Stating that the process of moving house is expensive often sounds like a gross understatement – according to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average cost of an interstate move is approximately $4,300, while the average price for a local move is around $2,300. Of course, those are nothing but roughly estimated values that are only meant to give you a hint of what to expect price-wise from your mover. /How much does it cost to hire movers?/
In reality, how much you will pay for your upcoming move will depend on a number of essential factors such as moving company, move distance, shipment weight, and extra moving services. Oh, and let’s not forget about another notable factor that many people tend to disregard completely – your price negotiation skills.
The most important thing to remember when moving from one home to another is that moving company prices are not set in stone. Oftentimes, you will find out that moving services are negotiable, and the better negotiating skills you have, the better chances you have at scoring a good deal with your mover.
So, how to negotiate with moving companies? How can you end up with an affordable and budget-friendly moving quote that will help you save hundreds of dollars, if not more?
Read on to learn proven tips for negotiating a moving company price and how the power of smart negotiation can lead to good ways to save on professional movers.
Don’t get scammed
First and foremost, keep in mind that you must only consider dealing with reputable moving companies that will not try to scam you in any way. Here’s a fair warning you must keep in mind throughout the entire process of negotiating moving costs: don’t hire a mover based on low pricing alone.
To have a low bidding moving company is great, but to have a moving bid that is way lower than the rest could mean that something is not right. That’s right, uncharacteristically low estimates could be a sign of a possible moving scam: the so-called low-ball estimate is where a dishonest moving company tries to bait new customers by promising rates that have nothing to do with what they will ask in the end.
Avoid strong headaches by doing your homework (a thorough background check on all movers) the way you are supposed to. Make sure you have checked and verified all long distance moving companies under consideration – they must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The membership with the AMSA earns professional movers the prestigious ProMover badge, and that is another clear indication that you won’t become a victim of moving fraud.
Must-read info: How to avoid moving scams
Compare moving company estimates
You know that hiring a top-rated moving company will help you negate a lot of the inevitable stress that comes with moving house, but it’s the cost of their services that might be stopping you from making that right decision. Yes, moving house can be a rather pricey affair but the good news is that moving rates will vary from mover to mover even when your pre-move parameters remain the same. Which basically means that before you can take a seat at the negotiation table, you need to know what you have been offered first.
To negotiate the best price for a moving service, start by getting and comparing at least 3 estimates from licensed and accredited professional moving companies. Request in-house surveys from moving experts to guarantee that the written estimates you receive will be as close to the final bill as possible. Keep in mind that when you have multiple estimates from various movers, you do have more bargaining power.
While you’re getting the moving estimates, address the following pointers to eliminate potential last-minute moving company fees and charges:
- Determine the number and nature of extra services that you will need from your movers. The majority of those charges for additional services are negotiable so it’s time to go through each one with your relocation partner and see whether you really need to use them. Your movers will be entitled to lower their price if you give up any of the offered extras.
- Decide who will take care of the costly task of packing and unpacking – you or your movers. In the best case scenario, the one where you will save money and still have the ultimate protection for your most prized possessions, it will be a beneficial joint effort where you will pack up all your stuff except large furniture, heavy appliances, valuable antiques, and specialty items – a piano, a pool table, a heavy gun safe, a grandfather clock, etc.
- Discuss any additional charges that will increase the moving expenses even more. You might end up rather surprised by the number of unexpected fees your mover could charge you – from extra fees for carrying your items through narrow hallways, multiple flights of stairs and a greater distance from your front door to the moving truck to disassembling/reassembling some of your furniture pieces. Work out these move-related details with your partner prior to Moving day.
See also: How to compare moving companies?
Use your negotiation skills as your secret weapon
Can you negotiate with moving companies? Absolutely!
Once you have received good moving quotes from different reputable moving companies, it’s time to take advantage of those same quotes to get the best deal on moving companies. The following tactical moves will show you how to negotiate a lower price with your moving company with the help of one clever little trick.
- Under normal circumstances, the majority of moving companies would rather lower the price they have quoted you than to lose your business to their competitors. Unless you’re right in the middle of the moving season, use this as bargaining leverage.
- By now, there should be a mover whose services you would like to hire the most. If that professional moving company has offered you the best price, then you have little to worry about. If not, then contact the company to inform them that you want to use their quality services but that you have been offered a lower price by their competitors. Quote them your lowest bid and ask them if they will be willing to at least price-match or even beat the best deal you have been given. If they are serious about securing you as a customer, they will try to do so.
- Remember, it never hurts to negotiate with movers simply because you’ve got nothing to lose. The key to a largely successful negotiation is to reach an arrangement that will be beneficial to both parties. If you yourself are open to certain compromises and can afford to be flexible about some of the relocation terms (booking early, choosing a good moving date), then there isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t get the best deal on movers.
- If the moving company is not willing to lower its original price, you may wish to try negotiating with the mover again in a day or two. The reason? You may contact another moving company representative who may be more open to propose you a new and better deal, or maybe offer you a price discount that will be more agreeable to you.
Read more: How to find cheap movers near me