Your big move is in the early stages and that means you’re fielding estimates from the moving companies. It is a good idea to obtain at least three estimates and carefully review each one. In reviewing the estimates you may wonder how the prices were reached. Essentially, there are three main ingredients to every moving quote. We’ll look at each one and dissect them accordingly.
1. Moving Dates
What day of the week will you need to move? Just like other services, such as flying, it is cheaper to move on some days than on others.
For instance, if you are considering moving on a Friday, you might want to pull up that move to a Monday, a cheaper day to make your move. You might also find savings when moving in some seasons, such as early winter than in the summer. Higher demand for services means you’ll have a more difficult time striking the best deal.
2. Consider Your Distance
Another consideration when moving is how far you will move. The moving company doesn’t need a specific address immediately, but they do need to have a zip code to determine your general destination.
Moving company representatives plug in your current zip code and your future zip code to calculate mileage. A few miles won’t make a difference within that zip code.
3. How Much Will You Move
Dates and distance are important, but the third factor must also be considered. Specifically, how much of your goods will make the move?
This is where separating the stuff that will move from what won’t be moved can give the moving company agent an accurate inventory of the items to be moved. Then, the company estimates the weight of your belongings along with the number of miles to move to create your estimate.
As for your extra stuff, holding a moving sale or giving these items away to a charity are two options. You might hold a sale first, then contact Goodwill or your local church to have them haul away the excess stuff. Make sure you obtain a tax receipt from the charity.
Don’t plan on making a move without getting protection for your items. Reputable moving companies provide that information up front — when you obtain your estimate.
Typically, the moving company will estimate the weight of your shipment and assign a value of $6 per pound. So, if you are moving 10,000 pounds of goods, then your coverage is $60,000.
But weight is not the only determining factor. If you own pricey artwork, designer cloths, antiques, or something else of value, then a high value inventory form will be taken. That value will be determined by the moving company, but typically exceeds $100 per pound. Be careful here — know the appraised value of your goods and get these items insured accordingly.
Choosing a Moving Company
All things considered equal, how will you choose a moving company?
First, determine that each company is registered, licensed, bonded and insured. Reputable companies are licensed by the federal government.
Second, read the online reviews. Much can be learned about a moving company when you visit Yelp, Google and Angie’s List to discover what people have shared about their experience.
Third, ask for and check references. Online reviews only go so far. It is best to contact people directly who have used the service. In doing so you’ll get instantaneous feedback.
Once you have settled on a moving company, call the agent to share the news. Confirm the price and the moving day, then begin the process of acquiring boxes and filler material, packing and sorting through items you won’t be bringing with you.