For students looking for a way to store their items in Binghamton this summer, BU Boxes may have a solution.
The new local company, based at 85 Main St. in Johnson City, delivers packing materials to students, picks up their items, stores them for the summer and drops them off where the student lives the following semester. The service is offered to all students of Binghamton University, whether they live on or off campus.
The owners, Jon and Tracey Weiss, have owned a local sports marketing company, Raceline Direct, since 1996. Tracey Weiss said she came up with the idea for BU Boxes after working with BU interns.
“We offered this service to many of our interns over the years,” Weiss said. “Many of them expressed the desire to store their personal belongings in a secure location when they returned home for the summer. It seemed to us that other students at Binghamton University would be interested as well.”
According to Justin Gianninoto, a business strategy intern at BU Boxes and a senior majoring in English, the company has an advantage over renting self-storage units.
“A storage unit rental is near impossible for students without a car,” Gianninoto said. “And even if they do have a car, students have to pack the car and then unload everything at the storage unit, and do the same when they move back in. On top of that, our prices are competitive. Storage units are expensive and don’t include the convenience of pickup and delivery or packing materials.”
Scott Schuhert, associate director of operations for Residential Life, met with the owners of BU Boxes earlier this year to discuss what options would be available for students.
“If any student wishes to partner with [BU Boxes] so that they can store their products during the summer, they can do so independently,” Schuhert said. “Students can independently work with a company like [BU Boxes], secure a storage locker off campus, which will allow them access to their items as they need them, or they can just bring their items home.”
Students looking to have their items picked up by a storage company also have options other than BU Boxes. The Student Storage Company has been providing a similar service to students for over 10 years, including picking up packages, storing them and dropping them off at student-specified locations in the fall.
The Student Storage Company, based out of Syracuse, N.Y., serves universities all over the Northeast. According to Office Coordinator Jim Brown, students can order online at www.thestudentstorage.com up to one day before pickup is needed.
“We don’t have a minimum price that students need to spend, and we don’t charge for the boxes that we drop off for students to pack their belongings,” Brown said. “We store in the summer and return everything in the fall.”
Another such company is Pack and Stack Storage Solutions, which was founded by a college student and serves multiple universities, including BU. In addition to their basic services, this company also offers to pack for students, removing their items directly from their dorm room to save the customer time. Students can place orders online at www.packandstackstoragesolutions.com. Pack and Stack Storage Solutions did not respond to requests for comment.
Despite BU Boxes’ larger and more established competitors, Gianninoto sees being a small and local company as an advantage.
“We are located just three miles from campus,” he said. “If students want to come take something from their belongings or add something, they are welcome to, and it’s convenient.”
According to Weiss, this also means that students’ belongings are stored locally, and that the company is able to offer flexible schedules to meet the needs of all students, including those looking for short-term storage or those who are spending a semester abroad.
Derek Smith, a freshman double-majoring in Arabic and political science, decided to use BU Boxes instead of shipping his items back to his home in Minnesota.
“I decided to use BU Boxes because it’s so convenient,” Smith said. “The prices are cheap, and what I really liked was that you don’t have to buy a big package deal. I only needed to store two boxes, so that really cut down on my costs.”
Students interested in storing their items with BU Boxes this summer can place an order online at www.buboxes.com or call (607) 644-1044.