How to Find a Reliable Moving Company Without Blowing Your Budget

by Ashley Eneriz · 0 comments

moving companyMoving can be an exciting time, as you move into a new space and start exploring the new neighborhood. It’s a lot of work though. Using a moving company can help relieve the stress of moving, but finding a reputable and affordable moving company can be tricky.

How to Request an Accurate Quote
Requesting a quote from your local moving company is simple and takes very little time. However, for budgeting reasons, you want your quote to be as accurate as possible. You don’t want to budget for a $300 move and then be overwhelmed by a bill twice that size.
To best prepare for a moving quote, you should know as much as you can about your upcoming move.

  • What is your address for your current location and your future location?
  • How many flights of stairs will you have to move things to?
  • Are you moving any high-end furniture, costly antiques, or a piano?
  • How many boxes will you have to move?
  • How many square feet is your current home?
  • And what appliances and large items will you have to move?

Having a solid answer for all these questions will get you the most accurate online or over the phone quote. Requesting an in person quote or sending detailed pictures to potential moving companies can also help you get a more accurate quote.

If you’re looking to save some money on your move, try selling your unwanted items or donating your unwanted items before you move. We moved earlier this year and sold majority of our furniture, and then held one last garage sale once we had the majority of the boxes packed. This strategy made us over $1,500, relieved us a few hours of packing and moving, and even saved us about $700 on moving and storage costs, considering we sold a lot of big items.

Online or In-Person?

We are about to move. The first thing I did was go online to get an idea of what we’d have to pay. A little research showed we could expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000 for a full-service move. With this framework in mind, I started to get a little more specific.

Of course, since I filled in information on a lead generation site, I’ve been getting phone calls and emails non-stop. One site allowed me to fill in an inventory online for a quote. I filled it in, trying to overestimate my needs. The quote for a full-service move came in at just under $4,000.

I was a little skeptical of this quote, though. I have a pretty good idea of what we’re taking — but I’m not an expert, and I can’t accurately judge everything. So when I was ready, I called one of the companies that left me a message.

This new moving company told me they’d send someone over to give me an in-person estimate. A trained moving professional arrived at my house to look over what we wanted to take. She gave me information about crating the unusual items, and gave me a good idea of how many boxes we’d need.

And, instead of providing a “base” quote — from which it could always go up — I was offered a “not to exceed” quote. This was a cap on how much it would cost, with the possibility of it costing less. This new quote was $6,500, which I think seems much more reasonable (rather than too good to be true).

How to Protect Yourself from a Moving Scam

Scams prevention expert at BeenVerified, Justin Lavelle advises individuals to be cautious against common moving scams. He says, “Safeguard yourself by getting three estimates. If one bid is far below the other two bids, it could be a sign they are underbidding the job. This could be for two reasons. One, they are inexperienced, or there is potential they will demand an inflated cash price before unloading the truck.”

A trustworthy company will not request a large deposit upfront or grossly underbid a job and then hold your items hostage until you pay an exorbitant amount of fees.

Get a complete picture of a moving company’s reputation by researching their DOT number and insurance coverage, as well as looking at many reviews across different websites. Remember a moving company accredited with the Better Business Bureau will be more reliable to deal with when it comes to claims.

I took the time to evaluate the two companies by looking online for complaints and reviews. The moving company offering the in-home estimate is BBB accredited with an A rating, while the online-quote company isn’t accredited and has a C+ rating. The online-quote company also has far more complaints than the in-person company.

The Difference Between a Binding and Non-Binding Estimates

A binding estimate is a fixed cost that the moving company provides you to move your items. The cost will not go up or down. Usually, binding estimates are given after an in-person estimate.

A non-binding estimate is much more common. This type of estimate means that reputable companies will try to give you the closest moving estimate based on the information you provided them. However, you can end up paying less if the move goes quicker, or more if the move takes longer or requires more manpower.

Lavelle says, “Get everything in writing to protect yourself from hidden costs. Extra fees should be outlined in the contract so there are no surprises on moving day.”

Don’t make your moving experience even worse with the wrong moving company. Pick one based off of reviews and BBB rating, and be sure to know if a company’s insurance is current and how they handle damage claims.

Have you ever used a moving company? How was the overall experience and price?

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