If you are like me, you detest moving. I stayed in an apartment two years longer than I should have because I so dislike the moving process. Still, most Americans average 11 moves in a lifetime. If you are planning to move soon, take advantage of these tips to save money hiring movers:
Check Yelp.com. Yelp.com offers reviews from users as well as contact information for the moving companies. Simply choose your city and type in “moving companies” in the search bar. You will see several companies appear, many with reviews. Read the reviews carefully and look for common themes. For instance, though one moving company in our area did get 5 star reviews (the best is 5 out of 5 and the lowest is 1 out of 5), several other people said the actual movers were good, but the movers showed up late, usually 2 to 6 hours late. This complaint was expressed by many different reviewers, so I didn’t even bother to call for their rates.
Consider hiring a smaller company. Some smaller companies are new to the business and are trying to build a reputation. As such, they will typically offer great service and a lower price. We hired a small moving company, and we were pleased with the results. Not only were the company’s rates a few hundred dollars cheaper than the competition, but they were punctual and fast workers. They had five star reviews on Yelp.com. The difference is, they only had 5 reviews, while some of the big companies had over 200 reviews.
Negotiate, negotiate. I love to bargain shop, and it is no different when you are booking movers. Ask if you can get a rate discount. If not, perhaps the mover would be willing to throw in some moving freebies such as the bubble wrap they use or the ties or blankets, which they normally charge extra for. Especially if you move during the off season of December through March, you should be able to secure a deal.
If the movers are readily available, beware. If you live in or near a big city and the movers are available within a few days to move you, beware. This could be a sign that the movers overbook their crew or that they are not the best movers. In our area outside a major city, clients must book movers at least a week in advance, sometimes two weeks, especially if they plan to move on the weekend.
Call several movers to get the best rate. Call several movers and get their rates. This will help you to not only get a feel for the average rate, but to detect any irregularities. I called 5 moving companies; one quoted the duration of the move at several hours less than the competition as well as several hundred dollars less. Because I knew what others had quoted, I knew this company was underestimating and would end up charging us more later. The movers who did move us calculated the same number of hours the move would take compared to the other companies, but their rate was $150 lower. I could tell they were competitive with other movers because they had the same estimate of how long the move would take, but they quoted a lower price.
Moving is a hassle and can be very expensive. However, if you utilize some of these tricks, you should be able to not only save money, but also hire a quality moving team. Moving is already difficult enough; try to make it easier on yourself by hiring a quality moving company that won’t overcharge you.
**Photo by tlucal on Flickr**