You've made the decision, you are moving. What now? If only your things could magically appear in your new home and, why not? for free! But truth is, moving is usually a very stressful situation and costs a fair amount of money. You have to organize everything, from phone calls to quotes, choosing a moving company, packing, storing... so you hope for the best yet fear the worst, since you are about to move your much loved items and you are not sure if they will be handled properly.
In such a stressful situation, minimizing your worries sounds like a must, so you choose to hire a moving company, one that best adapts to your own needs and budget, since they will make the whole thing an easier process.
Now, are moving rates firmly established? We've got good news for you: they are not. This means that you can actually do something yourself to negotiate and minimize your moving expenses.
So here is our "how to save money on a move" guide. As we all know, information is power, the more you know about negotiating, the easier it'll be for you to get a lower rate. So here a 4 bits of information that you'll want to know before negotiating with a moving company.
1. Moving rates depend on:
- The time of the year of your move. Summer is the most expensive season for a move, so maybe you can reschedule for some other season and get a lower price.
- The day of the week that you are choosing for the move. Weekends tend to be more expensive than weekdays.
- Distance to your new home. If they charge by the hour -not a flat rate- make sure they make an accurate estimate on how log it will take them to get to your new destination and how much it will really be.
- Shipment volume. Try to move less stuff, we'll get to that in a minute.
- Company. Each company has its own rates and its own way of estimating your quote. Try to find one that will even go to your house and actually see the things that you would be moving, so the quote gets as close as possible to reality.
- Additional services. Such as packing, storage, disassembling and reassembling furniture, stairways, narrow hallways, odd-shaped furniture... they usually are charged as an extra.
2. Things that you can do so the company lowers its rates
Do your homework
Which means, do your research. Don't go for the first company that you find. It is probably easier for you to not spend time doing research but it might cost you a lot in the end. It's like buying pants...would you buy the first pair that you see or would you first look around a little bit more? We've all been there, you buy the first pair and you later come across with a better offer or with better pants. Remember that feeling? and it's just pants... Imagine if it happened a with a moving company!
So choose at least three companies and do your research: online, with friends or even at the physical office itself (trustworthy moving companies have an address, a set of trucks with logos printed on them, professional staff ready to welcome you).
Two things will happen is you get as much information as possible:
- Avoid getting scammed! check for references, history, accurate rates.
- Get the tools you need for negotiating.
Once you can compare what each company charges for each different service, you are ready to negotiate. You now know about other companies fees, extras, deals, and you can let the company you like best know that you've found a better deal somewhere else. Since they don't want to lose you to their business competitors, they might do any of the following:
- Consider lowering their price
- Listen to your offer
- If not lowering rates, maybe give you some free additional services
Keep one thing in mind: you loose nothing by trying to negotiate. If you don't get a better deal it's ok -you'll just get the regular rate anyway- but chances are, you might. Go for it!
3. Things that YOU can do yourself do to lower your expenses
Be flexible (money saving tips)
- Book early, book on a cheaper season/day.
- Do some things yourself. Like packing or disassembling and reassembling.
- Consider if some things are worth moving or it would be cheaper to just get new ones. Which leads to:
- Declutter beforehand and make a garage sale before moving.
4. Last but not least
NEVER sacrifice good quality service for a bargain. You are trying to solve a problem not to create a new one. Keep in mind that although you might negotiate to a certain point, an extremely low fare usually means trouble, whether it's an estimate that in the end will increase since you'll get charged for lots of things that "unexpectedly came up" during the move, or it's a service that won't be as good as it should be and your items will indeed get hurt during the move, which means that in the end, you will have to pay more to replace them. The idea is to find a good company, one that you can really rely on, and negotiate within reasonable margins, so you get both a good service and rate, not to sacrifice one for the other. Minimize moving costs but don't put your belongings at risk!
If you are looking for an awarded, trust-worthy moving company, one that has been around for many years, we suggest you take a look at our Victory Van website. Feel free to give us a call, to get a free quote online or even come and visit our office anytime. We'll be glad to hear you out and work the best strategy and quote for your upcoming move.