Monday, November 24, 2008

Per-man, per-hour moving war takes strange, hunky twist.

My fascination continues. Spotted on Fourth Avenue:

Meanwhile, thanks to the anonymous commenter Friday for some inside information:

Anonymous said...
Back in the 80s and early 90s I was part of an moving/trucking/van outfit based in the EV. We charged $25-$35/hr for 1 guy and a van, $55-$65 for 2 guys and a van/truck. All other expenses such as flights of stairs, boxes, reasonable mileage around town, tape, blankets etc. were included in the price. We also did a huge number of band jobs--$50/round trip to and from your gig in the city.

We were always busy and had a great crew of people and a really good rep. We also advertised exactly as these companies still do-those flyers bring back memories *sniff*.

Back then we heard plenty of horror stories from people who had made use of these $16/hr outfits because first of all, there were extra charges for EVERYTHING. Even as 1 guy with a van, you make NO MONEY charging $16/hr in this town. That isn't even going to cover insurance for the van and all of the expenses incurred, like parking/moving tickets, supplies, gas, phone, advertising, and the aggravation factor.

[Examples of the aggravation factor--showing up to move someone and finding out they live on the top floor of a 6th floor walk-up and have packed all of their belongings, including their 3 full sets of encyclopedias, into Hefty bags. Or that the person you are trying to squeeze in between 2 other jobs lied about how much crap they have and there is no way you will make it to your next job remotely on time.]

I have a million stories of stuff you can't even imagine from those years.

If you consider that the people who come to move you will be handling all of your personal stuff, it's not always a good idea to go for the cheapest deal. And moving is usually a stressful adventure so unless you count a futon, a hotplate and an autographed poster of Zeppo Marx as your only belongings, set some dough aside and don't forget to tip if they do a good job. Over the course of my time in the biz, we moved some people repeatedly and a great way to develop a relationship is to show that safe transport of you and your most important belongings to a new location is worth more than a couple bucks.

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