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Junk Removal Pricing & Cost | How much to charge?

Having worked in the junk removal business for the last 6 years, I’ve seen many different junk removal pricing plans. Since this is a topic that every junk removal business has to answer, we thought we would explore the topic and find out what factors you should consider when pricing your junk removal services. We’ve also compiled a list of junk removal prices from companies in the South Florida area.

Benjamin Franklin's Face on Bill

How much can you charge to maximize your profit?

But before getting into pricing, I wanted to explore the factors of how junk removal businesses price their services.

Factors to consider when pricing your junk removal services

There are a few standard pricing strategies when pricing any service or product. Since junk removal is a service-based business, pricing tends to be more subjective, thus leading to wildly different pricing models.

Below are a few ways to determine your pricing

  1. Cost Plus Pricing – By far the most common type of pricing is Cost plus pricing. Just like the term implies, cost plus pricing seeks to determine how much the service you’re offering cost you, allowing you to determine how much more to charge, so that you can profit. One catch is that you need to determine your direct cost as well as any indirect cost associated with your junk removal service. Direct cost would include items such as staff, supplies, and travel, whereas indirect cost would include items such as rent, utilities, and equipment.
  2. Price positioning strategy – If you start a junk removal business and fail to research what the others are charging in your area, you may be wildly off the mark when launching your service. That said, junk removal businesses that only compete on price are also destined to fail. Think about it. If your customer is using you service because you are the cheapest junk hauler in the area, what’s to stop him from using someone else who drops the price by another $20? Nothing. This is why it is essential to create a Unique Selling Proposition or USP. Making you service unique allows you to protect you pricing structure and charge more. Don’t believe me? Think Starbucks. They sell cups of coffee for close to $3.00, twice the price that everyone else does.
  3. Demand Curve – Simply put, what are people in your area willing to pay? If you price you hauling services too high you may reduce all demand for your junk removal service; however, pricing too low can lead to a large influx of customers which you may not be able to handle when starting out. This is where pricing your service becomes more of an art versus a science.

Next, we're going to look at what individual junk removal companies charge, how some of them structure the price and other factors that influence pricing. Each company may offer slightly different amounts, but based on our experience most charge by the cubic yard. Other factors that may affect the price for junk removal services include:

  • Size of the load – Will it require multiple loads or just one?
  • Weight of the debris – Are there additional charges for heavy loads?
  • Location – Do you charge more based on where the junk needs to be removed?
  • Mileage – How far do you have to drive?

As I mentioned earlier pricing varies widely, but here are some junk removal prices from the most popular companies on the web today. The prices we’re taken directly from the junk removers websites.

2012 National Junk Removal Pricing Comparison Table.
Comparison Truck Size Minimum Charge 1/4 1/2 3/4 Full Load
1-800-JunkUSA N/A $129 $239 $369 $469 $597
1-800-GotJunk 15 Cubic Yards $124 $244 $358 $464 $558
Busby Junk Removal 18 Cubic Yards $87.50 $180 $300 $360 $480
JunkTrashRemoval.com Curbside 18 Cubic Yards $125 $149 $249 $349 $395
Ace Hauling 20 Cubic Yards N/A $175 $225 $295 $395
Average 17.2 Cubic Yards $116 $197 $300 $387.40 $485

So how do you determine what to charge customers? Do you use any of the pricing strategies above? Or do you just have a feel for what people in you area are willing to pay? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to add any junk removal pricing tips we may have left out. Thanks and happy hauling!

287 Comments Write a comment

  1. This is a nice write up you did here. Most companies I noticed charge by the size of the load. If you do that, you have to add a little extra for labor if the junk is far from where you can park the truck because that can be time consuming.

    Reply

  2. Our company also includes the loading labor in the price and we stil require our employees to be polite and dress properly, we charge 15.00 per cu. yd or $300.00 for a 20 yard container, everything for one set price.

    Reply

  3. I’m impressed. I dont think Ive met anyone who knows as much about the junk removal subject as you do. You’re truly well informed and very good at explaining complex topics. You wrote the junk removal pricing article so that people could understand and made the subject intriguing. Really, great blog youve got here. Keep them coming!

    Reply

    • Thanks Tomas

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m currently working on a new post, but welcome any suggestions you may have. Stay tuned for the next post on how to optimize your junk removal business on Google +.

      Reply

  4. I agree. I find myself wondering why people still call 1-800 got junk when small time hauling companies will charge much less and even give better service.

    Reply

    • Hi Steve,

      You’re absolutely right. When I first started JunkTrashRemoval.com we cleared out a storage unit for about $1500. The storage unit was filled with church chairs, Sunday school supplies, musical equipment and a piano. After removing the unwanted goods, we ended up selling the chairs and musical equipment on eBay for more that $1700. The junk removal took less than 6 hours and we had sold the chairs and equipment in less than 7 days. Total gross profit was $3200, not bad for a day of work:)

      Reply

  5. The work of removing the junk materials is really a tough job… as the person must have to be very much trained so that the junk can be removed easily & efficiently… While hiring any service provider we must compare all of them, according to the service they are providing with the cost they are demanding for that… your post going to helps us a lot in doing that…

    Reply

  6. It took years to find the perfect price point for our junk removal business in San Diego, once we established the “perfect price” we created a price list for our website and we find our customers like our posted per item or truck load price lists. No surprises or “driveway pricing”.

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  7. Excellent post on information regarding junk removal pricing. This is the best one I read regarding this matter. Thanks, keep on posting.

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  8. When hiring a junk removal service provider customers should ask for upfront rates. It is really a tough job to compare the price of different service provider and choose the best among them. You put some nice tips here.

    Reply

    • Thanks for the complement. What area did you feel we needed to elaborate on? Was it too short? Or did you want to see additional pricing from other junk removal businesses?

      Reply

      • I have started hauling scrap metal , do you think if I was to do standard junk removal, garage cleanouts etc… Should I charge for the scrap metal or return some of that price to the customer. I just want to be able to compete in todays economy without giving the service away but also not running off potential business. Thanks for any help.

        Reply

  9. Spot on with this write-up. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

    Reply

  10. I have learned a lot from your article on junk removal pricing. I will definitely bookmark your site for revisiting. How much effort and time did it take to make your website?

    Reply

  11. Thank you for providing such great insight into the junk removal niche. I already bookmarked it and will be revisiting shortly. I really appreciate it.

    Reply

  12. This is vital!!!! I came across your website when I was looking for my own rubbish removal blog and thought I’d have a read of other peoples blogs to get some ideas for my own
    Hope thats ok.

    Reply

  13. I did hauling on the side for a while and then was forced out due to not positioning my self as the “green hauler”. In the end, I did not become profitable. My customer service was great, and I had some repeat customers, but not a lot. My truck wasn’t the best and it eventually broke down, thus taking me out of the hauling business altogether. That said, I’m considering starting “anew” and buying a used truck. The way I used to do it was I’d place ads and people would reply inquiring about hauling their items. I would in turn ask how much stuff they had and then name a flat out price prior to even going out to the location. This saved me a lot of time. My main problem was going long distance sometimes up to an hour and a half a way for so little money. After paying dump fees, fuel and the helper it left very little in “profits”. I want to do a new twist on the hauling business, but it would cause a total change in the way run the business. I would be interested in any assistance with junk removal ideas or pointers to help me.

    thanks michael.

    Reply

  14. Just recenly relocate business from Indiana to Georgia (personal move) How do we get started in a new market? We have a Chevy 3500HD dump truck ready to get on the road. How do we advertise in a new State?

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  15. Your info help’d me out alot so i just want to say thanks because im going be starting my own hauling busness i workd with my uncle for about 4 or 5 years doing hauling so i prety much know everything thier is to know about the hauling busness even how to run it i just need to learn how to charge but one thing i do know is that i need to know how much the job is going to cost me first, payng workers, gas, and dump fees the three main things, my uncle told me don’t be the cheepe’st be the best so i just want to be the best that i can be and anybody can run a busness but the thing is it’s how you run thank you!

    Reply

  16. You failed to point out the difference in the additional “direct cost” between companies that insure their service and pay Workers Comp vs those that don’t. Companies with cheaper prices may also mean they don’t’ insure their service or pay Workers Comp. These cheaper companies are willing to share the risk of damage and injury with their customers. So, for customers that go for cheap prices………have a good lawyer, you’ll probably need one.

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  17. Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all significant infos.
    I would like to see more posts like this .

    Reply

  18. Im starting a junk removal business my business name is going to be Camo Junk Removal i have partner i have truck to start the business but not sure about the pricing although i look up other companies for price comparison still need ideas thank you

    Reply

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