So, you’re about to make a local or long-distance Phoenix move and you’ve probably got a lot of questions. “How much should I budget for my move?”, “Where can I find trustworthy movers?”, “Do I need hourly or flat-rate Phoenix movers?” We get it, it can feel like a lot. Gentle Giant’s Moving FAQs blog can answer some of these questions. But today, we are breaking down the difference between hourly and flat-rate movers, and which is best suited for your move.
Flat-Rate Phoenix Movers
Flat-rate Phoenix movers provide a fixed price for the entire move, regardless of the time it takes to complete the job. The cost of your move is determined after an in-house or virtual consultation of your belongings or via an inventory checklist by phone.
The quote factors in the size and weight of your items (heavy or large furniture like a couch will cost more to move than a bedside table), distance of the move, and any additional services required. Extra services include packing, unpacking, storage, and crating.
Often, long-distance movers will charge a flat rate. Instead of charging you for services hourly, the movers weigh the load of the filled moving truck and determine the weight of the contents. You can look at flat-rate moving as priced per item and the number of boxes.
Pros of Flat Rate Movers
- Set Pricing. Flat-rate Phoenix movers will provide the exact cost of your move upfront, making it easier to set a budget and avoid any big surprises at the end.
- Reduced Stress. Knowing the exact cost of your move will alleviate stress and give you more headspace to focus on other parts of the moving process.
- Best for long-distance moves. Long-distance moves mean a longer timeline and more time spent on the road. This means factors like traffic and unexpected delays can pop up. With a flat-rate move, these circumstances are less likely to cause a significant price increase.
Cons of Flat Rate Movers
- Risk of overestimation. Movers may overestimate the cost of your move, resulting in a higher flat-rate fee than the hourly fee alternative.
- Potential for lower quality service. Since movers work for a flat-rate fee, they may be more likely to focus on speed over safety, potentially leading to poor service.
- Limited service options. Flat-rate quotes may not account for additional services like packing, unpacking, disassembly, and reassembly. These services will result in an inflated fee at the end of the move. Reach out to your move coordinator in advance of moving day to confirm what your estimate covers.
Hourly movers in Phoenix
Hourly moving means you are charged based on the required hours to complete your move. The hourly rate typically accounts for the movers’ labor, use of the moving truck, and some packing materials. The final cost depends on the hours spent packing, loading, transporting, and unloading the truck’s contents.
You can expect to pay between $25 to $60 per worker per hour. Most moves require two or more movers, so be prepared to pay $50 to $100 per hour to move the contents of a small apartment. Larger homes could cost at least $200 per hour. Ultimately this will depend on the size and number of your belongings.
Pros of hourly movers
- Pay for the hours worked. With hourly moving, you only pay for the hours the movers actually spent working. If you hire a reputable moving company with efficient movers, the move may take less time than initially estimated, thus saving you money compared to a flat rate. On the other hand, you risk mistakenly hiring inefficient or slow movers who may try to run the clock. Make sure to do your research and choose a highly-rated, reputable company.
- Flexibility in services. Hourly movers typically offer various services, including packing, unpacking, disassembling, reassembling, and crating. So you can choose the exact services required for your move with the help of your move coordinator.
- Best for short-distance moves. Moving companies tend to charge an hourly fee on local moves. Unlike the logistical delays often associated with long-distance moves, local relocations are accurately estimated hourly.
Cons of hourly movers
- Price may increase due to unforeseen circumstances. Often, movers encounter unexpected obstacles on the job. This could be anything from an elevator breaking down, heavy traffic, or difficult entryways. These obstacles will lead to an increase in the overall price, making it difficult to budget accurately.
- Extra fees for additional services. Although hourly movers will have more flexibility in services offered, most will charge extra for them on top of the hourly rate. Additional services may include packing materials, crating, or craning.
- Risk of rushed (or slow) work. Some moving crews may feel compelled to complete the move as fast as possible to avoid incurring extra fees for their client. While the movers might mean well, rushed work increases the risk of damage. On the other hand, some crews may work slowly to run the clock and increase the number of hours worked. To avoid situations like these, hire experienced professionals like Gentle Giant Phoenix.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Phoenix Movers
Distance of the move
The distance of your move is the most important factor to consider when deciding between an hourly vs. flat-rate Phoenix moving company. Most movers will charge a flat rate for long-distance relocations as it provides a single price regardless of uncertainties like traffic or delays. On the other hand, hourly moving is usually the go-to option for local moves. This is because local relocations can be accurately estimated at an hourly rate, so you only pay for the hours worked.
Where budget is a major concern, the better option may be flat-rate Phoenix movers. They will provide the exact cost upfront so you can prepare accordingly. If you have some flexibility with your budget and prefer easy access to additional services, hourly movers may be your better option.
Do you anticipate needing specialty services for moving artwork, large electronics, or antiques? Hourly moving services usually offer more flexibility to the customer in this regard, and you only pay for the time spent on these tasks. In contrast, the use of additional services may result in a substantial increase to what was originally a flat-rate fee. Make sure to clarify what is included in the flat rate with your move coordinator. They can walk you through each item and its related cost.
Whether you decide to go with hourly or flat-rate movers for your Phoenix move, make sure your move coordinator details what the bill covers in advance. It’s better to review in detail pre-move than have billing issues arise post-move.
Are you considering a local or long-distance Phoenix move? We have some great resources to get you started! Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare for your move and use our free move estimate tool. Learn more about our Phoenix movers here.