Bottom line: Dolly is a help-for-hire marketplace with great prices that makes our list of the best moving labor companies. It offers especially good value on delivery services from retail stores like Costco, Lowe’s, and Big Lots. Dolly also builds basic furniture assembly into its quotes and has a straightforward damage protection policy. The downside? Dolly quotes don’t always make it easy to tell if the price is for the entire job or for one hour, and the marketplace is available in only 45 cities.
Dolly Moving Labor 2023 Review
How much does Dolly cost?
Dolly is one of the most affordable help-for-hire marketplaces we’ve reviewed. Our research shows you’ll often pay about $10 less per hour than the most similarly priced competitor for many moving services—and over $100 less per hour for services like small apartment moves and retail delivery.
For example, you can get two hours of retail delivery with Dolly for about $250, but the most expensive competitor we looked at will charge you around $540.
That’s almost $300 less for two hours of work!
|Small apartment move (4 hours)||$440||$600|
|Loading only (2 hours)||$320||$120|
|Retail delivery and assembly (2 hours)||$270||$360|
|Storage unit move (2 hours)||$370||$300|
|Donation delivery (1 hour)||$110|
Data as of 12/29/22. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Rounded to the nearest dollar. Prices include two workers per service.
*Average of online quote and app quote.
**Average of approximately 10 quotes per service.
We went shopping and compared Dolly quotes for five services with two of its competitors. A few things became clear after collecting more than 100 quotes:
Dolly has highly competitive prices
Dolly is often your least expensive help-for-hire option. We calculated the average hourly rate across five different services and found Dolly’s rate of $70 is about $10 per hour less expensive than the nearest-priced competitor.
You can hire Dolly by the hour or by the job. If you choose an hourly rate, be aware that your quote is a starting per-hour price.
So if you tell Dolly you need four hours of help, and it quotes you $80, you need to multiply the quote by four (e.g., $80 x 4 = $320). Don’t be caught off guard and end up with a higher bill than you expected.
Dolly saves you the most on small apartment moves and retail delivery
Dolly gave us quotes that blew its competitors out of the water for two services: (1) small apartment moves and (2) retail delivery and assembly. In both cases, quotes for a Dolly helper represented a per-job savings of more than $100.
Dolly falls short for loading-only services
If you’re doing a small task like loading a storage unit or moving truck, Dolly helpers aren’t your least expensive option. This honor goes to TaskRabbit, another help-for-hire marketplace.
Dolly strongly encourages you to tip your Dolly helpers. We recommend tipping about $20 per helper in our guide to tipping your mover.
Dolly cost factors
Dolly already has great prices, but there are things you can be aware of to keep your costs as low as possible:
- Number and type of items. You’ll pay more if you have more items. Big or heavy items like sectional couches, kitchen tables, and refrigerators also increase your bill.
- Number of Dolly helpers. In all of our quotes, Dolly charged exactly twice as much for twice as many Dolly helpers.
- Distance. The farther you travel, the more you pay.
- Service level (standard or curbside). Dolly helpers can drop your items off at the curb—or move them into your house for a bit extra.
- Booking method. This isn’t advertised, but we saved about $5 per job when we got quotes on the Dolly app instead of its website.
- Discounts. Dolly gives you an option to enter a discount code, but we were unable to find any official discount offers on the Dolly app or website.
There are tons of discounts available if you decide to rent a truck and do the loading, hauling, and unloading yourself.
Let someone else help with the heavy lifting.
Dolly coverage options
Dolly’s damage coverage is affordable and easy to understand: each job includes $300 of coverage to protect your stuff. This will kick in to cover just about every kind of damage (e.g., scratches, breakage, water damage, etc.).
You can purchase up to $10,000 in additional coverage at the cost of $1 for each additional $100 of coverage after getting your quote.
So you can protect that 75-inch Samsung Q900 TV at its full $7,000 value for $70—or skip additional coverage altogether on your toaster oven or old DVD player.
Note: There are a few steps you need to follow to qualify for coverage. You must hire a Dolly helper for specific items (not by the hour) and include a complete inventory of all items Dolly is moving for you.
This process is a bit of a pain, but it’s better to spend extra time doing an inventory so your stuff is protected. That’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Dolly has great prices for small jobs but doesn’t do the really big stuff like cross-country moving. For this, you’ll want to check out our list of the best interstate moving companies.
How does Dolly compare to other moving labor companies?
Average hourly cost
Licensed and insured contractors
Local or long-distance services
|Local||Get a Quote|
|Both||Get a Quote|
|Local||Get a Quote|
Dolly features and services
Dolly offers a wide variety of services to help with your local moving tasks:
- Apartment moves
- Donation pickup and drop-off
- Junk removal
- Labor-only moves
- Retail store and online marketplace delivery
- Small business moves
- Small moving tasks
- Storage unit moves
Average Dolly prices by service
Average Hourly Rate*
|Loading/unloading||$50||Get a Quote|
|Donation drop-off||$60||Get a Quote|
|Retail Delivery||$60||Get a Quote|
Data as of 12/29/22. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change.
*Per Dolly helper.
Dolly doesn’t help with most items that weigh over 300 pounds. It also doesn’t move large safes, gun safes of any size, kegs (and other alcohol), jukeboxes, pianos, organs, U-Box containers, or pool tables.
Why we recommend Dolly
It has low prices
Why pay more than you have to? We collected over 100 moving labor quotes for this review, and Dolly was consistently one of the lowest-priced options.
It includes basic furniture assembly
Dolly includes basic furniture assembly in its quotes, while other help-for-hire companies require you to get separate bids for individual services (meaning Dolly saves you time and money). If you’re getting a complicated piece of IKEA furniture delivered and assembled with Dolly, you’ll pay about $40 more than with some competitors—but tasks like breaking down and reassembling a simple bed frame are included.
It has top-notch retail delivery
Dolly provides affordable delivery from a number of popular retail stores. The company has an established history of picking up and delivery goods from places like Costco, Lowe’s, IKEA, and Williams Sonoma.
So if you want to build a garage-sized fort out of toilet paper, Dolly can pick up your year’s supply of toilet paper and duct tape at Costco, bring it to your house, and help you put it together.
It has an easy-to-find quote button
You don’t have to search high and low to figure out how to get a quote from Dolly. Just go to the Dolly app or website and click on the big red “Get a Quote” button.
Take it from us: this convenience is a big selling point. Not all moving and help-for-hire companies make it so easy to get a quote.
Dolly is an affordable option if you need help with a small move or want items from stores like Big Lots and Costco delivered right to your house. The marketplace specializes in retail delivery and has competitive prices.
And we mean competitive: compared to the nearest-priced help-for-hire company, Dolly’s rates are at least $20 per hour cheaper for many services you might need when you move. If Dolly isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can always check with one of our other favorite moving labor companies.
Like what you see?
Other help-for-hire picks
If you want to hire help for small tasks but Dolly isn’t quite what you’re looking for (or isn’t available in your area), here are similar companies we recommend:
Does Dolly move mattresses?
Yes. Dolly has shipped more than 1.6 million items since it launched in 2014, including its fair share of mattresses.
Also, if you’re wondering what to do with an old mattress, Dolly offers donation delivery services, meaning it will pick up items like your old mattress or love seat and donate them for you.
If you’re getting rid of stuff in preparation for a move, consider donating usable items to charity. Check out our moving hacks for donating used items.
Can you use Dolly for moving a refrigerator?
It depends on how much the refrigerator weighs. Dolly generally limits you to items weighing no more than 300 pounds—which means they may be able to move the mini fridge from your garage but not your Samsung smart refrigerator.
Is Dolly’s app easy to use?
Dolly has apps for both iOS and Android. The layout is very user-friendly, and you can get a quote in just a few clicks with some basic info about your jobs.
At the same time, it has a glitchy calendar—and you have to inventory every item you’re moving if you hire help by the job instead of the hour (which is necessary for damage protection coverage). And that can be a pain when you have to use your phone’s touchscreen instead of a keyboard.
Nitpicky complaints aside, Dolly has a 4.8 rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.2 rating on Google Play. Customers almost universally praise how easy the Dolly app is to use.
How much does Dolly’s pod storage cost?
Dolly doesn’t offer moving pod storage. If you need a moving pod, we recommend you contact one of our best moving container companies.