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How to Compare Moving Company Quotes

Monday, August 7, 2023

One of the more difficult tasks facing you when you decide to move comes before you even start packing. You’ve guessed right. It’s about researching movers, gathering moving company quotes, and comparing moving prices and moving services.

This blog will help you choose a trustworthy professional mover and provide essential steps to compare moving company quotes effectively. Learn how to evaluate a mover’s reputation, moving services, and pricing to make an informed decision for your upcoming relocation.

Follow these valuable tips to choose a reliable and affordable moving company that suits your needs perfectly. As a result, you will save time and money and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

A man over 50 researching moving companies and moving company quotes

When Moving: What You Want VS What You Can Afford

Are you moving locally or moving long-distance? What is the size of your household? What moving service do you need? Choosing the correct type of moving company depends on your answers to these questions. 

Full-service moving companies will do all the work. They will pack, load, and transport your belongings and then unload and unpack them at the destination. This option is the most convenient, but it is usually also the most expensive. 

With a self-service move, you pack, load, unload, and unpack your possessions. The company is only responsible for the transportation from your old home to the new one.

Relocating the DIY way means that you do all the work: packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking. You only pay for the truck rental. While you can save money with a DIY move, it requires time and effort.

Of course, what you want will largely depend on what you can afford. Be ready to tailor your wishes with your means. Decide what services you must have, for example, moving your pets or your grand piano. Then see whether you can save elsewhere. For example: 

  • Take with you only what you need. Sell, donate, or throw away everything else. The fewer possessions you have, the more money you will save on your move.
  • Instead of buying shiny new packaging boxes, borrow used ones from friends or scour local shops for discarded boxes in good condition.
  • Plan to move in off-peak periods. Moving company rates are usually higher over the weekend and in the summer. 

While some movers specialize in a specific type of relocation, many will be happy to accommodate your wishes. For example, you should be able to find a DIY mover that provides workers for loading and unloading or a self-service mover that can supply packing materials. 

Research Moving Companies

After establishing what services you need, it is time to check which moving companies can provide them. Before requesting moving company quotes, carefully research potential candidates. Only reputable professional movers deserve to be entrusted with your life’s possessions. Here’s how to find a mover you can trust:

  • Ask the people who recently moved for recommendations.
  • Read online moving company reviews. Browse the Better Business Bureau and note the companies with too many complaints to their name.
  • Verify your potential movers’ credentials, licenses, and insurance coverage. Interstate movers have to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation. You can check a company's USDOT Number in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's database.
  • Learn to recognize red flags to avoid falling victim to a moving scam. A mover who gives you an unusually low quote or asks for an upfront payment is probably not worth your while.
  • Assess the mover’s customer service. Are they easy to get in touch with? Do they respond quickly? Will you have a single point of contact you can turn to during the relocation process? 
A moving company worker holding a cardboard box

Ask for Moving Company Quotes

Contact the moving companies you are considering hiring early in the relocation process to ensure your preferred dates are available. When you call the movers you short-listed, be sure to have at hand the information they will need to quote you, such as:

  • The size of your household.
  • Distance of the move.
  • Preferred moving dates.
  • Required level of moving insurance.
  • The services you need.
  • The loading and unloading conditions. 

Many movers provide moving company quotes based on a digital video survey, though some still want to visit your current home to take stock of your moving inventory. Ask the mover you contacted whether they need to eyeball your possessions. If not, enquire how their digital video survey works and how accurate it is.

Note that the instant online estimates some moving companies offer can give you only a ballpark figure. For accurate costing, an in-person or digital survey is necessary.

Get at least three moving quotes in writing. Moving quotes are free of charge. 

Compare the Moving Company Quotes from Different Movers 

Now it’s (finally!) time to set side by side those three (or more) moving company quotes you received. Carefully read them, noting the move date, distance, and size. Then pay attention to the following points: 

Does the moving quote contain everything you asked for?

Check whether all the items you want to relocate are listed. The moving quote should provide a complete inventory list, sometimes called a cube sheet or a table of measurements. 

Confirm that the moving company quotes include the services you want, such as packing supplies, packing and unpacking, or appliance set-up.

Also, check that the moving company quotes specify the moving insurance you requested.

What kind of a moving quote is it?

The paperwork you receive should state whether a moving quote is binding, non-binding, or binding not-to-exceed. 

Binding quotes guarantee a fixed price for the relocation. The advantage is that you know how much you will pay and can budget accordingly. Your mover can charge more only if you change the size of the shipment or the distance of the move or request additional services. 

Non-binding quotes give you an estimate, but the final bill may be higher or lower. For example, you will pay more if the shipment is heavier than estimated and less if the actual weight is below the estimate. 

Binding not-to-exceed quotes state the maximum that a customer will pay. Even if the weight of your listed inventory exceeds the original estimate, you will not be charged extra. But if it weighs less, your bill will be smaller.   

How much are they charging you? 

Price is an important, but not the only factor when choosing a moving company. Compare the moving company quotes you received and analyze the overall value of each one. Take note of the payment terms and methods as well.

It is good to know that movers who give you a non-binding quote can’t demand an exuberant amount upon delivery. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, they can charge you up to 10% over the original estimate, provided you did not ask for additional services during the transit.

Keep in mind that movers may charge extra for impracticable operations. If you live on the eighth floor and the elevator doesn’t work, or if a removal van cannot park close to your old or new home, the mover has to send more workers or a shuttle vehicle. And you may need to pay up to 15% of the overall cost at delivery and the rest within 30 days. 

Some moving companies offer discounts, so be sure to enquire about that too.

Read more about the cost of hiring a moving company

A woman over 50 relaxing in her new home watching stuff on her laptop

Shyft Takes the Effort Out of Moving 

Does the thought of researching moving companies, evaluating their reliability, and collecting moving company quotes cast a dark shadow over your forthcoming relocation?

Relax. AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft will do all the hard work. You can focus on the next stage in your life without worrying about how to move all your belongings to your new home.

With Shyft, you can enjoy a smooth, well-organized move. Shyft has revolutionized the moving industry by connecting customers with movers digitally. After only one video call that captures your entire moving inventory, you will receive multiple quotes with transparent pricing from different moving companies. Shyft partners with hundreds of vetted professional movers that offer various moving services. Whatever your needs and budget, you are sure to find your fit.

That’s not where the involvement of Shyft ends. From the very start, you will have a dedicated Move Coach who will be your single point of contact. Your Move Coach will oversee the relocation process from door to door.  

Shyft understands that people over 50 may need additional support when moving home. That is why AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft was created. On top of a seamless and stress-free relocation experience, AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 for every move they book.

Getting in touch with Shyft is easy. Complete a brief form online or call 1-888-501-3181. Then download the free Shyft Next app on your iPhone or Android device and schedule a video call with a dedicated Move Coach from Shyft. 

During the video call, your Move Coach will survey all the items you plan to relocate. Just walk through the house and use your phone to show everything you want to move. You can ask questions about your moving plans and enquire about approximate costs. 

The inventory list you receive about half an hour after the survey will be 95% accurate. Go over it and remove or add items and services to make it 100% accurate.

Your approved inventory list goes to a secure platform where vetted movers bid on your relocation project by offering their best pricing. You will receive at least three top quotes. The one you choose becomes binding. There are no hidden fees. You don’t need to worry about any unexpected price increases along the way.

When you book your move with Shyft, you can be confident that your moving experience will go smoothly. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that Shyft representatives will be there when you need them, available 24/7, including the weekends, throughout your relocation.

Take the guesswork out of hiring a reliable mover and eliminate the effort of gathering moving company quotes by booking your move with Shyft. Remember to mention that you are an AARP member and claim your exclusive discount of up to $250.

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