If you have ever had to move before you would certainly have had the bewildering experience of getting removals quotes. In Australia, the removals industry is totally unregulated and this is reflected in the wide range of prices you will see in your quotations. If you’re looking for a removalist in Brisbane, read first about the costs that removalist companies have so that you understand the prices they charge and don’t get caught out by a shonky removalist.
Costs incurred by removals companies
As the removals industry is totally unregulated in Australia, sadly a lot of unregistered and uninsured (cowboys) companies act in unscrupulous ways. An honest company has a large number of costs to cover, chiefly the cost of labour.
Beginning with an hourly rate of pay of $25.81 for offsiders, and $27.28 for drivers licensed to drive larger trucks, the cost of staff training, recruitment, uniforms, superannuation and workers compensation can easily lead to a figure above $30.00/hour, with pay rates being up to 50% higher on weekends. The cost of owning and operating a truck can easily amount to 15% of a removals company’s income, with larger trucks costing more than smaller ones. This is why many cowboy companies hire unskilled backpackers or foreign students, and operate small and often dilapidated trucks that cost the customer more money due to needing multiple trips.
If you found your removalists online, chances are they paid dearly get your details. Many online comparison sites market themselves as a convenience, but this comes at a cost when they charge removals companies up to $20 just to get a persons details, and then they sell the same details to 5+ other companies. Removals companies must then compete with multiple other companies and don’t even get a guarantee the customer will even pick up the phone. With a high amount of competition, and many people using these sites to get a quote for the sake of it, the effective cost of these leads can reach $100/job meaning that for a 5 hour job the cost of the ‘lead’ alone can be equal to $20/hour.
An insured company will also have a substantial outlay each year for public liability and goods in transit insurance. These costs can amount to thousands of dollars per month. A legitimate company will be GST registered and this means 10% of every dollar made must be paid directly to the government.
Finally like all businesses, the overheads of offices, phones, websites, and accounting costs can quickly add up.
Prices charged by removals companies
In Brisbane the typical price range charged by removals companies is between $140-160 per hour for a service with two men. Some of these companies will have additional charges (e.g. heavy items) but a sign of a trustworthy company is when they talk to you on the phone to establish your needs, and provide a written quote outlining all charges and details of the job. With all costs considered, it is extremely difficult to provide a quality service for less than this price range.
Whilst we all love a bargain, it is important to take care when shopping around for a cut price removalist. It common to see ‘man and truck’ companies offering services at very low rates. If you see a company for $100 per hour, keep in mind the costs to run a removals company and ask yourself ‘is it too good to be true?’. At this price it is possible that the company is using very small trucks (meaning more trips and a higher final cost for you). It is also very likely that they are underpaying their workers, often hiring inexperienced students and backpackers for low cash in hand rates. Another underhanded tactic is for these budget companies to arrive to a job and begin to charge hidden fees for things like long walks, stairs and disassembly.
No matter what price you pay for removals services, it is important to choose a trustworthy company that is willing to speak to you on the phone about the job (or visit you for a quote) and provide a written quote outlining their charges and full terms and conditions.