There is no doubt that moving is both time consuming and expensive, yet it is a necessary part of life. It is estimated that the average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. The number can be even higher if you are in the military. However, there are a number of ways you can cut down on the expenses associated with hiring professional movers.
Get Free Boxes
Don’t waste money buying boxes from a moving company. Instead, call your local grocery store and ask them to save some boxes for you. Most stores are glad to break down the boxes and save them for you if you come in within a reasonable amount of time.
Check Moving Companies’ Reviews on Yelp
Yelp.com is a great resource. There you can find reviews on all of the moving companies in your area. Reviews are rated based on five stars (five being the highest, one being the lowest). In addition, reviewers often give lengthy comments based on their experience. If you don’t know what moving companies are in your area, simply enter your city into Yelp along with the words “moving companies” and Yelp will pull up all of the moving companies in your area with reviews. Read through a handful of reviews for each company before calling any for a quote.
Call Several Moving Companies for a Quote
Moving companies’ quotes vary considerably. Have a list of all items you will need moved (boxes and furniture, namely), how many floors you have, and where you will be moving to. Take careful notes on their quotes. Some may under quote how long it will take (and then charge you more later), but you won’t know it is an under quote until you compare what other moving companies say.
Move in the Off Season if You Can
The off season for many moving companies is December through February. If you can move during this time, movers will have more openings, giving you a better choice of dates, and you will get cheaper rates.
Give the Little Guy a Chance
Many people feel more comfortable going with a larger, national moving company, but you may get better service and cheaper rates if you go with a local moving company that is trying to grow. Chances are their rates will be lower, in part because they don’t advertise as heavily as the national chains do, and in part because they want to get your business. They may also offer better services because they want to generate word-of-mouth referrals to grow their business.
Ask for Extras
Negotiate with the movers before the move. A moving company may tell you that their hourly rates are set and they can’t negotiate, but chances are they can throw in some freebies such as blankets to cover your furniture, and other optional services to make your move smoother.
Most people detest moving. However, the move can be a little less painful if you know how to negotiate to get the best rates AND the best service.