The best way to find a reliable moving company is to get several quotes. You can do this online or over the phone or in person. The process for requesting a quote may vary from company to company, but most larger moving companies have websites that allow you to enter your information and get a quick estimate of the cost of your move. This is sometimes referred to as an instant ballpark moving quote, and it gives you an idea of how much your move will cost, but it isn’t necessarily the final price you’ll pay.
Official quotes, or moving estimates, are more in-depth than instant ballpark quotes and can be based on a physical survey of your home or a virtual walk-through of your space with the moving company’s estimator. They will usually include a full inventory list of everything the movers are going to be moving, sometimes called a cube sheet. Ask the moving company to provide you with a copy of this, and make sure all of your items are listed, including any pieces that will be disassembled or otherwise require special handling. You can also ask the moving company whether your move will include storage, or if they can offer you short or long-term storage options to fit your needs and budget.
The type of move you are planning will also impact the cost of your moving quote. A local move, or interstate move, is typically less expensive than a long distance move. Local movers typically charge per hour for labor, while long-distance movers are more likely to use flat rates based on the distance and weight of your shipment.
If you’re planning a move across state lines, your moving company must follow the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means that if you are moving more than 50 miles from the moving company’s location, they must send an estimator to physically survey your household goods and provide an accurate written estimate unless you waive that requirement in writing.
A good moving company will also provide you with an option for a binding or non-binding estimate. A non-binding estimate allows the movers to bill you for the actual weight of your shipment once it is loaded onto their truck, so you could end up paying more or less than the quote they gave you. A binding estimate, on the other hand, guarantees you that you won’t be charged more than a certain amount for your move, even if your items end up being heavier than expected.
Most reputable moving companies have a transparent pricing structure, but it’s still important to understand how your quote is calculated. Some moving companies have fixed prices, while others use a volume-based system that measures the cubic feet of your items and then converts it into a weight estimate. It’s easy for a moving company to overcharge customers using this method, so only work with movers that are transparent about how they determine their pricing. moving quotes instant