Do you need to ship your furniture to a new address? If so, it’s time to start navigating the landscape of furniture shipping services. If it’s your first time shipping furniture, you probably have plenty of questions, like how to even get started.
Whether you’re shipping a couch, bedroom set, or a house worth of furniture, everything starts by choosing the right company. To help guide you, here are a few tips on how to find the right furniture shipping service that meets your needs and budget.
What to Look for in a Furniture Shipping Company
Finding the right furniture shipping service is a little more complicated than searching for a great package delivery service. You want to get the best rate possible while also ensuring that your furniture arrives undamaged and on time.
Do Some Online Research
Chances are you can find hand-printed signs for movers and furniture shipping services plastered around your neighborhood. Even though these companies may be reputable, it’s not always your best option. When it comes to shipping your favorite chair or a family heirloom table, you want to hire the best, which means spending some time online researching local furniture shipping companies.
Not sure where to start your online research? Try using keywords like ‘furniture shipping company,’ which should bring up a list of services in your area. Start clicking on the links for companies near you because, ideally, you want the service to be as local as possible to help cut down on expenses. You may pay less in moving and shipping fees when the service doesn’t have to drive across town to pick up your furniture.
Don’t forget to go through the consumer reviews, as you can learn a lot from your fellow consumers. Look for comments regarding the company’s professionalism, timely deliveries, and if the furniture arrived undamaged at the destination.
Experience is Key
You may be tempted to help out the start-up furniture shipping company posting signs in your neighborhood. You’ll actually probably get a great rate doing so, but it’s still not the best idea for a variety of reasons.
Whether you’re shipping an old comfy chair or your grandmother’s heirloom bed, you want your furniture packed and shipped with care. In other words, you want your furniture to arrive in the same shape it was before shipping.
Experienced shipping companies may charge slightly higher rates than start-ups—however, you’re paying for their experience and knowledge. They know how to wrap and package your furniture to protect it from scuffs, breaks, and other damage.
You can usually find the company’s years of experience listed on their website. You may even want to ask for references. This is a great way to verify a company’s experience shipping furniture.
Is the Shipper Licensed and Insured
Some states require all shipping companies to be licensed and insured. For example, Florida requires licensing for all furniture shipping companies operating in the state, and this can also apply to insurance. The federal government typically requires all shippers to carry insurance, especially when they’re crossing state lines.
Even if your insurance policy covers furniture damaged during shipping, it’s still a good idea to use a company that also carries insurance. This way, if something does happen to your furniture, you’re financially covered.
Something else to consider is whether your insurance covers replacement costs. You may want to review your policy, along with the one carried by the furniture shipper, to ensure there aren’t any gaps.
Most top-name furniture shipping services have similar prices, which doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pay to shop around for the best rate. Along with comparing shipping prices, also check for additional fees.
What may seem like a great rate can quickly turn expensive if you’re hit with multiple surcharges. The best advice is to look for a furniture shipper that includes everything in the final quoted price; this way, there aren’t any unpleasant surprises on the final bill.
Check for Additional Services
If you don’t mind packing up your furniture without professional help, go for it! You may save some money on shipping costs, and this can also apply if you drop the furniture off at the service. You may be able to forego any pickup fees.
However, most people can’t fit their furniture in a personal vehicle. Renting a moving truck defeats the purpose of trying to save money.
Most people want a furniture shipping company that does everything, from picking up and packing your furniture to delivering it to the new address. Making sure these additional services are included can make your life a lot easier.
Can You Get Extra Protection For Fragile or Valuable Items
Sometimes, moving blankets and protective plastic wrap are enough to protect your furniture during the move. Other items like artwork, mirrors, and electronics need a little extra care.
If this applies to some of the furniture you’re shipping, check with the shipping service about the steps they take to protect fragile and valuable items. If they don’t offer these services, you may want to consider going with another shipping company.
Customer Service Availability
While your furniture is in transit, you may want to check on its status. Most furniture shipping companies let their clients track their furniture throughout the shipping process. You can follow your belongings on the route and even get updated delivery times.
Sometimes, the tracking feature can go offline, which is when you’ll probably want to check with customer service. Ideally, you’ll be able to speak with someone any time of the day or night. Finding out about their customer service hours can save you a lot of stress and frustration while waiting for your furniture to arrive.
Always Read the Fine Print
Before signing an agreement and forking over shipping costs, always read the fine print in the contract. Most reputable furniture shipping companies aren’t going to hide extra fees or waivers in the fine print, but you always want to double-check.
Ship Your Furniture with Confidence
Nobody wants to have to deal with the many challenges that come with shipping furniture. But thankfully, the right furniture shipping company will pick up your items and deliver them safely and on time.
With a little research and asking a few questions, you can confidently ship your furniture without any added stress or hassles.