Moving has long been an industry that struggles with consumer perceptions and reputation, especially when it comes to the transparency of pricing. For consumers looking to hire movers, the difference between levels of service and prices can get quite confusing.
We put together a short list of common tips when hiring a mover to help you make the right decision and avoid traps (even save a few bucks). Here they are:
Beware of unrealistic pricing
It is a common practice for some moving companies to advertise very low rates that can look like a great deal to an unsuspecting consumer. Sites like kijiji and craiglist are full of ads from moving companies claiming prices as low as $30 per hour for a two men crew and a truck. In contrast, most reputable and established moving companies charge over $100 an hour.
Unrealistic prices generally mean one of two things. First, hidden fees such as stair charges and others can emerge mid-move. There have been many cases of moving companies holding household goods “hostage” until these fees are paid during move day. The other byproduct of unrealistic prices can mean that corners such as proper insurance, a crew that’s trained and bonded, are being cut.
Everyone loves a great deal, but some simple math can save you lots of money and headaches.
Get multiple quotes
This one is a common practice, however in the chaos of moving a lot of people book the first company they come across. Getting 2-3 estimates from companies is always a good idea so that you have a fair comparison. When making your decision, consider the company’s reviews, reputation and ratings. Not all moving companies are created equally, so choose the one you are most comfortable with, and do your research.
Last-minute travel booking and waiting for a sale at our favorite store has conditioned us that a last-minute booking usually means a better deal. When it comes to booking a mover, quite the opposite is true.
Movers are always looking to optimize their supply with demand. It is not uncommon for movers to use surge rates (similar to Uber) during peak periods. If there is a single truck left in your town, you’re going to end up paying more if you book it last-minute. When you have to move out in a week, you’re risking that most reputable companies will be sold out, or charge you a premium for the last truck left.
Booking your movers at least 4-6 weeks ahead of your move, or even further out during the summer months can save you money.
Ultimately most movers charge by the hour. The more prepared you are, the lower the chance that the movers will have to sit idle or unproductive. Consider planning your move day to ensure your elevators are booked, access ways are clear, and major items such as pianos or gym equipment are dealt with. If you have the knack to disassemble some of your own furniture, doing it yourself can also take a considerable chunk off your bill.
Most moving companies offer packing services as a convenience and a benefit to customers. While it may be amazing to have someone do your packing for you, the service is typically billed by the hour and will inflate your moving bill by as much as 50% (depending how much stuff you have). If you can afford the luxury of packing services, you should definitely go for it. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, order some moving supplies or look for free boxes and do your own packing.
If hiring movers isn’t in your budget, there are a variety of do-it-yourself options available. While the price to rent a truck may be considerably cheaper than hiring professional movers, it is important to factor in all costs such as labor, insurance, gas, and time. DIY moves are often harder and more expensive than they look, so if you’re going with a DIY option, make sure you are committed and set aside the required time, people and money.
MoveSnap is a personal moving concierge, guiding anyone who is in the process of relocating step-by-step through everything that needs to be done for their move. From transferring home services like hydro, gas, cable and internet, to notifying business of address changes, MoveSnap is the hub to get everything that is moving-related done quickly and efficiently.