There are few certainties in life. Death is an absolute certainty. Paying taxes is required although some are able to buck the system for a substantial amount of time. If they end up getting pinched, jail follows, and even prisoners pay taxes. Those were the only two in life, but I’m adding one more to the list: moving. Everyone moves at least once, and some of us multiple times until our life becomes a never ending quest to move massive boxes from one dwelling to another until, you guessed it, that first inevitability I mentioned comes knocking.
Moving is the only experience that gets more painful each time. It’s mentally exhausting — with all the preparation and paperwork — and physically taxing because how do we have all this fucking stuff?!? Uprooting a life and transferring it in it’s entirety is slightly easier if a person can afford movers or just has friends gullible enough to lend some legs. Call a couple close friends and ask them to assist on move and notice how many fake back ailments or death. So what about those times when just items, and not entire lives, have to be convoyed from location to location. Like what if you’re just a friendless old man with a gigantic gun rack that needs dragging?
“I once lifted a 450 pound gun safe from a trailer to the upstairs of an older gentlemen’s house,” explains Ryan Stephens, a senior at North Carolina State University and part-time mover. “The guy lived on a golf course and we slowly, and carefully, walked it through his house, up the stairs and around a ton of corners.
Stephens works for a company called Bellhops, an app and website offering affordable moving help when you just don’t feel like lugging stuff by yourself. Stephens joined the crew after his freshmen year. The former NC State walk-on was cut from the team (ironically by the addition of another walk-on) and had a ton of free time and little money in his pocket. In his freshmen season, the Director of Operations of Bellhops sent out a recruitment email to the entire football team. Stephens signed up on the spot and worked a couple of moving jobs when time would allow.
“I started to work as many jobs as possible and recruited a ton of friends to join,” Stephen explains. He’s now the Campus Director at Bellhops and has inspired over 40 students to join. In his short time with the company, he’s seen their revenue just in his area more than triple and he’s helped bellhop recruitment grow from 80 to over 200 active movers in just the past year.
Not counting tips, Stephens has make over $5K a year as a coordinator. Some moves are incredibly simple — he made $25 moving a mattress from a UHaul to an apartment in under 5 minutes — whereas others are strenuous but worth the time.
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“I got $70 tip for a 2 hour job,” Stephens boasts. “We were tipped so well because we packed this woman’s UHaul so efficiently. She thought it would take two trips but we did it in one.”
Besides the cash flow, Stephens loves the gig because of the different people he meets on every job. Occasionally he’ll even assist the attractive single woman looking for help with piles of boxes. While he’s yet to come across the single college co-ed, he has come in contact with more than a few generous women. “I have found that women generally tip more than men.”
It’s not always cash in hand from each gig but Stephens and his crew rarely walk away empty handed. “My wingman got tipped a case of beer because he agreed to take some items to storage with his truck. One guy couldn’t fit his bike in the two storage vans he was driving to Texas with so I asked him what he was going to do with the bike. I offered to take it off his hands. He agreed and I got a sweet mountain bike for free.”
Stephens is hoping to establish a crew of movers when he moves himself back to Greenville, SC in the spring. Hopefully he can find some people willing to help with the transfer.
Do you make side money at school doing odd jobs? I want to hear about it. Shoot an email to chris.illuminati [@] wovendigital.com.