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Types of Estimates
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Articles
The Smooth Move Checklist
A checklist for both before and after you move

Take our moving advice and utilize this checklist before and after you have moved. Print this page and carry it with you before and several days after the move. Take advantage of our moving tips and moving advice. Moving tips that may seem obvious can be easily over looked.

  • Tag your Items
    For your garage sale, tag all items and be prepared to wheel and deal. Garage sale gurus love to haggle.

  • Pack Heavy Ė Pack Light
    Pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in larger boxes.

  • Know how to Pack Plates and Records
    Plates and record albums should be packed on end vertically, rather than placed flat and stacked.

  • Protect Your Memories
    If itís irreplaceable, take it with you in the car (you donít want regrets later). But if you do decide to pack framed photos or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added protection.

  • Give the Kids an Exercise
    Have children write their names and new address on the cartons from their rooms so they can become familiar with their new street and town.

  • Keep the Phone Book
    Take your current phone book with you. You may need to make calls to residents or businesses back in your former hometown.

  • Remember the Bare Necessities
    Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, and paper towels are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.

  • Get the Bed Ready
    Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so that you won't have to rummage through boxes for these essentials the first night in your new home.

  • Take Notes
    Make a note of your shipment registration number and keep it with you in case you need to call your mover with questions about your shipment.

  • Give out your Number
    Before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence, give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you can't be reached.

  • Donít forget about the Fridge
    After you've thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.

  • Unscrew Bulbs
    Remove bulbs before packing your lamps.

  • Help your Pet Relax
    Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch him at their house.

  • Be Nice to Your Plants
    When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will scorch.

  • Take a Break from the Computer
    Upon arrival at your new home, let your computer "acclimate" itself to room temperature before plugging it in.

  • Enjoy the Help
    Leave the rest to the professionals, sit back and relax, and look forward to the new opportunities, friends and experiences that are part of any move.
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What are the different types of estimates you can get from a mover?
 
Binding. The mover offers a guaranteed price, within a small percentage of deviation, that is based on a complete list of items to be moved and the type of service performed.
 
Non-binding or hourly rate. This is not an estimate at all, only a price list. These rates are based upon the movers' previous experience of jobs similar to yours.
 
Not to exceed. This quote is binding only on the mover. The final price for the move cannot exceed the estimate figure; but if the move comes in under the estimated amount you pay the lesser price.
 
The best estimate that you can get is the "not to exceed" estimate. Like binding estimates, "not to exceed" estimates are based upon an accurate and complete list of items that you expect to have moved. However, the "not to exceed" estimate gives you a little bit of leeway if you happen to decide on bringing extra items with you on the day of the move. Keep in mind that if the extra items exceed the "not to exceed" estimate, you will be charged more. However, if the final bill comes out to be lower than the estimate, you pay the lower price and nothing more. Moving.com strongly recommends that you ask your mover to offer this one to you. Get it in writing.
 
One thing to look out for when dealing with a "not to exceed" estimate is if the movers see that the job will cost more than they anticipated, they may cut corners on the packing of your items. Despite the fact that you have provided all necessary and truthful information about your items, they may have misjudged the estimate; after all they are human. They might provide your furniture, etc. with minimal wrapping and hope for the best.
 
Insurance for any type of move is essential. By law, the movers must provide you with insurance. Get the best coverage for your items, depending on what they may be. Movers will provide you with minimal coverage. For example, for a broken television that weighs 40lbs, at a rate of 60 cents per pound, the most you will receive is $24. Only items with damage visible to the naked eye will be insured. Internal problems with electronics will not be recognized under the minimal coverage.
 
"Not to exceed" estimates are very popular for long distance moves, but not so for local moves. Long distance moves are mainly based on weight and distance; time isn't as much of an issue, whereas with local, time is everything. Typical problems such as heavy traffic and bad weather prevent local movers from offering you this type of estimate.
 
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Obtaining an Accurate Estimate
 
First and foremost, always remember that the price of the estimate should never be the deciding factor. The reputation of the moving company goes a long way.
 
Allow only censed and insured movers to bid on your job.
 
Get several estimates. They're free, so take advantage of them. If you can make the time, you can take control of the moving process.
 
Estimates given over the telephone and the Internet are difficult for a mover to guarantee. A mover cannot properly estimate your job unless he can see exactly what has to be moved.
 
Make sure that you show the estimator everything, including what's in the basement, attic, garden shed, garage, closets. Tell him if your neighbor is using your John Deere mower and you're not planning on driving it to your new home.
 
Find out how binding each estimate is. It'll be easy to discard high estimates but should you receive an estimate that is substantially lower than the others, inquire as to why. Perhaps the estimator didn't see a piece of heavy machinery such as the washing machine in the basement. If he did and he sticks by his estimate, ask him to make it binding and to put it in writing. Always have things in writing.
 
Ask the estimator about purchasing extra valuation/insurance. Movers provide a basic insurance that will not nearly cover the replacement cost of more expensive items. So if you want to make sure you can take advantage of your satellite dish when you reach your new home, insure your big-screen TV set.
 
Why the final price could vary from the estimate
 
Even if the mover saw everything and estimated well, unforeseen phenomena can cause variations:
 
  • Your destination, for whatever reason, changes.
  • Restricted truck road access, especially when moving long distance.
  • Lack of access to an elevator, if necessary, at either location.
  • Building or apartment moving restrictions that you did not explain sufficiently.
  • And in the most extreme of the extreme situations: Acts of God such as fire, flood and earthquakes delay the move.
  • Also, the moving company will have no knowledge of your new community other than the route, so it is up to you to provide the necessary information to the best of your knowledge.
Rest assured that most movers are anxious to do the best job for the best price. If you have any questions about the estimate or the final price, ask. Your mover will be glad to explain anything that isn't clear, because he wants you to recommend him to your friends and neighbors.
 
What to discuss with your Estimator
 
Always provide the estimator with as much accurate information as possible; you'll receive a more accurate estimate of your move.
 
  1. Let the estimator know exactly which services you are seeking. Tell him the exact destination of your move, if you have this information. Show him every item that you want to move and inform him of any high value items you are including in the move.

  2. Have the estimator explain how he will calculate the estimated price of your move. Know what the estimate includes and doesn't include. Ask about additional charges, such as stair carries, elevators, long carries, and shuttle services if their truck can't enter a narrow street or if there are building restrictions for large trucks.

  3. Notify him of any extra stops that you will be requiring if you have items that you wish to pickup or drop-off along the way. In addition, if you know that you will not be able to move into your new place immediately, discuss storage options.

  4. Moving.com recommends that you a request a binding or not-to-exceed estimate. Have him put every offer into writing.

  5. Moving.com recommends that you purchase extra coverage for your items, especially if you are transporting expensive items. The basic limited liability coverage offered to you, free of charge, by the movers will not be sufficient. Depending on the state and whether the move is a local or long distance, the coverage may be anywhere between 30-60 cents per pound per article. For example, in the state of New York, under the basic coverage, you will receive 60 cents per article per pound for long distance moves, 30 cents per pound per article for local moves. Tell the estimator that you want to purchase extra coverage.

  6. Discuss your method of payment. Accepted forms of payment are cash, bank & traveler's checks, and, if prearranged, credit cards or personal checks.

  7. Ask him who will be your contact person during the moving process.

 
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