Whether you’re moving to another city, state, country or just moving a couple of blocks down the road, the process of moving is still a rough one. It can take its toll on your nerves.
But it should not take its toll on your wallet. Unfortunately, sometimes the bill you get for a professional move is not the last word on the costs.
There are many hidden costs that you need to be aware of so that you can avoid those companies that would try to overbill you.
The first big hidden cost involves packing up your belongings. In order to avoid this fee altogether, then you simply need to pack your own items yourself and have them ready when the movers show up.
Most moving companies will not cover any possible damage to these items, however. (After all, it could have already been broken when you packed it in the box.) If you do have movers pack your belongings, you’ll end up with two charges—one for the time it takes the movers to pack and one for the supplies such as boxes and tape that is needed.
Watch Out For: An unscrupulous moving company could try to claim you need special packing boxes or more boxes than are necessary just to pad this fee out.
Another possible fee you could be hit with is a fee to take apart your furniture and then put it back together. In order to avoid this one, simply take the furniture apart yourself and have it ready to go. Then, when you arrive at the new home, have the pieces placed in the room you want and don’t have them assemble the furniture.
Even if a company doesn’t “charge” for this, you could end up with a higher cost if the company does charge by the hour. After all, it will take more time to break down and reassemble the furniture.
Heavy Items & Disposal Fees
If you have one heavy item that cannot be easily moved with a dolly or hand truck, then you’re probably going to see a tacked-on fee. This includes large pieces of furniture like pianos or pool tables. Some of these may even require a specialized mover to ensure that the product is not damaged during the move.
Disposal fees have been cropping up a lot lately with companies that are really trying to add to the bills. This fee is meant to include “the safe disposal” of packing materials such as boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. This one has been added since the “green” environmental movement has picked up steam, so you may want to ask about this one before you get the final bill.
This one is where they say that the “devil is in the details.” Miscellaneous fees can cover a whole host of things. For instance, if you need to delay delivery to your new house, you may be asked to pay a storage facility fee.
If you have a narrow driveway or entrance to your home, you may be charged a fee for transferring the items from a smaller van that will fit into a larger one that can carry more stuff (or vice versa). If you live in a second-floor apartment and don’t have elevator access, there may also be a charge to carry your things up several flights of stairs.
For all of these fees, the lesson to be learned is that all those who are moving should read the fine print before they sign any contract. Know exactly what you are getting into and what fees are reasonable.
Some companies will try to add more on, but your contract can prevent this. But please know that the majority of professional movers are above board and will not charge hidden fees. Did you enjoy this article? You might also like our tips and timeline for a low stress move