Service pairs owners of pickup trucks with people who need to move stuff quickly and hassle-free
If you’ve ever tried to move a mattress with just your car or had to move the same weekend your one friend with a pickup truck is out of town, then you’ll appreciate Dolly, a Chicago-based moving service that pairs owners of pickup trucks with people who need to transport large household items.
Dolly was started by entrepreneurs Chad Whitman, Mike Howell, Kelby Hawn and Jason Norris in 2014. Howell, Dolly’s CEO, says the inspiration for the company came after a conversation with Whitman about a near disastrous moving experience.
“Chad and I were on a phone call one Monday, and it started off innocently enough with, ‘how was your weekend?’ He had moved from one Chicago neighborhood to another, from a one-bedroom apartment to another one-bedroom apartment. He could pack up most everything he owned in 10 or 12 boxes, but there are always that tricky one or two large items, and he didn’t own a pickup,â€ Howell says. “When people are in the situation where they don’t know anyone with a truck, there aren’t a lot of options, so he chose the route of strapping his mattress and furniture to the top of his car and almost had a tragic accident. And he thought, ‘there’s got to be a better way.’â€
Howell says Dolly caters to a new segment within the moving/relocation space – the micromoving space – where people need to move a handful of large items on a very localized basis. Think about that super cool chaise you found on Craigslist. He says that because Dolly is basically defining a new space within the relocation industry, the company has been challenged to educate people to think about its service differently than they would a moving company.
“We certainly do a lot of jobs where we’re helping people move in the more traditional sense, but Dolly can be used for far more than that,â€ he says. “We help people pick up items they’ve bought on Craigslist or at a garage/estate sale. We help people donate big items to local charities or take stuff to the dump. We help people transport their stuff to and from their storage units. We help people get big stuff home that they’ve purchased at retail stores. We even delivered a number of Christmas trees over the holidays.”
How It Works
Registered users can schedule a job from the Dolly website or the Dolly mobile app. After answering a few questions about the items and location – for example, is assembly/disassembly required? Are there stairs or a freight elevator? – users can enter a desired date and time and get a quote for the job. Truck, van and SUV owners can also register to be a Dolly helper, and all helpers submit to a criminal background check. By all accounts, the service is convenient, accessible and fast – users can schedule a pickup for the next day or even later the same day.
“We’re focused on creating a better experience,â€ Howell says. “Ninety-seven percent of the Dolly jobs in January 2015, received five star ratings based on customer experiences.”
Howell says that while the company is focused on building out and fine-tuning the service in Chicago, “ultimately we are very interested in taking Dolly to other markets and are currently looking at other markets. We don’t have a definite timeline for that yet, but I’d expect you will see us in other major cities in the near future.”
If you live in the Chicago metro area and are interested in scheduling a Dolly job, enter discount code DOLLYLIV for 25 percent off your first Dolly.
The the top three selling vehicles are pickup trucks, so the fact remains that people do own pickup trucks and they’re out there – it’s just not everybody. We’re your friend with a truck.