Moving can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re moving long-distance or far away from your current property. While moving an entire home can be tough, things can be significantly more frustrating if you only want to move one or a few items. Hiring a moving company can cost thousands of dollars—which may not be worth the cost to move a large piece of furniture or antique. If you have a heavy or awkwardly-shaped item (like a piano or piece of heavy equipment), connecting with affordable movers can get even more difficult.
If this is the situation that you find your family in, you may want to consider taking advantage of a moving marketplace. Moving marketplaces allow you to connect with moving service providers and transportation services in your area for single-item moving. Moving service providers can “bid” on each job like an auction service, and you have the final say on who carries your things. Peer-to-peer moving marketplaces help you save money by only booking the services and space you know you’ll need.
uShip and CitizenShipper are two moving marketplaces that offer listing services. But where should you list your item? Which platform has the best experience? Are there fees to list? We’ve created a comprehensive uShip vs. CitizenShipper run-down to help you pick the best service for your needs.
No time to review our entire uShip vs. CitizenShipper roundup? Quickly compare each company’s strengths and weaknesses using the chart below.
What is a Peer-to-Peer Shipping Service?
Both uShip and CitizenShipper operate as peer-to-peer shipping marketplaces. A peer-to-peer shipping marketplace is a platform you can use to connect with movers and negotiate shipping services and rates. Most users who list an item on a shipping marketplace do so because they need to move a single item, and they don’t want to hire a full-service moving team and pay the company’s full rates.
The specific process you’ll go through when you list an item to ship on a peer-to-peer marketplace will vary depending on the company you use. However, you can usually expect to go through the following basic steps.
- List your item: The first step in the shipping process is to create a listing for your item. You’ll upload dimensions of the item or items that you need to ship, add photos so movers can get a better idea of what you’ll need on your move, add details on special requests, and more. You’ll also list your current location and the location where you need your item to be moved to. If you’ve ever used another type of online listing site (like eBay or Poshmark), you’re already familiar with the process of creating your own item on a marketplace.
- Collect quotes: After creating your listing, your shipping marketplace service provider will help connect you with local movers in your area. Depending on the site you’re using, your job may be open to all moving professionals approved to use the site or handpicked users that the marketplace’s representatives think will be a good fit.
- Do your research and negotiate rates: After you have the opportunity to view moving companies able to complete your shipment, you can connect with customer service representatives on each team. You can also negotiate rates, tell the potential shipper a little more about where you’re moving, and request special services. Your peer-to-peer marketplace will also allow you to research previous customers’ experiences when they booked with each option. Most marketplaces create a profile for each moving service provider on the platform. The user can list their certifications or link to awards and nominations they have received if you choose a moving company. You can also read reviews and testimonials directly from users who have booked with the specific service provider you’re considering working with.
- Book your date: You can book your date through your moving platform when you find a reputable moving team that fits your budget and doesn’t set off any red flags. When your moving date arrives, your movers will come to your property and complete your move as requested. In most cases, your payment will be held in a separate escrow account and only be released when the moving team completes the job successfully. Alternatively, you may not be charged until the job closes. Payment structure options will vary by marketplace platform.
- Leave a review: After your things arrive at your new property, you can leave a review on the marketplace site detailing your experience. Being truthful and proactive when leaving your review will help other consumers choose the best possible companies for their needs in the future.
The specific items that you’ll be able to ship through a peer-to-peer marketplace will vary by platform, as will the fees you’ll pay to book your moving date. Most peer-to-peer moving service marketplaces are very flexible in terms of the items you can list; from pets to heavy equipment, you’re very likely to be able to find a team to suit your needs no matter what you’re shipping.
What is uShip?
uShip is a Texas-based online marketplace that connects individuals with businesses and moving service providers who can transport large, bulky, or unusually-shaped items. uShip allows users to create a listing for the item they need to ship, complete with dimensions of the item and photos. The listing user can also choose to list a price they’re willing to pay for moving services or request that moving companies submit “bids” for the job at their best rates. Users can then book moving services through uShip’s platform.
uShip was founded in 2003 by CEO Matthew Chasen. Between 2012 to 2015, uShip came to the forefront of popular culture after becoming the subject of a reality television show hosted on the A&E network. The program, titled Shipping Wars, followed a group of movers as they competed for unusual shipping jobs via uShip’s platform. The publicity from this show helped create a boom in uShip’s popularity, and the platform is now available in all 50 states.
What is CitizenShipper?
CitizenShipper is an online auction style marketplace that aims to connect men and women in need of shipping services with couriers and transport providers. CitizenShipper’s marketing targets homeowners and travelers who were already making their way down the necessary route, in particular, allowing them to earn money without going out of their way. The service was founded in 2008 by physicist Richard Obousy, who used peak oil data and figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation to conclude that up to 29% of space in moving trucks on the road at any given time are empty. He believed if everyday citizens had the opportunity to provide moving services, fewer trucks would be on the road, saving consumers money and doing good for the environment.
As a graduate student, Obousy launched a very basic version of CitizenShipper as a way to make extra tuition money while driving the repetitive routes he was already traveling on every day. The original website was launched with a budget of $2,000, and its sole function was to connect users with drivers. Today, CitizenShipper has expanded to offer drivers in all 50 states, and the platform now includes features like in-app messaging, driver profiles, and background checks. By the end of 2021, CitizenShipper reached more than 3.7 million total bids from drivers, who have collectively traveled over 100 million miles in total.
Both uShip and CitizenShipper offer very flexible guidelines when it comes to what items you can ship and what you cannot list. uShip currently allows users to create shipping listings for the following services.
- Full moving services for a variety of property sizes
- Shipping for residential vehicles (including cars, trucks, RVs, motorcycles, etc.)
- Shipping for car parts and equipment
- Shipping for individual items of furniture and household appliances
- Shipping for animals, ranging from livestock to pets
- Transportation services for heavy equipment and machinery
- Freighting services
These are only a few examples of some of the items that uShip can help you move on your behalf. So long as the item you have isn’t against the law to move and won’t pose a danger to a moving team, you can list the item on uShip’s marketplace.
Like uShip, CitizenShipper offers a very flexible policy that allows you to create a listing for almost anything you need to move. Some of the most popular types of listings you’ll find on CitizenShipper include:
- Pets and animals
- Automotive vehicles
- Boats and water vehicles
- Individual household items
- Full-service and partial home and apartment moves
- Heavy equipment and industrial pieces
CitizenShipper specializes in safe pet moves, and the company is one of the first online marketplaces to list a special pet protection program that helps you add another layer of peace-of-mind to your move.
If you’ve never used an online marketplace before, you’ll want to search for an option that makes it especially easy and intuitive to create an attractive listing that will catch the attention of multiple companies. uShip’s listing process is exceptionally straightforward, with a clean and attractive design that anyone can navigate. The steps you’ll take to list on uShip include the following.
- Step 1—Choose a category: Select the category of item that you’re looking to ship. Some popular choices include animals, motor vehicles, heavy equipment, and household goods (like appliances and furniture).
- Step 2—Add details: After you choose the category of the item you need to ship, add details on the shipment so movers can provide you with an accurate estimate. For example, if you’re moving a bookcase, you’ll be asked for the item’s dimensions, weight, and pickup and drop-off locations. You can also upload photos of the item.
- Step 3—Choose pricing method: After you create your listing, you’ll need to decide how you want to collect quotes. In some cases, you can use uShip’s set price tool, allowing you to choose a specific price you’re willing to pay for your move. uShip even provides pricing suggestions based on the item you’re shipping and the urgency you need to get quotes and book.
Not sure how much you should list your move for? No problem—uShip also allows you to create a listing and request that moving service providers send estimates for your job. You can view these estimates directly through your uShip account, read reviews of each company, and book your moving date.
- Step 4: Book your move: You can book your move after you find a moving service provider that fits your needs and moving budget. The mover that you book will then complete your move as you request. The company or individual you select will not receive their full payment until the move is finished—which incentivizes them to get the job done quickly and with the highest level of care.
Listing with CitizenShipper begins by entering the pickup and drop-off location of the items that you need to ship as well as your email. From here, you’ll follow a very similar process as uShip—choose the category that best fits your shipment needs, enter a few details on what you need to move, and create your listing.
After you create and post your listing, you’ll be directed to your online message platform. On this platform, companies and individuals will message you and bid for the job you’ve listed. CitizenShipper says that it employs a strict background and mover quality verification process before allowing users to contact you through the site. Though you cannot currently name your own price with CitizenShipper like you can through uShip, you can still openly negotiate your price with verified movers. This gives you more control over the price you pay for your moving services and ensures that your moving team is trustworthy.
Shipping listing marketplaces earn money by charging fees on their listings. As a general rule, you can usually expect to pay a fee to your marketplace in addition to the driver paying a fee as well. These fees can quickly make a large dent in your moving budget—so it’s important to choose a listing site with reasonable fees.
uShip charges a fee based on the value of the bid that you eventually choose. Higher bids come with higher fees. However, uShip’s website does not offer a tiered list of fees, meaning that you won’t know how much you’ll need to pay in fees until you reach the checkout stage. This can be frustrating, as this lack of open information can make it more difficult to budget for your move effectively.
CitizenShipper also charges tiered fees based on the total value of the bid that you approve. For most shipments, you can expect to pay between $14.99 (for bids up to $50 in value) to $199.99 (for bids of more than $1,106). If you’re shipping a pet, you can expect to pay between $28.99 to $219.99 in shipping fees, while you’ll pay between $14.99 and $499.99 in shipping fees for boat transportation.
When you checkout and complete your order with CitizenShipper, you’ll only need to pay your service fee as a deposit. The remainder of your bill is charged to your credit card during a time when you and your driver agree. In most cases, this is upon delivery of your shipment. This encourages drivers to be as careful with your items as possible, which can be a major concern for pet parents.
Knowing the quality of experience that previous shipping service platform users have had can help you find the best possible service for your needs. uShip maintains largely positive reviews across the internet, with an average rating of 4.57 out of 5.0 stars from Better Business Bureau (BBB) users and 4.2 out of 5.0 stars from Trustpilot users. uShip has maintained accreditation from the BBB for 17 years, and the independent organization gave the company an A+ rating. This is the highest possible rating a company can receive from the BBB, indicating that uShip has maintained a long history of dependable and honest service.
Customers who were happy with the service quality from uShip complimented the platform’s ease of booking. Customers were able to get quotes quickly—and those who needed to cancel and rebook a move had no problem doing so. However, customers who rated uShip’s platform complained about the quality of the movers on the site, a problem they associated with uShip’s lack of screening processes.
Great service! Very quickly received 5 offers. After reviewing them I chose my preference (not the least expensive). Once chosen, I was able to communicate directly with the carrier to make final arrangements. Emmanuel at support services was very helpful answering questions, dealing with insurance issues for expensive art shipment, etc. I would without hesitation use uShip again. — BBB user “ARV,” 11/17/2020, BBB.org, 5.0 stars.
Worst service of all time!!! Avoid at all costs! They do no screening of their drivers and if the driver steals your items, they will not compensate you or provide you with any information to track down the driver. After $40,000 of merchandise was stolen via a UShip driver, I contacted UShip right away, all I got was “sorry”. Will never use their service again. — Andrew S., 01/10/2022, Trustpilot.com, 1.0 star.
Though CitizenShipper’s online reputation lags a bit behind that of uShip, the platform has still received largely positive reviews. BBB users have awarded CitizenShipper with an average rating of 3.95 out of 5.0 stars, while Trustpilot users rated the website with an average of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. CitizenShipper has been accredited by the BBB for four years and has received a BBB grade of B+.
Customers who were happy with their service when they booked through CitizenShipper complimented the company’s selection and quality of matches and reported that their transporters were timely and courteous. Online reviewers who were not satisfied with the service they booked through CitizenShipper frequently complained that they were charged hidden fees that they did not authorize on the site while booking.
My experience with Citizen Shipper was excellent. They provided many shippers to choose from. I needed a 2 pound chihuahua puppy picked up in Virginia and transported to New Hampshire. The Transporter I choose ( Kellies Furiends) was awesome with communication and took excellent care of my puppy. She arrived in excellent condition. CitizenShipper made it super easy. — Lawrence R., 02/03/2022, Trustpilot.com, 5.0 stars.
Got quoted by shipper, work out the pick up dates then I get hit with another $180 hidden charge. Will never use this site or recommend to anyone. — Trustpilot user “Kent,” 01/13/2022, Trustpilot.com, 1.0 star.
uShip vs. CitizenShipper: Who Wins?
Overall, we recommend uShip to most customers who want to list a single item for shipment. The company offers multiple methods that you can use to price your move, which allows you to find the perfect company for your budget. uShip’s platform is exceptionally easy-to-use, and you can get connected with a driver quickly for last-minute moves by offering a higher price. While uShip is our recommended shipping marketplace in most circumstances, you may want to consider CitizenShipper for pet shipment services, thanks to their included pet protection.
At Pro Mover Reviews, we are committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased information on each provider that we review. Our methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures we maintain your trust through transparency and data that is backed up through routine check-ins. Our staff has spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of local, long-distance, and international moving companies to bring you our recommendation for the best moving companies in the US. We then narrowed down our findings based on criteria that we find to be the most helpful for you to choose the best moving company for your needs.
Our Rating Categories:
- Company Transparency
- Pricing + Cost
- Services Offered
- Overall Reputation
While there are many sites out there that compare movers, we believe our rigorous standards give us more insights into company performance and better data to share with our community. For each moving company we check for:
- Confirmed Licensing with the DOT
- Updated & Verified Business Registration
- Real & Recent Consumer Reviews
- Industry Ratings and BBB Complaints
- Accuracy of Online Quotes
- Services Provided & Total Service Area
- Pricing & Services vs. Competitors
From here we created a comprehensive, 100 point, rating scale based on the following factors:
- Moving services (25): Companies that offer more flexibility in their services are rated higher.
- Coverage of services (5): The more items a moving company can handle, the higher the score.
- Pricing (25): We compare this to the industry average when rating pricing.
- Trustworthiness (25): We comb through hundreds of reviews and check on BBB ratings to determine the trustworthiness of a company.
- State availability (5): Finding a moving company in your state can be a challenge depending on where you are located. The more states covered, the higher the score.
- Customer service (10): Is this moving company responsive? Do they respond quickly to issues that are brought to their attention? Are they helpful in answering questions? All of these factors are considered when rating customer service.
- Additional benefits (5): Moving companies can sometimes offer special promotions or deals when contracting them for a move. The companies with the most benefit scored higher.
Of the dozens of different moving companies that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the best interstate and long-distance movers in Indiana. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability. This list is ever-changing, as companies will update policies and procedures, and we will change our information accordingly.
uShip vs. CitizenShipper FAQs
Is uShip reliable?
Yes. The platform connects you with local moving service providers, who are paid in exchange for helping you move. However, because uShip is not itself a moving company, your individual experience will vary depending on the movers you select.
How does uShip make money?
uShip makes money by charging users a service fee on their listings when they find a viable shipping option and book through the platform.
How long does it take to get bids on uShip?
According to uShip, initial bids usually come in between 10 minutes and 2 days after listing, depending on the item and budget.
Is CitizenShipper legitimate?
Yes, CitizenShipper is legitimate. The platform is accredited by the BBB and has been in business for more than a decade.