Written Moving Quotes
Moving quotes should be made by an experienced agent from a professional moving service through a phone call or an online form. If you use a cheap moving company, they are likely to ask you over the phone how much you want them to move and give you a “guesstimate” based on that.
Most professional movers like USA Moving and Storage will give you a moving quote for free. You can also have someone come and appraise your situation and belongings, and the agent should be able to figure out just how difficult it will be to move pieces of furniture and how many boxes/supplies you'll need. This can also help you decide how many boxes you actually need to buy--it's a real annoyance to make multiple trips to get boxes if you're packing at the last minute and find yourself short, but no one wants to buy more than needed because boxes are expensive.
While you should be aware that a moving quote is not a final cost, it doesn't mean you should be at the mercy of paying professional movers more if they demand it on the day of your move. Some less reputable movers will do that solely because they know you're likely to give in because you wouldn't know what to do if they left.
When you get your moving quote, it should be itemized so you know what the costs are attributed to. Then, if the actual cost ended up being more, you can see a correlation between the higher cost and the greater number of boxes or greater weight. If the discrepancy is disproportionate, you can speak with a supervisor or agent from the moving company who should tell the movers to work for the correct price.
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