Moving can be an expensive endeavor. Many customers are surprised to find out exactly how expensive it can be. Luckily, there are some ways that you can control your moving costs. With an understanding of how moving companies price their services, you can prioritize your decisions to save the most money.

How Are Local Moves Priced?

The most common approach to pricing for local movers is to roughly calculate the amount of time that your move will take. While there may be a flat fee for equipment rental or transportation, the biggest expense will be labor for local moves.

The amount of time required is highly individualized. Some people simply have more stuff. As a rule of thumb, you can expect a minimum of four hours for a small studio apartment, up to 7 hours for a small 1-2 bedroom apartment or home, and up to 16 hours for a large family home.

How Are Long-Distance Moves Priced?

If you’re moving further than a 50-mile radius, most moving companies consider this a long-distance move and will alter their approach to pricing accordingly. With long-distance moves, the cost of transportation can often be as much or more than the labor hours to pack and move your stuff.

Long-distance movers tend to use weight-based calculations to determine transportation costs similar to pricing models for less-than-truckload freight shipments through carriers like FedEx and Old Dominion. This means that you can effectively lower your costs simply by purging your excess items and being a little more choosey about what you move with.

Here are a few things you might want to find new homes for:

  • Cheap Boxed Furniture Pieces (e.g. Ikea, Sauder, or Similar)
  • Clothing (a good closet cleanout can go a long way, if it’s not a favorite—let it go.)
  • Household Goods (ditch the duplicates and hand-me-downs)

Take a close look at all your belongings and consider if the cost of freight to ship them is really worth their monetary or emotional value. Move with anything you can’t stand to part with and seriously consider donating or selling the rest.

Why Do I Need an In-Home Moving Estimate?

Every move is unique. Some people can fit more stuff into a one-bedroom apartment than other people have in a four-bedroom home. An in-home moving estimate is the only way to know ahead of time, what your moving costs are really going to add up to be. It’s also a great idea to find out if you’ll require any special equipment that might add dollars onto that cost.

How Are Add-On Services Priced?

If you’re willing to pay to have someone else do all the hard work of packing and preparing your home for moving, you’re probably curious what the going rate is for these add-on services. Here is where pricing models can vary widely from one company to the next so it’s something you’ll have to ask about upfront. Residential movers often provide a range of services that can range from handling the hard stuff like pianos and extra cars to providing a full-service moving experience.

Can I Get a Binding Estimate?

The point of getting an in-home estimate is to plan for your moving costs. However, this step is only helpful if the moving company is willing to provide a binding estimate. This means that they guarantee the accuracy of their estimate and will stick to it when the moving truck arrives. Be particularly wary of moving companies who are not willing to put their estimates in writing. You don’t want to be saddled with a much larger bill once your stuff is moved to your new home.

Get a Free Estimate from Kings Moving & Storage

Every moving company operates independently, but there are many common practices across the industry. You will most often encounter attractive low, flat-rate equipment or transportation fees for local moves that are designed to bring in business. This also means that moving companies will work hard to upsell local moves on added services. Similarly, you might be enticed in with an offer for a longer list of ‘included’ moving prep services for long-distance moves because the company makes most of its money on transportation for these moves.

Kings Moving and Storage has more than two decades of experience in local and long-distance moving. As a trusted agent of North American Van Lines, our A+ BBB-rated company provides scalable, full-service moving solutions from coast to coast. Call for a free, in-home moving estimate in Kansas City today.