StoreMe is the latest on-demand storage service to find you a place to store your luggage and bags on demand for under $20 a day
We all have baggage.
Luckily, a new app called StoreMe is making it easier for people to take a load off with its urban, on-demand storage service, which lets people drop off their luggage, tote bags and packages that they don’t want to lug around while they’re out and about.
The free app available on iPhone and Android phones is already active in more than 125 locations in cities such as New York, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia, and expanding to metros including San Francisco and Chicago by the end of the year. The startup is intended to help anyone looking to go hands-free, from locals who don’t want to be tied down with gym duffels or briefcases on-the-go, to tourists in need of a place to stow their suitcases and shopping bags. StoreMe has already raised $80,000 in funding to date thorough SeedInvest to expand, with a goal of reaching $1.2 million.
“I was living uptown and running downtown, and I had my gym bag and I had some meetings, and I said, ‘Man, I don’t want to schlep these anymore. If I could leave this somewhere, I’d be a happy customer.’ That was definitely the impetus for StoreMe,” NYC-based CEO and founder Peter Korbel told Moneyish. “I see this as a local problem for commuters, as well as (for) the business traveler or tourist. We’re definitely seeing both of those in terms of customers.”
Here’s how it works: Users download the StoreMe app and type in their location address. A number of different storage locations will pop up at nearby places, such as cafes, boutique stores or gyms. Once you pick the most convenient location, you’ll be prompted to tag your baggage as a small (tote, shopping bag, backpack etc.) or a large (carry-on or checked luggage) item, and the number of items you have. A photo of the bag is also required, to help the storage staff identify it easier. You can also add in custom notes like “fragile,” “sentimental” or “pricey” so your stuff is handled with care.
Then you select your pick-up date, and the app will give you an hour to drop it off once you reserve. Pricing varies based on location, size and how long you want to keep your stuff stored for. A small item is $2 for one hour, and $7.50 for the full day. A large item runs $3 for the first hour, $2 for every additional hour, or there’s a $14 flat daily rate. Some locations will even store your baggage for 24 hours.
That’s on par with luggage storage by-the-hour at brick-and-mortar businesses like Schwartz Travel in New York City, which charges $2.50 per hour and $10 per day per bag. Regular storage companies like Manhattan Storage will also let you leave your bags for one day — but they’ll still charge you the monthly flat rate (starting at $29 per month), plus an administration fee of another $29. It’s worth noting, however, that hotels will typically hold bags gratis for guests if they check in before their room is ready, or if they check out hours before their flight.
StoreMe has grown to 3,500 users at a rate of approximately 35% month-over-month since March 1. When Moneyish took StoreMe for a test run in Midtown, Manhattan one recent afternoon, more than two dozen locations popped up, including a number of souvenir shops near Times Square, and service-related stores like a UPS, a leather goods shop, a shoe repair and a deli. The closest location was just a nine-minute walk away at a souvenir shop called H&M Gift & Luggage in Midtown West. Other locations were around a 20-minute walk (not as ideal if you’re in a hurry to drop off and go). Nap York, for example, a 24-hour WeWork-like business where people pay to take naps during the day in Midtown, also participates. And the partnership is giving the company a boost in business. A woman at the front desk told Moneyish that NapYork has up to 10 people per week coming in through the StoreMe app. StoreMe hosts get 60% of each transaction paid out weekly.
Security is a top concern among StoreMe, so each location host is vetted by StoreMe team members, and the site must be equipped with cameras. “All locations must pass a strict vetting process by the StoreMe team, and items are insured up to $2,500 per transaction,” said Korbel.
Korbel is inspired by the Airbnb model, and has considered allowing hosts to store luggage in their homes to increase the quantity of storage locations for consumers. Currently, there is already one StoreMe host location inside someone’s home. He’s still testing out the waters for allowing non-retailers to house luggage, however.
Revenue in the U.S. self-storage market is expected to top $30 billion in 2018, and will climb past $33 billion in the next two years, according to market research firm IBISWorld. So it’s no shock that more storage-related startups are trying to capitalize on the foot traffic in major cities.
In addition to StoreMe, similar on-demand storage companies include Vertoe, a daily luggage storage service in NYC and D.C. with a flat rate of $5.95 per item per day. All bags are insured for $3,000, and customers can sign up online and drop off their baggage in person. And My Bag Check, another mobile app, will take the extra step of picking up your bags for you, storing them for 24 hours and then delivering them back to you when you need them. (Having your bags picked up from the Upper East Side of Manhattan and delivered to the Financial District downtown, for example, would cost $30). Prices vary depending on the distance the driver must travel.
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