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Moving Estimates

As if moving wasn't hard enough already, getting inaccurate moving estimates can add to the stress.

Probably the most frequent complaint is that quoted moving company rates do not end up matching the original moving estimate. In this case, you can end up feeling as though you are being manipulated and cheated. To make matters more complicated, this is sometimes the case. At other times, the moving estimate was an honest best assessment the moving company could offer you. Sometimes, giving wrong or inaccurate information to the movers can result in a faulty moving estimate.

So how can you make sure that the moving estimate you get is as close to the final price as possible? Here are a few simple steps:

If you are moving a household or office, you should have someone from the moving company come and do an on-site moving estimate. That's the best way to ensure that you get an accurate moving company rate.

From your side, make sure that the information you give the moving company for the estimate is as accurate as possible. For example, things when packed take up a lot more space than you think they will. You may think that your books will fit in five boxes; but then you find out how heavy those five moving boxes would be with nothing but books packed in back-to-back. That’s when you realize you have to put them in twice as many smaller moving boxes. Suddenly you have fifty moving boxes when your moving estimate was twenty five.

Try to foresee how many boxes you'll actually need. Also, don't forget to mention any items you have in storage that need to be moved, as well as large and heavy items. This will help the movers get you a more precise moving estimate.

If you want to avoid being surprised on the day of your move, ask questions. Most movers, when giving a moving estimate, will tell you about any extra fees or surcharges. If you don't hear anything, ask. Will there be a separate fee for the truck? How about the supplies? If the movers are also packing your belongings, how much does that cost? By making sure you have all these answers before, you can get closer to an accurate moving estimate.

People also assume that they have made a contract with the moving company based on the moving estimate and a document both parties sign agreeing to the time and location of the move. This is typically not true. There is almost always a clause that the price is not final until the movers are there on moving day to verify the number of items or the weight of the truck when packed. As long as your mover has been honest with you about the moving estimate and the pricing policy and you understand how the final price is calculated, you have to realize that an estimate can't be 100% accurate, unfortunately.

The most important thing you can do is get an experienced and reputable moving company so that his or her moving estimate is as accurate as it can be. Then make sure you let the mover survey what you are having moved instead of trying to come up with a moving estimate yourself.

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