If a house move is waiting for you just around the corner, then you’re probably already preoccupied with disquieting thoughts of how much the upcoming residential move will cost you in the end. And rightly so.
Most people are well familiar that moving house is an expensive affair – one that usually ends up being costlier than what the initial calculations showed. And whenever hard-earned money is put on the line, then all efforts should be invested in lowering the moving costs – as low as they can go.
Speaking of cost-reduction techniques when moving home, finding cheap local movers or hiring cheap cross country movers is the best option you have to move to another home for less money.
That’s right, cheap moving companies do exist – cheap as in affordable, of course, not low-quality, and your ultimate mission is to locate, research and hire the services of such a low-cost yet reliable moving company.
The 7 simple steps below will show you how to find cheap movers around you – inexpensive moving companies that will move your belongings to a new home for a price you can actually afford.
1. Start your hunt for cheap movers ASAP
The idea, of course, is to get in touch with cheap and quality movers that will offer the services you need at a reasonable price. And, as you can imagine, such moving companies will be in great demand even before the official start of the moving season. And while that’s perfectly understandable and highly logical, it does bring forward the sense of urgency in finding cheap state to state movers before they get fully booked.
You need to act quickly here – as soon as your house move has been confirmed, time becomes a precious commodity you should definitely use to your advantage. The sooner you get down to looking for cheap movers, the better your chances will be of hiring a perfectly affordable full-service moving company. The ideal head-start is a few months before the actual move-out date but you should be fine with less time as long as you follow the steps below.
It’s simple, really – more time will give you more choices when it comes to choosing a professional moving company, and you will have more flexibility when it comes to selecting and sticking to a move-out date that’s most convenient for you. More importantly, though, you may be able to get a price discount for early booking – exactly the thing you’re after, right?
2. Ask around for reliable recommendations
One of the major issues when looking for cheap local moving companies is that you just don’t know which one will be both affordable and reliable. Each moving company pledges that their services are the best and their prices are the lowest ones out there – something that is clearly impossible.
Which moving company should you trust with your prized possessions? If only someone could point you in the right direction…
Ask around your circle of friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they know of a good mover with reasonable moving rates. In fact, there’s a good chance that someone you know may have moved house recently – take that opportunity to explore your cheap moving options even further. Request more information about the name of the company they used and what their overall impression and experience were like. The two things that interest you the most are affordability and quality of service.
The best way to find cheap furniture movers is through personal recommendation from people you can trust because they’ve been there and done that. Besides, your friends won’t try to trick you into hiring an overly expensive moving company in the first place. Would you recommend a bad or pricey mover to your pals? Of course not.
Unfortunately, finding cheap movers and packers through personal recommendation won’t always work so you’ll have to rely on other proven methods of securing a low-cost relocation partner as well. The next best thing?
Read more: How to find the best movers near you
3. Read genuine customer reviews
If none of your friends and colleagues at work can recommend an inexpensive moving company that offers high-quality moving services, then your best bet is to access customer reviews and read what other people had to say about the movers they had hired to move their belongings from Point A to Point B.
Moving reviews usually come in the form of overall performance ratings, plus a concise narrative of what the pros did right and what they did wrong. The idea behind consulting the online reputation of professional movers is that hiring a reputable moving company will keep you away from possible scam scenarios where a dishonest mover will offer a very low price to lure unaware customers and then will increase that same price drastically after the household items are in their possession.
Remember that while you’re searching for cheap moving services, you still want the professionals to do a good job from start to finish. Ideally, browsing through moving reviews will help you find the balance between affordability and high-quality of the moving services offered.
Interesting info: Additional moving services by the great movers
4. Request in-home price estimates
Ask several moving companies for price calculation and compare the received offers to choose the one that will agree with your tight budget. It all sounds easy enough but the price estimation process does have its specifics.
Whenever possible, avoid trusting price estimates received over the phone or via e-mail as they can never be as accurate as you need them to be. Instead, request in-home surveys from several top-rated movers – the scenarios where moving experts come to your home personally and take a closer look at everything you want to have it packed and moved to the new location.
Furthermore, the company representatives will take a good look at any potential difficult situations or dangers (long flight of stairs, lack of an elevator, tight corridors or corners, specialty items that require extra packing or transportation care, etc.) so that there are no unpleasant surprises come Moving day.
Keep in mind that asking for in-house price estimates is the guarantee that the moving price you get quoted won’t drastically change later on when your household items are being loaded or have been loaded into the moving vehicle.
Good to know: What’s the average moving cost?
5. Compare the various moving estimates
The moment of truth has arrived: once you’ve received several price quotes from various friend-recommended or customer-rated moving companies, it’s time to compare their offers in order to pick the winning bid. Naturally, your first impulse will be to look at the bottom line where the final price should be marked. And that’s okay – after all, you’re trying to move house by spending as little money as possible.
However, the price on the moving estimate should not be the only thing you pay attention to. If you happen to get a quote that is way lower than the rest, then you must be extra cautious as it could be a fraudulent one. Try to figure out why the quoted price is so low, and if you fail to do so, then contact the respective moving company for extra information and clarification.
Finding the cheapest moving company near you comes down to completing an effective comparison analysis among the received cost estimates. Pay special attention to the additional services and their corresponding rates – any extra service that is required to get the job done – from packing, unpacking, temporary storage and furniture disassembly to more special ones such as crating, hoisting or shuttle services.
Either way, speak with your potential house moving partners if you fail to understand any of the conditions or how the prices on their quotes have been formed.
Must-read: How much does it cost to hire movers?
6. Check the legal status of the movers
The steps above show you how to find cheap movers – or more specifically, an affordable moving company that will take care of your upcoming household move in style. And yet, before you are ready to pick up the winning bid, you’re strongly advised to do your homework to save yourself from potential trouble. That homework, of course, is to research the candidate companies a bit more to make sure they are 100% licensed, insured, and reputable.
How do you check if you’re dealing with some of the best residential movers near you?
- U.S. Department of Transportation. Interstate movers must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to operate legally within the country. Each qualified moving company possesses a special USDOT number issued by the Department as proof that they are licensed and insured. Visit the Department’s website to check the licensing information of the affordable moving companies you’ve shortlisted.
- American Storage and Moving Association. Visit the AMSA’s website to check if the movers under consideration are proud members of the most prestigious association in the moving and storage industry. If they are (usually marked as ProMovers), then you can rest assured that your household things will be in good hands.
- Movers’ Websites. Finally, visit the movers’ websites to make sure everything looks okay. They should have their USDOT numbers (for interstate movers) or MC numbers (for intrastate movers) visible on their Internet pages too.
Important info: Smart ways to avoid moving scams
7. Try out your negotiation skills
The final step to finding cheap long distance movers, or cheap local movers if you’re only moving short distance, is to try to negotiate a better price with your candidate moving companies. Most of the times, the moving company prices are negotiable as the final cost itself will depend on a number of important factors – variables such as the total weight of the shipment, the requested or required moving services and, of course – the selected moving company itself.
Speak with the movers to see if you’re eligible for some sort of price discounts – a first time customer, a student, a returning customer, early booking, ongoing promotions. Do a quick Internet search to see if you can find any discount coupons related to the moving company you intend to hire, and if you do find such coupons, use them.
If a moving estimate is a bit over what you can afford, then it’s worth contacting that respective mover and informing them you do want to use their services if they are willing to bring down the quoted price just a notch or two. Bluffing that you’ve been offered a better deal by their competitors is another strategic move that might just work fine for you.
Finding really cheap movers with a good reputation and quality services is not an easy task. Hopefully, the steps above will help you do just that… and keep more of your money in the right place – your bank account.
See also: 13 cheap moving tips to save money