A Victrola in Des Moines needs to be in New Jersey

A friend of mine in Des Moines has a lovely old floor-model talking machine, 44 inches tall, 20 inches wide, 21 inches deep (weight unknown). He says it’s mine if I can get it from there to here—neither of us is able to afford too-expensive shipping.

Anyone know how (or if) I can do this, for, say, under $100? I remember from helping my mother move last year that moving companies cost a fortune. I’d need someone to carefully pack the thing, and deliver it to me on a weekend, so there’d be someone home to accept it.

I have a feeling that the talking machine will have to remain in Des Moines. Any ideas?

My mother once had a rocking chair shipped to my sister via a Greyhound bus. Your friend delivers it (already packaged) to the bus station in Des Moines, they stick it in the luggage compartment of a bus, and then you pick it up at the bus station in New Jersey. I don’t know the details but it was the cheapest way she found to ship it across country.

I looked it up on usps.com and I used Hoboken as a guesstimate. You can send 70 lbs. for $65.

I was going to suggest Greyhound also, or any other major bus company.

Nowadays, I don’t know if they’d let you ship a huge, heavy box via bus with no person attached to it. No “unaccompanied luggage” is allowed on NJ Transit or Amtrak anymore.

I’ll have to look up the USPS, though. If they could get it to my local Post Office, I could lug it home via cab.


Given the size of the protective packaging, height should exceed 46 inches. Thus it can’t be mailed.

Greyhound still does it.

I’m very surprised! Unfortunately, the closest Greyhound station to me is in NYC and I don’t know if there’s one near my friend in Des Moines (he has no car, and said I can have it “if I arrange transportation”). I have a feeling it might be less money and trouble for me to just buy one in the Village and have them transport it . . .

I wonder how much UPS or FedEx would charge, and if they could pack it w/o destroying it?



“The maximum weight per package is 100 pounds. The extreme measurements of length, width, and height shall not exceed 30” x 47" x 82".

Surely this is less than 100 pounds.

Hmmm. I’ll have to ask my friend if he can package it “properly” and see where there are Greyhound stations closest to both of us . . . Thanks!

(Now, where am I gonna put the thing?)


This thing is well within UPS size and weight limits. I just ran this through the UPS website, and assuming it weighs 70 pounds, and it is going to Hoboken, UPS will pick it up from your friend and deliver it to you for about $35. (I think Saturday delivery may cost extra.) Your friend will have to pack it for you. You said you’d be willing to pay $100. I should think it may be possible to pay your friend the difference between shipping cost and $100 to pack it for you such it would be worth his while.

See my last post. If your friend can package it properly, UPS will deliver it from his door to yours.

$35? Zowie! I’ll let him know and ask if he can package it. Thanks!

It looks to me from the UPS website Saturday delivery will be an extra $12.50. You really need to contact UPS with the exact address of your friend is, and your exact address, to make sure Saturday delivery is possible. That Saturday delivery is essential for you seems to be the biggest sticking point in shipping.

Speaking as a former Greyhound baggage and freight agent, DON’T SEND ANYTHING FRAGILE VIA GREYHOUND! Unless it has been packed to survive a drop from Earth orbit it will be damaged, but the same can be said for UPS or any of the others, too. Screw down anything that can be and remove and wrap in bubble wrap anything that can’t then wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap. Build a crate so that the Victrola is not providing the stiffness in any direction and so that it is protected from puncture wounds. Pack the Victrola into the case extremely tightly so that it cannot move. Slap the crate with lots of FRAGILE stickers, make sure the tag says what it is, and insure the hell out of it.

I’m guessing that this Victrola has more ornamental value than cash value. Otherwise either the friend wouldn’t just give it away, or Eve wouldn’t be worrying much about shipping costs. :wink: FWIW, it looks like insurance via UPS is 40 cents per $100. Thus this shouldn’t be a major issue in cost.

And if this Victola per chance were worth say $1000, Eve would be a fool to not pay her friend whatever it takes to hire someone to come where he lives, and pack and crate the Victrola up exactly as you specify above. After that it would just be a matter of contacting UPS to arrange for door to door delivery from her friend to where she lives.

$1000? Not likely.

But not inconceivable.

The Greyhound Station in Des Moines is at 11th and Keo Way. If your friend has no car I assume they live downtown? The station is on the north end of downtown.

Anything is possible.