If you’re planning on moving anytime soon, understanding moving quotes is an essential step to guaranteeing a stress-free moving experience. Although every company differs in practice, a good moving company will have streamlined the process of getting a quote for your upcoming move to be as accurate as possible.

Before you start putting your information all over the internet, it’s recommended to first research then reach out. Don’t call every single moving company on the first page of Google — instead, take the time to choose 3 or 4 that you think will be a good fit for what your move entails. To know some basic questions to ask when choosing a moving company, check out our previous blog post. To get you initiated with the quote-requesting process, FlatRate created a guide to briefly explain the 3 most common types of moving quotes.

quote How Do Moving Quotes Really Work?

#1: Probable Cost Estimate 

An hourly-based quote, this estimate is the most accommodating to the mover. This type of quote includes a truck, crew of movers, moving pads and dollies — the basics that are needed for any relocation. This quote is calculated by the time it takes to get from the pick up location to the destination plus the time it takes to get from pick up to base and back once the move is complete (typically one hour in NYC.) This quote is the most common between moving companies and also includes the cost for materials used such as plastic wrapping upholstery, cardboard crating of glass, marble, large mirrors, mattress bags and cartons for bulk items. This estimate does not include parking permits or any other parking fees.

#2 Fixed Quote

This kind of quote is a shared accommodation between the mover and the consumer, with an on-site assessment performed by the foreman on move day to verify that the charges are correct. This kind of quote includes everything that a probable cost estimate does plus any parking fees that may be added although it does not cover potential delays which sometimes occur due to elevator restrictions and other issues. Solely based on the customer’s inventory, this quote is not hourly-based and the client is responsible for making sure all to-be-moved-items are included on the list or the fixed cost will be adjusted throughout the moving process. For this type of estimate, the more items added to the inventory, the more expensive the final cost.

#3 Guaranteed Quote

The most accommodating to the client, this kind of quote is available both via phone call or with an on-location visit where the moving company’s representative can check the inventory ahead of time. Although this can be done both ways, the benefit of doing on-site is the guarantee that the inventory is actually correct. Included in this guaranteed quote is a truck, crew of movers, moving pads, dollies, materials and the absorption of parking tickets and fees. This estimate offers a guaranteed cost with the responsibility of items, packing, materials and parking by the moving company. This is the kind of quote that FlatRate offers.

Now that you are aware of the 3 main kinds of moving quotes, it’s time to go back online and continue your research. The most important things to consider when requesting quotes are the accuracy of the quote itself, what services are included and how the initial quote could potentially differ from what you pay on moving day.

The Next Step: Getting Your Quote 

Online x Phone Consultation x On-Site Consultation 

You’ve probably already googled something like “moving companies in NYC” and pulled up a bunch of results. Once you’ve narrowed your search, put in a few requests with the companies that seem like a good fit. If this process already seems a bit overwhelming, take a look at our blog post on how to tell if a moving company is reliable.  If you’re uncomfortable going on websites and entering your personal information — hop on the phone and give them a call. The best moving companies are always happy to take down your information over the phone. Plus, that will also make the process much quicker!

After all the basic information is verified, there are generally two options on how to get a quote. You can talk to a relocation specialist on the phone and give them a detailed list of your inventory and an estimate of the number of moving boxes you will need or you can schedule a free in-home consultation that involves a quick walkthrough of your items while answering any questions you might have about the move. Generally that in-home consultation is the most accurate way of receiving a quote and best way to avoid any adjustments down the line before your move.
Have more questions about quotes and the moving process? Check our blog for all the moving advice you might need.