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Comparing moving estimates can be an overwhelming task. There are many different factors that you should consider when deciding which company is best for you.

Once you have your list of potential movers, you may want to schedule some complimentary in-home surveys, so that your potential movers can visually see all of the items you are planning to move and create an accurate estimate. All estimates that you receive should be in writing. By obtaining your estimate in this way, there will be less opportunity for confusion or mis-understanding with regard to the services included in your estimate and pricing at a later time.

A general rule of thumb is to obtain at least THREE different estimates from three different companies. This will give you a good span of pricing and enough information to make an informed decision.

When comparing estimates, it’s important to know and understand the three different types. A binding estimate means that you just pay the stated price, even if the weight is more or less than the estimated weight. If, however, you add on services or more physical items, your price may go up. A non-binding estimate is an approximation of weight and price based on the initial mover’s survey of the items. The final cost will be determined after the actual weight, packing and accessorial services are finalized on moving day. This means that the price may be more than the estimate, but it also may be less.

 1. Know your different types of estimates

A not-to-exceed estimate is an estimate based on the binding estimate or the actual cost based on weight, packing and accessorial services, whichever is lower. Again, the price may change if more items are added that were not surveyed or packing and other services are added. Knowing the differences between these three types of estimates will help you to understand which one is best for you.

2. Extra services fees

Compare the difference in how each company charges extra service fees. Depending on what you need and how simple or complex your move is, you may or may not need extra services. Consider if you have an extra long move, special items that need extra care, anything that needs to be stored off-site, or storage time if your destination isn’t readily available and find out how much those different situations will cost you.

3. Comparing weight or volume

Weight is the primary method used by mover to determine the pricing of a move. The weight is usually derived from the cubic footage calculated by the estimator or moving consultant. These calculations are made on a Cube Sheet, or Table of Measurements. While it is not an exact science, the industry standard “density factor” is 7 pounds per cubic foot. For example; an estimated 1000 cubic feet should convert to about 7000 pounds of actual weight.

• Check the density factor your mover used to determine the weight by reviewing the estimated weight on your estimate. Then check the cube sheet or table of measurements to ensure that 7 pounds per cubic foot was used for a conversion factor.

• Be wary whenever any one estimate is significantly lower than the others. Reputable movers are usually in the same ballpark.

4. Consider reputation

Don’t forget a very important factor in your decision: your NY mover’s reputation. Check reviews, request referrals, and get a feel for your mover’s professionalism when you meet them in person. It’s worth it to pay a little extra money for impeccable service. These are your important possessions and you have to be able to trust that they are in the right hands.

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