Getting the best deal on a new or used shipping container can mean different things to different customers, and depending on your level of comfort with regards to shopping around for the cheapest price, it can leave you with a completely different experience and possibly impact the quality of shipping container you purchase.
Most shipping containers, both new and used, are sold through retail traders that purchase large numbers of containers at a time, clean them up, and sell them at their local facilities. Container retailers purchase containers from wholesale shipping container traders, or the companies using or leasing shipping containers. While you can occasionally purchase a shipping container direct from the shipping line or leasing company, these companies tend to shy away from a single unit sale because they have hundreds, if not thousands, of containers to sell on a monthly basis.
There are a few distinct differences between buying a shipping container from a retailer and a wholesaler, aside from pricing. Wholesalers, as mentioned before, deal in high volume raw containers. The containers will be directly out of the active fleet, so they’ll be painted to match the corporate branding of the shipping line or leasing company; whereas retail container providers will typically make any necessary repairs and paint the shipping container a neutral color.
The level of service between a retailer and wholesaler will also be a factor. Retail container traders will be able to show you the exact container, explain and differences or available features, and possibly make any customizations that you need. A wholesale container trader may not be at the location, and may not be able to provide you with exact pictures of the containers available.
The simple answer is, where ever you feel comfortable. If you are an inexperienced buyer and have lots of questions that need to be answered, it may be best to purchase a container from an experienced local retail location. For regular buyers with a greater deal of experience purchasing from a wholesaler could save some extra money in the transaction.
Both whole traders and retail dealers buy and sell shipping containers through the ContainerAuction.com marketplace. To find the best deal for you inquire through the active listings on the marketplace, or fill out an inquiry form for your city and an experienced representative will contact you directly. If you have any general container questions or need help with where to begin feel free to contact ContainerAuction.com directly.