Who are CityStasher?
CityStasher is the sharing economy solution to luggage storage. Rather than paying £12.50 to queue for 45 minutes at station facilities, you can quickly drop-off your stuff with a trusted local business and save over 50%. We help our users save money and help our hosts generate some much-needed cash – London is expensive, if you haven’t noticed!
Where did it all begin?
It all started at the original Stashpoint, Ant’s apartment. Situated between Euston and King’s Cross, it felt like a non-stop stream of friends asking to store their stuff. When Matt asked to drop his stuff, it was the final straw. Ant’s number one priority was getting people to stop storing at his, but we also realised there was probably a viable business somewhere in there. After a bit of experimenting, we realised that businesses probably made better hosts than people’s homes and Ant’s house has been bag free ever since.
The team (Jacob, Matt and Ant) were soon joined by Thanos, who transformed our very basic website into a less basic one, and is now working on a quite advanced one. We’re looking to launch the new site on 1st March 2017!
How does the platform work?
I really hate to say ‘Airbnb of…’, but if you’re familiar with Airbnb then the format of our website shouldn’t feel unfamiliar. We list the vetted local businesses who have some extra space and users can then search through listings, check their hours/details on their listing page and book. You can book weeks in advance or on the same-day.
Where can I stash my stuff?
We currently cover: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Bath, Manchester, Leeds, Scarborough and Portsmouth. Within the end of the year, we’ll expand to some European capitals and a fair few more cities in the UK.
What are you doing to develop trust on your platform?
Trust is critical, especially when people are doing something quite unfamiliar. In Easter, we are going to introduce an insurance package covering users up to £1,500 per case for theft, loss or damage. This has been put together by Guardhog, who are backed by Hiscox, so we’re really excited about it. In the meantime, we offer our own £250 guarantee and we encourage all users to rate and review the service so other people can see how it works and choose trusted listings.
What makes CityStasher stand out from the crowd?
Compared to station left luggage, we stand out by being over 50% cheaper. We help people avoid long queues. Also, we have many more locations you can store at. Even though they aren’t in the station itself, in many cases they are just outside it, or they are in places that never had a left luggage centre before (e.g. Brighton!)
Our slogans are ‘Drop your bags, enjoy the city’ and ‘Taking the Lug out of Luggage’. We’re all about giving customers the freedom to enjoy their travels, unburdened by luggage, as well as empowering our hosts by giving them new revenue streams.
Who can rent out their space on the platform? Can I use my own garage/space for short-term storage?
We really focus on business hosts (shops, hotels, even barber shops and the sort!). You can apply to rent out your office space if you have regular business hours.
What do you hope to have achieved 5 years from now?
To have covered the world in StashPoints and to have created a world where nobody has to drag their bags around with them when they visit a new city. We want to rid London’s streets of the irritating luggage that tourists drag around with them. Most importantly of all, we want Ant’s flat to remain a bag-free zone.
More seriously, our plan is to be fully international, with StashPoints everywhere from New York to Sydney to Tokyo. Then we can do a grand CityStasher world tour of all our locations, stashing our bags at every destination along the way!
How do you define the ‘sharing economy’?
For us, the sharing economy is all about connecting people in efficient ways that make everyone better off. It’s about taking a marketplace approach to business. In our case, we help London businesses monetise the space they rent so expensively – and we connect them with customers who temporarily need space for storage. So it’s a win-win way of solving both their problems.
How can I sign up?
It’s really easy – just go to our website and create an account. You don’t even need an account to book storage, you can do that as a guest, but if you do make an account we can keep you in the loop about our latest developments!