Used shipping containers have become a popular way for both individuals and businesses to solve their storage needs.

More recently, they have been shaped by builders into offices, homes and stores.

As a matter of fact, a home owner in Texas used more than 14 containers to build a 3,700-square room home.

In Thailand, a car dealership was built entirely out of containers, allowing the owner to start selling his automobiles quickly and giving him the option to move his business if he decided to move when his lease expired.

In the U.S., a coffee shop was built in Seattle from shipping containers and since then has added stores made from containers in Chicago, Denver, Portland and Kansas City.

And if  you just want a container for personal use, they are durable and can withstand all elements, making them a great choice if you are looking to protect something, like an antique car, from moisture and sunlight.

Of course, you can also buy a used shipping container for its original use, too, as owning a container could be an economical way for your business to ship products by boat, train or truck.

If you’ve decide to purchase a used container, here a couple of things to be on the lookout for: “Used” means different things to different people, so be sure the container you plan on buying isn’t worn out. “As is” containers are your most economical option, but likely have flaws such as leaks and/or rust. They are, however, in large supply, so you are likely to find a good price. “Cargo worthy” is a container that has been inspected by a cargo surveyor, which means the container has been deemed ocean worthy.

Lastly, it’s wise to do business with companies dedicated to used shipping containers as they will meet the requirements needed to sell the containers.