5 Tips for Buying Used Shipping Containers for Cheap

Getting a Good Deal on a Used Shipping Container

It’s 2022 and it has never been easier to purchase goods and services. In fact, if you’re looking for anything in particular, there’s a good chance it can be found at your local Walmart or on Amazon. But where do people go to buy shipping containers and how can they get a good deal? In this article, we break down five tips to purchasing used shipping containers for cheap!


#1: Contact Local Shipping Container Company

More often than not, if you are in a time crunch and want to purchase a quality container for a reasonable price, we recommend that you get in touch with a local storage company. If you are on the West Coast (Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington), you can get in touch with us by choosing a container company near you. If not, find another trustworthy local container company in your area.

#2: Visit Container Suppliers near a Local Port

If you find yourself living near a port or have easy access to one, there is a good chance that that there are multiple suppliers in that area who may be selling containers. No matter where you live, you can find these suppliers with a simple Google search. Visit the websites of different container suppliers and contact them directly to inquire.

#3: Look for Containers on Craigslist and eBay

Another option may be to look for containers online in places like Craigslist and eBay. Most of these options will require local pickup, meaning you will have to travel and arrange delivery, but you may be able to find some great deals! Simply go to the search tab on either site and type in “shipping containers” in the browser and see what you can find! Keep in mind that you will most likely have to bid on the eBay platform, so you will have to keep up to date with the auction and compete with any other bidders.

#4: Evaluate Condition of Used Containers Closely

Vetting and selecting a container can be an overwhelming process, especially for a first timer, however, there are a few things that even a beginner can do to vet all their shipping container options carefully and effectively. We’ve separated them into the following categories:

    First and foremost, you should walk around the container and look at the shape. Angles should be as close to 90 degrees as possible. If one side seems off, you may want to rule this one out. Depending on your use for the container, appearance may not matter as much, but this is something to keep in mind either way.
    Once the exterior has been checked, you should evaluate one of the most important elements to any container; the doors. Most shipping containers have doors on one end that uses a lock mechanism and handles for entry. Containers spend the majority of their life with the doors closed, in turn the door may be a little sticky. Make sure the rubber seals are in good shape and the doors close all the way.
    First, go inside the container with a flashlight and inspect thoroughly. Once this is complete, close the doors to the container almost all the way and turn the flashlight off. When your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, look for holes in the steel where light is poking through. If light can get into the container, so can water, so take this into account before making any purchasing decisions.

#5: Negotiate Properly

Once you’ve selected a supplier and vetted your container options, it’s time to negotiate with the seller. Be forward and communicate that you are looking for the best price on the container and that you are willing to wait if need be.
Ask for Veterans or First Responders discount if those apply to you. Ask if the company has a Referral Program that you could benefit from. Be mindful that these sellers are in business to make a profit, so they will not usually make a deal unless there is money to be made. As long as you keep this in mind while negotiating, a mutually beneficial deal should be reached.


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