VCU’s “bellhops” are now one of the cheapest methods of moving furniture in and out of homes for students in Richmond.
The organization, appropriately named Bellhops, is a group of student movers from over 151 cities across the United States. The employees, or bellhops, are from hundreds of schools including James Madison University and Virginia Tech.
This is VCU’s first year with Bellhops. VCU currently has 52 hired bellhops, and the company plans on expanding to 100 bellhops by move-in for the fall semester. Bellhops are assigned jobs based on request, and are paid between 13 and 15 dollars per hour. They are $80 an hour to rent.
“We’re a bunch of outgoing and personable guys that help you move your stuff,” said junior kinesthesiology major Nicholas Lampron, the director of the VCU franchise of Bellhops.
Lampron got involved with Bellhops when a representative from the company called him with an internship opportunity managing the bellhops for VCU. Lampron said Bellhops plans on expanding their reach to University of Richmond soon.
“We market ourselves as a friendly moving company that you can trust. We make jokes, we talk to you, we want to get to know you as a person—that’s what sets us apart,” said Bellhops marketing director Tripp Stanford.
Bellhops faces local competition from companies such as Commonwealth Movers Inc., My Guys Moving & Storage, Starving Students Movers Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Moving & Storage.
According to Stanford, Bellhops is more affordable than local moving companies.Commonwealth Movers Inc. charges $120 per hour, but that price fluctuates depending on the size of the house and amount of furniture. My Guys Moving & Storage charges $129 per hour, also depending on the size of the house, in addition to a travel fee of $25.
“You don’t need 15 years of experience to move around some furniture,” Stanford said. “We don’t hide any costs. We tell you upfront, and we move your furniture. That’s it.”
Sophomore political science major Charles Davidson has been an employee of Bellhops for over two months. Davidson considers the job a service to the community.
“Being a bellhop has been a great experience,” said Davidson. I’ve been able to work with my friends in providing a much-needed service to the school community.”
Davidson was referred to the job in February by a friend who was also hired by Bellhops. The flexibility and friendliness of the team was what initially drew him to the company.
“I work with a group of really friendly, polite and outgoing guys that get the job done,” he said. “There’s really no need to hire an expensive, slow, and sloppy moving company to get you into a new place just down the block when Bellhops provides you a network of hard working, courteous and efficient local guys that you can trust.”