Moving quote is provided free of charge and without obligation by most moving companies. Contacting a moving company to book an in-home survey is all you need to get a quick estimate of your move.
What you may need to store, what you are bringing along with you, and when you wish to move including the distance of your move will be discussed with you by a sales agent that will be sent to you by the moving company.
He will also assess delivery requirements or any special packing and also give you advice on how to reduce the cost of your move. The sales agent would identify hoists or lifting equipment necessary for the safe removal of your possessions and any other requirements.
Distance, the type of service you choose and whom you hire as your mover are all deciding factors on how much it will cost you, but averagely, it can cost around a few hundred to several thousand dollars to hire a professional moving company.
No matter what, before hiring a mover, request for a quote or costs estimate to know exactly how much you would be spending on the big day to avoid the unexpected bill.
Having an accurate idea of what your move will cost before you move is the main idea behind the mover’s quote. Although the information on your quote only legally binds moving companies, a mover can issue you a cost estimate online or over the internet.
Unwanted items at the new place, the ones you wish to leave behind in storage, including any important items you may prefer to send ahead by air, and those belongings you wish to move should be identified during the visit, as the agent will need to survey and take inventory of all belongings for removal.
Consideration should also be placed on the delivery conditions at your new home for moving quotes. Can you now see there are many things you need to know about moving quotes? This post addresses all the nitty-gritty of moving estimates and answers the most frequently asked questions about the subject. You will discover as you read on.
Get Used to Moving Quotes Terms
Because some people do not understand certain moving quote terminologies, they get so frustrated comparing moving estimates when hiring moving companies and planning a move.
You will likely face some specific terms that you are not familiar with, whether you are trying to read a document they are asking you to sign or you are talking to a mover.
Just like when you are trying to understand the terms associated with buying life insurance or an apartment, the moving quote terms can also be confusing.
Although you do not really need to understand all the words being used but you will be happy you learned a few words to give you headway.
Moving Cost Calculator
This term is generally known to be used by most moving companies. An estimate can be defined as a price issued based on different factors and may be subject to change. An estimate never has and will never be constant.
You have to prepare to pay beyond the estimate issued to you even though an estimate could be helpful in budgeting for your move. The mover won’t know where exactly you live whether it is on the 19th floor of a high-rise building or how many heavy items you have unless you tell them because estimates are mostly given over the phone.
Most people believe that quotes and estimates are both the same things and some even get them mixed up. A quote is a fixed price offer while an estimate is based on a guess.
The price on a quote will not change once accepted unlike the inconsistent nature of an estimate. However, many consumers do use the two terms interchangeably.
3. Exact Pricing
This is defined as a reliable price which consists of all the moving services you are requesting. Exact pricing is somewhat similar to a quote.
If you have a moving company package and you need to disassemble large stuff, they will give you an estimate for packing services and supplies but could issue a quote for the move.
Once given an exact price, it includes everything, so you can be rest assured there will be no hidden or surprise charges.
4. Flat Rate
Regardless of speed bumps along the journey, a flat rate is the price of your entire move. It is not your problem if complications are getting in the elevator or getting your piano out the door ends up taking four hours because the door frame needs to be removed. Whether it takes an hour or a whole day, the price will not change.
5. Hourly Rate
Contrary to most people’s beliefs, moving companies that charge an hourly rate are not the cheapest. You can typically plan on a move taking six hours if a moving company gives you an estimate that a move should take about three hours.
You are paying them when they stop to grab a coffee on the way to your new home, for them to drive to your house and when they tell you they were stuck in heavy traffic. This is because they start the clock the moment they leave their facility.
6. Total Cost
Total cost is popularly known as the overall cost of the move. Arriving at total cost involve adding other additional fees associated with packing, stairs and so on and calculating the cubic feet of inventory.
7. Flight Charge
This charge applied to move with many stairs and does not have anything to do with airplanes. Most considerate moving companies will include one flight and charge for any additional flights while some movers will charge for even one flight.
The client will provide an inventory listing of items and also estimate the volume of effects by completing a tick sheet. The client will guess the number of cartons and volume of furniture in this method which has been declared to be inaccurate in most cases.
9. Online Survey
An online inventory form from the moving company will be completed and submitted to the mover by the client. With this method, the moving company will be able to determine more accurately the volume and packing requirements.
10. Telephone Survey
A move coordinator from the moving company will speak to the client over the phone. The moving company will be provided with a rough estimate of the volume of packing and requirements using this method.
11. In-home Survey
A sales agent from the moving company will meet with the client at home in person. This is basically the only way to obtain a strong and accurate quotation from a professional moving company as it is the most accurate method of surveying.
Types of Moving Estimates
The type of estimates a mover provides should be asked before hiring the company. Below are the three most popular type of moving estimate:
Non-binding Moving Estimate
These estimates don’t hold the moving company to the estimated cost as they are not as common. The final cost may increase or decrease compared to the estimate given.
Moving companies that entice you with cheap non-binding estimates should be avoided because once the move is done, they can increase the price. If you feel something is too good to be true, the best is to avoid it because it may turn out to be a scam.
Your moving company cannot require you to pay any more than the cost with 10% of the total cost if your final cost is higher than the non-binding estimate on your moving day. Any additional charges will be settled with the mover within a month if that amount doesn’t cover the total cost.
Binding Moving Estimate
Binding moving estimate holds your moving company to the price you are quoted. It allows you to plan your budget around your moving costs and also provides you with the certainty of cost.
However, you will still pay the amount estimated even if your stuff weighs less than the estimate or the actual cost of your move is lower than the estimate.
Binding not to Exceed Moving Estimate
Another name for this type of estimate is “price protection” or “guaranteed price.” If your total cost is lower when the move is done, then your price will be adjusted.
Binding not to exceed moving estimate is the most consumer-friendly type of estimate. You do not pay any additional if the cost of moving is higher than the estimate.
You will pay the exact cost if the cost of moving is less than the estimate. This is the most popular type of estimate for long-distance moves.
6 Factors that Affect Moving Company Quotes
The numbers of stairs movers have to hustle up, and the size of space the moving truck has in the driveway are among the many factors that influence your moving cost.
Below are the full lists of other factors that will determine how much money you will end up spending on your move:
1. The weight and volume of your household belongings
The number of stuff you move will determine how expensive your move will be in general. Not only that it requires a bigger truck to load and unload a large household, but it also takes a lot of time and energy.
2. The distance between your origin and destination
The price of a full-service move will be affected by the distance between the pick-up point and drop-off point. Not only will you have to pay the driver for his time on the road, but you will also have to pay for gas. Basically, the longer the distance, the more expensive the move will be.
3. Labor costs
From one moving company to the other and one state to the other, labor costs may vary. You will be paying the moving company an hourly rate for local moves. The estimated cost of labor may be included in cross country moves.
4. Packing costs
Be prepared to pay small hundreds of dollars if you are hiring full-service moving companies to pack and unpack your possessions. In the moving estimate provided by the moving company, the cost of disassembling and reassembling furniture will be added.
5. Liability and valuation coverage
Moving companies must provide two valuation coverage options to customers: Released Value Protection and Full Value Protection. The more comprehensive option is Full value protection.
The most valid liability option available is the Released value protection. You already have it included in your coverage.
6. Additional storage
Before, during, or after the move, if you require the service of a mover to store your possession temporarily, this cost will be included in your moving estimate.
Before you agree to add this service to the estimate, make sure you ask about rates as storage rates vary from one moving company to another.
Basic Tips on Getting the Best Moving Quotes
The best movers’ quotes are the ones that put into consideration the requirements of the consumers or base the quote on the actual value of the consumers’ needs after the companies have carried out an in-house inspection.
If you are not getting the best quote for your move, then, you are cheating yourself. The following tips will help you to get the best moving quotes and ensure that you are paying for the services being rendered:
Do not Sign Incomplete Documents
Do not choose any mover that asks you to sign blank or incomplete estimates. Once a moving company mandates it for you to sign incomplete documents before/on a moving day, give an excuse that you need to reschedule the move and use the opportunity to use another moving company.
If you sign an incomplete estimate, a moving company can scam you by adding charges you never agreed to.
Choose Moving Companies that Charge Based on the Weight
Most of the moving companies charge based on the weight of the shipment while a few numbers of them charge you based on the size of your belongings measured in cubic feet.
Calculating based on cubic feet is regarded to be illegal as it makes it easier for moving companies to overcharge you.
Request for complete quotes from the best local moving companies that charge per pound and also ask them how they figure out their rates because this is the only best option you have.
Get an Estimate Based on an In-Home Survey or Inspection
You will certainly receive the most accurate quote from moving companies that conduct an in-home survey even though you can easily get quotes online or over the phone.
Your mover must abide by the rules established by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration if you are moving cross-country.
Unless you choose not to go with the right, the rules favor that if you live within 50 miles of the moving company’s location, the estimate must be based on a physical evaluation of your possessions.
Request for an Accurate Inventory List
The full inventory list of everything that will be moved should be provided by the moving company together with the written estimate. The table of measurements or cube sheets is other names for the inventory.
Request for a copy and go through it carefully for accuracy. Items like end tables and all other pieces of furniture should be included on the list. An approximate number of boxes should also be included in the list.
Consider your Moving Date
When moving during the summer for example; the charge on moving cost is significantly higher. So you have to consider the time of the year you are moving because it generally affects the moving costs.
When you get the quote issued by the moving company, do not hesitate to ask whether the price would change should you choose to adjust the date by a few days or weeks.
You may need to get a new quote if you wait too long to book the move, so it would be much safe if you ask how long the quote is valid.
Frequently Asked Question on Moving Quotes
The most common option of moving estimate is an in-home moving estimate. The agent will be able to survey your entire inventory including items you may have forgotten when you allow mover to come into your home to calculate your moving costs.
Now is the time to clear out the areas that are not visible such as the kitchen cabinets, and underneath beds that things tend to hide because a moving coordinator will poke their heads inside during an in-home survey.
If you are wondering whether it is compulsory to be home during the in-home survey and estimate, the answer is – yes. Note that, you have to be there to take them around each room. However, you can be wherever you wish if you choose to have a phone estimate. This will be answered next.
You decide to skip out taking a stranger around your house and taking time off work by requesting for an over-the-phone estimate. The agent will request the logistic of your move such as the pick-up and drop-off locations, moving date and some other things you will speak talk about.
The list of belongings you want to move room by room will be supplied to the agent, and you have to be careful so as not to forget anything on your inventory.
You can walk from room to room to make sure you include and do not forget anything, but you could potentially forget your knockoff Turkish rug, wall décor or other certain things in an over-the-phone estimate, as it may be anywhere.
You should create a thorough list of your entire inventory before you call because some moving companies will not remind you of these items and this may cause argument on moving day.
Mover cannot change the quoted price on moving day in a binding moving estimate. Even if you remove or add belongings included in your moving estimate, you will basically pay the set price you and your agent agreed upon. You will still have to pay the original price quoted even if you choose to throw out your wall décor.
The price quote can be changed on a moving day in a non-binding moving estimate. The labor and services, any taxes and the weight of your belongings will decide the final breakdown of your moving estimates as it will be flexible. But note that the mover cannot make you pay beyond 110% of your quote.
Using a binding estimate is rather advisable if you know your way around it to know exactly how much your move is going to cost.
It takes up to fifty minutes on the average to get an estimate in both options. How much you need to move and how big your current household is will determine how soon you will get the moving estimate.
During an in-home survey and estimate, how long it will take to clean and prepare the house for the evaluation, how long it will take you to get home if you are leaving work or anywhere you are to meet the agent, all requires prep time.
HINT: However, Moving Feedback moving quote generation is faster and at the same time accurate.
By placing a call directly to your mover or by filling out a form online such as the Moving Feedback online form, you can schedule an estimate either way. Regardless of your method of choice, it takes about two minutes for a representative of the moving company to call you back to set up a time for an estimate either online or in-home.
Once you know when you are moving or as soon as you decide on when to move, it is advisable to schedule an appointment as the moving date will affect the availability of the moving company of your choice. Before your preferred moving date, the best decision is to schedule your estimate at least four weeks.
No-cost estimates are not allowed by any moving companies. Moving companies relate with and help customers make the best decisions about booking, as they understand the value in giving estimates.
To find trends between each estimate, compare prices and then pick the best option for you, scheduling three to four estimates with different moving companies to be on the safer side is strongly recommended.
Over-the-phone estimates make it easier if you do not have enough time for an in-home estimate with all the moving companies. Follow the above “Basic Tips to get the Best Moving Quote.”
What are the Contents of a Moving Quote?
It is essential to take your time to read through the moving quotes given to you by each moving company as they may include different things on them. Ask as many questions as possible to have a clear understanding of the quote because you are the one paying for it.
Below is the list of a typical moving estimate component:
- Packing materials
- Inventory preparation
- Packing and wrapping at the residence
- Loading from residence
- Inland freight
- Ocean or air freight
- Regular custom clearance
- Export documentation
- Terminal handling charges for destination
- Delivery (destination)
- Unpacking (destination)
- Unloading (destination)
- Furniture placement
- Reassembling of furniture such as a table, bed frame, etc.
- Packing materials removal from destination
Items not included in the cost are:
- Additional storage at the new residence
- Several flights charges
- Cost of fumigation
- Customs examination charges
Comparing Moving Quotes in a Right Way
Hiring a moving company with the cheapest or lowest estimate can sometimes leave you with surprising and hidden charges or headaches on moving day contrary to what most people think by just looking at the bottom-line.
It is very important to hire a mover you can trust when you are getting ready to move.
Compare the five-line items below to be sure you are getting the best deal by getting up to three quotes from three moving companies as recommended:
- Weight: Any moving company that offers to provide you a moving quote over the phone should be taken with caution. In the effort to accurately quote the weight of your belongings, a reputable and reliable moving company will always conduct an in-home survey and estimate. To make sure each moving company is estimating the same quantity of items, compare the weight on each quote.
- Packing: Make sure the box types and quantity of the packing materials or packing service you have requested for are equal across quotes.
- Service: For each moving quote, make sure you know the level of services you will receive from the company. Questions like how the moving company moves fragile items, TVs would and other appliances should come up. Ensure the moving company you plan to hire is ProMover certified, ensure you research how reputable they are online, and ask questions on their plans to secure your home during the move.
- Insurance: In each moving quote, ensure you know what kind of protection or coverage is on it. Request and review coverage on a $0 removable basis cost from all the moving companies.
- Online Movers: Choose a popular van line that will provide you with an in-home survey and estimate including the reassurance of quality and experience, even though it is free and easy to get a moving quote online.
- Get your Moving Quote at the Right Place: The platform that connects you with your mover matters most. The question is where are your getting your quote? Many online platforms are claiming to help but they are not reliable. The right place to get accurate and reliable moving quotes is here.
Understanding moving quotes and how your move estimate is calculated can help you have an idea of how much your move will cost and help you take advantage of the best and cost-effective quotes. Sure, different moving companies are ready to submit varieties of quotes; it is left to you to compare them and choose the right one based on quality and price.
However, Moving Feedback is here to stand in between the gap to ensure that you get affordable moving quotes that give value to your money.
We believe that each move is unique and moving quotes shouldn’t be generic; hence, we ensure that moving estimates you get from our platform is tailored to your moving needs. Have you gotten and compared moving quotes before? Share your experience with us in the comment box!
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.