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  • 8 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Packing Company

    Author: Limor Friedman Date: December 1, 2015

    There are different ways clients may incur charges when hiring the assistance of a professional packing service. An honest, reliable and trustworthy packing company will usually provide clients with a pricing list. As a customer, this price list is important as it explains and reveals what would normally be considered hidden fees. As a client it is your duty to find out what exactly is included in the quoted price.

    Most packing and moving companies will charge for labour along with any supplies they are using. Generally, there is an hourly rate or a flat price assigned to the job.

    A flat rate promises you a little extra hustle and a speedy completion of the work, as the company will want the job to be as profitable as possible on their end. In addition, when using a flat rate fee structure, the company will most likely charge you about 20% extra to ensure they are not losing money on the flat rate.

    If you prefer to go with an hourly rate, make sure that you understand and are aware of all fees involved.

    The answers provided below, relay our professional experience in the lower mainland and more specifically, in Vancouver's moving and packing industry.

    8 questions you want to ask packing & moving companies up front:

    1. 1.Is the quoted price per hour and per person ? If the company charges $50 an hour, and your job requires 3 packers - you will be paying $150 per hour. In my opinion, it is best to have more people on site rather than less. If the company suggests bringing 2 - 3 packers, it may be in your best interest to ask for all 3. Yes, you end up paying more per hour, but with the additional manpower the packing will go quicker, saving you from paying an additional hourly rate.

    1. 2.Do you charge extra for travelling time? If yes, how much? Some companies charge an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour on top of packing hours. This is usually called travelling time and may not be included in the quote you initially receive for packing services.

    1. 3.How much do you charge for supplies? Ask how many and which type of boxes are required. In Vancouver, along with other places in Canada and USA, there are companies who rent out plastic boxes. If you are moving locally, there really isn't any specific reason to use cardboard boxes. A friendly tip: packing cardboard takes longer than packing using larger plastic boxes. Due to the smaller size of cardboard boxes, you will also most likely end up requiring more boxes overall. Packing companies usually have relationships with several suppliers and should be able to provide the boxes for you.

    1. 4.Do you offer free on-site estimates? There is a huge difference between a 3 bedroom house with 50 boxes to be packed and a 3 bedroom house with that would require the packing of 100! For a company to provide you with the best service, an estimate may be required. The company would visit your home in advance of packing day and survey the amount of packing required. It is common for people to underestimate the amount of belongings they need to move. With an estimate, you shouldn't be left surprised by the final charges.

    1. 5.Insurance: Do you have to purchase coverage separately or is it included in the price? If you are moving overseas or long distance and you hire professional packing services, do you know that you will most likely pay up to 50% less for your insurance?! To avoid any potential mishaps, shop around for a quote and remember that it's always best to ask beforehand.

    1. 6.Tipping: Ask if your packers will expect a tip or find out what percentage of a tip is recommended. You are not obliged to tip but it is sometimes expected as a courtesy for a job well done.

    1. 7.Work breaks: How many and how often? You definitely don't want to end up paying for an extended 1 hour lunch break! It's good to discuss this as it may have an effect on the total rate.

    1. 8.Finally, consider 15% in additional to the estimate, for unpredictable events such as hidden storage or extra items you had forgotten about.

    Hiring professional packing services will save you time and money, but you also want to make sure this is done as efficiently as possible.

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Author : Limor Friedman
Limor is the owner & manager of Vancouver in the Box. She and her team know how to make things happen! Limor founded Vancouver in The Box in 2009. Her company serves the lower mainland effectively and cost efficiently. Limor combines 40 years of family experience with a 12-year background in news broadcasting to create the best solutions for your moving. She is detail orientated and will find the right solution for your move whether you are storing belongings for an extended period, downsizing, relocating within Canada or overseas.