Why isn’t my shipping free, like I see everywhere else?  What is freight?  What exactly is ‘Receiving & Delivery’ and why do I have to pay those fees?

In the world of Amazon Prime and ‘free 2-day shipping’, we sometimes forget that nothing is actually free and there are actually human hands doing a lot of the hard, behind-the-scenes work.  I decided to put this comprehensive guide together to explain what the furniture delivery process looks like and what you are paying for when you see those fees for shipping, freight and receiving & delivery.

Christine McGovern Design does not charge full-service design clients retail pricing for goods purchased.  I pass along a portion of my trade discount to you, which means I do not hide the costs and fees associated with shipping, freight and receiving & delivery in those prices (which is what retailers do).  In order for me to maintain those discounts, I cannot cover the costs associated with shipping & delivery.  We all have to pay to get our furniture from point A to point B, I have just opted to be transparent with these costs.  So, what does this process look like?

  • When we make a furniture purchase from a manufacturer, that furniture ships to us via a freight service.  A large semi-truck brings it across the country and this freight shipping is calculated at a much lower rate than UPS or Fed Ex.
  • Freight line carriers are the only method manufacturers ship furniture from their factories. They do not FedEx a sofa to your doorstep.  In turn, those large semi’s only drop their goods at a receiving warehouse; a place that has either a loading dock or a forklift and a team of people to unload that truck.

My preferred receiver is Buck’s Transport Systems.  It is a family-owned and operated business in Stratford, Connecticut that has been providing white glove services for over 30 years. They specialize in receiving, storing, prepping, and professionally installing furniture with white-glove treatment for interior designers, retail showrooms, and more.  Deliveries are always made by professional, courteous, and experienced personnel who are detail oriented.

  It is the job of the receiving warehouse to do the following:

    • Unload the truck & receive all of the items. Items with visible damage to packaging will be refused.
    • All items must be checked against the manifest & logged into inventory.
    • Our receiving company has an inventory management software that gives us live time updates.
    • When furniture arrives, photos are uploaded and anything else we need to know about each piece.
    • Upon arrival, a bar code is assigned to each piece and with a press of a button they can tell us everything about that piece and where it is located in the warehouse.
    • Every piece is unwrapped, unboxed or uncrated & thoroughly inspected for damage, imperfections or defects within 48 hours of arrival.
    • Our receiver places every piece under bright lighting for inspection and photos.
    • I am notified of damage or imperfections and then CMD works on the back end to rectify any issues with the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this happens frequently.
    • They will assemble anything that requires any kind of assembly.
    • They will apply fabric guard treatments to upholstered pieces upon request.
    • Approved furniture is then re-wrapped, re-boxed or re-crated until we are ready for your install.

SIDE NOTE: If they deem the original packaging is not sufficient, they will blanket wrap the furniture instead. One piece can often require 2 men 30 minutes to complete this task from start to finish.

Install & Delivery of Furniture:

  • All of your beautiful new furniture will be removed from storage, loaded and secured into either a box truck or trailer (or both). This typically requires 2 men and the use of a forklift and it can take as long as 5 hours to load the truck with a large order. They have the pain-staking process of ensuring your furniture is not damaged on this last leg of the journey.
  • Once they arrive at your home:
    • They start to unload the truck and un-wrap all of the furniture.
    • They wear protective booties & gloves while in your home and handling your new furniture.
    • They patiently place furniture & rugs, often more than once, until everything looks perfect.

And just when you think their job is done….It’s not!

The delivery team will then load their truck with, sometimes, hundreds of pounds of cardboard and packing material, and take it all away with them. Once back at their warehouse they will transfer it all to their transfer trailer and tie it all down for safety.  They generally make about 2 runs a week to the local waste and recycling facility, each visit taking at least 3-4 hours from start to finish. They cover all fees to dispose of everything.

Hopefully this helps you understand the fees for freight, shipping & receiving and delivery better. These are real people running a business with significant operating costs and it is a service we cannot live without.  I could not get your furniture to you without them.

If you’d like more info on my receiving warehouse and where your new furniture will have a temporary home, you can check them out here www.buckstransport.com.