The Hidden Cost of Owning Furniture & Appliances

The real story of how buying furniture & appliances takes over your savings

The most common question that you probably ask after seeing furniture or appliances that you like, be it online or in brick-and-mortar stores, is “What does it cost?”

Well, that cost is quite upfront. Depending on the product and the brand, you will get a fixed cost at which you can buy the product. However, there’s a much larger, and a much more important question, that ultimately defines how much money you actually spend:

relocation cost furniture

“What is the total cost of ownership for this product?”


You see, when you calculate the price you pay on just the product’s MRP, you’re missing out on hidden costs that you have to incur later – relocation, repair & maintenance and later the hassle of disposing off the product in case you want a different one or upgrade.




Let’s start with relocation here. Firstly, the highly unorganized relocation industry does NOT offer standardized pricing for relocating both within the city, and intercity. This means you often have to haggle with various movers and packers and do all the groundwork to find a deal that doesn’t leave you broke.


Consider the typical costs of moving homes within the city for a standard 1 BHK:

Moving vehicle: Rs.1,500 – Rs. 3,500

There are multiple options when it comes to choosing the vehicle and vehicle provider for intra city moving. The typical cost for, say, moving from Koramangala to HSR Layout will be can range between Rs.700 – 1,200. This cost often includes a base fare, a distance fee, and a time fee. Here, we have considered the vehicle required for moving about 180 – 220 cubic feet of your goods, including: 1 bed, 1 refrigerator, 1 washing machine, 1 mattress, 2 chairs, 1 table, kitchen utensils (3-4 boxes), and miscellaneous items (4 boxes).


Packing material: Rs.1,000 – Rs. 3,500

When moving fragile items, specifically kitchen and household appliances like fridge, AC, microwave and washing machine, you really do not want to take a risk with the packaging material. From durable bubble wraps to layers of styrofoam, the cost of keeping your expensive appliances and delicate furniture safe can fall in the range of Rs.1,000-3,500, with the median cost being at Rs.2,500


Manpower & Labor Charges: Rs.1,000

Typically, 2 people are required to move a 1 BHK entirely. Taking the average cost of Rs.500 per person, the total cost is at about Rs.1,000, excluding tips and extra fees such as clearance challans, and entry permits that most gated apartment complexes need.


The estimate brings the total cost of relocating within the city to Rs.5,500.

And lets not forget the time that YOU have to spend supervising and ensuring that things are packed and loaded securely.


However, these costs are nothing when compared to the costs of relocating to another city.

Within city limits, the movers and packers will charge you almost the same, whether you’re shifting to a house in the same building, or to a house 10 kms away.


The mark-up source for most packers lies in intercity relocation, where the demand to the outward city can help bring down the cost. Let’s compare the costs of moving a standard 1 BHK from one major city to another:


Vehicle type: Rs.5,000-15,000

The vehicle you choose can affect the transit time, and the condition of your belongings when they arrive. You can either choose a shared truck, where 2 or 3 households’ items are moved together, or go for a dedicated one. The shared trucks, though priced reasonably, can often take longer, due to multiple stops. A dedicated truck, with lower time, is ideal when you are moving items that are delicate, or whose cost of restoration from transit damage may far exceed the cost of transit vehicle itself.


Packing Material: Rs.5,000 – Rs.10,000

Depending on the type of goods and how well you need them packed, the cost can range between Rs. 5,000 for standard packing to Rs.10,,000 in case of delicate furniture or appliances vulnerable to damage.


Unpacking: Rs.1,000 – Rs. 4,000

Unlike relocation within the city, intercity movers don’t typically provide unpacking services at the destination city. The ones who do provide unpacking, do so at an additional cost.


Toll and highway taxes

Depending on the route along which your moving truck will ply, you will be charged with toll and highway taxes. Some movers provide a higher than average invoice which includes these charges.


Insurance: 3% of declared goods value

Most packers and movers insist on insurance. And it is advisable to do so. Specially when moving new or expensive furniture and appliances.


Even with industry-wide price variation, the average cost for inter-city relocation comes up to Rs.25,000.


But here’s the catch: Imagine if you were to not relocate your furniture or appliances, and just had to pack a few suitcases and bags when moving homes, both within the city and between cities. With RentoMojo, you can eliminate these high costs of relocation and move your essentials. When you rent furniture and appliances from RentoMojo, you are already provided with insured products. Moreover, when moving, instead of hauling everything from one place to another, we simply provide you with the same products in another city. This saves logistic costs and damage risks, and in turn, ensures a smoother experience for you in your new home.




Now, you might say that you don’t have to deal with any of the aforementioned costs as you’re not relocating anywhere. Well, as it turns out, even without relocation there are plenty of expenses that come with owning furniture and appliances, the most notable of which is maintenance.


Furniture maintenance can burn a hole in your pocket, more so for high-end furniture, which already costs a premium to buy. Sofas, for instance, need regular cleaning and shampooing to maintain the fabric. The average cleaning cost for a 3+2 seater sofa set is usually between Rs.1,500 – Rs. 2,000. For upholstered office and dining chairs, the cost is at Rs.500 – Rs. 1,000 each.


Appliance maintenance and repairs too come at a sky-high price. Even regular servicing of appliances like front-load washing machines tends to shake your budget off balance.


Product Servicing cost (annual)
Refrigerator (Single door) Rs. 1670
Refrigerator (Double door) Rs. 2665
Washing Machine (Front load) Rs. 5220
Washing Machine (Top Load) Rs. 4125
Microwave oven Rs. 1500
AC (Window) Rs. Rs. 3345
AC (Split) Rs. 3865
LED TV Rs. 1,000


Over and above, there are charges for consumable parts and wear & tear. All costs and figures are based on branded care offered by Whirlpool (for washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, and AC) and Sony (for LED TVs).


Since most appliances come with a 1 year warranty which covers maintenance and repairs, you are left to incur these expenses after the 1st year. Based on the brand you use, and the type of products you choose, the annual cost of appliance servicing, including a service charge and transportation cost of ~20%, can be anywhere between Rs.10,000 – 20,000.


Similar to relocation, RentoMojo also offers maintenance services that ensure your extra expenses are minimal. All products undergo routine quality inspection, and come with annual cleaning and maintenance. Furthermore, our direct liaison with the appliance and furniture manufacturers eliminates middlemen and their charges, allowing us to keep these services free for you.  

1 Comment
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