Bellhop is a moving services platform that specializes in quickly booking and coordinating local moves and labor online. The company itself doesn't provide moving services; instead, it recruits individuals and motor carriers to use its platform as independent contractors — similar to how ridesharing platforms Uber and Lyft recruit drivers — then matches you with workers who are available during the time of your move.
Founded in 2011, the technology startup was formerly known as "Bellhops" before rebranding to just "Bellhop" in 2020.
If you're considering booking with Bellhop, here are five things to know.
1. It's a fast, easy-to-use booking platform
Bellhop stands out from its competitors with its online booking capabilities. Through the platform, you're able to get instant quotes for local moves and services by providing details about your move; no in-home survey is necessary. You can also view what your rate would be on other days in the month, making it easy to schedule a lower-cost slot if you have a flexible schedule. (Bellhop can also book long-distance moves, but these are done over phone, text or email, not on the website.)
Because Bellhop is a property broker, not a household goods mover, the company doesn't own and operate a fleet of trucks like other moving companies. Instead, it relies on two types of independent contractors: movers, who specialize in loading and unloading, and third-party motor carriers, who specialize in driving. Motor carriers on the platform own and lease their own vehicles, according to Bellhop, and are required to provide evidence of proof of insurance and appropriate licensing and registration. Bellhop also says it interviews and does background checks on all applicants, trains and supervises new hires and relies on ongoing reviews to evaluate performance.
2. Service areas are limited and a deposit is required
Bellhop doesn't serve all 50 states; it has locations in 27 states and Washington, D.C. To book through Bellhop, you must live in one of its service areas.
When you place a reservation for moving services with Bellhop, you’ll have to pay a 5% deposit, which is charged 48 hours after booking and is nonrefundable for local moves.
3. Some specialty services aren't available
The third-party service providers Bellhop works with can move household items and disassemble and reassemble standard furniture if tools and instructions are provided. But you can't book professional packing services through Bellhop. The company's providers also can't move items that weigh more than 300 pounds (such as a piano or gun safe), uninstall or reinstall appliances or disassemble and reassemble certain nonstandard items such as ellipticals or bunk beds.
4. It's possible to pay with a digital wallet
Bellhop accepts all major credit cards as well as digital payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay, two payment options that most major moving companies don't offer. If you have a credit card that offers bonus rewards for using digital wallets, this could be a lucrative way to pay. The company does not accept cash or checks.
5. You can schedule a last-minute move
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to move on short notice — say your friend with a truck cancels on you at the last minute — you might still be able to book a move with Bellhop. Reservations placed more than three days in advance of your moving day will be guaranteed, according to the company's website. The company can also schedule moves with as little as one day's notice, but these reservations won't be guaranteed until they're staffed by third-party providers.
Claire Tsosie, an assistant assigning editor at NerdWallet, contributed reporting to this story.