Sometimes the best commerce ideas come from putting technology to use to resolve a personal dilemma. Facebook was only ever conceived for use by a small group of alumni. Glasses direct was born from a students reluctance to pay £170 for specs that cost only £7 to make.
StorageByMail.com was designed by Daniel Hughes who set about building a personal storage hobby project in 2005. His grande idée was to turn storage into a send-by-mail system similar to the DVD service, Love Film.
Customers manage their stored boxes through an inventory page which functions like an Outlook e-mail application. Here they can create a package, name them, attach descriptive media like photos to log inventory and print out pre-paid USPS shipping labels. Each label is equipped with a tracking number, barcode and the user-generated package name.
Warehouse employees scan packages, record package weight and height and log packages’ exact shelf location when adding them to StorageByMail’s inventory. The packages remain in storage until customers log in to StorageByMail and request their return.
All of this is done at a fraction of the cost of self storage and managed entirely online. Plans start at $29.99 per month for five boxes of any size or weight. Watch this space.