Moving is stressful.
But Bellhops is trying to make moving a much more pleasant activity.
Bellhops focuses on delivering high-quality moving services. It is also a gig-economy opportunity for people trying to make an extra buck.
Overall, Bellhops (sometimes called Bellhops Movers) is a great option if you’re moving, or if you’re looking for a new hustle.
Here’s a definitive guide to Bellhops moving that will tell you everything you need to know about this new company.
What is Bellhops?
As we mentioned, Bellhops is a moving company. However, it’s different from other moving companies in that instead of employing full-time movers, it hires freelancers.
Bellhops was founded in 2011 as Campus Bellhops by two college students, Cam Doody and Stephen Vlahos. It started as a service dedicated to helping college kids move into their dorm.
But it quickly grew and Doody and Vlahos exceeded their goal of helping 30-40 students move by completing over 350 moves in three days.
Originally, Bellhops was designed only for college students, meaning you had to have an active and verified “.edu” email address to use it.
But after appealing to several venture capital firms, Bellhops secured $27 million over six rounds of funding.
This helped them expand their business to over 15 cities in the U.S., and offer it to anyone over the age of 18. It’s no longer just for college students.
Where Does Bellhops Operate?
Bellhops started at Auburn University in Alabama, shortly afterwards, it expanded to other large universities in the Southeast. However, as Bellhops can now be found all across the country.
Currently, the company operates in the following cities in the United States:
- Birmingham, Ala.
- Washington, D.C.
- St. Petersburg
- Tampa Bay
- Kennesaw, Ga.
- Kansas City
- St. Louis
- Fort Worth
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Durham, N.C.
- Chapel Hill, N.C.
How Does Bellhops Work?
Bellhops functions almost exclusively through its app, which can be downloaded on both the Apple App Store as well as Google Play. But you can also visit their website: getbellhops.com
Once inside the app or the site, you can hire moving crews based on the level and amount of service you need.
There are three options:
- Local moves: You need to choose this option when you’re moving homes but staying within one of the Bellhops service cities
- Long-distance moves: Bellhops will help you move if you’re going to be travelling a long way. But you need to make sure Bellhops operates in both your initial and final destination.
- Labor-only: This service is if you simply need a few extra hands around the house to help you rearrange some furniture or move some stuff down into storage, or if you’ll be moving some stuff yourself and need some people to help you load and unload your vehicle.
Scheduling a Move
The booking process is one of the reasons Bellhops is taking off – it is considerably easier than using a traditional moving service.
In the moving industry, the typical lead time most moving companies require is five days. With Bellhops, moves can be scheduled one day in advance, as long as there are Bellhops in the area who are available to work.
But the best thing to do is to schedule your move as soon as you know the move-day so that you can be sure you can get help when you need it.
To schedule a move, go into the app and choose the date and time you would like to move.
You will need to enter the following information to schedule a move:
- The zip codes of your starting and ending point
- The type of move you are making, e.g. apartment to apartment, studio to apartment, house to house
- The amount of time you need to move
- The number of people you need to help you move
- The website will give you suggestions based on the more than 100,000 moves Bellhops has made since launch.
You can always add or subtract bellhops or time, but Bellhops will warn you that this can actually end up costing you more.
For example, they may suggest three bellhops, and if you choose two, your move may take longer, which you will need to pay for.
How Much Does Bellhops Cost?
Unfortunately, the best answer to this question is “it depends.” This is because how much your move costs will depend on many different factors, such as how long the move takes, how many bellhops you need, how far you’re moving, etc.
Again, the Bellhops app and website will give you recommendations as to what is best, and these are based off the moves they’ve done in the past.
To give you an example, moving from one 2-bedroom apartment to another one within Philadelphia would cost you around $636, which comes from paying 3 bellhops to help you at a rate of $159/hour.
Some quick math tells you that Bellhops calculates this move would take four hours.
Of course, you can request fewer bellhops to try and save money, but if the move ends up taking longer than expected because there are fewer hands to help, this may end up costing you more.
Pay As You Go Pricing
To help manage cost, and to account for the unpredictability of moving, Bellhops offers “Pay-As-You-Go Pricing.”
This means that when you sign up for a move, you will be charged the minimum fee, which is the equivalent of two hours. If you exceed this two hours, then you will be charged in 15-minute increments based on your hourly rate.
So to return to the example above, this $636 figure is really an estimate. It is given based on how long it usually takes 3 bellhops to move an apartment of that size.
However, if your move only takes 1.5 hours, then you would only pay the 2-hour minimum, which in this case would be $318 ($159 x 2).
Then, once the move exceeds the two-hour mark, you begin paying in 15-minute increments. So if the move takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, then you would be charged $437 ($159 x 2.75).
Because of Pay-As-You-Go Pricing, it’s smart to listen to the recommendations Bellhops provides you when you’re making your reservation.
Consider the example above in a different way:
To try and save money, you could request just two bellhops instead of three. This drops your hourly rate to $129/hour.
But if the move ends up taking you four hours because your crew is only two people instead of three, then you would wind up spending $516, which is more than if you had paid for a larger moving crew.
The recommendations Bellhops makes are based on the countless moves they’ve already done. Their goal is to help you move as quickly and affordably as possible, and Pay-As-You-Go Pricing helps make sure you can do this.
Long Distance Moves
Bellhops defines a long-distance move as any move between two different cities.
So even if you’re staying in the same state, your move still qualifies as long-distance.
To get a price estimate on this type of move, you need to contact the folks at Bellhops. The exact cost of the move will depend on how far you’re moving and how much stuff you need to take with you.
What Else Does Bellhops Provide?
Obviously, Bellhops provides the people power needed for your move, but anyone who has ever moved before knows there’s more involved.
But Bellhops will provide you with most of what you need, such as:
- A truck and professional driver for local and long-distance moves
- Basic moving equipment such as dollies, straps and blankets
- Insurance for bellhops so that you don’t need to worry about being held liable for an accident
- Some protection against damage to your property, although you’ll want to spend some time reading their terms of service to find out exactly how they will help you out should something happen to your stuff.
- A living wage to all bellhops. Although, bellhops do earn part of their living on tips, so if you receive quality service, consider tipping your crew either in the app or in person using cash.
Bellhops does not offer packing services, so you need to make sure to have all your stuff in boxes or bags by the time the bellhops arrive.
And in the event you need additional packing materials, such as special padding, tapes, cords, etc., you will need to provide these.
Spend some time reading over the Bellhops moving guide to make sure you are completely ready when your crew arrives.
This will help make your move go more quickly and smoothly, keeping costs and stress levels down.
Overall, Bellhops is an easy-to-use moving company that offers above-average service at reasonable prices.
And it’s also a great way for people looking to boost their skill set and their income to make money and work on their own terms.
So if you’re thinking of moving soon, or if you’re looking for an exciting new job, check out Bellhops today.