02.01.13

Unsolicited comments on Frogbox

Posted in Consumer advice at 2:24 pm by ducky

I recently moved, and (because I injured my shoulder and because we are slowly facing up to the fact that we are not 25 any more) we hired packers and movers.  We had a lot of boxes, but not enough, and the packers expressed a strong desire to use Frogbox boxes.

I had heard of Frogbox before, but hadn’t really found their service compelling.  The boxes looked really big and heavy, in addition to being expensive compared to scrounging boxes from here and there.

What I didn’t understand is that movers and packers absolutely love the boxes.  Because all the boxes are a standard size, loading the truck becomes less like a cross between Tetris and Operation and more stacking Mac&Cheese boxes on grocery store shelves.

Because the boxes are very sturdy, they minimize risk, especially for the movers.  The bottom isn’t going to fall out of one of the boxes; one box in a stack isn’t going to collapse asymmetrically and tip over the whole stack.

They are big and heavy enough that desk jockeys who are ferrying boxes in their car and then carrying them up stairs aren’t going to like them, but for muscular movers with the right trucks, dollies, and lift gates, they aren’t a real problem (especially if there are elevators instead of stairs).

If you filled them up entirely with books, they would be too heavy for the packers to move easily, but a) I don’t think the packers would do that and b) the packers generally didn’t move the boxes.  A packer would set an empty Frogbox in one spot, fill it, close the lids, put an empty Frogbox on top of the first, and proceed to load the second.  We ended up with short towers of Frogboxes scattered around our apartment.

The packers did not need to spend time converting flattened boxes into 3D boxes or to tape the boxes shut.  This, in turn, meant that they spent no time looking for their tape pistols (or, on the other side, box cutters).

It didn’t seem to me like the lids closed really securely, but it turns out that doesn’t matter: the weight of the box above holds it down, and the lids are heavy enough that unless you are moving in hurricane-force winds, they aren’t going to open by themselves.  (And if you are trying to move in a hurricane, you’ve got bigger problems.)  The boxes are also shaped to be wider at the top than bottom, which would rather discourage anyone from trying to load them in any manner besides flap-side-up.

I believe there are cheaper ways to get boxes — scavenge from liquor stores, get the ones from your mother’s basement or your company’s loading dock.  However, the overall cost might end up being lower with Frogbox because the movers and packers will work a little more quickly and you will have slightly less risk of damage to the contents.

I think that Frogbox is going to do very well as a company.  The only thing I can think of that would get in their way is bedbugs.  If it turns out that Frogboxes are a vector for bedbugs, then they would need to hose down the boxes after every use, which would increase costs.  Yes, there might be bugs in the boxes you get from the liquor store or even from your mother’s garage, but cardboard boxes probably have fewer users.

the bottom isn’t going to fall out of one of the boxes.

4 Comments »

  1. Doug said,

    March 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Kaitlin,

    Thanks for taking the time to document your experience with FROGBOX! It’s great to hear the benefits of our service from a new customer’s perspective.

    Whilst scavenging for boxes is an option it is getting harder to source “free” cardboard boxes. As you point out indirectly they’re not really free when you factor in the time to collect them, build them and tape them, then tear them down and dispose of them.

    Used cardboard boxes are also a natural habitat for bedbugs as they like the soft surface, especially if it’s been used and is slightly moist. On the other hand bedbugs hate plastic boxes -they’re hard and do not retain any moisture.

    Thanks for inquiring as to the cleanliness of our boxes – we individually handwash all boxes upon return to our depot – we make our own earth friendly cleaning solution and we have our facilities inspected for bed bugs to ensure we are pro-active and responsible.

    Hope you are enjoying your new pad.

    Doug
    President
    http://www.frogbox.com

  2. Lucien Wise said,

    May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am

    You might check craigslist for used moving boxes as well. We often find moving boxes that have only been used once for a huge discount or even free thanks to craigslist.I pack and move people for a living at the moment, so I feel like I have to share:1) Be aware of the strength of the box. Free boxes are great, but they aren’t always as strong as moving boxes – the weight of pots, books or a bedding set can cause the box to warp or tear. Weak boxes can’t be stacked as efficiently in the truck or on the dolly/cart. I’m not saying don’t use them, but do pack and use them with care.2) If you have something special, like antique china, use a specialty box. I hate picking up a box marked “grandma’s china” and hearing the click of plate hitting plate. Dish pack boxes are very easy to pack, keep things much safer than paper alone, and the box is immediately identifiable as either dishes or glasses and therefore is treated differently (at least by the movers I’ve worked with/for).3) If you can and if the mover is willing, get a bid in person. If I can come in person and look at doorways, hallways, stairs, and the furniture we’ll be moving, I can give a much more realistic bid – and I can often save the person moving some time. If I know I can get the dresser out without turning it 90 or 180 degrees, and if I can check the weight, then I know that you don’t need to totally empty the drawers. As long as the dresser/nightstand/etc. won’t be tipped that far, and as long as the items inside aren’t fragile, I can bring huge cling wrap and wrap the drawers in – thus keeping your drawers in, your clothes safe, and saving you a little time in packing. Or, you can wrap them yourselves if you’re okay with buying the wrap – some people aren’t because let’s face it, it isn’t “green.” But I much prefer it to the drawers sliding open on us or worse: taping drawers closed.

  3. Magdalena Ewing said,

    July 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Number of boxes can change because of all sizes of houses don’t have the same items as every customer, this is only an estimate. But again we use flat rates moving quotes to ensure customer satisfaction while saving people money. Our packers pack and load all items and use packing crates when needed.

  4. Penny R. Orr said,

    January 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    You might check craigslist for used moving boxes as well. We often find moving boxes that have only been used once for a huge discount or even free thanks to craigslist.I pack and move people for a living at the moment, so I feel like I have to share:1) Be aware of the strength of the box. Free boxes are great, but they aren’t always as strong as moving boxes – the weight of pots, books or a bedding set can cause the box to warp or tear. Weak boxes can’t be stacked as efficiently in the truck or on the dolly/cart. I’m not saying don’t use them, but do pack and use them with care.2) If you have something special, like antique china, use a specialty box. I hate picking up a box marked “grandma’s china” and hearing the click of plate hitting plate. Dish pack boxes are very easy to pack, keep things much safer than paper alone, and the box is immediately identifiable as either dishes or glasses and therefore is treated differently (at least by the movers I’ve worked with/for).3) If you can and if the mover is willing, get a bid in person. If I can come in person and look at doorways, hallways, stairs, and the furniture we’ll be moving, I can give a much more realistic bid – and I can often save the person moving some time. If I know I can get the dresser out without turning it 90 or 180 degrees, and if I can check the weight, then I know that you don’t need to totally empty the drawers. As long as the dresser/nightstand/etc. won’t be tipped that far, and as long as the items inside aren’t fragile, I can bring huge cling wrap and wrap the drawers in – thus keeping your drawers in, your clothes safe, and saving you a little time in packing. Or, you can wrap them yourselves if you’re okay with buying the wrap – some people aren’t because let’s face it, it isn’t “green.” But I much prefer it to the drawers sliding open on us or worse: taping drawers closed.

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