How do I get two fairly large boxes to UPS without a car?
June 6, 2010 3:56 PM   Subscribe

How do I get two fairly large boxes to UPS without a car?

I have two boxes, sized 24" x 20" x 12" weighing about 30lbs, that I would like to ship. I live in midtown Manhattan. I don't have a car.

I'd prefer to print the label at home and just drop it off. However, I can't carry the bulky boxes the 4 blocks to the nearest UPS Store. (FedEx is closer but I'd prefer UPS.) I'd prefer not to schedule a pickup because I don't want to take off work and wait around all day.

Can I rent a dolly or handtruck from somewhere? If so, where? I'm not finding much help from Google.

Is there a better way?
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards to Grab Bag (15 answers total)
I'm no Manhattanite, but wouldn't a cab ride be cheaper and less hassle than renting a handtruck for a day?
posted by desjardins at 4:00 PM on June 6, 2010

The UPS Store probably has a handtruck you could borrow for a tiny bit if you explain the situation nicely to the guys. Alternately, your building has to have a handtruck somewhere -- talk to your super/doorman/neighbor; I'm sure they'll have one of those folding handcarts or a granny cart.

And worst comes to worst, try walking to the nearest hardware store and explaining the situation, asking if you could just informally rent their handtruck for ten bucks for an hour. I've borrowed wrenches and pliers and all sorts of tools in NYC this way.
posted by suedehead at 4:02 PM on June 6, 2010

Call a friend with a car?
posted by TheBones at 4:06 PM on June 6, 2010

UPS does pickups at many business, can you convince them that you're a business can call for a pickup? Can you ask a business across the street/at the end of the block/below your apartment to be the pickup point? Can you carry them one at a time, assuming that the UPS store isn't too far? Sure it will take twice as long. Or hire one of those "guys with trucks" off CL for $20.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:10 PM on June 6, 2010

UPS does residential package pickups. Just create an account on their web page and it'll guide you through printing the shipping labels and scheduling a pickup. It costs me about $8 per pickup, which is a heck of a lot easier then schlepping stuff down to the UPS store.
posted by pjaust at 4:15 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I lived in NYC, I did residential pick up for a number of 40-pound boxes. Works a treat.
posted by fifilaru at 4:44 PM on June 6, 2010

oops you don't want residential pick up, ah well. I had a doorman at the time. I left the boxes (and cheques for UPS) with the doorman.
posted by fifilaru at 4:47 PM on June 6, 2010

One of those little fold-up luggage carriers should work fine. Anyone who lives in the city should own one. How do you get your groceries home?
posted by caddis at 5:26 PM on June 6, 2010

Shopping cart? Otherwise, yeah, call a cab.
posted by Slinga at 5:35 PM on June 6, 2010

Best answer: Ways I have moved boxes several blocks:

One at a time, hefted.
Shopping cart.
Little red wagon.
Bunch of buddies.
Day laborers.
posted by klangklangston at 6:53 PM on June 6, 2010

Do you have a bicycle? If so, rent a bike trailer.
posted by KathrynT at 9:06 PM on June 6, 2010

If you don't want to spend money renting a hand truck, you could improvise skids by tying the two heavy boxes securely together and ripping apart the largest box you have at the glue/staple seam so you have a longish box you can shape sort of like a hockey stick and drag sort of like a dogsled -- which should work for four blocks. Techniques like this are recommended for e.g. DIY landscaping and can work surprisingly well.
posted by dhartung at 10:19 PM on June 6, 2010

pjaust's comment should be the last word here. UPS does pickups. I believe USPS even does it for free.
posted by schmod at 9:10 AM on June 7, 2010

The poster doesn't want to schedule a pickup. Read the question.

I'd get a cab - the drivers will usually help you muscle the boxes, too. You can flag down one of the new minivan cabs for maximum space.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:50 PM on June 9, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. The cab is probably the best choice. However, I decided to be lazy and cheap. Also, 36 pounds and 25 pounds are lighter than I thought. Either that or I'm stronger than I thought. I carried them one at a time to the UPS store.

P.S. I carry my groceries home. Besides, these boxes won't fit in a granny cart.

Cheers all.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 7:07 PM on June 16, 2010

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