How to ship furniture
January 21, 2008 9:38 PM   Subscribe

How do you ship furniture?

I've been toying around with the idea of refinishing old furniture and then selling it... problem is, I have absolutely no idea how I would go about shipping assembled furniture of various shapes and sizes across the country/world. How would I manage this, and how would be able to estimate how much it would cost? I'm guessing I can't just drag a desk to the post office and slap a few stamps on it...?
posted by logic vs love to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You call an outfit like Transit Systems Inc. for a delivery quote, and they come pick up the furniture. (Hint: you save a bunch if you wrap the furniture yourself.)
posted by nicwolff at 10:20 PM on January 21, 2008

My parents shipped me a large bureau, dining room table and chairs via UPS Freight services. I don't know if they went through Mailboxes Etc or not. I think UPS basically contracts a local service at the origin to pack everything up and get it on a truck. Once it reaches the destination, they contract another local service to bring it to one's doorstep. It took a few weeks, but nothing was damaged and it certainly cost far less than the furniture in question. I really wish I had more details, but really, just try calling UPS, tell them the situation and see what they say--or more importantly, quote.
posted by txsebastien at 11:02 PM on January 21, 2008

Sorry, meant to post this url for you: UPS: LTL (Less-Than-Truckload)
posted by txsebastien at 11:06 PM on January 21, 2008

If you want a better guarantee as to the condition of the furniture upon arrival, you build a crate in which to ship it.
posted by desuetude at 6:08 AM on January 22, 2008

Many shipping companies do LTL. You might google LTL plus your city/region and see what options come up.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:36 AM on January 22, 2008

Plan on it being hundreds of dollars. It will be much more profitable to sell locally.
posted by smackfu at 6:56 AM on January 22, 2008

The best way to package furniture for LTL services is to pallet and crate it:
  1. Get a pallet that is larger than the furniture.
  2. Wrap the furniture in packing saran to keep things like drawers from opening and as a final protection against water and dirt.
  3. Place the item on the pallet and strap it down. The cheapest way is to use plastic banding but regular ratchet straps will work if you don't want to invest in a bander. Make sure to protect the finish with cardboard.
  4. build a box out of 5/16ths or 3/8ths plywood and 1X4 material on the pallet ala the classic hollywood crate. Easiest assembly is with a pneumatic stapler (brands like pasload don't need a compressor)
  5. Fasten the box to the pallet with screws so your recipient can remove it easy.
  6. Stencil return/contact information, this side up, fragile, stacking and clamping information on the box.
A large piece is going to cost upwards of $100 in materials and take an hour to crate so make sure you charge an appropriate handling fee.
posted by Mitheral at 7:37 AM on January 22, 2008

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