When renting a short-term dumpster for your home clean up or remodeling project, homeowners should always use a local dumpster rental company. While that sounds like a very obvious statement, the increasing use of internet searches to find local services often opens the door for out of town brokers (middlemen) to become part of the transaction. Out of town, out of state and even “out of the country” brokers now pop-up when one does a search for a local dumpster company.
It is sometimes not easy to distinguish the local guys from those operating from afar, but dealing with these distant brokers can be a costly experience. They usually own no trucks or dumpsters, but use cleverly constructed websites to intercept your business. They add hefty commissions, and then farm out the dumpster rental to a local company that could have provided that same container for less. Some national brokers do provide value to large construction companies managing nationwide projects, but to the local homeowner, small contractor and casual user, most “website only” brokers are a rip-off.
There are a number of disadvantages to using the online broker, the main ones being cost and communication. Typically a dumpster rented through a broker can cost 10 to 100% more than the local average price. In extreme cases, brokers have attempted to charge 3 times the rate of a local dumpster rental company. Their websites use terms such as Best Prices in Town or the Lowest Cost Dumpsters, but these are aimed at unsuspecting or inexperienced consumers. If queried, the online middleman will say his prices are “very affordable” or “ right in there with the other local guys”. Not true!
Communication is the other main problem with brokers. Information on getting what you want, where you want it, when you want it now travels through a third party. Details and advice on sizes, placement, payment, loading and more all get short-changed. Broker’s information is usually somewhat vague because they advertise the same services and roll-off containers to every city in the country with one website. Speaking directly with a local dumpster rental company is the fastest, cheapest and most efficient way to rent a container.
Following these few tips should help you identify the dumpster middleman websites:
- They usually will not have a local phone number – typically it’s a toll-free.
- They may have no phone number at all, just an online form to fill out.
- Their website may ask for your zip code before identifying prices or sizes.
- You may fill out an online form and wait several days for a reply.
If you can contact the company, ask for the local address where you might view their roll-offs in person. They won’t give it out.
The online dumpster broker takes a simple process, makes it complicated, and the customer pays more. Someone operating from an extra bedroom in Atlanta, or a basement office in San Diego, shouldn’t make money off Denver consumers ordering Denver based services. Knowing whom you are dealing with and shopping locally will save you time and money.
Written by Sam Stankie