The first question out of 80% of clients is always the same
How much will my move cost me??
A reasonable question but oddly in the industry of moving, that depends mostly on you, the consumer… and possible hoarder of possessions that no longer serve you.
If this was the 70’s with reasonable fuel prices and you had nothing but a backpack to your name you could hitchhike the entirety of north america paying nothing but good company!
Today fuel prices are as outrageous as ever, the cost of home ownership or rental has never been higher, and just like you, your movers are struggling for a place to stay in the same economy.
Okay seriously don’t avoid the question at the end of the day how much?
Lets say for example you have a 2 bedroom appartment and after a quick google search you come to the conclusion that the average cost to move that 2 bedroom appartment is around 700$. The truth is that every move is unique and this is as true as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. No 2 people are the same and neither are their possessions.
We at Power Movers are based in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. The average 2 bedroom appartment in the metro area is about 850-1000 sq feet and through the course of 1000s of moves we end up charging between 0.50$-1.00$ per square foot of appartment to be moved. This brings our estimate to 750$ but to guarantee a maximum cost much more information is needed.
You don’t have all that much stuff right?..
Without a detailed evaluation of everything to be moved the mover actually has no idea how much or little you have and a quick google search of reviews will show horror stories of the many times where assumptions were made about verbal contracts and all parties have left angry and feeling taken advantage of, the movers included.
Through much experience and careful evaluation of the job before hand, professional movers can guess quite accurately how long and how much a move will cost either through on site evaluation or pictures.
I know its not all that much stuff, anybody could do it in a couple hours……
Ok, there are 3 kinds interactions that follow this train of thought when speaking to a company.
- Agree with the client, do not ask too many questions, secure the job and charge whatever they feel the job is worth at the end of the day. If there was nothing but a verbal agreement made before hand or you had anything besides a very detailed “bill of lading” in place then you are pretty much on the hook for whatever they charge you. even if the mover gives you a hard quote, if you have more boxes than agreed upon or the list of possessions they end up moving is in any way different from what was agreed upon then they can charge disproportionately more money for the service.
- Disagree with the client, politely suggest they hire someone who claims to be capable of completing a certain job at a certain price, and secure other clients who will not balk at the cost of a good service well planned and executed to the letter or better. These are the best clients for any business and movers are no different, they will bend over backwards for clients that value their work and are willing to pay them accordingly. To refuse work is nothing personal in business, it is often the mark of confident and experienced professionals.
- The best mover is one with a detailed breakdown of what the costs represent.
– How much will they charge for fuel?
– How much will they charge for mileage?
– Do they charge anything for supplies if they are reusable like dollies, or disposable like mattress bags or wardrobe boxes?
– How long will it take to loadup?
– How long will it take to unload?
– Does the cost cover moving everything into every room or do they just leave everything on the porch?
It is common to make a lot of assumptions with moving services at which point the movers and clients they serve often end up frustrated or upset because there was a failur to communicate. It is best not to assume anything unless it is explicitly written down.
It can seem like a pain to be so detailed and answer all the questions but a good mover will, ask the most questions, and supply the most details about the service they will deliver to you.
The cost this mover provides is actually what your move will cost, anything else is a gamble with the odds stacked against you, lets leave it at that.
Who will you hire?
An inexperienced mover will say anything to land your job even if it is not possible for the price quoted. This is not always done with malicious intent, most of the time these movers are hard working people (it is a hard job) and if they go over the time and cost quoted they may cut you a deal. In the event the Mover who quoted the job is not on site on moving day or they simply do not care to honor that quote they may charge much higher than originally promised. by the time the job is done it is too late to argue the cost or hire someone else, the work is done and must be payed for. an uncomfortable prospect for anyone who was sold an unrealistic expectation and delivered a very expensive reality. There is a common saying that goes “if you pay cheap, you pay twice” and that can ring especially true for immoral movers in the industry actually counting on the pay twice mentality to make a quick buck. Sell everyone low prices, but double them on completion because so many clients are willing to fall for this and pay up month after month trying to save a few hundred dollars but spending much more.
Real professional movers account for less than half of the actual movers available. A quick search on craigslist will yield results all month of tempting 60$/hr rates littered with buzz words like “experienced”, “professional”, “Best rates”, “insured”, “short notice”, “fast”, “reliable” etc etc. Thats not to say there are not great movers available on craigslist but at a bare minimum they should have a website with some real content on it. The first things you should ask your prospective companies for are their “COI” or “Certificate of Insurance” document, and “Workers compensation Board” Clearance letter. By asking for those two documents and verifying that the company is a member in good standing with both their 3rd party liability insurance underwriter as well as the workers compensation board of british columbia, you can reasonably expect they will assume liability for any damages or injuries that may occur during the course of a move. Many clients do not realize this but depending on where you live movers may not be required to be insured to do work legally for you and it is your assumed liability for if any persons or property are damaged at either your old or new address while under your employment.