Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Different Ways a Moving Company Charges You.

If you've ever used a moving company, you most likely felt like the whole ordeal was a learning process. Charges easily could ring up for the simplest things. The simple things you easily could forget about between trying to blend wall blemishes to get your deposit back and trying to make sure your electric is on when you move into your new home. No matter what charges it takes to make your move happen, you will be charged. Don't rely on a moving company to ask you cost effective questions. Show them you know your stuff. Show them you mean business. Here are some of the cost effective components your mover SHOULD ask you to mold your price.

The first thing you must understand is that this industry is not like a fast food franchise where the menu is priced virtually the same everywhere. You get your smile at the cash register, the chance to play soda mix as you wait for your food and then you receive what you've ordered.

In the moving industry, sometimes it's not that easy. Company A may give you a free flight of stairs where Company B gives you an hour of labor. Company C will give you free boxes where Company D doesn't give you anything free at all. Free may be an act of kindness or a nicely baited hook. Don't look at the "free" until the end. Make it a desert more than an appetizer.

Now that you've closed your eyes to each company's flashing billboard, now you need to figure how will they charge you. Will it be by weight or cubic feet? Will they charge by the time it takes or guarantee everything based on your items. No matter how a company charges you, know how safe their method is. Let's dig a little into these various ways so you can know what's coming around the bend.

Weight Based

Most clients will encounter weight based charges more than anything. This traditional method is based on filling up the truck, weighing the truck on a weigh scale and then appearing at the delivery with your final charges. Your previous estimation may be right, it may be wrong, but you have to pay to receive your furniture.

Cubic Feet Based

Cubic feet based price is a pretty popular method. The idea is to fill up the truck and determine how much space is taken due to the cubic feet markings. This method provides your price after loading, allowing you to see the space you occupy. A professional and honest company would pack your belongings tight to take up the space your contents truly need. On the other hand, you could have a company pack loosely, taking up more space than you need. It's all about the packer so maybe have an eye in the hom
e and an eye on the truck.


For local moves, hourly is the easiest method for a customer to control their price. Most movers have a minimum amount of driving and labor hours, good for quick moves. You could cut time for the movers by having everything boxed and disassembled or even cut down the bulk of move by shuttling your smaller items in your personal vehicle. As long as every minute is used to move you, your charges shouldn't get outrageous.

Guaranteed price based on items

Guaranteed pricing due to inventory is a method many feel is safe. Yes, the truth of a price could scare you away, but at least you know your price upfront. No one can trick you with extra charges of weight or time because it's all about the furniture pieces. If you are on a budget, a guaranteed price will help you plan more efficiently.

Now that we covered the true bulk of your c
harges, lets briefly look at the extra charges that could increase your base price.


Make sure you know more than how many flights you have, know your step count. There are various opinions of how many steps make a flight, so have your count ready for all locations within your move.

Long Carry

Know the distance from truck to door your mover is giving for free. You can measure using a measuring tape or simply Google Map your home and use the distance tool. A mover will definitely charge for you for a longer walk.

Truck Access

Know the dimensions of the truck(s) your mover will use at all locations. If the driver can't park close enough, you may have a long carry fee or may be charged to shuttle your items. Speak to your local precinct, leasing office, HOA and even neighbors for insight.


If the movers truck is too large at any of your locations, a shuttle truck will be utilized. This fee is mostly based on the size of your move. The movers will rent a smaller truck, load your items and transfer your goods to the larger truck.


Most people throw away their large flat screen box away after the unpack it. Now you need a box. A quite expensive box. If it takes more than moving pads to realistically move it, protect it yourself or you will be charged...... and I say realistically because some people believe a blanket is good enough to pack a flat screen. Some items may need wood crating to keep it safe so suggest it for items like sculptures and chandeliers.  Pack what you can. Estimate high for box count. Take fragile's in your vehicle. Whatever you do will save you money.

Extra Stop

If you have an extra stop above your pickup and destination, some companies will charge you. Know the distance of the extra stop from the location that's within your pickup or delivery. Most importantly, don't forget the above extra charges.


Sometimes you can't have your items dropped off as fast as the movers can. Storage is the best solution to keep your items safe, but there may be more charges than you think. Yes, the unit has a cost, but understand that the movers are moving your items twice. This is called an S.I.T. (Storage In transit) charge. It helps cover the additional labor. Some companies offer climate and climate controlled prices, which can vary due to your choice. No matter what storage option you utilize, do note that you don't have any access to the unit.


Every move comes with a standard coverage of $0.60 per pound per item. You do have options of Full Value Protection, which covers what I call the "3 R's", Repair, Replace or Repay. Then you have Full Coverage Insurance from many 3rd parties that will cover everything completely. No matter the cost, do consider a coverage above the minimum offered.

Bulky Items

If it's a strain or hassle to move, prepare for an additional charge for handling. From safe's to glass bars, a mover will charge you for making their job a little more challenging and time consuming. You may get a high charge so the question may be, "Is it worth it?"

Geared with this information, you can keep a grip on the many charges that could occur. If you educate yourself of the different charging methods and the customer reviews, you should alleviate most of your stress. Take your move seriously and make sure the company you choose does the same.

1 comment:

  1. This really helped me prepare for find finding a moving company! I need to see how long it will take to move the truck to the new house. I think I might be able to get a better price for time instead of miles. Thanks again for the buying tips!