Should You Pay Movers Per Hour or Get A Flat Rate?

So you need to hire a mover and it’s time to get quotes.

Some are given as hourly rates with a price estimate, while others provide a guaranteed flat rate.

Which should you choose? Which structure is better?


The reason lies within the motivations set up by each situation. Now, this doesn’t mean movers are bad people, but the incentives certainly influence the way business is done.

Let’s look at the hourly rate scenario…

The Economics.

There’s no incentive for the movers to finish quickly or efficiently. It doesn’t matter if they have one job or two jobs in a day, they get paid the same. In fact, they get paid more for doing one job because there isn’t a gap in time where they are traveling to the next job (and actually losing money on the gas and labor hours required).

The Labor.

Building off the point above, the company is incentivized to provide a smaller crew to the job. Rather than bringing an extra person or two to your move, they are better off sending those people to work on another job.

This isn’t malicious — it’s just smart business. That way they are able to book double the revenue in the same amount of time. Time is their friend.

A flat-rate is better for both parties, for the following reasons…

The Customer.

One of the biggest benefits of the flat rate for customers is the assurance that you aren’t being scammed (see above). It’s comforting to know exactly what you’ll pay for the service. You also want to have your movers hustling and working hard to get your move done (so they can get to another job). Nobody wants their move to last all day. So incentivize it not to.

Don’t worry about them rushing with your stuff and breaking something. They are legally obligated to provide coverage for your cargo. You can also purchase additional insurance for your move.

The Moving Company.

A flat rate provides a better customer experience. Customers understand what they’re paying and aren’t shocked by a big number at the end of the move. As a mover, you can provide legitimate economic reasons to have your crew hustle and get a job done. If you get it done efficiently and do a great job, you can easily ask the customer for referrals — one of the best sources for new jobs.

In Closing: This doesn’t mean that hourly rate moves are going to be horrible, but if you can pick — go with the flat rate. For these reasons, our Moved concierges provide our customers exclusively with flat rate quotes.

Recommended Reading:How To Pick The Right Moving Company

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How To Pick The Right Moving Company

Keep Your Stuff In Good Hands

Finding a good company for your move isn’t easy. It’s a process that can take up a lot of time and energy.

First, the Google search. Scrolling through list upon list of moving companies all with different ratings.

“Google says they’re a 6/10 but Yelp says they’re a 4.5/5. Wait — this moving platform has only negative reviews. But my friend said they were pretty good and cheap.” -You

Sound familiar? Sure it does.

And this is just the process before you call them for a quote. Phone call after phone call. Reciting over and over when you plan to move, where you’re moving to, and how much stuff you have. You spend hours online and on the phone just to understand the options that are actually available to you.

It sucks.

But here’s a cheat sheet. A few tips on finding the right moving company for you…

1) Understand Your Move.

Before you start looking around, make sure you know what you’re looking for. What type of mover do you need? What can you afford? This will help guide the entire process.

2) Credibility First, Price Second.

It’s tempting to just go for the cheapest offer you can find. But price should be the second filter through which you look. You’re hiring someone to literally pack up your life and transport it to a new location.

You need to have a reputable company with a history of doing good work handing your stuff. This is an important (and expensive) time in your life. The extra $50 is worth it to get a licensed, verified moving crew rather than two guys with a van.

3) Search Online, Book Offline.

There are many good platforms available to get quotes and book your move. Use this as a starting point rather than an ending one. Many moving companies will bake in a premium on these platforms because they have to pay to be there and they have less control over getting the move’s details.

Once you find a company you like and got a quick online quote, give them a call. Tell them the quote you got and that you’d like to book directly through them. They’ll give you a discount on price for doing so.

4) Get Moved.

Use a personalized Moved Concierge to get all of this done simply and easily. Moving isn’t something you do frequently, so have an expert help you and get things done while you’re going about your life. Your Concierge knows the best moving companies for your type of move and can get you the best quote without you lifting a finger.

Moving is a process that uproots your life and takes up a lot of time. But it doesn’t have to. Do your homework and get help from the experts. You (and your stuff!) will be happy you did.

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How To Know What Type of Mover You Need

All moves are not made equal.

Your move is unique. Figuring out the best way to move isn’t simple. The first question to answer is if you need to hire a moving company or not.

If you decide to hire one, the next step in the process is understanding the type of moving company you’ll need to book.

Here is a breakdown of the types of moving companies there are, and how to know which one is right for you.

1) Self-Service.

This isn’t a full “do-it-youself” move, but it’s close. The Self-Service move is where you pack everything yourself and then hire a moving company to pick it up, load the truck, and unload it all at your new place.

Pros: Lower cost for movers. More control over your stuff. No heavy lifting.

Cons: Time spent packing, organizing, and unpacking. Money spent on packing supplies. Some movers may not accept liability for boxes they did not pack (make sure you ask!).

2) Full-Service.

Sit back, relax, and watch your move happen. The Full-Service move is where a company you hire literally does it all. They pack, load, transport, unload, and unpack everything for you.

Pros: Time saved by having someone else do everything. No heavy lifting. Full coverage for the items being moved (double check with your mover).

Cons: Higher total cost for your move. Lack of control over handling of items. Having to coordinate where should be unpacked and placed.

3) Specialized Movers.

Whether you are doing the entire move yourself or hiring a full-service team, you may still need specialized movers. This is for unique, special items that need to be handled differently than the rest of your haul.

Some movers won’t even take these items, while in other cases you may just prefer to have this sort of expertise. You would use a specialized mover if you’re shipping a car, a pet, fragile antiques, artwork, or really any item that requires special care.

Pros: Individual expertise transporting the item. Special care and coverage for the item(s). Peace of mind that it’s handled correctly.

Cons: Extra cost to the overall move. Coordinating with another company and another timeline.

Handle with care.

Handle with care.

After you decide which type of mover you need, the next step is to actually find and pick a company to use.

Whatever your move calls for, make sure you find a reputable company with a good quote. A Moved Concierge will figure all of this out for you and has the experience and expertise to ensure you get the best possible company for your move.

Happy Moving! 😊

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Do You Really Need A Moving Company? The Answer.

DIY vs Hiring A Mover

Moving is an exciting time in your life. It can also be extremely hectic.

The first question you need to answer is how you will move your stuff from point A to point B. “Should I hire a moving company? Should I do it myself?”

Fear not.

The best way to answer this question is to calculate how much your move would cost to do on your own vs with a company.

The “do on your own” calculation must also include the time you will personally have to put in to coordinate everything and make it happen.

Time = Money!

The more complex your move is, the more valuable a moving company will be to you. So here’s how you gauge the complexity and cost to figure out if you need one…

1) The Distance.

The move’s price increases with distance. There is the obvious cost associated with gas and tolls, but also consider that the moving company takes on more risk with every extra mile. The further they need to transport cargo, the riskier it is. Additionally, if you are paying by the hour, this travel time will increase your final cost.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a company, the shorter the move, the easier and less expensive it is. This won’t give you the answer but it’s the first input into your cost equation.

2) The Volume.

How much stuff do you have? If you’re packing up a 3 or 4-bedroom place, it’s going to get crazy and you’re going to spend a lot of time packing, organizing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

With that sort of size, a moving company is the better call. It’s more efficient, cost-effective, and will save you a lot of time. For a studio or 1-bedroom, you likely can do it yourself but that also depends on…

3) The Large and Fragile.

If you have stuff that is large and/or fragile, it will likely require special tools, multiple people, or experience with such moves to do it successfully. This is where a moving company excels.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do the move yourself, but it’s a factor to consider. Some people will do everything themselves but hire movers specifically for the large and fragile stuff. This approach can help drive overall cost down while making sure these items are properly handled.

4) The Extras.

Many moving companies offer things like packing, storage, installation and assembly & disassembly of furniture. These obviously cost more money but the convenience is worth it for many people.

Avoid this fate — let your movers handle assembly

Avoid this fate — let your movers handle assembly

Again — the more complex (determined by the above) your move is, the more value you will get out of hiring a moving company.

Get a few quotes from reputable moving companies (or have a Moved Concierge do it for you!) and compare those to what it would cost for you to do it by yourself. For that calculation make sure you account for the time it will take you, the coordination headaches you’ll endure, and consider if you have the supplies and friends to help you get it done or if you’ll have to pay for those things anyway.

Should you decide to hire a moving company, the next thing to figure out is what type of mover you need.

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The Apartment Application: What You Need to Know


Finally… You visited an apartment and fell in love with it. It’s the place of your dreams!

So you’re done — right?

Wrong. It’s time to apply.

For those new to this process — it can be daunting and quite personal.

Have your paperwork prepared beforehand, so you can submit quickly and not lose out on that place you love.

What exactly is an apartment application?

Management companies don’t want just anyone living in their buildings. They want to know who you are and, of course — if you can pay.

While each company is different, most require the same things. So you should be able to plan ahead.

What do I need to provide?


A scanned copy or even a picture of your license should suffice. However you do it, make sure the front and back are clear and readable.


This won’t pass for ID

You’ll also likely have to provide your Social Security Number. It’s personal, yes, but you won’t get the place without it.

Credit Check

This is one of the main criteria management companies will use to assess you as a potential tenant. Since this is always required, you can pre-empt it by printing a new credit report and sending it in with the application.

Bank Information

Often you’ll be asked to provide two recent bank statements, along with your account number. This, along with your credit check and employment info (below), will be used to gauge your ability to pay rent each month.

What applications feel like

What applications feel like

Proof of Employment

There’s a couple facets to this…

  1. Reference Letter. Your employer will provide this (on company letterhead), stating that you are employed by the company, for how long, and what your position and salary is.

  2. Income Requirements. Most management companies will require tenants to earn 40–50x the monthly rent (e.g. making $60,000 for a $1,500/month apartment). You’ll have to provide your last 2–3 pay stubs as proof of this income.

  3. If you don’t meet this requirement: You’ll need to have a guarantor who, outside of also going through the application process, earns 80–90x the monthly rent.

Tax Returns

This one is straighforward. You’ll be asked to provide your last two tax returns or W-2s. Have these ready when you start looking.


Management companies will often want to call your previous landlord to ask them about you as a tenant. Did you pay rent on time? Were you messy and troublesome? Or clean and friendly? These can go a long way, especially in big markets where you’re competing against other applicants.

These matter!

These matter!

The Application & Fees

Oh right… the application. Luckily, this isn’t too difficult. Applications are fairly standard, asking for some basic information about you.

Unfortunately, they also require an application fee. Expect to pay anywhere from $50–$100. The amount depends on the property manager, with some as low as $25 and others upwards of $200. This is non-refundable so make sure you have everything else in order before you pay to apply.

To take the apartment off the market while your app is processed, some management companies will have you put down a portion of your security deposit. If you love the place, it’s a recommended practice since you’ll have to provide that money anyway.

After the above, you must be thinking…

How does anyone actually get an apartment?

Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it looks.

Be prepared and carve out time dedicated to the administrative aspects of getting your new place. Then — you’re done!

Well… until it’s time to sign your lease and move. 😊

But we’ll save those for another time.

Until then, happy searching!

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