How to Get an Accurate Estimate for the Cost to Move Cross-Country

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How to Get an Accurate Estimate for the Cost to Move Cross-Country

Staff Writer · Mar 29, 2010

The cost to move is never inexpensive or without its unexpected increases. Moving cross-county is particularly costly and more troublesome than moving intrastate. The key to being the most prepared for the costs associated with a cross-country move is to obtain the most accurate estimate possible from moving companies.

Only Accept In-Person Estimates

Interstate movers base their charges on the weight of your goods. This is different than intrastate moving companies which typically charges on the anticipated amount of time and the distance of the move. Because cross-country movers charge according to the weight of your goods it is imperative that the company personally view and measure your belongings to provide the most accurate estimate. Only by seeing the size of your furniture and amount of personal belongings will the company representative will be able to accurately anticipate the weight of your move.

Beware of moving companies that provide online or phone estimates and are reluctant or refuse to make a visit to your home. It is not uncommon for these companies to scam customers by charging more at the destination and refusing to unload your belongings until they receive this additional payment.

Let the Representative Be Nosy

During the personal inspection, let the representative look inside your closets and cabinets. By doing so, he will be able to more accurately estimate the amount of boxes you will have during your move which will make any estimate more precise.

Get It in Writing

Any reputable moving company will provide their estimate in writing. Some will provide it immediately following their review of your belongings, but others may take a few days for their calculations. A moving company is prevented from charging you anything above the written calculation. Of course, should you make changes to the amount of goods and the services to be provided the estimate will change, but any new estimate should be also be in writing.

Ask Questions

Once you have a written estimate, it is your job to review and ask questions about its contents. If it a particular calculation seems high ask why it is so expensive. Additionally, make sure you review the amount of boxes the representative included in the estimate as often this amount can be excessive. If your questions result in a change to the amount of goods to be moved, make sure to receive a revised written estimate reflecting this change.

Even should you not find any problems in the estimate, do not hesitate to make inquiries about the charges. Often, such inquiries will result in the representative discounting the charge.

Do Not Hesitate to Overestimate

A moving cannot charge more than the amount of their estimate and is legally required to refund any overcharges. It therefore benefits you to include everything you are even slightly considering moving with you because you will not have to pay for the weight of that good should you choose not to move it. Do not, however, be excessive in your inclusions as they will increase the estimate until it is no longer reliable.

Keep in mind that while the moving company must refund any excessive charges, it will take weeks if not months for them to do so. Having an excessive amount of funds tied up is frustrating and not beneficial with all of the other moving expenses you will incur.

To receive the most accurate cross-country moving estimate, be specific and receive an in-person review of your residence. Remember that while the representative and company are professionals you are in charge of your own move, and so do not hesitate to ask questions and ask for discounts.

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