Tips for Shipping Furniture by Thee Velvet Glove

The questions that I get asked the most are about shipping. Shipping furniture can certainly be intimidating. When I first started doing this, it was intimidating to me until I found the “White Glove” carrier of my dreams, TSC Moving. I used them for years and then all of the sudden they went out of business and KABLAM! I had to start over, along with a lot of other people. It was tough. I had forged a relationship with the company and several of their drivers, then POOF! they were gone.

If “White Glove” is a new term to you, let me start by explaining what exactly that means. “White Glove Delivery” is simply a level of service. The delivery professionals bring the item to the buyer’s destination and place it where they want it in the room, unwrap it and take away any packaging. It’s also the easiest on the seller (and the seller’s back). They arrive at the seller’s location, blanket and stretch wrap the item, then load it for delivery. The seller doesn’t have to do anything but answer the door. It’s heaven and it’s convenient for the buyer. It can also be pricey, but you get what you pay for.

I’ve used Uship several times. The process can be a tad stressful at first, but once you get through the first shipment you catch on. You create an account, then list the item to be shipped with the service you want. You also include:

  • size of the item
  • pictures of the item
  • when you need it picked up and delivered by
  • whether your item is stackable or not
  • amount you (or your buyer) are willing to pay

Shippers bid on the shipment and you accept the bid if one meets your needs. CHECK THE REVIEWS of the carriers bidding on your item. I cannot stress this enough. Dig deep.

Uship offers these levels of service:

  • White Glove –  Highest level of care. The service provider will pack/wrap, load/unload, place anywhere on premises, setup items and remove packing materials.
  • Blanket Wrap –  The service provider will carefully blanket wrap and load/unload items. Inside pickup and delivery to a first floor is included.
  • LTL Freight and Packing – The service provider will pick up and pack items to freight standards and load/unload items. Extra fees may apply for inside pickup or delivery.
  • LTL Standard – You are required to pack items to freight standards and load/unload items. Typically used by businesses with loading docks. Residential service and inside pickup or delivery may be available for extra fees.

I can only speak for White Glove service via Uship and it’s worked well for me and my buyers. Under most circumstances, my buyer pays shipping. It’s not my norm, but sometimes I will adjust the price of the item to help them with shipping. I collect the fee from the buyer and once the buyer receives their item I release the funds to the shipper by giving the shipper a code Uship provided to me. Do not give out this code until the delivery has been confirmed. They also offer insurance for an additional charge. I shipped the item below from Mesa, AZ to Vernal, UT and the shipping fee for White Glove Delivery was $265.00 plus an additional $24.99 service charge from Uship. When I initiated the bid I posted it for $250. I got a bid for $265 and the shipper had great references so I took it. So a total of $289.99. It was picked up on Friday morning and delivered by Saturday evening. My sweet buyer was happy and so was I.

Jungle Love by Thee Velvet GloveNext, local shippers. They’re out there and you just have to find them. I found a great shipper that I use regularly. His name is Aaron from Aaron’s Transport & Delivery Service. Here is the link to his Facebook page. He is the only “White Glove” carrier I’ve found that goes from where I live in Mesa, Arizona to Utah or Colorado. That was a huge plus for me because it has been quite difficult to find a carrier that goes to those areas, although I’m not sure why. He also goes along the west coast up to Washington, all the bordering states along the west coast, Texas, Colorado, Utah and Arkansas. I cannot say enough good things about him. He is on time, cautious with the merchandise, and stays in contact throughout the delivery. He also sends me a picture once the piece is delivered. I LOVE THAT! He is paid half up front and half upon delivery and I pay him through Paypal. Here are some pictures he sent me of of pieces he’s picked up and prepared for shipment. He’s definitely my go to.

Shipping FurnitureShipping Furniture

His contact info is Aaron’s Transport & Delivery Service – Aaron Hernandez 602-309-7400. Email is aaronh2787@gmail.com. He is professional, dependable, courteous and flexible. He can also be found on Uship here. He has a 5 out of 5 star rating. For example, Aaron delivered this piece below for me from Mesa, AZ to Lufkin, TX. The fee for “White Glove” was $280.00. This is an example of a piece that was too heavy to go Greyhound. Dimension wise it would have worked but this baby was solid and heavy.

Painted Lady by Thee Velvet GloveI know of another shipper, Bobby Maas, from MAAS Transport. I’ve spoken with him a few times, but I am outside his coverage area. He has great coverage out east and I plan on using his company if he ever comes out this way. Hint Hint. I know several people who ship through him and have heard nothing but great reviews. He offers online quotes here. I know he helped several people out of a bind back when TSC Moving went out of business. A lot of the fellas that worked for TSC Moving went to work for MAAS Transport so I wanted to make sure I mentioned his services here. You can also find MAAS Transport on Facebook here.

This is turning into quite a lengthy post but I’m trying to cover questions I’ve received. I’m going to try to get everything in here including links to items I use for packing.

Next up, Greyhound Express Shipping. From my experience they are probably the least expensive route. But it ain’t easy! You have to pack it and haul it to Greyhound, get it on the scales there and pray that it isn’t over 100 lbs (unless you have a scale to weigh it prior). I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating weight. It’s hard work! Sometimes I feel as if I can conquer the world after packaging a chest of drawers. But you can do it. I’ve done several 5 drawer chests on my own from start to finish. Invest in a hand truck. I bought mine from Harbor Freight for $39.99. Box building is probably the toughest part. I’m not trying to discourage you, but depending on the size of the item, this can become quite the task. You can do it! Furniture stores are great places to find big boxes or flattened boxes that you can use to build the size you need. Remember when quoting your buyer a shipping price, there is the cost of packing material: blankets (there are a few different sizes to choose from at Harbor Freight which run from $4.49 to $10.99 each) stretch wrap, tape and boxes. Uline is a great source for boxes and packing materials, along with Uhaul. I’ve found the “Shorty Wardrobe Box” from Uhaul works great for nightstands. I can run out and get one quickly because they’re local.  I just remove the metal hanging bar. Here’s the link to check for a Uhaul dealer near you. Just enter your zip code and check the box for “moving supplies”. Here’s another link for packing supplies from Starboxes.

When I pack a piece for shipping, I wrap it in a blanket. I then stretch wrap it tight, put it in the box, add paper or bubble wrap around it so there is no shifting, then tape the box and stretch wrap it again. Here are a couple of boxes to show you how mine look when they’re ready to go to Greyhound.

Thee Velvet GloveThee Velvet GloveThee Velvet Glove

Greyhound delivers to the Greyhound Station of the town and state you select when you request a quote online. Upon delivery to the destination Greyhound Station, Greyhound contacts your buyer and your buyer has 72 hours to retrieve their delivery from the station. Make sure you get a good phone number for the buyer. I always take a picture of the Waybill and email it to my customer so they have documentation. They will need their ID to pick up their item. Greyhound also has a tracking system on their website. You will need the Waybill/GLI number on the receipt to track the package. The instant quote from Greyhound on their website is a great feature. Remember when you enter your longest measurement to add about 6 or so inches for packing material. You will need the Greyhound Bus Station in the city closest to your buyer. You enter the origin city and state, the destination city and state, the package weight and longest package dimension. They don’t take anything over 100 lbs. and the maximum dimensions they can accommodate are 82″ L x 47″ W x 30″ H. Value limitations are insured for up to $300.00 only.

To give you an idea of some I’ve shipped via Greyhound:

This coffee table (pictured below) I shipped from Mesa, AZ to Kissimmee, FL. It weighed 96 pounds. It is also pictured above boxed up in the “St. Cloud or Bust” box. I was holding my breath when I got it up on the scales and it made it, just barely though. The fee to ship this via Greyhound was $135.00. The legs on this coffee table were removable so I took them off and wrapped them in bubble wrap and put them inside the table. The top lifts up for storage. It was easier to box with the legs removed.

The table that tugged at my heart.I shipped the chest of drawers (pictured below) from Mesa, AZ to Newark, NJ. It weighed 84 lbs and is pictured above in the “Rutherford or Bust” box. It was $124.50 to ship via Greyhound Express Shipping. This one took about 10 days to arrive.

Thee Velvet GloveHere is an example below of the receipt you will get from Greyhound when you ship through them. The GLI is the Waybill/Tracking Number. Go to the Greyhound tracking site and use that number to track your shipment. It usually doesn’t update for 24-48 hours, just FYI, so don’t panic if you don’t see any info right away.

Thee Velvet GloveSome more examples so you can get an idea on prices. I shipped these nightstands (pictured below) via Greyhound from Mesa, AZ to Fairfax Station, VA for $224 total, so $112.00 each. They are Henredon and they were heavy.

Thee Velvet GloveI shipped these navy nightstands (pictured below) from Mesa, AZ to Boston, MA via Greyhound for $147.00 total so $73.50 each. These fit in the Uhaul “Shorty Wardrobe” boxes pictured.

Thee Velvet GloveThis Red Tallboy shipped “White Glove” from Mesa, AZ to Washington DC for $399.

Thee Velvet GloveThis desk shipped “White Glove” from Mesa, AZ to Riverside, CA for $179.

Thee Velvet GloveI shipped this Frenchy Grunge table below from Mesa, AZ to Marietta, GA for $64.00 via Greyhound. It weighed 37 pounds. This piece was manageable enough that I could get on my digital bathroom scale without it and with it and subtract the difference. I added on a couple of pounds for packing material, then entered that amount in the weight section when requesting my online quote from Greyhound.

Thee Velvet Glove

This black dresser (pictured below) shipped “White Glove” from Mesa, AZ to Sacramento, CA for $249.00.

Black Henredon Dresser Thee Velvet Glove

This piece (pictured below) shipped “White Glove” from Mesa, AZ to New York for $549.00. It had to be carried up several floors of an apartment building.

Turquoise Thee Velvet Glove

More miscellaneous pictures below from a shipping day. This pink set shipped to Paris, TN “White Glove” for $449.00 and the Blonde Bombe shipped to Salem, AR “White Glove” for $249.00.

Thee Velvet Glove Shipping Furniture25

The red chest (pictured below) shipped from Mesa, AZ to Rancho Palo Verdes, CA “White Glove” for $249.00.

RubyI could go on and on giving examples but I don’t want to bore you. LOL.

UPDATE – 2/25/2016 – Sandra from Cascadia Express Shipping Company contacted me with their information. I wanted to include it in this blog post. They ship coast to coast and overseas. Info below:

Cascadia Express ~ Custom Transport & Logistics Service
Coast to Coast Specialty Transport
Designer Furniture, Artwork, Antiques, Estate and Entire Collections.
UK, Europe, Australia ~ Overseas and Air Transport.
Personalized Service Door to Door or Port to Port.
352-208-7517 Charles
352-895-1093 Sandra

I hope this post helped you if you had any questions on shipping. If I missed something please leave questions in the comments and I will answer them the best I can.

Thanks for stopping by! -L

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24 thoughts on “Tips for Shipping Furniture by Thee Velvet Glove

  1. Great post!! I had a chest in transit with TSC when it went out of business and they just left it in a warehouse in DE.. Bobby Maas saved my butt big time, he went and picked it up and delivered it to its destination. He is a life saver!

  2. Dear Missy Velvet… Thank you so very much for this wonderful informative post!
    I have yet to ship a piece. It almost happened, once again, last month and then they changed their mind and then it sold locally.
    sooo… after reading and re-reading your every detail I feel so much more confident in offering my furniture to the whole country!
    You is Kind… You is Generous…You is Precious
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Paula

    • Paula!! I just love you! I remember you had a few that almost went. I’m so glad this was informative. I felt like I was rambling on and on. LOL. Have a great day and thank you for your sweet comment, my friend! XOXOXO

  3. Lori Dear…
    The realness of you shines through in your every word and detail. I love how you write!
    I first remember reading one of your posts about your Precious Mema and how you shared her and your love.. and I poured over every word as the love you shared with her so reminded me of me and my precious Minnie.
    You have an amazing way of writing that is open, and real … never stop your ramblings, Sweet Missy Velvet.. for in your words are the colors of your love!
    I Love YOU!
    Paula

  4. I have a question. Where do you begin to find the White Glove type of shippers? I wouldn’t even know what to look up in the phone directory. We have movers, but I assume those are not the same as shippers. Is Uship the only other option? Unrelated question, how do you advertise your pieces, through facebook, ebay or some other provider? It amazes me that people are willing to pay that kind of shipping! Your pieces are AMAZING and I can believe they would purchase them, but I can barely get people to buy my items in my booth and on craigslist and my prices are less than your shipping, lol! Thank you for the post, it was extremely helpful.

  5. I am sooo grateful for all the work you did to put this together for us. It is wonderful when we can share our knowledge and experience with one another to make life easier. I appreciate you and your talent…your work is magnificent.
    Many Blessings,
    Katherine

    PS Do you have a post on opening and maintaining an Etsy shop?

  6. Thank you so much for this information! I have been quite worried about shipping my painted furniture to future customers because my hubby warned me about the rough treatment that packages go through with usual shippers…..like the fact that UPS demands the 5 foot drop qualification and that they then will not pay for damage in transit that they cause. This article helps me so much. A friend of mine in MI has used the company you pointed out has gone out of business. I will pass this info to her as well.

  7. In regard to Cascadia Express, I would advise you and your readers to look at their Yelp reviews and their latest U-Ship reviews. We have had a HORRIBLE experience and they have been impossible, the communication is abysmal and their behavior is unethical and they are basically holding our furniture hostage demanding cash. Please be smart and always ask shippers for their DOT license number and if they do not have one, run away!

  8. This article is so helpful and informative! Your work is beautiful too! Thanks so much for the detailed information! So many do not want to share their experience! I really appreciate this!
    Jeannee

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