Only in New York. Where apartments are as big as a bug’s ear. Where people don’t have cars – or the time – to drive to a self storage facility. That’s where an innovative entrepreneur came up with a new business model for self storage.
Sam Rosen founded MakeSpace, a self storage business that is a New Yorker’s “closet in the cloud.” Rosen compared his business to Amazon. Only in reverse. Amazon ships items to its customers. With MakeSpace, customers send things to the company for safekeeping.
MakeSpace’s tagline is “Schedule. Pack. Cloud.” It’s that simple. Customers simply call or go online to make a reservation for where they want the empty bins delivered. MakeSpace delivers the bin and the driver will wait for up to 20 minutes while you pack the bin. (Or, he can come back later.) Then, the driver takes the bin to the MakeSpace storage facility in Jersey City, New Jersey.
MakeSpace will also allow customers to store items that are slightly bigger that won’t fit in a bin. If one person can carry it, MakeSpace can store it. However, don’t expect them to store a king-sized bed for you. Or the antique buffet that you inherited from your Great-Aunt Maude. But you can store your bike. Or snow skis. Or your microwave oven. Sweet.
The driver inventories the items in the bin and slaps a label on it. He takes a high-quality picture and scan’s the bin’s barcode. This information is uploaded online and enables the customer to view online everything that they stored with MakeSpace.
There are other self storage facilities that provide storage containers for their customers. However, MakeSpace has a service that sets them apart for other companies. They offer what they call MakeSpace Air.
Rosen partnered with UPS for this unique service. Customers can ship their belongings through the mail. MakeSpace pays for the round-trip shipping if a customer signs a six-month contract with them.
MakeSpace sends the customer boxes (if they need them). Then, they e-mail shipping labels to their customers for the boxes. When the customer is ready, a UPS driver picks up the boxes and delivers them to MakeSpace’s warehouse for storage. MakeSpace uploads the information about the boxes to ‘the cloud’ where customers can see that information whenever they want.
MakeSpace Air is a valuable service especially for those who serve in the military. When military men and women are deployed overseas, they can mail their items though MakeSpace Air for storage. Then, wherever they go, MakeSpace Air will deliver their belongings to them.
“Your Closet In The Cloud: Will MakeSpace Be The Amazon of Physical Storage?” International Business Times; 28 May 2014.
“Best Schlep-Free Storage”. New York Magazine; 2014.