I’m not referring to the additional charges that you already charge for in your moving business.
You know the ones I’m talking about…
- Insurance valuation charges…
- Packing charges…
- Storage charges…
- Travel charges…
- And so on…
I’m talking about those additional charges that you don’t typically charge.
Or you may not know about to charge.
It’s these additional charges that you aren’t charging that costing you literally $1000s of dollars every month and year.
These are the charges that I’m talking about.
They’re the charges not charge on your contract…
(Although you should have a clause that states you reserve to charge these fees if the need arises.)
Additional Charges you should be charging
So, I am going to do my best here to give the fees you should be charging, but not the amount.
That I’ll leave to you.
Waiver Charge – The waiver charge is a fee that you should charge the shipper when you are asked to do something where it requires a waiver. This would something like disconnecting/connecting gas, electric, or water lines from appliances and such. Or driving on the shipper’s property (which I never advocate) to get closer to the door. Things like this.
Cleaning Charge – You walk into a home and the place is a pig’s sty. It’s full of crap and animal hair and other nasty goodness. You know the ones I’m talking about. You now have to clean your truck out and even wash your pads. This should be charged. You can’t take this equipment to your next job looking and smelling like that. It’s unprofessional. You need to charge your shipper this fee.
Disposal/Cleaning Fee – Now this different from the above situation. Here you are getting rid of unwanted junk and/or boxes that have been unpacked, and so on. It’s also a basic cleaning not because they are pig but they asked that the house be vacuumed and spruced up a bit after you leave. Of course, this can just be a courtesy. Be a part of your service if you wish to add value. But if not, then you should be charging for it.
Snow Removal/Walkway Clearing Charge – For those of you in the South you don’t know the pain and hustle it takes to have to move in the snow. It’s a pain in the ass. Often the shippers do nothing to clear their driveways or walkways. Leaving it slippery and dangerous. So…to do the job right and safely these walkways have to be cleared…if the shipper won’t do it then we need to…I typically charged them $250 if my guys had to get out there with a snow shovel and salt to clear a safe path for them to walk. And yes…I’ve had to charge this fee a few times.
Packing/Crating Charge – Typically this charge would be part of the overall quote, but sometimes the shipper wanted to do a PBO move. But when you get there they have not packed half of their stuff. You need to charge the shipper to now pack this stuff up so that you can move it safely. Plus, you need to charge for the materials like tape, paper etc. The shipper will often forget to pack up mirrors and paintings and these need to be crated. If they’re not then you need to charge them to do it, or have them signa waiver and charge them a waiver fee.
Stairs/Elevator Fee – Typically if you have to walk more then 2 flights of stairs you should be charging you shipper a fee for this. Also, you should be bringing on extra help which is another fee (we’ll talk about this one later.) Sometimes you can’t use stairs you have to use an elevator. This all takes a lot of time. Time that you should be charging for.
Long Carry Fee – Like the stair charge you shouldn’t walk more than 50 to 75 feet before. If you need to walk further than this then you should be having a long carry fee. And be bringing in other labor to help with this.
Oversized/Heavy Item Charge – Those large pieces of furniture can be a real pain in the ass to load on the truck. Sometimes it takes superhuman effort to load it, and to do it right. Or they’re heavy as shit. Pieces like huge Armoires, or pianos, or gun safes, kayaks, canoes, and so forth. I have had to move quite literally half ton pieces of woodworking equipment before. Besides the extra labor to get it done, sometimes you need to bring in extra equipment to get it done. You need to be charging these fees. This one fee alone could bring in a few extra thousands.
Extra Stops Fee – How many times have you had your shipper ask you if you could just drop off a couch at their mother’s or sister’s place? It’s not too far out of the way. Or maybe you have to stop and pick something up from a furniture store. It really shouldn’t matter how far you have to go you should be charging them an extra stop fee.
Wait Time Fee – I’ve moved several people to New York City and Chicago before. Too many to count. And almost every time I’ve had to sit and wait so that another moving company or delivery truck does their thing before I can load or unload. Time that I’m not getting paid. You should be charging for this. I normally charged a standard hourly fee for this if I’ve had to wait more than a half hour. But I’ve had to wait while the shipper finalized their closing or sign the paperwork to rent their new place. Doesn’t matter. If you have to wait more than a half hour you should be charging them.
Extra Labor Charge – I mentioned before that there are many reasons why you may have to bring in extra labor to get the job done. And if you have to do that you should be charging the shipper this fee. If you have to wait, do packing, have an extra heavy piece, or whatever the reason you need to bring on extra labor to get the job quickly, efficiently and on time, this should be charged to the customer.
Extra Fees and Hourly Rates
If you’re charging by the hour then many of these additional charges may not be necessary…
That said, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not charging these fees.
I know many of you that charge by the hour don’t do any type of in-home estimates and or pre-inspections of the places your about to move, which often leads to surprises.
These extra charges could save you from losing a lot of time and money if you’re surprised.
Imagine you have several jobs booked in the day and you get to one job and it’s a dog’s breakfast…you have to call in extra help so that you don’t miss your next appointment.
This should be charged to the shipper.
You’re in business to make money…not give it all away.
Contracts and Forms…
If you’re not sending your shipper’s your terms and conditions and a contract to sign BEFORE the move then you really ought to start.
It’s going to save you a lot of hassle in the future…
Even if you’re only doing hourly moves.
This way, your shipper is informed of what’s expected of them and they are told that there may be additional charges if certain aspects are not met.
Giving Extra Value
A great selling point that could help separate you from your competition is offering some of these extras at no extra charge.
Make these fees just a standard part of your service to them.
The secret, of course, is that you just add these charges into the overall price.
It’s automatically charged. And no one is the wiser.
It doesn’t matter if you charge by the hour or a flat guaranteed rate. You’re going to run into situations that outside the agreed contract and these situations need to be charged.
And to make it abundantly clear, these are not your normal charges.
I can hear people say “but I already charge for packing…” You’re right, of course.
That charge specifically for those PBO shipments, or hourly rated shipments where the shipper has not completed their packing and you need to step and get it done.
So, you do need to be charging these extra fees to stay solvent and profitable.
Charging these fees:
- Waiver Charge
- Cleaning Charge
- Disposal Charge
- Snow Removal Fee
- Packing/Crating Fee
- Stair/Elevator Charge
- Long Carry Fee
- Oversized/Heavy Item Charge
- Extra Stops Charge
- Wait Time Fee
- Extra Labor Charge
These charges will keep you profitable.
Go and do something GREAT today!