Now that the 2017 moving season is getting closer, we have compiled a list of current trends and advice for all your moving and storage needs for 2017! There are many changes happening in the moving industry – most are positive but there are still a few moving scams in 2017 that should be avoided.
Best Moving Advice for 2017
Long Distance Moving
1. Private Long Distance Moving is on the Rise – Gone are the days of waiting 14-21 days to get your long distance moving shipment. Many companies who used to rely on van lines for corporate relocation are now opting for a faster, more efficient moving service to get their employees to their new jobs faster. This trend is taking place for traditional long distance moves as well. You can find private long distance movers by performing a simple google search. Most private long distance movers will use smaller trucks ( 26 foot) and will be able to give you exact pick up and delivery dates.
2. Prices are Much More Competitive than Last Year – Since private long distance movers don’t have to pay overhead to corporate like van lines, you will see that long distance moving prices should be less than last year by about 1-2%.
Long Distance Moving Scams 2017
Moving Brokers Posing as Helpful Services or Actual Movers – There are many moving brokers that charge a fee and sell moves to an independent contractor that will actually do the move. Sometimes the independent contractors are not even licensed which puts your belongings at risk. You should always ask if you are hiring a moving broker when you book your move. It is highly recommended that you hire a moving company that performs all of their own moves and will not sell/barter/trade you move with another. Our best moving advice for long distance moving in 2017 is to ask your long distance mover questions – lot of them!
2. False Locations are Listed, even on Google – There are many companies that have listings on google maps that are not actually located at that address/in that city. It is very important to hire a mover that services your area. If you are in Boston and accidentally hire a mover based out of California – you could be waiting days if they don’t have truck in your area or if another shipment was heavier and cannot pick up your shipment.
Local Moving Advice 2017
2017 is Going to Be Full of Rogue Movers – Rogue movers aka. craigslist movers, unlicensed movers, movers without licenses are on the rise. It is so easy for anyone to create a fantastic website these days and pose as a professional moving company. Then when some untrained guys in a budget truck show up at your house – this means you got scammed. Our best advice for hiring local movers is checking out their Facebook and twitter page that should have plenty of updated pictures about their business, their crew, and their trucks.
Services for Small Moves are Abundant – If you are moving a few boxes, or anything less than a dorm room, there are many companies trying to become the next “Uber Movers.” Essentially they will bring a pick-up truck or a van/car whatever they have and you can load your items in their truck for a much smaller fee than a typical moving company. Our advice – if you have anything heavy – hire movers – these companies only provide transporation.
Hire in Advance if You Need Overnight Storage – Overnight storage moving companies are very hard to find – especially in cities like Boston ,NYC, Orlando, DC… You will need to book way in advance if you have a bridge loan in which you will need to hold your stuff on a truck for a few nights. Expect to pay $100-$200/night for overnight storage.
MOVING COMPANY PRICING GUIDE – Navigating the costs of moving
Obtaining moving company prices from local and long distance movers is enough to make one want to do the unthinkable. Hold in there, pull yourself out of the corner of that wardrobe box. This moving company pricing guide will help you navigate through completely unregulated and obnoxious pricing schemes to help you get the best value for your move.
Before getting down to the nitty gritty of moving company prices – you should know a few simple things about moving companies in general. Just like health care professionals or restaurants – there are many different kinds of quality movers.
I have found this article about movers from quora to be an insightful explanation of moving companies and the quality difference. Here’s the gist of it – there are three different “types” of movers:
Van lines – Usually priced about 25% higher than private moving companies because the 25% goes to a corporate office.
Moving Brokers – Buy, sell, trade, barter your move to independent contractors – usually 5-10% less than private moving companies but you never know who will actually be delivering your items.
Private Moving Companies – For the rest of the article, I will be giving you private moving company fees – you can adjust these if you are considering a van line or moving broker. In my opinion, the best value for a move will be through a private moving company. Generally, they have their own trucks, own labor, don’t have to pay a corporate fee and have the best reputations.
Other terms you will need to know:
Full service move – this is where a moving company loads, drives and delivers your shipment. You don’t do any work except packing. All full service movers I know offer packing services as well.
Interstate move – any move over 150 miles ( even if it is in another state)
price/lb – this is the price per pound that a long distance mover will charge.
MOVING COMPANY PRICES – HOW THEY ARE DETERMINED
When I was in college and before working in the transportation industry, I got three moving quotes because that’s what I was told to do. One was astronomical – about $1000 over the competitors, one was so low I was scared and one was just right. Moving companies really haven’t changed much. You have most likely experienced a similar situation. Here is how moving companies price moves:
Full Service Move Prices
If you have chosen to a full service mover for your move this will be more expensive by about 10-15% than doing the actual moving yourself.
If you are performing an interstate move, then the relocation cost of your move will be based on a few factors: distance your old residence and the new won, time of year you are moving, the amount you are moving. Full service movers charge by weight. I do not suggest getting a price by cubic feet as this adds an additional variable to your moving cost equation. What if your movers load your shipment to take up more space?
A quick example – if you are moving from Boston to DC and you have an 2 bedroom apartment your weight will be right around 3000 lbs. The average rate to go to DC from Boston is $.60/lb. So, you would multiply 3000 x .60 – $1800 plus the labor which will average $400 so the total moving company price would be $2200.
If you are not using a full service mover, the $400 for labor will be omitted.
Full Service Local Prices
If you are using a local mover for a move less than 150 miles, the moving price is calculated by hour. Here are some considerations if you are doing a local move:
If you are moving a small amount of furniture/boxes, most local movers have a minimum -usually of four hours. Per DOT and labor laws, movers must pay their workers 4 hours even if they work only two – so essentially movers have implemented a minimum hours per move. So, if you think your move will take less, find something else for them to do – for example, rearranging furniture or bringing items to the salvation army.
2) In most cases, local movers charge on an hourly basis for all moving services. For example, whether they are packing, carrying your household items outside your home, loading these same household goods into the moving vehicle, driving to your destination, unloading your stuff, or carrying all your furniture pieces, household appliances and cardboard boxes over the threshold of your new apartment or house. However, some movers charge differently for different services for example when packing – they charge per box.
3) There is a travel fee for all movers that is usually non-negotiable. However, make sure it is flat-rated. Most private movers and trustworthy ones, have a flat rate of an hour or less. That fee covers the expenses in terms of fuel and time your local moving company needs to reach your home, and then travel back from your second location.
Average Cost of Packing for a Move
If you are in a mood to pack your belongings and box every room, your average moving bill will be much lower than if you choose to have professional movers do the packing for you. Based on my experience in the field, packing costs can be similar to the moving cost itself. A 4 bedroom house can take more than 12 hours to move from one town to another. In this case, your average moving costs will be around $1800-$2500 with no packing included.
Average Local Moving Prices
Average moving rates vary considerably depending on where you live and the cost of living. For the most part:
2 men and a truck $100-$150/hour
3 men and a truck $150-$200/hour
Anything outside of this range, I would be rather weary on. Either the movers are making minimum wage and won’t be professional or there is so much being taken off the top you are being ripped off.
Studio apartment: 4 hours for 2 men an a truck x $100/hour – $400
2-bedroom apartment: 5 hours for three men and a truck x $150/hour = $750
4 bedroom home: 10 hours x 3 men and a truck x $150 = $150
If you are moving from a 3 bedroom 1500 sq. foot home or larger, you really need an on-site or in-home estimate. Your best bet is to have three movers come to your home to estimate and give you moving options.
Average Interstate Moving Prices
Interstate moves are not charged by hour. The average moving costs for interstate moves are calculated by 5 factors.:
The Distance Between pick-up and delivery.
Shipments are priced per pound. Logically, the more weight you have the more expensive it will be. However, weight and price per pound are directly related. As an example consider these scenarios: Boston to Orlando with 2000 lbs is $.75/lb. Boston to Orlando with 7000 lbs is $.70/lb.
Date Flexibility. If you need guaranteed pick up and delivery dates – it can get pricy. For example the average fee to incorporate guaranteed pick up and delivery dates is right around $500.
Additional Moving Services. The price estimates you receive from reputable long distance movers should include the basic move Additional services will be moving pianos, pool tables, or major items. Other moving services are packing, unpacking, long term storage or overnight storage.
Time of Year – The least expensive time of the year for an interstate move is the end of January through April 1.
The most important thing to remember here is that the following moving costs are only approximate values that can serve you well to get a general view of what your cross country move will cost you. I suggest using this instant moving cost estimator for any interstate move. It will give you an instant moving quote to compare to other movers.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE THE BEST PRICE FOR YOUR MOVE
With 20 years of intimate knowledge of the moving company industry here are the most helpful tips and tricks to use when negotiating your move:
First off – don’t settle for “additional fees.” Additional fees are all costs that moving companies add on top of the bottom line to make additional money off of the consumer. I have seen some really crazy fees as of late such as “interstate optional pick-up charge.” Optional pick up ? The other additional charges that you need to stay away from are: taxes, tolls, stair fee, elevator fee, certificate of insurance fee ( this is FREE through your moving companies’ insurance company), long haul, long walk, mileage charge, interstate move fee, fuel surcharge. Oh, and my favorite – the shuttle fee. This is a fee for a long distance move when a big rig cannot fit in your city/neighborhood and they need to bring a small truck to shuttle it. Find long distance movers that do not charge this fee – it’s a doozy and averages $800! Additional moving fees that are usually not negotiable are overnight storage fees, storage fees in general, fees to move pianos, pool tables, or exercise equipment.
Do not get an interstate moving price based on cubic feet. If your movers need/feel like charging you additional money it is easy to load shipments with more/less space. Only get an interstate move estimate based on weight. Weight is not a variable where cubic feet are.
Tell your movers that you were referred to them after you get a quote. While working at a van line recently, their data suggested charging an additional 14% to people who have been referred or any corporate relocation accounts because they have found, statistically, that they can still book the move with that kind of a pricing increase. Get the quote first so you can negotiate the moving price and any additional costs and don’t let your moving company know you are going to book them.
Be flexible. Moving companies are usually booked the first five days of any month, the last five days of any month, and a few days around the middle of the month. Most leases and closings happen around these dates. If you are flexible – say around the 8th-10th or 18-24th of the month, your moving company will usually have lower rates.
If you are hiring additional packing services to your move – don’t let them charge you per box. I have heard that some movers will place a few items in a box which means you will have more boxes and get charged more. Make sure all moving services and charges are detailed and at guaranteed prices.
Take only what you need. A move is priced per pound – do you really want to take that pile of wood or bricks that has been sitting in your garage?
Since most people move during the summer and fall months, the best ways to upcycle moving boxes are most definately for use as halloween costumes.
Here are a few of our favorite upcycled moving box ideas:
This costume takes a bit of time to put together ( not to mention an extra old outfit. Our moving crews had a great time putting it together!
Our staff created this US Mailbox out of two upcycled cardboard moving boxes. It was a little more difficult than it looks to create. After the build, we realized there wasn’t enough room to put your arms out so this upcycled Halloween costume isn’t recommended.
This costume is such a cute Halloween costume made from a small wardrobe moving box. Again, it is a difficult costume for actually collecting candy on Halloween but it’s worth it.
This upcycled Halloween costume takes a bit of work ( and a good x-acto knife.
This upcycled moving box can be also made as a rubix cube, a hungry hippos box, a cereal box or any cube/rectangle shaped box. This upcycled Halloween costume is super easy and super cute.
Using old moving boxes to organize your home, office or arts and crafts room is pretty easy. The only rules are arming yourself with a ruler, plenty of cardboard, paint, perhaps some cloth, ribbon and feel and you will find endless ideas. And don’t forget a heavy duty X-Acto knife!
At Monster Movers, we have made office bins out of moving boxes. We highly suggest using chalkboard paint to pain the outside of the bin so you can mark and reuse these upcycled cardboard moving boxes.
These cute little crafts made out of upcycled cardboard moving boxes are adorable. We have made Christmas tree and other 3d creations.
Have you ever wondered how strong of a friendship you and your bestie have? You can gauge your comraderie by their level of help during a move. Let’s put it this way – if there was a ceremony for friendship the “friendship vows” would be ” in moving and in chillaxing.” Check below for our “Should You Help Your Friends Move?” guide – also an accurate evaluation of your bromance.
Everyone who has moved while in college or shortly thereafter knows how precious moving day help can be. Let us help you find out if you should help your friends move:
TYPES OF FRIENDSHIPS and RESPECTIVE MOVE SCORE
Enabling Friendship: Move Score 8 This friendship is a special bond between buds that empower each other to do the impossible. This friend will boost your ego and are definitely one of the best types of friends to call for a move.
Hot and Cold Friendship: Move Score 5 The Hot and Cold friend is like a corked bat. Your hot and cold friend may show up, show up late or not at all but they do, they will easily provide that extra umph to get you home.
Class Clown Friendship: Move Score 3 One of the worst friends to help with a move – this friend loves pranks and those are not appreciated while moving. Also, you will be so busy laughing – nothing will get moved.
Bromance: Move Score 9 You know that friend who completely admires you for whatever reason. This is the best friend to invite for a move. This friend will do the entire move for you – to show up and just to be around your awesomeness
Drinking Buddies: Move Score -10 Just. Don’t.
The Long Distance Friend: Move Score 6 If you are moving long distance and actually hiring long distance movers – the long distance friend is a great for moral support – mainly because they won’t actually have to do any heavy lifting.
Helping your friends move can make or break a friendship. Your patience will be tested but after all the back-breaking effort – you’ll become better buds after a move together. Just don’t forget the pizza and drinks.
I am pretty sure this is going to be my favorite post about moving – ever. While I am not quite in the millennial cutoff, I feel a kindred spirit to the average millennial- and that’s probably why – millennials are never “average” – a blog about moving to these unique beings with elevated thoughts and feelings seems so basic.
I have read story after story from companies marketing to millennials and how they have to convey their “story” to this crowd. Well, most corporate “stories” sound like they are mixtures of Ferris Bueller meets Ernest. You’re too Young…Let it Go. Yet corporations still try to classify and advertise their so-called “stories” to these special snowflakes. I think not, I have a feeling most millennials can smell a B.S. marketing agenda a mile away.
Being part of a moving and storage company, not exactly the most buzz-worthy of industries but there are a few things that millennials are doing to affect this industry:
Millennials don’t move as many things as baby boomers, generation x, y and so on. Most millennials are super eco-friendly and we love it! Millennials are more content donating/giving away old furniture than paying for it to move across the country. The usual millennial move is a few pieces of really nice furniture, a computer, flat screen tv and about 40 boxes. There are many moving companies catching on to this and changing the way ( and the speed) in which they get shipments to their customers.
Millennials hate moving companies, and companies in general, that are scams. Slowly but surely, all of the rogue movers are disappearing. Millennials are great at exposing exposing scam companies – and writing about it. So movers – be good!
Most millennials will pay more money for a better moving service. We have found that millennials are inclined to pay for things like expedited service, same day moves from NYC to Boston/Philadelphia/DC/Providence. Essentially, millennials don’t like to wait and are willing to shell out a few additional dollars to avoid doing so. There is no better mover that feels the pain of waiting for things more than Monster Movers – with expedited shipments and advanced logistics – you won’t go wrong. They haven’t been called the “relocation innovators” for nothing.
Millennials move – a lot! Although millennial moves are smaller they move every few years or less and usually to other major cities. There are some major long distance movers that are really catching on to this crowd.
#Move4Edu is our way of giving back to some special people who have helped us become who we area and who are helping us grow and learn. Monster Movers offers a 5% DISCOUNT OFF OF EVERY MOVE to any educators and teachers.
You teach 7th grade? Swimming Coach? Daycare Provider? Cub Scout Parent? Leading a Robotics Club? We support all those who educate others – young and old. We celebrate you…every day!
It’s actually really simple to access this 5% off coupon – just tweet @monstermovers or Facebook #move4edu and tell us your story with a few words or a picture and you will instantly get 5% off of your moving costs!
Monster Movers also donates 1% of all income to educational charities including local non-profits, sponsoring educational pursuits and awarding funds to other educational endeavors.
I must say, I have been patiently waiting to write this post on the worst advice we’ve heard about movers for a long time. Having been in the moving and storage industry for over 20 years, we have come across our fair share of horrible advice when it comes to movers. Here is our all time crappy advice list:
Use a Van Line for Long Distance Moves – Just. Don’t. I cannot believe the moving and storage industry is so out-of-touch with current business practices. Millennials, baby boomers and those in-between have grown accustomed to getting anything they want – fast. Long gone are the days of a van line sticking your stuff on a truck and delivering it 14-21 days later! This just doesn’t make sense anymore. There are innovative moving companies applying tech and big data to their systems making long distance movers ultra-efficient.
Trust Moving Reviews. Okay – this one you can take with a grain of salt because some moving review sites work, like moving company reviews from customer lobby. Others, like yelp and bbb are actually paid sites. Movers will have to pay to post reviews on yelp and pay to become “accredited bbb movers.” Now researching the BBB isn’t a bad thing – this outlet gives a rating and if you see a big fat F or even a E or D – stay away. BBB “paid members” always have A ratings even if the reviews are horrible so… I would suggest the best movers have a ratings without being accredited which means they didn’t pay for their A
You Don’t Need Insurance. It is more likely that your things will be damaged in transit than sitting at your house. If you do have homeowners/renters insurance, I would always suggest purchasing additional coverage. All movers in the USA are liable for $.60/pound/article which doesn’t equate to much. Find movers that offer additional coverage for a reasonable rate – this should be around $200 for a 2-3 bedroom home or up to $750 for a 5000 + sq. foot home.
The Best Movers Rank High on Search Engines. The “internet of things” tends to rank national sites like yelp and van lines over smaller niche markets which seem to rank movers instead of a higher quality move. Searching with the term movers near me will give some great local results – you can even search at www.moversnearme.com . The best movers are active in their state/community and have a long history. You can do a corporation search to see how long your movers have been in business.
You can move yourself. LOL, No ROFL. Please, hire movers! The damage you can do to your vehicle, back, friend’s backs, furniture, dishes, etc. is not worth the amount you save. Trust me, hire professional movers – they do this everyday and are experts! Moving is so hard if you aren’t properly trained. And, if your friend, etc. gets hurt you could get sued!
I hope this article on the worst advice about movers has helped you in your search and shed light on some of the “good advice” you have heard!
Moving Companies have a notorious history of scamming consumers. Even movers with stellar customer reviews have been known to take advantage of customers. This handy-dandy article will guide you through 14 of the most common misconceptions about moving companies so you can protect yourself.
All movers that operate are licensed. Licensing of moving companies requires the movers to have insurance as well as a drivers license, etc. Make sure your mover is licensed and check the numbers! There are estimates of approximately 25% of movers are not licensed, which usually means the company in uninsured
All moving companies do background checks on their employees. A simple CORI check is so easy these days – find a mover who, at least, checks to make sure employees are not felons.
All long distance movers are created equal. Long distance movers need a specialized license awarded by the DOT. Find a long distance mover that gives a flat-rate price and guaranteed moving dates, trust me.
The movers are responsible for any damage. Moving companies are responsible, by law, for $.60/lb/article. Essentially if you have a table that weighs 100 lbs – you mover is responsible for $60. The best moving company offers full replacement value coverage as well – you know you are getting great movers or they would not offer this option.
All movers are shady. Some untrustworthy moving companies have really ruined this industry’s reputation. Truthfully, most moving companies are going to do a great job for you but consumers expect there to be an issue. Relax, hire Monster Movers.
Moving companies are disorganized. These days, movers have updated systems like truck tracking, moving company software and advanced logistical systems that make the industry much more smooth and organized.
Moving companies are too expensive. Whether you have a small studio moving in-state or a large home going across the nation – moving companies are always the better option.
Moving in the snow is probably one of the most annoying things in the entire world. Carrying a 200 lb. dresser across slippery ice – a problem for most moving companies but movers in Boston and other New England movershave been practicing the art of “moving in the snow” for many cold, frost-bitten years. Our moving crews have been moving for over 37 winters of snow and are happy to share some really important moving tips for those wintery months.
SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE – There are so many things that can go wrong during winter moves. But safety of the crew members, you and your furniture is the top priority. We highly recommend hiring movers during winter months. The inside of your home and the truck itself can get as slippery as the ground outside and most people don’t realize this until its too late. All of our moving crews carry shovels, rock salt and sand with us but you should always call your mover anyway and make sure they have these things handy.
DRIVING A MOVING TRUCK IN THE SNOW – Unless you are an expert truck driver – don’t do it. I have seen other moving trucks literally slide down the hills of Boston. Snowy roads are not something for an awkward moving truck to be travelling in – leave this feat to the experts. In the case that you do get stuck – call roadside assistance immediately and place the orange markers out. Our moving trucks get winter overhauls but renting a truck you may be shocked to find the lack of winter snow tires and/or moving chains.
BE PREPARED – Things you will need for a move in the snow – ice melt/salt, sand, shovels, window scraper, floor and truck runners to minimize slipping, heavy-duty gloves – hands get slippery in the winter too.
DON’T RISK IT – I remember a customer who wanted us to move a hot tub that had just been unhooked ( leaking water ) across a football field of ice an down icy steps. We did everything we could to get that across but the ice was a foot deep and did not melt with all of our salt, ice melt and sand. We did our best without it but in the end we needed to use a crane to get that bad Larry out. Sometimes there is nothing that you can do about the weather – better safe than sorry.
WATCH THE WEATER – It can change drastically. A sunny day in the North East can easily turn into a blizzard before your offload.
WINE BOTTLES BREAK IN COLD WEATHER – I know, it’s not fair. If you are doing a long distance move – or one that is going into storage during winter months, please make sure you hire a mover with climate-controlled storage or your expensive wine collection could be ruined. Also, overnight storage is not recommended for bottled liquids. They may break overnight in the cold.
ELECTRONICS and PLANTS DON’T LIKE SNOW – Like wine, plants don’t fair well during winter month moves. When hiring long distance movers in Boston or other snowy cities, make sure your mover is using climate-controlled storage facilities and not offloading your shipment into a warehouse. Electronics generally do fine in the winter but may need a thawing period.
TURN THE HEAT ON – Make sure your heat is on in the new house or this will only prolong your moving issues.
Moving in the winter can be a challenge but by following our mover help, you will be prepared to weather any winter storm.
Comprehensive Moving Tips, Advice, Checklist from Industry Leading Mover Company