When moving from one home to another, it’s mostly about striking a happy medium between cost and quality of service. In other words, you surely don’t want to spend a fortune to complete your move, but you wouldn’t want to go through a nightmarish house move due to incompetent movers either.
It always feels nice to find a way to move for less money, but in your never-ending pursuit of lower and lower prices, you might become too focused on the bottom line and miss a number of red flags being waved at you. And that bottom line is that, oftentimes, the risk of going to great lengths to pay as little as possible for professional moving services is not worth it.
You don’t have to pay top dollar to move house cheaply. In reality, the trick is to find a reasonably priced mover, but that, of course, is not an easy thing to do. Read on to learn why going for the cheapest offer can be rather tricky, and why sometimes it pays to pay a bit more to have the safety and peace of mind you deserve.
Cheaper moving services
It’s not a top secret that moving house with the help of professional movers can be expensive. According to statistical data provided by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average cost of an intrastate move is roughly $2,300, while the average price of an interstate move is about $4,300. Of course, there are numerous external factors that will affect the price one way or the other, but you get the general idea of how much professional movers cost.
Now, while you’re in the middle of comparing the moving quotes you have received from a few different moving companies, it’s only understandable that your first impulse will be to find the lowest price stated. But once you do, take into account the following important points before it’s too late.
- Moving insurance. Reasonably priced moving companies are properly insured and will work with you to provide the right type of coverage for your household items. You will get Basic Limited Liability upon signing your Bill of Lading but that basic coverage is often not enough to match the actual value of your stuff. Better coverage (Full Value Protection, for example) will cost you more but it will be money well-spent in case something does happen during the move. So, an unusually cheap quote might mean it’s come from a moving company that is not adequately insured against any of the risks associated with moving household items from one home to another.
- Competence and experience. It’s good to know upfront that no two moving companies are alike, so in most cases you will get what you pay for. It’s one thing to have years of relocation experience and sufficient training to handle all types of moves seamlessly, and it’s another to show up on Moving day with strong muscles but little knowledge of what to do or how to do it. When it comes to moving companies, cheaper is not always better because extremely low-cost movers won’t be well-trained to take care of your prized possessions. Uncharacteristically cheap moving labor may mean the movers who come to your home have been hired temporarily and are not really trained professionals who understand what is expected of them.
- Professional attitude. Finding a reasonably priced moving company will mean, in most cases, that you will get a great deal of respect towards your belongings and towards you as a valued customer. When dealing with various movers to choose the right one for you, you will notice how important professional attitude is for a healthy and mutually beneficial business relationship. On the other hand, accepting an offer that is too low to be true might mean an overall rude attitude and lack of proper manners from the hired workers.
- Additional services. It’s good to find and hire cheap moving services as long as they serve your relocation needs, right? For example, going with super cheap movers that won’t offer you furniture disassembly, packing, or temporary storage when you actually need those additional services is not a decision that makes a lot of sense. Remember that you’re trying to save hard-earned money but your ultimate goal is still to have your stuff moved quickly, safely, and without any problems along the way.
- Downright moving fraud. A low-ball estimate is one of the most common types of moving scams. This is an unfortunate scenario where you may get a moving estimate that is incredibly lower than the rest of the quotes. And if that happens, don’t be quick to accept the offer no matter how strong the temptation might be. Instead, contact the moving service provider in question and ask them to explain why the offered price is so low. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, then don’t even think about hiring them. Moving fraud does exist, so you’d better learn how to protect yourself.
IMPORTANT: What are the red flags of moving fraud?
Cheaper (free) packing
After careful analysis of the pros and cons, you may have made up your mind to pack all of your household items by yourself. And if that is the case, then your biggest expense will surely be the packing supplies you will need to get the job done. Moving on a budget should be a reason enough for you to not want to pay for any packing materials in order to save money. That’s understandable, right?
Luckily, there are many places where you can get free moving boxes. However, your desire to make your move as cheap as possible could lure you into using cardboard boxes of very low quality, which in turn may endanger the safety of the whole household moving operation. Heavy items can easily rip through old packing boxes, and if those items happen to be valuables, then the possible damage to your prized possessions will definitely prove that cheaper isn’t always better when moving house. Remember to pack delicate valuables in strong moving boxes made of thick cardboard. For your heavier high-value articles, you should consider using plastic moving containers.
Protective sheets of soft packing paper and Bubble wrap are other packing materials where you may choose to go cheaper. Don’t make the mistake of saving a few dollars and thus breaking fragile items worth ten times more. Be generous with protective and padding materials when wrapping up breakables. Also, using free newsprint as cushioning material inside cardboard boxes is fine but newspapers can and will leave nasty ink marks and stains on delicate surfaces, so you should limit its packing usage altogether.
SEE ALSO: What packing materials for moving do I already own?
Knowing how move cheaply across country is great but that knowledge shouldn’t come at the expense of overall relocation safety. In some cases, paying a bit more for moving services of higher quality will get you the extra assurance that things will be just fine before, during and after the move.