How Much Does a Trolley Cost

How Much Does a Trolley Cost?

Last Updated on January 31, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Trolleys are an essential tool used in a variety of settings, from shopping centers to factories and warehouses. But with many types and brands available, trolley prices can vary widely. This article will provide an overview of the key factors that influence trolley costs and give you an idea of what to budget when looking to purchase a trolley.

With some savvy shopping and financial planning, trolleys can be a cost-effective investment for many applications. Carefully weigh needs versus budget when choosing the right trolley.

How Much Does a Trolley Cost?

The cost of a shopping cart varies considerably, with prices ranging between $50 for basic shopping trolleys and exceeding $600 for heavy-duty industrial models. Specialty trolleys such as medical carts may fall within the range of $500 to $1,500 each.

To give you a better idea of real-world trolley costs, here are some approximate price ranges for new trolleys:

  • Basic shopping trolleys – $50 – $150
  • Large industrial trolleys – $250 – $600
  • Transportation trolleys – $2,000 – $5,000
  • Food/beverage trolleys – $300 – $700
  • Medical trolleys – $500 – $1,500
  • Heavy-duty platform trolleys – $700 – $1,000

Prices vary widely within each category based on size, materials, features, brand, and precise usage.

A discussion on Reddit mentioned that most shopping carts retail for around $120.

At TrolleyMfg a Walmart shopping cart price varies from $80 to $90 USD, depending on the target quantity and specific requests.

Shop Carriage Trade has metal shopping carts available for sale, with prices ranging from $160.39 to $253.96, depending on the specific model and any additional charges.

Types of Trolleys and Their Uses

There are several main categories of trolleys, each suited for different purposes:

  • Shopping trolleys – The most common type, used by customers in stores to transport goods. Basic models with small wheels and simple frames are cheapest.
  • Industrial trolleys – Heavy-duty trolleys for moving large, heavy items in factories, warehouses, etc. These are more durable and have larger load capacities.
  • Transportation trolleys – Used in transit systems to carry passengers. Require safety features and comfort.
  • Food/beverage trolleys – Used to serve food and drinks, like on airplanes. Need to be lightweight and maneuverable.
  • Medical trolleys – Designed for transporting medical supplies and equipment within hospitals. More specialized features.
  • Platform trolleys – Have a flat platform instead of a basket, ideal for bulky items. A sturdy build is important.

What Factors Affect Trolley Prices?

Some considerations that determine trolley pricing include:

  • Materials – Steel tubing tends to be cheapest, while stainless steel and aluminum are more expensive but also more durable. Plastic is cheaper but not as sturdy.
  • Size/capacity – Larger trolleys can transport more weight and bulk, so they usually cost more. Load capacity ranges from ~100 lbs. to 1000+ lbs.
  • Wheels – Small plastic wheels keep costs down. Larger rubber wheels are pricier but allow easier maneuverability.
  • Special features – Trolleys designed for medical/food use or with brakes, ergonomic handles, etc. have higher prices.
  • Brand – Major brands like Uline and Rubbermaid charge more compared to generic/store brands.
  • Manufacturing costs – Where and how trolleys are produced impacts pricing as well. Made in USA vs overseas.

Is Buying or Renting Trolleys More Cost-Effective?

Here’s a quick cost comparison of buying vs renting trolleys:

  • Buying means higher upfront costs, but no recurring fees. Better for long-term, frequent use.
  • Renting has a lower initial investment but requires ongoing rental payments. Better for one-offs.
  • Owning allows customization but you handle all maintenance. Renting offloads upkeep to the rental company.
  • Resale value mitigates some purchase costs when selling used trolleys. No recouping rental fees.

Evaluate your specific usage patterns when deciding between buying and renting.

Where To Purchase Trolleys at the Best Prices

You have several options to shop for new or used trolleys at reasonable costs:

  • Online retailers like Uline, Global Industrial, and WebstaurantStore offer competitive trolley pricing with big selections.
  • Check industrial supply companies like Grainger and Fastenal for bulk trolley sales and discounts.
  • Auctions and classified ads can yield deals for good quality used trolleys at lower prices.
  • Restaurant equipment retailers often sell discounted food/beverage trolleys from commercial use.
  • Ask for trolley quotes from multiple distributors and wholesalers to compare budget pricing.

Operational and Maintenance Expenses

Beyond just the initial trolley purchase price, consider these ongoing costs:

  • Replacing wheels and casters – $20-$60 per wheel
  • Fixing broken frames and handles – $100+ in repairs
  • New bearings for smoother rolling – $40-$80
  • Cleaning solutions and equipment
  • Staff time for routine maintenance checks and cleaning

Factor an annual maintenance budget of 10-20% of the trolley price to keep it working safely and efficiently.

Current Price Trends and Future Outlook

Types of TrolleysIn the last few years, trolley prices have risen due to:

  • Increased raw material and shipping costs
  • Strong demand from e-commerce boom
  • Ongoing supply chain issues

But looking ahead, experts predict steadier trolley pricing:

  • Shipping and materials costs evening out
  • Manufacturing catching up with demand
  • Companies trying to compete on affordable pricing

So, while today’s market has high prices, the long-term forecast is more favorable for cost-conscious buyers.

Financial Planning and Budgeting for a Trolley

You might also like our articles about the cost of mall advertising, porta potty rental, or golf carts.

Here are some tips on funding a major trolley purchase:

  • Get multiple quotes to find the best deal within your budget
  • Consider financing options to spread out payments over 12, 24, or 36 months
  • Check for applicable rebates, tax credits, or incentives for industrial equipment
  • Leverage used trolleys first while saving up for newer models
  • Negotiate lower prices for bulk orders or off-peak season

Careful planning and smart compromises can help make trolleys more affordable for any business or organization.


When evaluating trolley costs, there are a wide range of prices to consider based on the type and capabilities you need. Basic shopping trolleys may cost as little as $50, while heavy-duty industrial models can run $600 or more. Specialty trolleys like medical carts could range from $500 up to $1,500 each.

With careful shopping around, utilizing financing plans, buying at off-peak times, and searching for bulk discounts and incentives, you can likely find an appropriately priced trolley that fits within your business or organization’s budget constraints.

Prioritize both immediate and projected future costs during your trolley purchasing decision process.


What are the limitations of trolleys?

The main limitations of trolleys are their weight and size capacity, maneuverability, and durability. Most trolleys have a weight limit between 100-1000 pounds. Bulkier or heavier items may exceed this capacity.

The wheel size, casters, and frame design impact maneuverability in tight spaces. And cheaper materials like plastic wheels may not hold up over time as well as metal.

What is the lifespan of trolley?

With proper maintenance and care, most quality metal-frame trolleys will last 8-12 years in regular use. Higher-end brands advertise lifespans of 15+ years. Cheaper plastic models average 4-6 years. Factors like weather exposure, cargo weight, and usage frequency impact lifespan as well.

What is the correct method to use a trolley?

To properly use a trolley:

  • Load it evenly to avoid tipping and undue strain. Heavier items on the bottom, lighter on top.
  • Don’t overload beyond weight capacity to prevent damage.
  • Push rather than pull when moving the trolley.
  • Take care when going over thresholds and uneven surfaces.
  • Use brakes when stopped on inclines.
  • Check wheels/frame periodically and fix issues immediately.

Why are trolleys so slow?

Trolleys move slowly for a few reasons. Their small plastic wheels are designed for stability not speed. The wheeled base creates substantial friction and drag. Most models lack a strong suspension system or bearings to allow faster movement.

Weight in the trolley also slows it down significantly. So, trolleys are optimized for safe transport of goods, not speed.

1 reply
  1. Pauligg
    Pauligg says:

    So the membership required stores, Sam’s Club, Costco, etc. provide bigger carts because customers often buy in bulk. Customers can either capture a cart on the way in from the parking lot, or get one once they flash their membership card at the door. Seems to work for them. There’s a solution to this lurking out there someplace just waiting for a clever person/company to implement it.


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