look open will make the room seem larger.

Next, work on your sofa tables and end tables. Clear them off. Rule of thumb is to have 3 things on a small table, placed in a triangle with an object at each end. Vary height and width in your grouping of three with the largest object at the back. Try to keep objects grouped together by color, shape, texture or other unifying element.

Bedrooms and bathrooms are next. If your bedroom is like mine, you have lots of things on your dresser and must haves on the night stand. Things you need daily, place them in a cleared out drawer, out of sight. Again put only a few things on your dresser, maybe a large family photo, but not too much. In the bathrooms, clear off the vanities and sink areas. Again, things you need daily, place them out of sight in a cleared out drawer. Of course, don’t forget about the garage and the yard which is an important space for men.

Your walls are the next thing to de-clutter. Too much on the walls, closes up the room. Remove excess wall hangings. Arrange remaining wall art, so that it flows, place it creatively and make it stand out and show off the space. Break up that line, vary the patterns and groupings. Purchase some inexpensive mirrors and place in entry areas.

Many home sellers forget about their kitchen cabinets and closets. But closets are equally important to clear out as well. Incidentally, women pay close attention to cabinet and closet space. So remove things you are not going to need for a while. Again box them up for storage. Small kitchen appliances and other items used infrequently should be stored out of sight.

Now for the furnishings and stuff you are storing, wrap items so they don’t get broken. Box them up carefully. Label your boxes by room and item type so you know what’s in what box. Taking pictures with your phone and emailing them to you is also a great idea before taking them to the storage unit.

Your home is de-cluttered, so stay tuned for the next stage in the “staging” process.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/255-less-is-more-when-it-comes-to-home-selling-font-size-3-i-b-part-1-of-3-b-i-font

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Storage Auctions, Who Wins, Who Loses

Since the airing of a few popular televisions shows on storage auctions, the popularity of buying Miami storage units at auction has exploded. Everyone knows that there is a lot of money to be made at these auctions and there is potential in every one of the self storage units but it's not all profit. Not everyone that attends or participates in storage auctions wins. Getting into the storage auction business is not something that everyone can do; going into it without the right preparation can cost a lot of money and a lot of wasted time.

The first winner in any self storage auction is primarily the storage facility. They are not in the business of selling used junk and collectibles, they just want to get rid of the self storage units contents and recoup a little of their costs. In some cases, especially since the advent of the television shows, they're even able to make recoup the money owed to them. Any money over the amount owed by the tenant must be returned to the tenant, of course this is after all commissions and extra expenses are tabulated.

Sadly, the major loser in many self storage auctions around the country is the average consumer that tries to play their hand at buying at storage auctions. They see the experts making thousands of dollars on the TV shows and decide that they want a chance at those kinds of profits. The truth is units are only as profitable as you know how to make them. Listing all of the things you buy on ebay won't make you a profit. It takes time and it takes expertise that most people just don't have. Most people end up, for instance, with a storage unit in Houston full of junk that they have nothing to do with.

On the other hand, the professionals in this business can assess the risks effectively and consistently make a profit in the long run. They often have connections in place that allow them to move the collectibles or valuables they're buying fast. That makes it possible for them to actually recoup the value without holding onto it for a few months. They also have the budget to make a high percentage of mistakes and still go home with a profit at the end of the year.

Self storage auctions are a risky business with a number of different winners or losers. The facilities and the professionals both win because they know what their expertise is and they stick to it. The average person going to a self storage auction loses because they don't have the knowledge and connections to actually profit. This just leads to the storage facility getting more money for the units being auctioned and the auction hunting professionals getting upset at the prices being bid up too high by the newcomers.

Everyone can win in a self-storage auction, with a little dedication anyone can become a knowledgeable and connected buyer. In fact, most of the professionals started out that same way. They just can't expect to head out to storage auctions and profit big the first few times. If they're careful they won't end up the loser in the long run.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/219-storage-auctions-who-wins-who-loses

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Optimize Your Self Storage Space

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Source: http://magellanstorageblog.com/2013/06/14/optimize-your-self-storage-space/

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Self Storage Facilities – A Screen Shot Of America

Any comparisons between a self storage facility, and the United States of America, may seem a bit far-fetched, but as a facility manager, few things ring as true as the title of this piece.  Imagine if you will, you’re strolling down Main Street, U.S.A., with your family in tow, and you see many things that have changed over the recent years.  As you walk down the side walk, you pass different shops, stores, restaurants, people and everything else you’ve grown to love about your town.  Each place or person you walk by represents a part of your community that helps make your town great.

As you walk down the street, you pass old Mrs. Smith’s consignment shop where you brought some of your old clothes you didn’t wear anymore.  Next, you stroll by Mr. Jones’ travel agency where you booked your family’s Disney Vacation Cruise.  Then, you walk by William’s Plumbing Supply Store where you ran and bought the drain snake when your daughter flushed Mr. Floppy the stuffed bunny rabbit down the toilet.  Mr. William’s even offered to come over and help you take care of it, free of charge, if you weren’t able to take care of it yourself.

As your kids run up ahead of you, you yell out to them, and they stop in front of Olson’s Outdoor World, the place where you took them to get new sleeping bags before last year’s  camping trip.  Mr. Edwards, the local electrician is up a ladder wiring a light for the new sign above the Olson’s door, which he shares with Allen’s Antique Shop.  You remember that place?  It’s where you bought your spouse that clock that they had been admiring for months.

The smile on their face was worth every penny you for that clock.

As you pass the center of town, you see Mrs. Spelling’s old house that has just gone up for sale after she moved to Florida.  Right next door to that, is the Green’s new home where the kids of the couple that just bought the house, are playing in the yard.

Now back to reality.  Most people assume that a storage facility is a ghost town, or place where people come, drop off the stuff they didn’t want to throw away, and never return.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The tenants at a storage facility are as varied as the reasons that they rent the storage space to begin with.  Our tenants here at The Storage Station make up the fabric of the local community.  While of course we can’t name names, let’s take a look at your local West Milford location to see just how true, the fact that a storage facility is a snap shot of America is.

On an average day, here at our facility, we get a chance to talk and interact with your friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers, all of which are what make this area great.  Many of our tenants, as some of you are, are home owners who’s houses have become so over run with toys, collectables, decorations, and various other things, so much so that the basement, garage and attic are all bursting at the seams.  These tenants, could be your neighbors, have come to realize the ease and stress relieving benefits that storing their items with us, and couldn’t imagine keeping all of this “stuff” at home.  Your friends and neighbors make up a large part of our clientele, who frequently rent from our facility, and use their units as if it was a shed on their property or they were just running into the basement to grab something.

With today’s housing market and economy though, what was once a storage shed they used for over flow items, has become where they keep everything while they move from one house to another.  Many of us have gone through some kind of change, whether it be a new job, bought or sold a home, moved, got married or divorced, or any of the other things that most would consider a major life changing event.  Many of our tenants are your friends or (ex) co-workers, who have gone through one of these life changing events.

Just recently, we have had people coming in to rent units because either the lease on their apartment had run out and the new place wasn’t ready yet, or they were finally able to close on the house that they’d been saving for a down payment on for years.  While people’s life are in a state of flux, knowing that your items are safe and secure makes moving a much easier proposition.  Not only do we see people looking to buy or sell homes, but we also see what some call “Snow Birds”.  We all have that family member that can’t stand the cold, lives in our area in the summer time, and moves to Florida or Arizona in the winter.  So when your sweet old Aunt Mary decides to fly south for the winter, on her way down, she stops in to see us to drop off all of those items she won’t be using for the next 5 months.

Home owners are not our only tenants though.  Many of the same people that we mentioned in the first few paragraphs, the Olson’s, the Edwards, the Allen’s, the Smiths’, and the Williams, rent self storage units with us for various reasons.  Many small business owners that use our facility as a kind of inventory stock room which is much cheaper than renting a larger space for their store supply.  Mr. Olson, the owner of the outdoor store, finds it easier to keep the bikes or canoes in a storage space, then trying to carry the items up and down from the basement of the store.   Mr. Williams, keeps lots of his plumbing supplies in his unit, finding it much easier to keep his surplus stock in a small unit with us then to try and cram everything it his office.

Supply storage is not the only use for a storage unit for the business owner though.  We have tenants who are self employed, who use their units as more as a staging area anything else.  It’s not uncommon for any one of the local electricians to stop in and discuss the next big job they’ve got lined up, or how the down turn in the economy has affected their business.  In addition to electricians and construction workers, we also have tenants that use their units as a base for their internet business.  There are few easier ways to sell items, either antique or modern, then via the internet, but not all internet business owners want to keep the giant grandfather clock or disposable medical supply items in their home.
So if you think back to that imaginary stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., to all of those people you “walked” by, the fabric of your local community, that’s exactly who you’ll see making up the tenants of your local West Milford Storage Station.  So whether it’s walking down Main Street, or around your unit on a Saturday while you polish up your 1954 Ford before you taking out for a spin, look no further than the person to your left or right, to see what makes this community and country great.

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Self Storage Facilities – A Screen Shot Of America brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/self-storage-facilities-a-screen-shot-of-america/

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Devon Acquires New Property


During the first quarter of 2012, Devon welcomed its latest addition to its family of national self-storage facilities. In conjunction with its financial partner, Devon has closed on the acquisition of a 145,000 square foot storage facility located at 3417 Fontaine Road, Memphis, TN 38116. The facility is located approximately 8 miles south of the central business district for the City of Memphis. The property consists of 12 separate single-story buildings with 991 units.  Devon Memphis is currently under renovation to ensure the high quality of Storage Devon Customers have come to expect.  If you are in the Memphis area and looking for Storage, make sure to stop by and welcome the new facility to the Devon team.

Source: http://www.devonselfstorage.com/blog/2012-05-02-devon-acquires-new-property

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Surviving The Holidays: Self-storage Can Help

If you are like most Americans, you will probably be spending the holidays surrounded by the ones you love. Whether you are visiting your relatives or receiving them in your own home, the joy of sharing this wonderful season does not come without some inconveniences. And no, we are not talking about hearing the same old stories all over again. We are talking about physical space, or lack thereof.

Regardless of the size of your family, you can never have enough space when it comes to family gatherings. Maybe even some of your relatives are staying for a few days. That’s where self-storage can help. Temporarily renting storage space is an easy and affordable way to organize your space and prepare for the holidays while at the same time avoiding the usual near nervous breakdown.

With just a little extra space you can better accommodate your guests; the last thing you need is empty luggage lying around the house, not knowing what to do with it. If you have kids visiting from college, you can put their sporting goods and other stuff away until they go back to school. They probably won’t be using that surfboard in the middle of December. Also, you don’t have to worry anymore about the kids snooping around trying to find where you hid their gifts. You can keep them in storage, packed, wrapped, with a big bow and all. No one will find those presents until they are ready to be put under the Christmas tree.

Speaking of electrified plants, the Christmas tree has to go somewhere right? Well, I bet you don’t keep that special corner empty all year round just for this occasion. Grandma’s room has enough “Tchotchkes” in it, so take that extra side table and store it in your newly rented unit. While you are at it, take the exercise equipment, and the sewing machine in the middle of the guest room too. They don’t make for great decoration anyway.

Don’t let holiday anxiety get the best of you. Take advantage of the convenience of a self-storage unit. You can even save some money; most storage facilities offer holiday deals and discounts. Plan ahead, make yourself comfortable, and fully enjoy the company of the ones you love. At least try to.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/165-surviving-the-holidays-self-storage-can-help

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Winner of The Name The Royal Baby Contest!

The royal baby has officially been given a name!

Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge have released the name of their new bundle of joy! The baby's name is.....George Alexander Louis!

That's a mighty large name for such a small fella. Now that the little guy has a name, he can officially register for his first storage auction. That's pretty exciting!

That also means that its time for us to announce the winner of our competition! Thanks to everyone who commented both within the blog and on Facebook. But only one person guessed the future King's  name correctly!

The lucky guesser commented on the blog? MtnPicker!!! We'll be emailing with more details soon and sending your your free wattle bottle!

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Source: https://www.storageunitauctionlist.com/blog/winner-of-the-name-the-royal-baby-contest/

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Find the Right Kitchen Island for Your Needs.

Small island on wheels
Small island on wheels

Kitchen Islands can be a homeowner’s dream, especially a homeowner who knows his way around the kitchen. Fortunately, there are a great variety of islands to suite almost every kitchen so you can find the one that fits your home the best.

The number one overall rule for kitchen islands is that you need to make sure it doesn’t take away too much of the space in your kitchen and you have enough clearance on each side.  Once you’ve figured out if an island will compliment your kitchen, you just need to find out which suites your needs best.

If you’re looking for just some extra counter space to prepare your meals, find an island that isn’t too large and doesn’t have storage underneath (so it still makes your room look open,) like this island. Having a smaller island on wheels is also a great idea so you can move it around and out of the way.

Island with storage
Island with storage

Since an island can also be a great storage solution, you can find an island with cabinets and drawers underneath it, like this kitchen island, so it’s more than just a counter space. The drawers and cabinets are great for storing items you use frequently, so they’re all within reach while you’re cooking.

You can also choose to have a customized island built in your home so it fits perfectly the way you envisioned it. This option is going to cost more, but you’ll also get the flexibility of the storage options, design, and counter space you are looking for.

Once you have picked out the island that best fits your needs, you can go ahead and celebrate by making some homemade pasta on your new island. So stop by your LifeStorage self-storage unit on your way back from the grocery store to pick up that pasta maker and other kitchen utensils you didn’t think you’d have room for at home.

Source: http://lifestorageblog.com/life-storage-tips/find-the-right-kitchen-island-for-your-needs/

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Electricians and Self Storage

I firmly believe that electricians do not get enough credit for their trade skill and they are greatly under appreciated as per most everyone takes electricity and the jobs electricians do for granted. It is no surprise that electricity is everywhere and someone has to upkeep the flow of electricity to our homes, offices, vehicles, computers, stop lights, street lights and oh so much more!!!! The human race is strongly dependent on the use of electricity in our everyday lives and we have all become so spoiled and expect it to be there for us that if most people would have to live without electricity they would be sure to lose it mentally.

Electricity is everywhere and in just about everything that entertains the human race. Without electricians, we the people would be left in the dark, without entertainment and be without the simple life luxuries such as air conditioning and refrigeration. People don’t really realize how important electricians are to us and what they go through to get their jobs done on a day to day basis.

Take for instance the fact that electricians work in much less than comfortable work environments regularly such as working outside in the winter weather, up high on ladders in the blazing sun, in dusty hot attics and even cold wet basements. It is imperative that electricians are careful in any environment where there is a potential conductor that could transfer electricity and potentially injure or even kill the person working. Not only do electricians have to be on point with potential dangers that a work site may have but they also must be cautious and take into consideration the dangers of the weather conditions they are working in.

Safety is a huge part of an electrician’s job and without knowledge of the particular system an electrician is working on, they could be in harm’s way without question. This is why most electricians generally go through an intensive four to five year apprenticeship program which may be sponsored by training committees made of local unions of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as well as chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association. Not only do electricians go through this apprenticeship they also are required to be reasonably physically fit, have ample agility and dexterity and be able to have decent vision or at least glasses to improve vision so they can see the different colored wires they are working with because electricians often use colored wires to determine which wires should be bound together. Not only do they need these attributes to help the do their job, electricians also need the knowledge of at least high school mathematics, science, electricity, and even mechanical drawing as per electricians do a lot of work from blue prints in order to pinpoint where the work they need to get to is.

Obviously electricians work with wire and conduit to run their electrical connection but that is not the only wire that electricians use. They also make use of coaxial cable as well as fiber optic cable and cat 5 cables as well. These types of cables and wires are used for but not limited to electronics such as cable modems, televisions, computers and home entertainment systems as well as power lines, and pretty much anything that requires electricity ran to it.

It is very common and obvious for electricians to work on anything having to do with electricity. When you sit back and think about all the different things that require electricity the list could go on forever. Here is a small compilation of things that an electrician would commonly work on to give an idea. Electricians could work on wiring harnesses for vehicles, power lines for the power company, cable lines for the cable company as well as wiring for computer systems, fire alarms, street lights, transformers, circuit breakers, intercoms, camera security systems , generators, air conditioners and the list literally goes on and on and on. Just think of anything that has electricity and running wire to it requires an electrician of some sort to put it together and make it work.

Now when you think about an electrician and all the different materials that they use from all the various different types of wire, to the ladders and scaffolds and even the tools that they use such as drills, hacksaws, utility knives, pliers, screw drivers, oscilloscopes (which measure voltage), test lamps and much more… one must ask themselves, where do they keep all of this material?

I will be quite honest with you it is not uncommon to find an electrician or many electricians utilize the services of a self storage facility by using a self storage unit for their material storing needs. A self storage unit is a very affordable way for an electrician to store all of their various tools and materials and it makes for easy access and organization within the confines of a self storage unit.

Just think about most local electricians that use a van to hold all of the material they are using on a particular job. Say this particular electrician knows he is going to need a specific type of wire and will need a few different sized ladders to get him through the job. In knowing about electricians, they don’t just use ladders but also scaffolds and other various devices in order reach the areas they need to work. So instead of keeping all the various different types of ladders, scaffolds and wires with him, he can simply just swing by his storage unit and take the materials needed to help complete the electrical job most efficiently. No need to worry about hauling everything plus the kitchen sink around with him from job to job when he knows what he needs and all the other materials are wrapped up tightly within his self storage unit ready to quickly access.

Ultimately the job of an electrician is far from an easy one especially considering all the different materials and tools used on each job as well as all the different precautions that are taken into consideration from dangers on the work site to weather conditions they must work in. So with such a strenuous job the last thing an electrician needs to worry about is where to store his/her materials.

That is why every electrician should contemplate using the services of a self storage facility and use a self storage unit for storing their materials and tools. The idea of using a self storage unit for electricians is a great idea and an excellent way to keep materials and tools neatly organized and easy to access on a day to day basis.

So to all the electricians out there, before you go to your own garage or jam everything you own into your utility van think about renting a self storage unit at Storage Station to make your work life easier and more organized.

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Electricians and Self Storage brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/electricians-and-self-storage/

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Starting Your Own Self Storage Blog To Promote Your Business

Blogging is an essential part of online marketing. It provides a platform where you can speak to your potential audience in an informal and conversational manner. As a self storage business owner, you can start your own blog to educate potential customers about the benefits of choosing your facility versus the competition. Before getting started, you should take note of the essential elements that make a good blog:

  • Content - This is perhaps the most crucial element. The content you create is what drives visitors to your blog. Ensure that it is not only relevant to your business, but is also engaging to those who read it. Practice makes perfect so the more content you create, the better you will become at it. You can start out by providing general information about your facility. Then, you can add topics relating to self storage, introduce your employees, and post any information about your facility which you deem relevant.

  • Design – Simplicity is key. Do not distract readers from the most important part of your blog – the content. Keep your design uncomplicated to ensure that what you write will be easy to read. Avoid making your page too busy or colorful.

  • Hosting – You can decide whether you want to host your blog yourself or use a free blogging service. If you do not have a website for your self storage business, sites such as Blogger, Wordpress, Weebly, Tumblr, and LiveJournal provide free hosting services. However, your domain name will include the name of the free service you choose e.g. myblog.blogger.com. The free services often have blog templates, which will help you choose a design. Some of these free services, such as Wordpress, offer paid options where you can get more features. The advantages of using free hosting sites include the simplicity it offers (you do not have to know HTML), the design is already laid out, and it saves money. However, there is limited customer support and very low bandwidth with free services. Paid services offer additional features such as more design themes, assistance from customer support, the ability to add advertisements to your blog to make money, and of course, a personalized domain name. There is still some work involved with paid hosting services, e.g. WordPress’s visual editor requires some understanding of HTML. TearPad, iPage, JustHost, and BlueHost are all paid services which you can explore if you choose to go this route.

  • Interaction – Consider allowing comments on your blog to interact with your readers. This way, you can get an idea of which topics work and the ones that do not. This also provides an opportunity for customers to ask questions if they need clarification on what you post. You can link your social media account to your blog so that when persons comment, it will also display in their respective social media profiles. This increases the visibility of your blog. For example, if you integrate Facebook with your blog, when persons are logged into their Facebook accounts and comment on a post it will be displayed as a story on their wall. You can include links to other social networking sites which will allow your readers to share your post across those platforms as well.

  • If your blog has the key elements listed above, then you should be able to build a substantial following of people who will read it on a regular basis. A blog is simple enough to start and manage. You can ask your employees for help in creating content. For even more variety, update your blog with videos and make a short post describing the content of the video. You can also post pictures e.g. of promotional events, your facility, and employees.

    Feel free to go in whichever direction you are most comfortable with, which will help you get your point across to self storage customers. Some people prefer a more casual style of writing while others may want to keep it strictly professional. You will just need to find your niche. Just remember that you aim is to promote your self storage facility. Therefore, the majority of the information you post should be pertinent to your business.

    Our USSelfStorageLocator.com team is always working in informing you of the latest and most effective ways you can market your self storage facility. Feel free to contact us anytime at 888-222-0225 for more self storage online marketing information or to sign up to our online self storage directory.

    Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/86-starting-your-own-self-storage-blog-to-promote-your-business

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Blog: cbragg

Source: http://my.facilitiesnet.com/personal-announcements/b/cbragg/default.aspx

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Thrift Shops & Consignment Stores Owners We’re Here To Help You

We’ve all had those items sitting around our houses, you know the ones, that we’ve either out grown or never used for various reasons.

That pair of pants your kid out grew because of that mid-summer growth spurt, or that top we bought cause we just knew we were going loose that extra 10 pounds before the summer.  Each season we move our clothes from the closet to the basement, knowing full well, that when next season rolls around, we’ll just put them back in our closets, awaiting their next rotation to the basement.

While some of us never let anything go, others of us decide that we no longer want to keep bring the items up and down the flight of stairs, and decide to get rid of them.  Most of us who do decide to get rid of those items, are faced with a choice, do we donate them to our local nonprofit organization, or do we try and make some money off of them.  Depending upon the answer to that question, we have a few different options as to how to proceed.  Some of us decided to go the donation route and find the nearest drop box or location, and simply leave the items there.  For those of us who decide to opt for the cash, we have to track down the closest consignment shop and attempt to have them sell our items, for a price of course.

While most people know the difference between a consignment shop and a thrift store, let’s take a moment to take a look at the difference between the two.  A consignment shop is a business which sells second hand merchandise, whether it be clothing, jewelry, decorations, or any other item that they feel they can make money off of, which is still in good enough condition that someone else may have use for it. The consignment shop takes a cut of the money, in a normal situation, the consignment store owner takes 60 % of the proceeds and 40 % goes to the person that owns the merchandise.

A thrift store on the other hand, is most normally a not for profit company, in which the items that it sells, which are fairly similar items to a consignment shops’ merchandise, have been donated to the company, free and clear.  These items have been given to the nonprofit, and any profits from the sale of the items go to the owner of the store in its entirety.  The monies raised from the sales, most often go to assist the general public through various projects, grants, or allotments they provide for the local community. There are many different companies which operate thrift stores, and we have many places to choose from.  That’s purely a choice of preference, so no need to discuss them all here.

Now that we’ve decided to let go of things, and decided which option is best for us, we take our things to either of these locations and call it a day.  As you can imagine, these facilities can become over run with inventory, and depending upon the season, they may have items that will sit for months before ever being put back out on the shelf.  A thrift store will hold on to items as long as they take to sell, whether it be 2 weeks, or 2 years.  A consignment shop operates a little differently, and attempts to sell your items for a pre-determined amount of time, and then either you will be responsible to pick them back up, or they will donate them.  Some items though, the consignment shop will hold onto for as long as it takes, if they know it’s an item that can be profitable if the right buyer comes along.

One similarity between the two different types of stores is location.  Both need to be in a high traffic and high visibility setting.  Many of these stores are found in some sort of a plaza setting, meaning it’s a store front with minimal storage space in the back room, nowhere near what a department store would have.  Most plazas charge rent based on the square footage of the store, meaning that the shop owner would want to have as much of a sales floor as possible, to allow for a greater space for inventory to be viewable by the public.  With that being the case, they have to use what little back room space they have for that season’s clothes or decorations that they can put out on the sales floor, once other items sell.  Also, the items in the backroom, would more than likely be items usable during the current season, and would be rotated every few weeks to give the store a fresh look while keeping in season.  If the store only would want to keep items for the current season on hand, what can they do with the other quality merchandise they have?  That’s where we come in.

While the cost per square foot of a store front in a plaza can range in price, regardless of the cost, it will be at least 3 to 4 times the cost of renting that exact same amount of square footage, here with us.  Any business these days, whether it be a small business owner looking to make a profit or a nonprofit group looking for ways to make money for the community, they’re all concerned with the bottom line, meaning that they’re mostly concerned with the overall profitability of their venture.  The greater overall profit they make means the more money in their pockets, or in the neighborhoods various community programs.  There are few easier ways to increase the profit of a business, then to cut down on expenses.  If by renting a self storage unit they can increase their profits, while still being able to keep their merchandise safe and secure, I know many of them would jump at the chance, and do.

A self storage unit is a great way to keep their inventory, and not be forced to purge goods at the change of a season because they have no room for new items in their stores.  Many of our tenants who operate stores set their storage units up just as if it were the backroom of their store.  They put temporary racks to hold the clothing, as well as shelving to keep everything neat and organized to be removed for sale at a moment’s notice

Besides the obvious reason of storage, many of our thrift and consignment shop owners use our facilities as a place to shop and get new merchandise.  It is true most storage facilities have an auction every month that is open to the public. These store owners may come in and bid on units so that they have more quality item to put in their stores to sell. In most case, if someone is willing to spend the money to store the items, they must be of some monetary value.  Many of our shop owners, turn around and rent that very same unit they just bought at the auction.  This allows them to go through the items over time without having to take everything back to the store.  This is a win – win situation for them.  They gain new inventory for their stores, while saving on the labor costs of having to move everything to and from the store.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of storing your thrift store and consignment shop merchandise with a self storage facility, i.e. the cost, ease, security, and other benefits , why wouldn’t you keep your items here with us at The Storage Station.

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Thrift Shops & Consignment Stores Owners We’re Here To Help You brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/thrift-shops-consignment-stores-owners-were-here-to-help-you/

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Almost taken: Email Crime

Cybercrime is on the rise and more sophisticated schemes are popping up all the time. Be wary, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.

I received this email a few weeks ago:

From: umesh2212@hotmail.com
To: umesh2212@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Monster Energy Drink
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:36:41 +0000

Would You Wrap Your Car in an Ad for $300 Weekly?

Sounds good, right? Wow, $1200.00 a month. Who couldn’t use an extra $1200 a month. I’d seen cars wrapped for Monster Energy and Red Bull. I thought, sure I could do that: wrap my car, drive and earn $300 weekly. Yep, sounds good, so I replied asking for more information. We exchanged emails with each email asking for more information. When the information started getting personal and the emails dragging out, I started to question it. Was I getting scammed, only one way to find out? Call Monster Energy.

I contacted Monster Energy only to find out that the email was indeed a scam. The scam works as follows: The scam artist exchanges several emails to build rapport. Next they send you an email to check your mail for your check. A check that you are to cash, keep your fee and pay the rest to a graphic artist who will wrap your car. Perfect, right? Not! According to Fraud.org., once you deposit the check and pay the graphic artist or support team, you are out the money. And if that isn’t bad enough, the original check is a fake and will bounce leaving you owing your bank the total of the check.

Cyber-crime is on the rise and comes in a variety of sorts. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) who partners with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance US Department of Justice, 289,874 complaints were filed in by consumers in 2012. Consumers lost an estimated $525 million dollars. Yep, scammers took consumers for about $525 million dollars, an 8.3% increase over losses occurred in 2011.

USSelfStorageLocator - Cyber Crime

Access the full 2012 Annual Report here.

The scammers are very clever and have a multitude of methods to part you from your money. The FBI’s website lists the most common frauds and they range from the famous Nigerian letter or help to collect lottery winnings, reverse mortgage scams, identity theft, and credit card theft to internet auction fraud. The FBI offers suggestions on how to protect yourself and family from various internet crimes on their website, click here. For more internet crime prevention tips visit Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. But mostly, buyers beware. Do your research and investigate because as the old age saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Almost taken, not this time.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/273-almost-taken-email-crime

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