Cheapest way to move a small number of large items interstate?
May 18, 2011 7:51 PM   Subscribe

I have four large, heavy items (furniture or similar) that I'd like to move from Philadelphia to Chicago, but I'm wondering if it's just cheaper sell them on craigslist and re-buy?

I own very little, and a few big boxes via UPS is pretty much all of my stuff... except for a decent bed and a couple things from IKEA that I don't know what to do with.

I'm seeing "upack"-esque stuff online for around $600-700 minimum, which isn't much less than the cost of the items themselves.

What would be the next steps if you were me? Call local companies instead of poking around online? Do you think I can do better? Or just craigslist my stuff and re-buy?

I would love for an excuse just to get rid of this stuff and re-buy, because the hassle would be SO MUCH LESS, but if there's an economic argument for going through the hassle of moving this stuff I should probably take it.
posted by zeek321 to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is no argument for moving IKEA furniture -- it is designed to be thrown away or sold at deep discount on Craigslist when you move.
posted by mlis at 7:54 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sell on CL in Philly, buy from CL in Chicago.
posted by headnsouth at 7:57 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sell and rebuy.
posted by sandmanwv at 8:17 PM on May 18, 2011

What I generally do in this situation is throw it away if I can't give it away to someone I know. While this might seem wasteful, getting rid of it is actually quite valuable to me, so I feel like I'm getting something for nothing!
posted by John Cohen at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2011

Odds are that you won't be able to sell your stuff (on a timeline) for as much money as you'll pay for similar stuff. On the other hand, you might find much nicer stuff for less money. As long as you're okay with this gamble and have a flexible ideas regarding replacement, go ahead.
posted by desuetude at 10:01 PM on May 18, 2011

I kept a lot of furniture when I moved from MA to GA. It would have been easier and cheaper to sell it, but many of the things I chose to bring had sentimental value. Also, having my familiar stuff in my new home (in a city where I didn't know anyone) made me feel calmer in those early disorienting weeks.
posted by southern_sky at 10:20 PM on May 18, 2011

Keep in mind that the furniture you buy on the other side can be purchased with the new place in mind and so might fit it better than whatever you're considering moving. Also note that while you avoid the hassle of packing and moving your stuff now, you introduce the new hassle of trying to unpack into a place that doesn't even have furniture until you go out and buy some.
posted by contraption at 10:33 PM on May 18, 2011

Thank you everyone for the sanity check and the additional tradeoffs that I didn't consider.
posted by zeek321 at 6:47 AM on May 19, 2011

For big items you actually want to keep, Uship is a good alternative to UPS or a mover. It's basically a bidding site for shipping; you post a job, and vendors tell you how much they'd do it for, and then you pick one to work with.

But I agree, shipping IKEA furniture is silly; CL it and CL or rebuy on the Chicago end.
posted by me3dia at 12:40 PM on May 21, 2011

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