When trading online on sites such as Ebay or Amazon Shops there are several things to consider when looking at how profitable and sustainable your online business is. One such area is logistics, and in particular, storage.
Running Your Ebay Store from Home
Usually one of three options is taken. If you are just starting out with a simple Ebay shop and want to keep costs low then many traders start by storing low levels of stock at home. However you will need to consider how and where you are going to store this, possibly how this fits in with family life or your own lifestyle, practicalities such as can be products easily be packed at home, insurance, fire risk etc.
Purpose Made Self-Storage
The second possibility is to put the stock into a secure, purpose built storage facility. Things to consider here are travel time and fuel costs to the facility, how close the facility is to a post office or whether couriers are permitted to pick up on site. It works for many people but you will have to get accustomed to spending many hours in a windowless storage facility which often simply contains metal lock up storage containers – one of which you can rent.
You will also need to check out what time you can access the site. If you want to work outside standard business hours to get items picked and packed early, especially if you have seasonal peaks to your business – is this permitted? Also checking out what type of CCTV and other security measures have been taken to help keep your stock safe, is the area well lit at night, do they have manned security 24/7 etc.
Privately rented storage
The third option is to source a unit or sub-let space from a local company or private landlord. These can range from locked garages to brick built sites with roller shutters, window bars and other security systems in place. However you may need to source your own shutters, grilles, alarm systems etc. to keep stock safe.
This type of private arrangement usually gives greatest flexibility in terms of accessibility however many landlords may not have made provisions for keeping the premises secure which meet with your expectations. Naturally this can be ironed out during negotiations – are they prepared to step up security in order to win your business or accept a lower rent if you are able to arrange your own (especially if they get to keep the benefit of it afterwards). It is also worth asking if there is flexibility to upsize when your business needs grow.
If starting small, you can also contact other successful traders through sites such as Ebay to see if they are prepared to let you sub-let some of their space. This also helps you to learn about the methods and logistics that work best for them before moving into larger premises of your own.
If you wish to increase security to protect your stock held for online trading or own/manage any other type of logistics buildings requiring additional security then please contact us on 0121 544 1221 or freephone 0800 924 7127.