Well, as with anything there is a right and wrong way to do something. I’d like to share with you some great tips on how to obtain an accurate moving quote for your upcoming move. The wrong way to get a moving quote is to not do your homework. Many moving companies derive moving quotes based on the number items, others a basic hourly rate depending on the size of your move and some quote you a flat rate based on your move size. Any of these could be a viable option, but it depends on a few variables. If you are not aware of a couple of valid questions to pose, you could end up spending more out of pocket than you intend. This week we will discuss receiving a quote over the phone or internet. Next week will discuss free in-home estimates.
Okay, first things first, you need to select at least three reputable moving companies. I always say getting three quotes helps to give you a well-rounded look, at rates and services. This way you haven’t jumped into contract without weighing pros and cons of each mover. Once you contact the moving company, the moving consultant will ask you a series of questions. The correct answer to the questions presented will determine your rate. Listen carefully to them, but also be ready to interject with your questions as well. Let’s get into the details! I’m going to go over some of the questions, and offer you some advice on how to get truthful information from them.
Here are a few tips to ensure you receive a precise moving quote:
What day are you looking to move? Supply the moving consultant with your moving date of choice. From time to time to time the day of the week you choose could determine a higher or lower hourly rate. Ask the moving consultant if you chose another day or time of the month would the rate fluctuate.
Which zip code are you moving from and to? Provide the moving consultant with the zip code of where your move will originate and also the zip code of your destination location. This information helps the consultant determine the mileage for your move. Some moving companies charge travel time from their building to you and from you. Ask about travel time.
Do you know the approximate square footage of your home? Give the moving consultant the square footage of your apt/condo/home or office. This helps in determining the size of the moving vehicle to send you.
How many bedrooms and living spaces are you moving? Furnish the number of bedrooms and living spaces (i.e. den, dining room, living room). This information also assists in determining the size vehicle and also equipment to bring. If you’re not moving every room, let them know.
Are there any stairs involved with your move? Let the moving consultant know if there are stairs involved in the move. Some moving companies charge for stairs, some don’t. Either way this helps them plan accordingly. Ask if they charge for stairs.
Are there any large fragile items that you will be moving? Notify the moving consultant of any large fragile items they will need to move for you. For instance, if you’re moving a piano, pool table, grandfather clock, large flat screens these items warrant extra special care. Some moving companies do charge extra for moving these items. Ask about it.
Now that you’ve answered their questions here are a few more of your own to ask:
Once you receive your moving quote, ask if it includes a minimum. Some companies require a minimum with each move. Sometimes this only applies to small apt moves, but ask anyway.
Ask about additional charges (i.e. fuel, tax etc).
Share your move time preference. Sometimes companies will give you a range of time to move within. Ask if that time is available.
Ask if there is a deposit required with booking the move.
Ask if they accept, check, cash or credit card for payment of deposit and move balance.
Ask about their cancellation policy.
Ask them to put your move quote in writing and email it to you.
This information will help you prepare for your move quote process. After you’ve received your three quotes make sure you look them over carefully. Please note that the lower hourly rate is not always the best choice. Some moving companies bait you with a lower hourly rate and send day laborers. These movers are not trained and will move at a snail’s pace, resulting in you spending more out of pocket than planned. Choose a reputable moving company with moving services that suit your needs and budget.
Next week we will discuss free-in home estimates. In most instances these are reserved for larger homes or long distance moves.