Will a moving company move one piece of furniture?
Have you ever wondered if you can hire furniture movers to move, not your entire house, but a single item?
The request may seem a bit strange — sort of like that famous cameo by Chris Rock in the 1988 comedy I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, in which Rock shows up at a barbecue restaurant and, dismayed to learn an order of ribs costs $2.50, asks for one rib.
But believe it or not, moving services companies get this request all the time. “Once a week,” according to one full-service moving company owner.
“This usually happens when the customer has tried other forms of shipping, and they said no. UPS isn’t going to ship an armoire or a grandfather clock,” the owner says. “That’s when they decide to hire movers.”
Many moving companies will indeed move a single item. But there’s a catch. The pricing may be a deal-breaker for some customers. You’ll likely be charged a steep minimum.
Local movers will probably bill you 2-3 hours minimum to pick up your one item and lug it to your new home, and when hiring long-distance movers, expect to pay even more of a premium.
Long-distance moves are calculated by weight, and depending on the company, the minimum is likely to be between 500 and 2,100 pounds.
The rate makes sense, however, no matter how exorbitant it may seem. The professional movers still have to go through the hassle of bringing a moving truck and moving equipment to your house, even if the heavy lifting is only for one item.
Most often this kind of request isn’t about simple furniture moving.
When a customer wants to hire movers for one piece, that piece usually has a couple things in common.
For one, it’s often extremely heavy, making for a fair amount of moving labor. Think giant hot tubs or clunky pool tables, or anything in your house that might give you a hernia.
For another, the piece often has special value.
“We’re not talking about a TV,” the moving company owner says. “We’re talking about something with sentimental value that makes it worth the trouble.”
No one’s going to pay professional movers to move one Ikea dresser, but they might for the solid wood antique dining table passed down by their grandmother.
Artwork is another popular category for one-item movers, be it a valuable painting or a clunky, metal sculpture.
“We had one guy who collected minerals,” the owner says. “He hired us to move one that weighed about 3,000 pounds. It was just basically one big rock, but to him it was worth it.”