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Outside The Box

A Moving And Shipping Blog

Avoiding Hidden Costs: How to Properly Estimate the Cost of your Move

Posted in Moving on Nov 30, 2016, tagged with moving tips, preparing for your move, residential

Nobody likes unpleasant surprises during bedroom moving or complete household shipping, especially when those surprises involve moving costs! When getting estimates on their household shipping jobs, people often underestimate the amount of stuff they have or the difficulty of moving the items. This can easily result in significant unexpected charges and delays. Here are three common mistakes people make when estimating the cost of their move:

1. Space requirements

Underestimating space requirements is an easy mistake to make, since the average person is a bit fuzzy on how much space a moving trailer has, and how much space their items will take up. So the first — and biggest — problem to avoid is telling the moving company you have, say, half a truckload of items. Then on moving day, it’s discovered that you actually need a truck and a half, and the extra moving costs start to rack up quickly:

  • The mover has to reschedule pickup and delivery for the other customer(s) they expected to fill out the truck — that’s going to cost you.
  • The mover needs to bring a second truck — that obviously adds cost, and it can be substantial.
  • The above scheduling issues can cause delays and possible storage costs, again adding unexpected line items to your final bill.
  • More boxes, packing materials and more labor will be needed to load, stow and unload your items — all of which do not come free and will justifiably be added to your bill.

The best way to avoid underestimating space: Take photos of ALL the items involved in your household shipping job, write a quick inventory of the pictured items, and send them to the moving company well in advance of the pickup date. This is as close to foolproof as you can get to ensuring the mover dedicates the right amount of truck space to your job and thus stays true to its estimate.

2. Difficulty handling your items

It’s often no easy task to get an entertainment center, piano or bedroom set out of a house or apartment (this is why bedroom moving sometimes gives people sticker shock) — we can tell you from experience, In some (rare) cases, we’ve had to bring in hoists to move items too large to fit through doors, and had to be taken out through windows. Narrow hallways, stairways, elevators, delicate surfaces requiring extra padding — all of these things add time, packing materials and cost. Again, photos of items help movers help you contain costs, or at minimum let you know exactly what you’re in for.

3. Underestimating the value of your items. 

Make sure your antiques and other valuables are adequately insured, or you will expose yourself to potentially disastrous additional costs. Moving companies carry insurance, but policy terms and coverage amounts vary. Many people think they are protected when they aren’t, so please go over the details with your moving company well in advance. We provide carrier liability coverage at no cost, and we offer additional coverage at reasonable rates to ensure you are getting full coverage.

Transit Systems has built its reputation on transparent, detailed and accurate estimates. We want you to know what your moving costs are in advance, so the only surprises you have at the end of the move are pleasant ones. Contact us now for an estimate, or with any questions you may have. We’d love an opportunity to help you!