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Moving Companies - How to save money

By Diane Schmidt

Everyone agrees, moving is expensive. Although you won’t be able to scrimp on some things, there are a few tips that might help save you some money when hiring moving companies or renting a moving truck for your move.

First, I strongly suggest you calculate the cheaper option; to move yourself or to hire a moving company. While you may think you know the answer, the cost is dependent on how far you’re moving and what kind of time you have. Fuel costs and one-way rentals can be very expensive. Make sure you do a cost analysis to find the true answer.

If you are using a moving company, there are several ways to cut-down on your cost. Please note that some of these tips can also apply to renting a truck.

Reduce your load. Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Hold a garage sale, leave books with friends, the local library or sell them to a used bookstore. Anything you can’t sell, give to a local charity. Weight equals money. The less weight, the less money. It’s that simple.

Move during the off-season. Choosing the best time to move can save you money. Off-season is usually anything but June or July and any time either than the first and last of the month. If you have the flexibility, talk to your movers and see if they can give you a deal.
Be flexible on the time that the movers pick up your stuff and when they deliver it. If you’re willing to work within their timeframe, ask them if they will give you a price break in exchange.

Moving companies offer varying services and will charge for each service. Ask about possible charges that could arise during your move and the fees attached to these services. Services may include accessorial charges, expedited service charge, flight charge, longhaul charges, long carry charges and shuttle service. They can usually all be avoided or at least calculated into the cost if you plan in advance. There should never be any, or very little, surprise in the total cost of your move.

Make sure that you can move into your new property immediately and that you have payment ready for when the truck arrives. Both could result in storage-in-transit fees if your things have to be stored until they can be unloaded and after the move is paid in full.

Ask about moving larger items or specialty items. Snowmobiles, boats and other recreational vehicles will cost extra to move. If you’re driving to your destination, look into the cost to rent a trailer and move the items yourself.

Moving pianos. Ask the mover how much they charge and if they are able to move a piano. After you have a quote, call around and find other options. Specialty movers may actually be less expensive than if your moving company hired additional staff. Most moving companies don’t keep speciality movers on the payroll.

Appliances sometimes require special packing and handling to ensure they arrive still working. Your moving company may charge extra for this service. Ask first. If they do charge, find out if a neighbour or friend could help you out. You can also ask your local home outfitters. They may offer suggestions and solutions to ensuring everything arrives safely.
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