Like many other businesses, Perry Pallets and Bin Sales employees have been using online options for continuing their business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Steven Martin, owner of Perry Pallets and Bin Sales, said the store closed briefly in March in order to better protect the employees and customers. Approximately 80 percent of their customer base is older and would have been at risk, said Martin.
“We made a decision in order to keep them safe, because they've been with us for years and we didn't want them to be at risk,” he said. “Typically with our bin sales, it's really a volume of people every day — you could have anywhere between 75-125 people in at a time, which our building capacity is 125.
“Once COVID-19 hit, honestly, this type of industry probably took the worst hit, because people can't stand next to each other or wait in line or touch the same items, so we kind of went on a break for a month and then we had to do something,” he said, adding he knew he had to do something to continue operating the business.
Martin said he started posting items for sale on Facebook daily, providing a “sneak-peak” of future items and then listing the item prices and descriptions. By using this online method of selling items, said Martin, he has been getting a lot of new customers in addition to returning customers.
“The customer base continues to grow with Facebook being so vast,” said Martin.
Initially, said Martin, he was worried about how the pandemic could impact the business, but once he started online sales, things grew beyond what he had imagined.
“I know our profits have tripled since going online,” said Martin. “We've been doing drastically better than what we were when the bins were (physically) open.”
To help with the growth of the business, he said, he hired another employee to help.
“It was something I was expecting to be able to offer my regulars and give them something to do while they were at home. We had no clue it was going to take off like it did,” said Martin. “It continues to grow and grow, I never would have imagined I could have hired another employee.”
The new way business is being operated, he said, is more of a process and more work, but it is done to help ensure safety. “It is a little more complicated than just going, opening and letting people in,” said Martin.
Due to the success and growth of the business while using online sales, Martin said he plans to continue this method even once the physical location is fully operational again.
“Once we're able to go 100 percent (in-person) again, we'll continue to do online and it will be even more so essential than the physical store,” he said.
Currently, Martin said, the hours of operation for Perry Pallets and Bin Sales are as follows: Monday and Tuesday – online sales at 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday – curbside pickup available from noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday – online sales at 6 p.m.; Saturday – curbside pickup available from noon to 4 p.m.; and Sunday – closed.