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When people choose a mover for the first time, they’re usually surprised at how many options there are– not just in terms of the services available to them – but also the myriad of ways they can cut deals and structure fees. That brings us to the topic of today’s blog.

One of the most common questions we get is what the difference is between playing hourly rates vs. a flat fee. The answer is ‘depends on your move’ but that’s what we’ll unpack today. Here’s what option you should go for and why under each scenario.

Why people like hourly rates:

  • They are moving locally and have packed all their belongings on their own
  • They’re moving into a smaller space

Whenever you’re dealing with hourly rates, you’re usually looking at around a minimum of three hours that you’ll have to pay. Depending on where you’re moving to, how well your move is staffed, etc. – that could be more than enough time to get from here to there. Other times, it’s not anywhere close to the amount of time you’ll need.

This is where hourly rates can become problematic. It’s impossible to plan for the bed mattress *barely* not squeezing up the stairs. It’s impossible to plan for the fact that your couch doesn’t go out of your facility the way it went in. And it doesn’t leave much in the way for movers themselves to be efficient with their time. The longer the job takes, the more expensive it is for you! The more lucrative it is for them! You’d be surprised at how 2-3 small problems can miraculously start to take 1-2 hours longer than anticipated.

There’s other pitfalls, too. Poor parking and space to unload. Rush hour traffic can delay things. It just leaves too much up to chance. You don’t want your costs to go up just because trucks are sitting on the road.

When to choose flat rates:

  • If you’re moving far away/long distance
  • If you’re moving into a large space/big house
  • If you’re moving to a place that has a ton of traffic

It’s pretty straight forward logic that the more stuff you have and the further you have to move it – the more likely it is that you should pay a flat rate. This way, you’re paying for what’s being transported and you won’t have to worry about being charged for the time the movers spend caught in traffic or if your bed proves to be a good deal harder to get up the stairs than previously thought. It just keeps everything neat, clean – and you can finish up the things that matter most without the worry of all the gory cost overruns and details.

Long story, short – you’re not gambling on the fact that you hope you have a worry-free move. You’ll know the price, know the number that’ll be on the bottom of the invoice and it’s a number you can live with and that buys you a whole lot of peace of mind during one of the most stressful experiences that human beings have.

Just as a customer – its important for you to do your homework. Be clear about what’s included in your move and do whatever you can to avoid last minute change orders. Get your quote signed and make sure it’s detailed – and you should be good to go! Happy moving!