What to Look for When Getting a Moving Quote Online

Written By

Machaela Casey
Mortgage calculator. House, noney and document. 3d

All About Moving Quotes

The Bottom Line

House with truck and calculator

Whether you’re planning an interstate or international move, you often start with one question: how much is it going to cost?  Finding the best movers at the right price is key.  And with the ability to get free moving quotes online, the process is certainly convenient.  Before you start, though, know what to look for (and what to look out for).

What Are You Paying For, Exactly?

Most importantly, know what your instant quote includes.  You don’t want to be blindsided when it comes time to sign a contract.  Your primary cost will be moving cargo.  There are three main types of cargo estimates: non-binding, binding, and binding-not-to-exceed estimate. Each is based on the total weight of your goods but has different rules about how your final cost is calculated.  Know what type of estimate you are receiving, as the outcome will differ depending on the type.  There are other costs to a move.  Ask if your price includes things that you’ll have to eventually pay for, like labor, insurance, and taxes.  Finally, think about any additional services that you would like as part of your move. If you’re interested in packing and unpacking services, white-glove moving services, or storage solutions, let them know.  These things cost extra. Be clear on what is, and what is not, included.

Are Any Costs Variable?

Additional factors that can influence your price include the day, week, and month that you have scheduled your move. Peak moving season is between May and September, so a move during that time is typically more expensive. It’s also more costly to move during the weekend, at the beginning or end of the month, or outside normal working hours.  Finally, the cost of fuel can change from the time the contract is signed to the day you actually move.  Be sure to ask if you’re locked in to a certain gas price.  Knowing the variable costs of a move can help you understand your quote and can potentially save you a few dollars in the long run.

How to Spot Scammers

Unfortunately, there are companies out there who will provide you with a wildly inaccurate quote just to secure your business only to ultimately take advantage of you.  When seeking a moving quote online, be smart. Bottom-of-the-barrel quotes often signal poor service, which can cost you time and money in the long run.  Scammers will often promise you a price without looking at your goods, either by video or in person.  This is a red flag.  No reputable company can give an accurate quote without a clear picture of the cargo that needs to be transported.  Or, they’ll ignore additional fees, like labor, insurance, and fuel as part of the estimate, only to surprise you with these costs on moving day. Often, these moving companies aren’t licensed or insured, so in case of an accident, they won’t be able to replace your goods.

Do Some Homework

Getting an online instant quote seems easy enough.  To ensure that you’re dealing with an honest business and receiving a competitive price, obtain multiple estimates.  Research companies and check their reviews with customers and with the Better Business Bureau.  Make sure they’re licensed and insured. Know what kind of estimate you’re receiving and what additional costs are included beyond basic cargo transport.  Finding a good moving company takes a little bit of work, but it’s worth it when you know you’ve found movers that you can trust.