Moving Estimates

Written by Serena Berger
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There are people who reach an unhealthy state of fury over moving estimates. Often this is because the cost of the move does not end up matching the estimate, and people feel as though they are being manipulated and cheated. To make matters more complicated, this is sometimes the case, but other times the responsibility does rest on their own shoulders.

The Lowdown on Moving Estimates

If you are moving a household or office, you should have someone from the moving company come and do an appraisal of your belongings. That's the best way to ensure that you get an estimate that will ultimately be close to what the move costs. If you give the estimate of what you're going to have to the moving company, almost invariably you will underestimate the number of boxes or the weight of the items.

This is an inevitable result of your inexperience with moving a household or office. Things when packed take up a lot more space than you think they will. You innocently think that your books will fit in, say, five boxes; but then you find out how heavy those five boxes would be with nothing but books packed in back-to-back, and you realize you have to put them in twice as many smaller boxes. You think that your dishes will take up only a little bit more room in a box than they do in your cupboard, but then the packing material takes up a lot more space, and suddenly you have fifty boxes when your estimate was twenty five.

People also assume that they have made a contract with the movers based on the moving estimate and a document both parties sign agreeing to the time and location of the move. This is typically not true. There is almost always a clause that the price is not final until the movers are there on moving day to verify the number of items or the weight of the truck when packed. As long as your mover has been honest with you about the pricing policy and you understand how the final price is calculated, you have to realize that an estimate is only that, and it could change. The most important thing you can do is get an experienced and reputable mover so that his or her estimate is as accurate as it can be, and then make sure you let the mover survey what you are having moved instead of estimating it yourself.


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