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Expert Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Move: An Interview with Dan of Careful Moving

By Dan

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I think what sets us apart from other moving companies is our willingness to go the extra mile to make our customers happy. If our customers are happy then we're happy. Good business is always cheaper in the long run.

What is one of the most expensive costs when it comes to moving?

The biggest variable in a move is how well the place is packed up. The more loose little objects that are left around, the longer it will take. We suggest boxing up as much as possible without driving yourself crazy with things like lampshades etc. Every company has guidelines. Some businesses will walk into a job and if they see that the customer didn't do much at all to pack they will simply leave. We tend to deal with whatever cards we are dealt even if the customer grossly misrepresented the size of the job as long as it doesn't affect another customer that is scheduled later in the day.

Is there anything that people can do to help reduce that cost?

In addition to packing your belongings as well as you can to cut down on time, the second biggest variable that will determine cost is the business that you hire. Moving companies are notorious for scamming people out of money at the end of a job by adding in extra fees. There are also lots of methods that a company can use that may make a job take longer whether intentionally or not where the customer will be none the wiser.

Technique is everything. For example, if the movers wrap blankets on everything excessively before they move it outside, then they are probably wasting your money. You can keep an eye on what your movers are doing and let them know if they are wrapping something that doesn't need it. It's a lot faster to wrap most things on the truck.

Who you hire also determines the quality of the employees that are sent to do your job, which is overlooked by most people as the 1st or 2nd most important variable in determining the cost of the move. Even if you are not paying by the hour, your movers that are present determine whether or not your things make it to the destination in one piece, which can also end up costing a lot of money regardless of whether or not they are insured. Even if you purchase additional insurance from the movers on moving day be sure to look at the fine print as some will say that they do not cover electronics, marble, or breakables.

Do most moving companies offer any discounts?

Discounts are offered by most movers that pay for advertising because it helps them stand out by having some kind of logo in their ad. Most discounts won't save much money, and I would personally recommend not using them as a method of choosing a mover. Customers often overlook the fact that they are at the movers' mercy when it comes to determining whether the move costs $100 more or $100 less, which is being very conservative.

Whether you're paying by the hour or a flat rate, if you value your belongings then you want the mover to be happy with what they are making on the job. People assume that a flat rate is better for obvious reasons, but it's often not the case. Businesses have to compete for jobs with quotes, and at times they may give a number that is less than what they are happy with. That can cause them to cut corners or rush by doing things that are unsafe or using the wrong technique to save time.

This also shows up a lot in how well things are put together at the end of a job such as beds and mirrors on dressers. If a discount such as 5% off is given, it can easily be made back by making the job take about 5% longer. Not only does the business or owner have to be happy with what they charge, the employees that are moving your belongings are often underpaid by most companies. Again that answer is also interchangeable with question 2 and 3 in determining the cost of a move.

Can you briefly talk about getting a moving estimate and the best way to decide which company to choose?

Which company to choose has a lot to do with your needs. The decision will be custom to the individual and the job. You wouldn't necessarily want to hire an antique mover to move old worn down IKEA furniture. You need to determine ahead of time whether price is more important than quality or stress. You can call a few companies and ask to have someone come out for an estimate.

Most people get about 3 estimates and choose their business based on how cheap the salesman made it sound and how comfortable they made the customer feel about having his group of guys move everything they own into a truck and drive away. The person doing the estimates is never the one that will be moving your things and often doesn't have experience with doing moves. They are there to essentially sell themselves to you. When you have to choose a mover you want to take into consideration all three of these factors: price, quality, and stress.

What advice do you have for someone in Pennsylvania who needs to move but has a limited budget?

For anyone that needs to move on a limited budget there are a few things you can do to keep the cost down. The first being what I already mentioned, to pack everything up as much as you can. The second thing to know is who your hiring by doing some research if possible. The third being to get a rental truck and to hire the movers to just load and unload. Lastly, the cheapest way is to the rent the truck and do the moving yourself with help from friends.

What ís the best way for people to contact you and your company?

If anyone needs moving help or has any questions feel free to contact us anytime by email or phone even if its not during business hours. You can find us a www.carefulmovingservices.com. If you want to see reviews of our service you can check us out on Angieslist or a number of other review-based websites. If you don't have a membership you can get one for around 10 dollars per year which is well worth it.

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