When you're planning a move, it's always a good idea to get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you're getting the best deal. However, not all companies use the same pricing structure when charging customers for their services. Here are two different cost schemes you may encounter when calling for estimates.
The most common pricing scheme you're likely to encounter is the fixed pricing structure. It's just as it sounds. The company will charge a flat rate for the entire move from start to finish (e.g., $300 to move across town), though there may be one or two things not included in the price. For instance, some moving company charge a travel fee for the time it takes to get from their facility to the client's home.
Though the majority of moving companies prefer this type of pricing structure, the way they come up with the estimate varies. Some will charge a per-pound rate and base the price they quote you on how much your stuff weighs. Other companies will base the charge on the size your belongings; so the movers' representatives will come to your home, measure everything, and then give you a quote based on what they see.
This type of quote is best for moves that will take quite a bit of time to complete. If you have a lot of stuff or you will be moving to another city or state, you'll want to opt for a fixed rate quote. Be aware, though, that it can take longer to get your quote since the company must come to your home and evaluate your belongings. Additionally, the rate can change if you add or take away stuff.
Lastly, as noted previously, the flat rate may not account for all the things you may be charged for. Therefore, it's important to ask about additional costs not factored into the quote to ensure you get a complete picture of how much you'll be charged for the move.
The second type of pricing structure you'll encounter is an hourly rate. In this cost scheme, the company will charge you based on the amount of time it takes to move your belongings from one place to another. The quote you receive tends to be more encompassing than a flat rate quote, but there may still be costs not factored in. For instance, the company may include the travel and waiting charges, but tolls would need to be paid separately.
Moving companies who charge an hourly rate will provide you with an estimate based on how long they think it will take to move your belongings. However, your final cost could easily exceed that if there are issues that cause the move to take longer than originally thought. For example, if there is a traffic jam that results in the truck taking two hours to get across town instead of one, then you'll be stuck paying for that extra time.
However, hourly fees are good for small, quick moves. If you are moving to another apartment in the same complex, for instance, you may want to opt for an hourly rate. It may also be easier to save money when you're being charged an hourly rate because all you would need to do is find ways to streamline the process so it takes less time (e.g., place all boxes on the first floor or in one easily accessible area).
Whichever type of cost structure you opt for, try your best to get a guaranteed quote so there are no surprises when you get the final bill. For more information about these rate structures or to schedule a move, contact a local moving company.