It is easy for moving expenses to quick rack up without you even realizing it. And considering how expensive moving already is, it is important to realize that initial estimate your moving company gives you might end up being much different than the final bill.
Rest assured that most reputable moving companies are not trying to scam you. But moving contracts have lots and lots of details, and not being familiar with these details can cost you. To help figure out what you should be looking for, we have put together a list of some unexpected charges that can hike up your moving bill. Keep reading to learn more and click this link for the full article.
1. Stairs tariff
Although movers have the know-how to move furniture faster and more gracefully than you, their lives would still be easier if you were moving into (and out of) a ranch rather than, say, a six-story walk-up. As such, movers might charge an added fee for stairs amounting to as much as $50 or $75 per flight. “Moving companies often work from a tariff, which lists items for which you can be charged, such as if there are stairs involved,” says Angie Hicks, founder and CMO of Angie’s List. Moving into or out of multiple levels? Check your tariff to see what it’ll cost you.
2. Shuttle fee
A tractor-trailer can’t always squeeze into a cozy cul-de-sac or safely park in front of an urban high-rise. Interstate moving companies deal with this issue all the time; their solution is to get a smaller truck to shuttle over your belongings, often in multiple trips. And for this, they can charge a bundle.
“If they haven’t given you a binding price ahead of time, an extra shuttle charge for this service could be added on,” warns Jim Sullivan, president of Humboldt Storage and Moving in Canton, MA.
So make sure to check the parking restrictions around your new (and old) home to know whether (or when) your moving truck can squeeze in. If it can’t, it’s worth scoping out if there’s a better spot nearby that would enable you to avoid the shuttle. Or, it might even cost less to rent two smaller moving trucks instead.
3. Fees for packing, unpacking, and other related tasks
Asking your movers to take on additional tasks besides moving will raise your bill, according to Ram Katalan, co-founder and CEO of NorthStar Moving.
The most obvious example is asking a moving crew to carefully pack, then unpack, your belongings. But much smaller asks can also increase your bill—like disassembling the water hookup for your refrigerator. Or your washer. Or your dishwasher. (You get the picture.)
The reason? Such tasks are not your movers’ main job, plus there are liability issues. For example, if not done right, plumbing disconnections could result in leaks and property damage.
Sure, your mover can arrange for a third-party plumber to stop by and help out, but Katalan says you’ll be charged extra to cover it.
All in all, it’s best to hire your own plumbers, pack and unpack your own stuff, and do everything possible to guarantee that all your movers have to do is move your stuff. Period.
4. Slooooow movers
“When moving locally—meaning within a 100-mile radius—nearly all moving companies charge an hourly rate,” explains Aaron Steed, CEO of Meathead Movers. “The efficiency and hustle of the movers you choose dramatically affects time and, therefore, how much you pay at the end of the day.”
So keep that in mind when shopping around for movers. Read reviews and ask your friends who recommend movers about their speed. Or, ask the moving company for a cap on the amount you pay, regardless of whether your movers run over that time limit.