How to Find and Compare Online Moving Quotes

No two relocations are the same. Everything from your inventory to physical limitations to accessibility, budget, and timing can make a moving experience unique. If you have already moved a couple of times, you may even be tempted to handle everything yourself.

But even relocating only within 50 miles of your current home can be a logistics nightmare, especially in a big city. To make your life easier, and avoid damaging your belongings or wasting too much time, it’s best to learn how to find and compare online moving quotes.

This way, you’ll quickly find the right moving company professionals to do everything for you. That includes the dreaded packing process.

Finding Online Moving Quotes

Finding a local moving quote is easier than you think. Fire up a browser, type your location, and any combination of the words “moving,” “service,” and “company,” and you’ll get a long list of companies to contact.

But that’s the easy part. The tricky thing is to find online moving quotes from reputable companies. This is where you have to spend some time, do research, and weed out untrustworthy movers.

There are three quick ways to determine if you’re looking at online moving quotes for moving companies you can trust.

First, you can check if they have the right certifications and insurance. Thankfully, verifying a moving company’s U.S. Department of Transportation number is free.

Secondly, you can look at the company’s ratings and reviews on specialty websites, social media, and other online platforms.

You must take some information with a grain of salt. Offers that are too good to be true in the moving industry usually are. Use common sense to spot red flags and cross those companies off your list.

When you’re ready to get a moving quote, get multiple ones from different companies. It’s not the fastest process, but it’s the best way to ensure you get the deal you want and work with the top local mover in your area.

Compare Local Moving Quotes by Type

Compare Local Moving Quotes by Type

Not many people realize that online moving quotes can come in three different types, each with various implications for both the moving company and the customer. Therefore, if you want to compare movers, understanding the types of quotes is one of the best ways to determine who can give you a better deal based on your budget and requirements.

Non-Binding Quotes

For most people, the best moving quotes are non-binding. These are essentially free online moving quotes that you can get from many movers.

The reason people prefer getting non-binding quotes is that they don’t lock them into an agreement or specific price range. Thus, people get an estimate and timeline to work with and plan their move.

However, non-binding quotes are just estimates and won’t necessarily end up lower than advertised. They could be accurate or completely off, based on various considerations like cargo shape, size, distance, job urgency, specialty transport requirements, packing, wrapping, etc.

There are situations when a mover could give you a low estimate but increase the price when it’s time to sign the contract or give you the bill.

Luckily, federal laws governing the transportation industry limit the amount movers can charge extra based on a non-binding quote. This typically can’t exceed 110% of the initial estimate, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Binding Not-to-Exceed Quotes

One of the better quotes is a binding not-to-exceed quote. This is when the moving company promises to not bill you more than a certain amount.

These quotes often have a range, a minimum and maximum amount you might have to pay, depending on your cargo and the transport conditions.

It can be beneficial to customers if the movers make errors calculating the initial estimate, and they end up transporting more weight than anticipated. Even better, you can pay less if the shipment weighs less than indicated.

Although some may call these win-win quotes, the customer often gets a greater benefit. Hence the scarcity of these quotes. They’re a lot easier to find for long-distance moves than local moves.

Binding Quotes

A binding quote ensures that whatever the movers quote you to relocate your belongings is the amount of money that appears on the bill.

You won’t be charged extra regardless of what happens during transit or if your order ends up being a bigger undertaking for the movers.

Of course, if you need to enforce a binding quote, you should be certain that you only shipped the agreed-upon inventory and didn’t add extra items.

Compare Pick-Up and Drop-Off Services

If you’re looking for NYC moving quotes, for example, you’re probably aware of the accessibility struggles of apartment buildings. Hauling large furniture items and appliances while navigating staircases and narrow hallways isn’t easy. You may also have to deal with lots of parking constraints that make pick-ups and drop-offs in a moving van even harder.

One way to compare moving truck quotes is to figure out what services movers provide and what equipment they use to load and unload your cargo. A cheaper quote might not necessarily be better for you if the moving company doesn’t have enough manpower or specialty equipment to navigate areas with poor accessibility.

Good hoisting equipment and expertise are almost mandatory to be able to handle long walking distances, tight spaces, and staircases. Any moving comparison should involve an in-depth look at the pick-up and drop-off services.

Is Packing Included?

Doing your own packing is a popular way to save money. But many online quotes for moving companies will include packing services.

The question is, do you really need it?

Movers can do a much better job at packing large and fragile items for moving. They already have boxes, crates, wrapping blankets, straps, and other essential equipment. Furthermore, movers know how to stack your cargo in a truck or enclosed trailer for proper weight distribution and superior package security.

Therefore, it’s best to allow movers to do the packing for you when the service is available. In many cases, it might not even be cheaper to do it yourself. You might buy the wrong packing items and leave your belongings vulnerable to damage from road vibrations, scratches, tears, impact damage, etc.

You might also pack them incorrectly or waste valuable space that could require movers to make two trips with your items. This could cost you extra, depending on the type of quote you get. Not to mention, it will add more time to your relocation timeline.

Ask About Insurance Coverage

When you get a quote for moving, you won’t always get a breakdown of everything included. In addition, other information, like insurance coverage, isn’t typically offered unless you ask for it specifically.

Why do you need to compare insurance coverage in a movers comparison? Every moving company that operates legally has insurance. But not all of them go beyond the minimum mandated coverage.

When you want to move fragile, antique, or luxury possessions, this can be an issue. If they become damaged, your claim might not be reimbursed in full if the coverage isn’t extensive enough.

When moving, online interactions with movers are essential. You shouldn’t be satisfied with just getting a quote. Figure out everything the company has to offer to understand the true value of its services and if the quote is worth it.

Ready to Move? Schedule an in-home estimate today.

Ask About Storage Options

Say you’re moving across town. In best-case scenarios, your moving company will pack your things, transport, and unpack everything within a day. But what if you can’t take everything with you just yet?

In that case, you may need a reliable storage option. Granted, you could find your own. But why bother if you’re already browsing for online moving quotes.

Online quotes for moving companies won’t always include storage prices. That doesn’t mean moving companies aren’t partnered with local storage facilities or have their own. Storage is an extra service that can be mandatory in certain moving scenarios.

You should figure out if local moving quotes can include a short-term storage option and determine how much of a difference it makes on your bill. If it’s something you really need, then you can filter out even more movers based on storage availability.

Moving Dates

Another way to compare moving truck quotes is by availability and scheduling. A great, affordable quote won’t do you any good if you have to wait an extra two to three weeks to move your belongings.

Luckily, local movers rarely have their trucks tied up for days and weeks at a time because the jobs can be completed quickly.

Still, depending on the demand and time of the year, some movers won’t be able to commit to a fast turnaround time on your order.

When comparing moving dates, availability isn’t the only consideration to keep in mind. Online moving quotes are heavily influenced by seasonal holidays, national holidays, seasons, etc. Thus, you should also consider who can give you a better rate for special moving dates when you compare movers.

Some companies may have unusually high prices during peak season and little to no flexibility. Try to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, no matter when you plan on moving.

And here’s another tip. When talking to different companies and comparing online moving quotes, don’t forget to ask for how long the quote will be valid. Many factors can alter the base quote in a few days or weeks after they offer it.

quotes for moving locally or internationallyCompare Flat Rates

It doesn’t matter if you want to move locally or internationally. Every moving company has a flat distance rate that can increase or decrease based on various considerations.

When comparing the best moving quotes, you should ask for a breakdown of the flat rates for distance, weight, time of year, etc.

Doing this ensures you understand who can give you a better deal, especially if you’re not getting a binding or binding-not-to-exceed quote.

Furthermore, learning the flat rates can help you understand how the other services fit into the quote, like labor costs, packing costs, storage services, etc.

Depending on the services you need, the cheapest flat rate might not make a big difference if the moving company’s other services or fuel surcharges are very expensive.

What’s the Difference Between an Online Moving Quote and an Official Quote?

As previously mentioned, a quote is an estimate or the moving company’s best guess as to how much you can expect to pay to relocate your belongings.

However, the official quote is what you get after the movers inspect your items and shipping requirements. This can be done virtually or on-site, but it must occur for a quote to be labeled official.

A moving company representative typically comes to your home to assess the inventory, figure out the equipment necessary to handle them, transportation costs, labor intensity, etc.

After that, they will give you an estimated price you can expect to pay when you get the bill.

Any online moving quote is still an estimate, no matter how accurate, because the shipping company won’t know all the logistics involved until they complete the job.

That said, you should always get a quote for moving online. Even a rough approximation can give you a good idea if a moving company is outside your price range or doesn’t offer some of the needed services.

You Don’t Need More Than Three Quotes

Even with a blueprint to compare movers, gathering all the information you need to make the best decision can still take time. While looking at the top five or even top 10 local movers is tempting, that may require time you can’t afford to waste.

Sticking to three companies and three different online moving quotes is generally enough. This is true especially if you already did your due diligence and selected reputable, certified companies with great reviews.

From there, you can use the suggestions in this article to determine who can meet your expectations promptly without burning a hole in your wallet.

If you need NYC moving quotes are want the job done right with a full-service package, don’t hesitate to contact NYCMoversPackers to get your free quote.