Right after you put your home up for sale you need to start thinking about hiring a moving company (unless you are under 30 and have little furniture—then you rent a U-Haul). Finding local movers is pretty easy, and a lot less can go wrong when you are only moving across town. But how do you find a good moving company to transport your valuables across the country? That is a much bigger challenge, and one the Internet has surprising not made any better.
When it comes time to pick a moving you may be inclined to head over to Google and search for “moving companies.” The first thing you are likely to come across are the aggregators like TopMoving, Moving.com and UnPakt. These aggregators allow you to get quotes from multiple service providers all competing for your moving business. Of course none of these service providers are actually moving companies, but rather they are moving “brokers.” These moving brokers are middlemen who send out for bid your request to move to several actual movers.
This one-stop, request-for-quote on the surface seems like a good idea. But there is a little secret none of these service providers will tell you, and you may have to really do some research to discover it for yourself.
When you get an Internet quote to move, you provide a list of items you want to move, usually along with their dimensions. The movers take that information, use some multiple to convert it to weight, and use that number as a cost estimate for your move. (No matter what anybody tells you, movers charge by the pound. They weigh the truck before and after and you pay for the difference.) The secret is that any quote you get over the Internet is NOT binding, regardless of what the quote says.
When you go online and research this, you discover how many people had their furniture held hostage by movers who demanded more money than the quoted price, before they off-loaded the truck. It is because the quote was just an estimate, and judging by the number of complaints online, you might think that some of these moving companies purposely quote low just to secure the business .
So, how do you avoid this unpleasant scenario? You get an in-home estimate. With an in-home estimate, an experienced moving estimator comes to your home and visually inspects everything you intend to take. This too will result in an price quote, but it is no estimate. It is a not-to-exceed price. You see, when they go to weigh the truck, if it weighs more than the in-home estimate, you pay the quoted price (not a dollar more). But, should the truck weigh less than the estimate, you pay they lesser price. So, you know the most you will pay, and you may be pleasantly surprised at delivery to pay less. That is the exact opposite experience many people have experienced who have gotten “virtual” estimates. And the crazy things is, the in-home estimates tend to be very close to the Internet estimates. It is just that they come with a lot more peace of mind.
When you get ready to hire a moving company, find a respected national brand like Mayflower or Bekins, and make sure you get an in-home estimate to avoid any unnecessary surprises. You get enough of those just moving, no need for any extra.