Moving can be awfully expensive. While a local move typically costs under $1,000, a long-distance move can cost upwards of $4,000 or more.
In fact, according to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate move is around $4,300, based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds and an average distance of 1,225 miles. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and we can also apply that thought when hiring professional movers.
Here are several tips to consider when you hire affordable movers while still saving money on your relocation process.
What are the most affordable moving methods?
If you’re doing a DIY move and will be doing most of the moving process, shipping containers and rental trucks will do wonders for you.
In essence, you (and friends or family) are technically a mover when doing a DIY move.
If you’re looking for how to save a lot of money, a DIY move is your best option. This type of move is one where you handle every aspect of the move on your own.
Moving Containers – This can be more expensive than renting a truck, but it’s also more convenient. a moving container company (like PODS) will deliver the container to your current place, then you pack it up, and they deliver it to your new place where you can unpack.
Rental Trucks – A friend or family member who’s willing to loan you their truck will help you avoid spending money on a truck rental. If you can afford to spend a little bit of money, you can rent a moving truck and significantly cut down on the number of trips you have to make between your old place and your new home. Packing and driving the truck yourself can help keep costs down.
Freight Trailer – If you’re moving a short distance and the weather is nice, you can save money by renting a trailer instead of a truck. Moving trailers are often cheaper than moving trucks, so you’ll save money right off the bat.
Self Service Moving Company – You also have the option of renting a truck and packing your own boxes, but hiring help when it comes to carrying and loading. This way, you’ll save some money by doing the packing yourself and will also save time by letting the pros get everything onto the truck.
How do I find the best moving company?
You can start by planning ahead.
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 booked out.
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?
You will have a greater choice – The cheapest movers are the first to be booked, so it will be quite difficult to find an affordable moving company that can accommodate your relocation needs at the last minute. If you start looking for movers several months before your planned moving date, there will be many experienced and trustworthy moving professionals available.
You will be able to get a discount – A lot of moving companies offer discounts for early bookings as they want to secure as many moving jobs as possible ahead of time.
You will be able to schedule your move for the cheapest possible time – When planning your relocation way in advance, the movers’ schedules will still be empty. So, you will be able to set a moving date on a weekday during the less busy time of the month (the middle of a month), when the moving costs will be much lower than during the weekends and the first and last days of a month.
Know the average moving costs
Of course, your ultimate goal should be to find the cheapest movers in your area. However, how do you know what’s cheap and what’s expensive if you’re not familiar with the average moving cost?
What day are movers the cheapest?
The short answer to this question is that it’s cheaper to move on a weekday — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Simply put, most moving companies offer better rates during the week because they aren’t as busy then.
Typically, the first thing in the morning is best, somewhere between 8 and 10 a.m. There are three reasons for this: It’s not as hot in the morning, traffic is better, you have the rest of the day to unpack.
If you define “best” by cost, then you are more likely to save on a move during the late September to April window. Demand for movers usually slows down during this period and rates are low.
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.
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.
However, the best way to find cheap furniture movers is through personal recommendations 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.
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 left by customers, 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 are 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 the high quality of the moving services offered.
Licenses and Certifications
Before you are ready to pick up the winning bid, It is advisable 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 are dealing with some of the best residential movers near you?
- Online Presence – Finally, visit the movers’ online presence thru websites or LinkedIn to make sure everything looks okay on your end. They should have their USDOT numbers (for interstate movers) or MC numbers (for intrastate movers) visible on their Internet pages too.
- American Trucking Association Certificate – Visit the ATA’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.
- U.S. Department of Transportation License – 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 have shortlisted.
The Rule of Threes
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 stated. And that is okay – after all, you’re trying to move house by spending as little money as possible. The price on the moving estimates should not be the only thing you pay attention to.
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 specialized 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 calculated.
Consider Local Moving Companies
When moving short distances, it is best to look for cheap moving companies.
While hiring a big, reputable, nationwide moving company to perform your move is your safer and more convenient option, going with small local movers may be the cheaper alternative.
Large moving companies are highly unlikely to commit fraud or overcharge you at the end of the move – they have clear rates, look after their reputation, and belong to various professional organizations that guarantee compliance with federal laws and regulations. What is more, big companies have plenty of specialized moving equipment, experienced workers, and well-developed moving techniques that allow them to handle all kinds of relocation jobs all over the country.
Smaller and medium-sized moving companies, on the other hand, rely on moving jobs within their immediate areas, so they try their best to gain the trust of the locals and offer lower prices in order to attract more customers.
Use the power of modern technology to find the best and cheapest movers for your relocation.
There is a big chance that one of your friends, colleagues, or neighbors knows some of the local movers personally or has used their services, so you can easily get first-hand information about the quality of their work and the actual costs they charge – which means that you can easily find cheap local movers who provide good customer service.
Looking for the cheapest movers near you could get you into trouble if you are not careful enough. Watch out for low-ball estimates.
If you think your gut is saying it is too good to be true, then your gut is right.
Here is the thing: if you happen to get a quote that is way lower than the rest, then you must be extra cautious as it may be a fraudulent one. There are some dishonest movers out there (aka rogue movers) that would love to scam people out of their money. However, you would never let this happen simply because you have already been warned in advance.
Low-ball estimates are price quotes that are uncharacteristically low and have that too-good-to-be-true feel to them. Rogue movers use such fraudulent estimates to lure unaware customers and then increase the price drastically after they’ve loaded up their stuff into the moving truck.
Don’t get lured by cheap promises. Instead, 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. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer (in most cases you won’t), then simply reject the offer and move on to an honest moving company that offers affordable moving rates.
The penultimate 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 time, the moving company prices are negotiable as the final cost itself will depend on several 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 any 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 have been offered a better deal by their competitors is another strategic move that might just work fine for you.
While bluffing is technically a lie, it is also a negotiating tactic most businesses anticipate. Remember that you’re trying to move frugally, so there’s no shame in playing the hand you’re dealt with.
Is it worth it to hire Cheap moving companies?
It’s important to understand that hiring cheap movers is only one way to save money when moving to a new home.
Yes, it’s one of the most effective ones, but you should also combine the cost-saving technique of using an affordable moving company with other money-saving methods to really bring down the moving cost.
Sure, you can cut more of your expenses by getting free moving boxes from friends or family, or pack things up yourself so there’s less money coming out of your pocket.
Finding a cheap moving company is easy, but professional moving companies with competitive pricing are much more of a challenge. Hopefully, the steps above will help you find the cheapest way to move and keep more of your money in the right place – your bank account.