Monthly Archives: March 2016

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

There are many additional services that can be requested that are not part of a standard move. ??There are also services that are standard with some companies, but an extra charge for other moving companies. ??Additional services needed at the drop off that were not were not listed on your original quote, will always add to your bill. ??For example: Your move was based on moving to a ground level, but your new apartment is on the third floor. ??Reputable moving companies will make your quote as accurate as possible, but if you change your conditions, you have changed your own quote price.

 

Most reputable moving companies will have included in your quote price, the moving truck, arrival fee, and standard disassembly and reassembly. ??For example: taking mirrors off dressers disassemble/reassemble headboards and footboards, disassemble/reassemble washer/dryers, and hutches off china cabinets et cetera.

 

Complex disassembly of unique items and specialty items normally will cost more, but this too will be in your quote if you had an in-home estimate or reviewed the unique services that you required with the company. ??Any unique services should be detailed on your written quote. ??Some examples: grand pianos, oversized glass tops, custom build entertainment centers, crating 9ft. sailfish, chandeliers et cetera. ??If you think you may own an item that is beyond standard, ask. ??Avoid any surprises on move day, both for you and the movers.

 

Auto and boat transport is also available with most moving companies with advanced notice.

 

All moving trucks should be equipped with basic tools, ample moving blankets, four wheel dolly, appliance dolly, box dolly, rubber furniture bands, straps and shrink wrap. ??Floor plastic and door covers are standard with some movers, not available, or an extra charge with other movers. ??You need to ask what is included in your move quote.

 

A word of caution about hourly quotes that advertise ???no charge for stairs, long walks, and shrink wrap.??? ??While no charge may be technically true, long walks and stairs dramatically add to the amount of time an hourly crew will take, hence adding to the total cost. ??Hourly crews also run up the clock shrink wrapping everything for ???free???.

 

An additional service that can be a lifesaver, is short notice storage. ??If the unexpected happens, your closing is delayed or your house is not ready to move in, know what storage options your moving company may offer. ??A full service moving company can get you out of a jam with a last minute storage solution.

 

The only way to accurately compare moving quotes is to know what is standard and what is extra. ??The better the moving company, the more that is considered standard.

REQUESTING A MOVE QUOTE

There are several ways to get a moving quote. ??You can send an email 24/7 and wait for a response, or you can call and get your quote over the phone. ??Moving quotes given over the phone are fine for hourly moves, or if you have a detailed inventory list to go over with the moving specialist. ??Most quality moving companies offer free in-home estimates. ??An in-home estimate is the best way to get an accurate moving quote.

 

A few moving companies have instant online quotes on their websites, where you can get a guaranteed move price based on your inventory list and move conditions. ??Do not mistake ???instant quote??? with an ???online form??? that is just emailed to the company. ??With the instant quote you get upfront pricing, the quote price is displayed immediately. ??With the emailed form, you have to wait for a salesman to contact you.

 

You will find that there is a wide range of quote prices for seemingly the same move. ??In addition to how far you are moving and how much stuff you have. ??The quality and reputation of the moving company, as well as, the skill and experience of the crew will affect your moving quote. ??A ???low ball??? move quote that changes on the day of the move is not really a low price.

 

When you receive your move quote, the company should provide you with a ???written proposal??? with a ???binding???, or a ???not to exceed??? price. ??What your quote is based on should be in print, whether it is a detailed inventory list or an estimated number of hours. ??The moving company should also provide you with TXDOT???s ???Rights and Responsibilities???, as well as, their insurance and written guarantee. ??Ask what the cancelation and rescheduling fees are, if any. ??Ask if a deposit is required, and if it is refundable. ??Ask if there are any overtime changes if the crew works past a certain time.

 

It is always a good idea to request a list of additional services and fees. ??It is always a good idea to be prepared for unforeseen events. ??For example: what if the closing on your house is delayed? ??What is the wait charge if the moving crew has to sit around? ??What if you need overnight storage on the truck? ??What if a traffic detour adds extra mileage? ??Being prepared is the best way to eliminate stress on move day.

 

Be careful of hidden charges, the better the moving company, the less hidden fees there are, and the more transparent the pricing. ??If a moving quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. ??Fair pricing is like buying oats. ??If you want nice clean oats, you will have to pay a fair price. ??If, however, you will be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, well that comes a little cheaper.

QUOTE TYPES

The itemized moving quote is the gold standard in moving quotes. ??You get a printed inventory list with all of your furniture, boxes, and miscellaneous items. ??The miles from your pickup address to your drop off address, as well as, any extra stops are noted. ??Other conditions, such as, long walks and stairs are on the contract as well. ??You receive an exact price in writing based on your conditions and exact inventory. ??If you only wanted help with the big items, your inventory will reflect only the large items. ??You are in control with an itemized moving quote.

The best way to get an itemized quote is with an in-home estimate. ??Most reputable companies will provide this service at no charge. ??An in-home estimate takes about 20 minutes for a walk through of most homes. ??All of your furniture and conditions will be noted on a laptop or clipboard, and you will be given a written itemized furniture list with your move quote. ??If you would prefer the convenience of getting your quote online or by phone, you can list your own furniture and conditions; your itemized quote will be as accurate and your list.

The hourly move quote is not a binding exact price because by its very nature, it is a quote based on time, not items. ??With an hourly moving quote, you pay for how long the movers are there, not by the items being moved. ??This creates a conflict of interest with dispatch. ??Good crews want to be on itemized moves and be paid for the work they actually do, not how much time they spend at your house. ??The skill that is gained with time and experience makes good crews much more efficient. ??Inexperienced and ???slow??? crews want to be on hourly moves, because they get paid for how long they are ???working??? not what is actually being done. ??The dispatch office will put the ???slow??? crews on the hourly moves and the ???fast??? crews on the itemized moves; it just makes sense to do so. ??I don???t care what a salesman will tell you when trying to ???close??? on an hourly move. ??Slow movers make more money by being slow on hourly moves and milking the clock.

I have been on many moves where the customer was amazed at how fast their move had been completed. ??I would always ask, ???Was your last move hourly???? ??The answer was always, ???yes???. ??Don???t be fooled by a low hourly quote, know what you are paying for upfront. ????Other questions to ask when getting an hourly moving quote: are there any hidden fees, such as, a truck fee, fuel surcharge, travel time, and arrival fees. ??Some companies will start the clock the moment they leave their truck yard, charging you for the drive to your residence.

There are also quotes by the pound or by cubic feet. ??These quotes are usually for interstate moves, where the semi has multiple loads and is weighed at the weigh stations. ??Van lines often use the per pound quote. ??Your quote is based on an estimate. ??The true pounds/cubic foot is only known once the truck is loaded and weighed. ??Often folks are unaware they will have to pay for the additional tonnage.

By the job quotes are flat rates given by an in-home estimate only. ??The main advantage over the itemized quote is convenience. ??Normally the driver that did the flat rate quote will be conducting the actual move. ??You can also get a flat rate by the truck. ??This kind of quote can save you money on a long distance move, but make sure you have an expert packing the truck. ??A professional can fit 40% more furniture in the same size truck, then a novice.

MOVING QUOTES

?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? When you are moving your family there is a lot to consider. ??Most folks that decide to hire a professional moving company will get three to five quotes. ??Most people will do a Google search or pick up a phone book, and pick the companies ???that look good???. ????Some may even do their research on the BBB and check the online testimonials. Price is usually the deciding factor. ??Few consider what is really included in a moving quote, or what types of moving quotes there may be to choose from.

?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??There are local, statewide, and nationwide moving companies. ??There are itemized, hourly, by the pound, by the cubic foot, and flat rate moves. ??Some services may be included in one company???s quote, while another company charges extra for those same services. ??It is very common for what one company considers standard, another moving company may consider optional. ?????Caveat Emptor,??? buyer beware.

?????????????????????? Understanding your move quote is the first step in a successful move. ??Different moving companies do things differently. ??It is your responsibility, as a customer, to compare quotes to see what may be the best choice for you, and for your budget. ??Each move is unique. ??Just like fingerprints, each person???s belongings are unique to them. ??Some quotes are easier to compare. ??Itemized quotes can be compared line by line. ??Hourly quotes, on the other hand, are harder to compare because the length of time the move takes will depend on the speed and skill of the crew.

?????????????????????? The best way to compare moving quotes is to first sort them by type. ??Compare itemized to itemized and hourly to hourly. ??It is not uncommon to receive both itemized and hourly quotes by the same company. ??You also need to research the quality of the companies. ????Check the BBB, make sure they are licensed with the state (Department of Transportation of the state you are currently living.) ??Review their insurance policy. ??Testimonials are also a great resource. ??Seeing what people have said about the moving companies that have actually moved with them can give you an idea of what to expect. ??A referral from a trusted friend or family member is by far the most powerful. ??Most folks only get one quote from the company they were referred too, that???s how much trust a referral can bring. ??On the other hand, some people can only recommend what moving companies not to use. ??Bad moving experiences can often scar a customer. ??Insurance and guarantees are important to review, and can affect your move price; as well as, what recourse you have if something gets damaged.

?????????????????????? Beware of third party moving quotes. ??I recommend only getting quotes from actual moving companies that will be conducting your move. ??There are brokers with awesome websites and aggressive salesmen. ??Internet brokers will book your move and then outsource the actual move to a moving company you may know nothing about. ??This happened to a friend of my wife. ??She had gotten a quote of $1500.00 to move from Dallas to Los Angeles. ??On her move day, the crew did not show up. ??She found out that the truck was two days behind schedule; they were ???piggy backing??? her load on a cross country run. ??Worse yet she found out the $1500.00 was just a deposit, a non refundable deposit. ??The crew wanted $4500.00 more in money orders or cashier???s checks. ??She could have saved herself the trouble if she had carefully reviewed the quote. ??She ended up renting a Uhaul.

Understanding your move quote is a big part of making your move stress free. ??After you have selected a company, and have your quote in hand, it is a good idea to reserve your move date at least two weeks ahead of time.

THREE LEVELS OF SERVICE

?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Hiring a professional moving company to pack your entire home, move your belongings to your new residence, then unpack every box for you is the extreme package, that???s what we call ??? living the good life,??? ??when it comes to moving. ??The other extreme is doing everything yourself. ??You can find some middle ground where how much you spend and how much you save make the most sense to you. ??Value is where quality meets the lowest price and you can get the level of service that you want.

?????????????????????? Moving your home can be broken down into three levels of service. ??The first level is the full service move. ??This includes having the moving company of your choice pack all of your belongings, then unpack for you at your new home. ??The first step in saving money is unpacking yourself. ??You can save even more money by packing some of your items yourself, leaving breakable and hard items to the professionals.

?????????????????????? The second level of service is packing all the boxes yourself, but leaving the moving to the professionals. ??The cost of a move can often be cut in half if you pack yourself. ??Packing requires no heavy lifting or furniture dollies. ??In fact, most people pack themselves, and hire the moves for the actual move. ??On move day, all boxes must be sealed with tape. ??All furniture must be emptied, although some moving companies let you leave your clothes in the chest of drawers/dressers.

?????????????????????? The third level of service is where the moving company is hired to move just the big items. ??The two man items, the pieces of furniture you want insured and the items you would just feel better if the pro???s moved them. ??You and your posse of friends move all the small stuff; the one man items. ??When you get an itemized quote just to move the big stuff, the moving price really falls through the floor.

?????????????????????? When deciding whether to move yourself or hire a professional mover, (or somewhere in between) consider the comparative advantage. ??How much is your time worth to you? ??How much is the risk worth? How much is the peace of mind worth? ??How much hassle do you want to eliminate? Some folks don???t value their free time like they should. ??Time is your most precious resource.

?????????????????????? With a professional moving company your move will be fast and efficient. ??If anything gets damaged, the company will have guarantees and insurance to take care of the problem. ??If anyone gets hurt, you are not held responsible. ??You will not have to rely on friends, or owe them a favor. ??You have enough on your plate with all that goes into moving to your new home.