Looking to ship a couch across the Juan de Fuca strait without it costing an arm and a leg. How?
October 30, 2012 10:42 PM   Subscribe

I've apparently been gifted with a couch and a chair from relatives in Victoria and I need to figure out the best way to get them to the Fraser Valley. Are there any movers that will move such a small number of items for a not-crazy price?

So my relatives got a new couch and chair and decided to give their old ones to me which is nice as they're a damn sight better than the ones I currently own. The problem is the distance and the ferry. If they were anywhere in the GVRD I'd just rent a cube van for a few hours and be done with it, but the ferry crossing to Victoria is a problem. I'd have to drive down to the ferry dock, walk on, get a ride over to a truck or van rental place, then load the stuff and take the ferry back, unload, drop off the truck and get a ride back to the ferry and get my car again. I live about 90 minutes from the ferry so this operation would literally consume an entire day, not to mention cost upwards of $150-$200 depending on the available moving vehicle. I'm totally willing to spend that amount, or even a bit more if I can get a service to pick up the items in Victoria and drop them at my door for that cost instead that would be ideal.

Standard movers I've called all want $80/hr or so plus travel which would make the proposition close to $400 once you factor in the travel. I'm totally open to being flexible, like if there's a cargo company that does runs to Vancouver every so often, can pick up the items in Victoria and then drop them off on my side whenever it's convenient for them to be making a run in the area anyway, that sort of thing. Does not have to be same-day service at all if there's cost savings involved. Ideas?
posted by barc0001 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Do you know anyone who has a station wagon or pickup truck you can borrow? I got my couch from my mom and it fit in her station wagon.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:45 PM on October 30, 2012

Zipcar in Vancouver has pickup trucks available (Toyota Tacoma), if you want to DIY with a ferry ride , some bungee cords and a tarp to keep the furniture dry. I have seen people using them to move furniture around Vancouver. UHaul or Budget might be a good option to rent a 1/2 ton van as well. The ferry is not THAT expensive for one driver and a standard vehicle under 20' in length, but unless you've been given a $2500 couch, it's really not worth it to pay professional movers to move two pieces of furniture from the island to the mainland. DIY on a weekend if you really want the furniture.

I don't see any options for you that don't consume an entire day and involve a trip to a car rental place and return trip via the ferry.
posted by thewalrus at 11:47 PM on October 30, 2012

Your best bet would be to start posting places like craigslist and kijiji and try to find someone else who is moving from the Island to the interior or another province. You might find someone who's going to have extra room in their moving truck and would appreciate an extra 100 or 200$ towards their moving costs. If you have time to work with, keep renewing your ad and cross your fingers.
posted by mannequito at 12:14 AM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

I live in Victoria. Assuming you rent a pickup truck, getting the couch from the Island to your place will likely cost almost as much as buying a new couch.

I like mannequito's idea quite a bit!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:54 AM on October 31, 2012

You don't want a mover you want a courier. Ace, for example, has a branch in Victoria and I've used them to ship stuff like engines and transmissions. It would be best if the furniture was well wrapped with packing saran and/or heavy duty plastic sheeing to keep it clean.

KokuRyu writes "getting the couch from the Island to your place will likely cost almost as much as buying a new couch."

I'm shopping for a couch and chaise right now and unless it's the absolute cheapest walmart/ikea level furniture that's not true.

Ferry fare each way for a pickup (all you need for such a minimal load) is ~$140. Allow $50 for a rental and even with $150 for gas you are still only at $350.
posted by Mitheral at 6:42 AM on October 31, 2012

Look on craigslist or kijiji. You can usually find some dude with a pickup truck who will move your stuff for a reasonable price. Look under "services" or just search terms like "move", "truck", and "moving" with the appropriate filters on so that you don't get ads for dance classes and used vehicle sales and whatnot.
posted by windykites at 6:57 AM on October 31, 2012

I don't think a local mover will be affordable, even the cheapest of the cheap movers off craigslist are going to charge at least 50$/hr plus two ferry rides. Anybody local needs to get back after they deliver it, and I assume they would charge something for the time they spend returning. To make this at all affordable you need to find somebody who's heading one way.
posted by mannequito at 2:55 PM on October 31, 2012

You can easily pick up a nice used couch for $350.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:13 PM on October 31, 2012

Best answer: Using the Ace Courier calculator, it would cost around $150 to ship the couch to your place, assuming the couch is 84"X 30" X 36" and weighs 80 pounds.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:17 PM on October 31, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, I think the courier route may be the best way to go. And it has to be this couch and chair as opposed to picking up another locally for family... political reasons let's say. I needed a new set anyway, but if these weren't being offered up I probably would wait another year or two before investing in a set.
posted by barc0001 at 3:25 PM on November 4, 2012

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