are a few things you should look for when hiring a mover. The first is to check
that the mover is licensed with the state's Department of Transportation (DOT).
Be sure to check your mover's license certificate and call the DOT for verification.
You may also want to check with the local Better Business Bureau to make sure
there aren't any complaints filed against him or her.
Each company will
structure their fees differently. It is a good idea to talk to a few companies
to see how they work. As with any service professional, ask around for recommendations.
You may have neighbors and colleagues who have moved recently and who can steer
you toward a company.
Another way to gauge a moving company is by the estimate
they offer. Remember that estimates are not guaranteed prices. They are ballpark
figures. Your mover cannot give you a binding estimate over the phone or Internet.
On-site estimates are the most accurate. Most moving companies offer free estimates,
so take them up on it. Get on-site estimates from a few companies to compare services
and prices. Be sure to note which items you will move or pack yourself and which
you need help with from them. This will make your estimate even more accurate.
companies will give a "not to exceed" estimate following an on-site
inspection. This estimate will have qualifying statements attached. If the conditions
of the move change in any way, such as you don't finish packing and they have
to complete it for you, the price will go up. If you cannot get a "not to
exceed" estimate or a binding estimate, look for another mover. Always get
the estimate in writing and look for the "not to exceed" qualifying
Look for moving companies that are established. Check how long
they have been in business. Look for membership in professional associations or
certifications from organizations.
first place to start with an estimate is to only call on reputable movers. Look
for moving companies that offer free on-site estimates and get a few of them to
compare prices. Be sure to compare apples to apples. Give each moving company
the same information when getting the estimate. It might help to write it all
out and make copies so you can directly compare prices.
Here 's a look at
how moving companies estimate the final bill.
tentative final bill for a local move follows a pretty standard formula.
number of movers + truck) x number of hours = final price.
The final price
will also include materials provided by the mover, insurance, and incidental expenses
such as tolls.
However, estimating moves is not an exact science. It includes a variety
of factors that can change the price. Here are a few of those factors:
that changes between the day of the estimate and actual moving day can alter the
price. Be sure you give complete information to your mover, so the estimate can
be as accurate as possible.
These are normally
charged based on weight and space. They weigh the truck before loading your goods
and again after. You pay a certain price based on the weight multiplied by the
distance they have to move. Goods from a two bedroom house moved from Washington
DC to Atlanta will cost less than goods from a 4 bedroom house moved from New
York to LA.
There are three basic types of estimates
you can get from a moving company.
Ideally, you will want a not
to exceed quote. You don't want your movers working against the clock, you want
them working with you.
Even with good planning and a not-to-exceed price,
you could face additional charges for unforeseen problems. These could include:
Depending on how much stuff you have and how far you have
to haul it, doing it yourself may just save you money. Here are some factors to
consider when looking at a do-it-yourself (DIY) move.
DIY moves can be extremely stressful and tiring.
They can save you money in some cases. In others, the cost of pizza and beer may
exceed the cost of a local moving company. Check out all your options. Be prepared
to compare the costs (both direct and indirect) to find the right solution for
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