Budgeting is an important part of moving. Knowing how movers structure their billing helps you plan and find a mover who can accommodate your budget. Below are some tips and terms to prepare you for budgeting and getting estimates from moving companies.
Let me preface this post by saying that in the past 10 jobs we estimated, we were smack in the middle – on average $30 above our lowest estimated price and $50 below our highest estimated price.
That being said, some clients are still anxious about the final cost of their move. The thought of what they perceive to be an open-ended bill starting at $80 an hour can be a little nerve-wracking. I understand; that’s why we offer flat rates.
What’s a flat rate? Seeing a job first hand allows us to make our most accurate estimate (although those mentioned above were done over the phone and we did pretty darn well). If we can come visit and see your move personally to make a first hand estimate, we propose a fixed price. This is essentially an agreement where you say “here’s what I have” and we say “we’ll move it for this price.”
But wait there’s more … Caps! With Stronger, we often negotiate flat rate jobs with a cap. This is us saying “we’ll move it for this price BUT if the time we work ends up being less, you’ll pay the lower price.”
Here are questions to ask any moving company when getting an estimate:
- Do you estimate high or low? At Stronger Moving, we try to estimate high with the idea to estimate more, and then charge less.
- How do you round off time you bill for? Our moving company rounds down not up (a job ending at 3:05 would be rounded down to 3:00).
- What do you break the hour into? Stronger Moving bills by the quarter hour (A job ending at 3:20 would be billed as ending at 3:15)
- Is the estimate binding? You only pay for what we work, not what we estimate.
So if you’re ready to move but unsure of how moving companies conduct their billing, ask questions! Make sure the company is clear and that you feel comfortable in knowing how they conduct their estimates and billing.