The old saying, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” could not ring more true than when it comes to receiving moving estimates . If one of your quotes is notably lower than the rest, the moving company may be quoting you lower to get you in the door — only to charge you more on the day of the move. Here are some tips on how to identify and avoid low ball estimates.
1. Avoid Hourly and Non-Binding Estimates
- Hourly and non-binding estimates just aren’t reliable and are more likely to be quoted lower and end up higher on moving day.
- If the move takes longer than expected, if the truck gets a parking ticket, or if the movers have to carry your belongings over a certain number of feet (generally 75ft for most companies), you will have to foot the bill for any extra services.
- There are a number of other hidden charges like stairs at either location or floor/corner protection in the building.
2. Get your quote in writing!
Most companies will provide a quote in writing, but remember that just an invoice isn’t enough. The moving company should work with you to create an itemized move plan, divided by items being moved, extra services, and insurance (valuation coverage).
This should also highlight any valuable items that are being moved that require special care.
3. Multiple Quotes!
Shop around but take notice of what questions your movers ask when getting quotes. If one quote is noticeably lower, think about the call you had. Did the consultant ask about every aspect of the move? From dimensions of larger items that may not fit out the door to flights of stairs or whether the moving truck can even park in front of the building, it all needs to be covered.
If these questions weren’t asked, it’s a major red flag that you’re getting a low-ball estimate that is likely to go up on move day — even if it’s technically “binding.” That binding estimate is only valid based on the information provided.
4. Ask Around
If you have friends or family that just recently moved, asked what they paid and ask to see the documents provided to them. Are they were happy with the price and experience? The best marketing is by word of mouth.
If you have friends or family that had an awful experience, find out why it was so terrible. Was it a lack of professionalism on the moving consultant’s part or a lack of communication in general? Either way, experienced consultants ask the right questions to make the move a seamless experience for the movers and the client’s peace of mind.
5. In-Home Consultation or Virtual consultation
If you have any doubts about pricing, request an in-home consultation or virtual consultation. Make sure you understand the pricing criteria.
Any reputable moving company will be happy to accommodate. They ultimately want the same thing as you do: a seamless move. If the company hesitates or insists on only getting a quote over the phone, this could be a red flag.
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