Common Price Gimmicks in Pittsburgh Self-Storage Facilities

Some Pittsburgh self-storage facilities will do anything to get you to move in.  They know it’s hard to move out so they can increase prices multiple times before you complain.  Few self-storage customers see the gimmicks before they fall into them.  Here’s what you need to know.

Web-Only Pricing

The idea of a “web-only” special is a throwback to the early days of the internet when few people would search that way.  Today most self-storage customers do all their research on the web.  So why have “web-only” prices that are 5-10% less than “walk-in” prices if everyone will see the “web-only” prices and ask for them?  The answer is that it allows for a silent price increase.  Many facilities will increase your price to the higher “walk-in” price a few months after you move in, often without advance notice.  You probably didn’t ask if the “web-only” price was limited assuming it was their only real price.  Their response if you complain will be to say that it’s “their policy” to increase to the walk-in rates after a few months.  A 5-10% increase isn’t enough pain to cause most customers to move out to another facility so the gimmick works.

Frequent Price Increases Beyond Stated Rates

How often do prices go up for most services you use?  Rents on apartments and homes usually go up only once-a-year and often they don’t change from year-to-year.  But many self-storage companies increase rates after just a few months and keep increasing them well beyond what they would charge a new customer.  Are we making this up?  Absolutely not!  The CEO of one of the largest self-storage operators was quoted on their increase policy in this article.  Here’s what he said, “ExtraSpace uses what you could call a “5-9-9-9 system.” After a customer has been with ExtraSpace for five months, his or her rent is hiked.  That’s followed by rent increases at subsequent nine-month marks.  On average, about 50,000 ExtraSpace customers are hit with a 9 percent rent increase every month.

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