It is no secret that moving services are getting expensive by the day, and whatever you do, you must be prepared to spend on your move. Luckily for you, whether you are making an interstate or local move, there are several ways to save costs while moving.
Read on to discover the tips on saving costs while moving with the best movers in Richmond, VA.
Practical Ways to Save Money While Moving
Moving companies typically charge different rates depending on how many things they need to move to your new location and the distance they will cover. As such, the more items you have, the higher your moving costs will be. Since most homes are often cluttered with items that the homeowners do not need, one of the best ways to lower your moving costs is by decluttering.
The easiest way to declutter is to take inventory of all the items you currently own before deciding what you are actively using and the items you will need in your new house. You should then actively clear everything else you have not been using for a while or will not need before moving out. An easy way to generate extra cash as you get rid of these unwanted items is to hold a yard sale or list these items on online marketplaces such as Craigslist.
Do most of your packing
While full-service moving companies offer packing services, these services do come at an extra cost. The good news is that you can significantly reduce these costs by opting to do your own packing.
While do-it-yourself packing can be hectic, if you start early enough, it is an effective way of cutting down your costs. The best part is that you get to be extra careful with those fragile or valuable items while easily determining what you need to keep and what you don’t.
If you are making a local move, you could even go ahead and transport some items to your new place and let the moving company help with bulkier items.
Get quotes from different local movers
Never rush to settle on any local Richmond movers before you know how much they will charge you. On the brighter side, most local moving companies will offer a free quote to a potential customer.
All you have to do is provide the movers with information that can help them estimate how much your moving costs will be. These include; how big your house is (to provide an overview of how many items need to be moved), where you are moving from and to, and when you are moving.
Typically, the bigger your house, the more items you need to move, translating to a higher cost. Equally, long-distance moves will cost you much more than short-distance moves as you will pay more for the travel fees.
Choose the right moving date
Moving companies have peak and off-peak seasons, which significantly influence how much they charge for a move. As such, getting your timing right is important as you will pay much less during the off-peak seasons than when moving services are in high demand.
Often, spring and summer are the busy seasons, as this is when many households find it comfortable to relocate. Equally, weekends and end months tend to be busier than workdays and mid-months, and it could be worthwhile moving on an odd day as it could mean getting an awesome deal.
Another trick in the book is to avoid short-notice moves, as the urgency of your move will see you pay more for the convenience of instant moving services. Instead, evaluate your options weeks before you move and make an early reservation to avoid last-minute inconveniences.
Rent reusable moving boxes
Buying packing materials for a move is never worthwhile as you will need to dispose of these items or recycle them after only one use. A smarter alternative that will also help reduce your expenses, especially for local moves, is renting reusable moving boxes.
You should also consider getting free moving boxes to reduce the number of reusable moving boxes you will need. Some places where you can get free moving boxes include your local grocery/general supply store, bookstore, and furniture store. Recycling centers are also a good place to find high-quality boxes at a throwaway price.
Finally, be creative when packing. Instead of buying supplies such as bubble wraps, packing peanuts, and specialty packing kits, you can use items you have, such as old newspapers, towels, and linens, to protect those fragile items.
Negotiate with the movers
The rates moving companies charge are not written in stone, and there is always room to bargain for a good deal. After comparing quotes from different movers, pick up the phone and negotiate with the moving company you would like to use.
A secret to negotiating with professional movers is to inform them that you have a lower quote from a competitor but would consider partnering with them if they could match the quote or offer a discount. In most cases, you will get a bargain deal, as no moving company wants to lose a client who already has an alternative at hand.
Remember, most moving companies will also offer a special senior, veteran, or military discount for clients in these categories. You can also get a good discount as a repeat client or use online coupons if available.
How to find the best moving company in Richmond, VA
With so many moving companies in Richmond, VA, it takes more than meets the eye to choose the best movers for your needs. Here are the primary factors to consider when looking for a competent and affordable moving company:
Years of experience
When looking for the best moving companies in Richmond, VA, consider their years of experience, as this offers a firm ground for determining their competence. A moving company that has been in the market for a long time will better understand customer needs and how best to address them. These companies often also have a suitable business model and extensive market reach, which is an advantage, especially for interstate moves.
Regardless, this metric alone should not make you write off fairly new moving companies working hard to establish their presence and attain market dominance. However, if you have to consider a moving company that does not have many years of experience, pay extra attention to other critical elements determining the service levels. These include whether or not they have professionally trained movers, their physical location, whether they are registered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), how they manage their projects, and the guarantees offered to clients.
Note: Be extra careful when considering a new company to avoid moving scams such as overcharges, holding your items hostage, or requiring full payments before the services are offered.
Since a moving company’s years of operation do not automatically equate to a higher quality of services, it is vital to consider the mover’s reputation. The easiest way to go about this is to look at the customer reviews, which is the best way to determine levels of customer satisfaction.
As a rule, do not just rely on the five-star ratings on the company’s website but use independent and trustworthy sources such as Google online reviews, Trustpilot, and Consumer reports. Pay extra attention to reviews from disgruntled customers, as these often point out the problems you might experience with a particular mover. If you notice a trend in the issues raised by different customers, it is best to consider a different moving company that can offer a stress-free experience.
Range of services offered
Not all moving services are equal, which is why you need to know in detail what you will be paying for. Some moving companies offer full-service moves where everything you need is catered for, from removing your curtains and furniture disassembly to packing and setting up everything where it should be in your new place. This is greatly convenient for commercial moves and individuals with busy schedules willing to spend more on these comprehensive services.
On the other hand, some movers will only provide you with what you need, be it auto transport, container rental, or special storage services such as climate-controlled containers. As such, before settling on a moving company, inquire in detail about their services and how each category impacts your overall costs. You can then avoid services you do not need, such as furniture storage if you have a ready apartment where your items can be placed or packing supplies if you will be doing most of your packing.
The coverage/insurance options provided
Residential and commercial moves come with risks, as things could go wrong while your items are in transit. To stay safe, you need to partner with a reputable mover who values your belongings and has taken steps to cover these items for loss, damages, or theft. The common types of coverage that movers provide are:
- Full value protection, where you receive a full replacement for all items lost or damaged. This cover is best for long-distance moves, which involve more moving challenges.
- Released value protection whereby the mover only covers up to 60 cents per pound of items being transported.
- Additional liability insurance, which is a third-party option that covers losses beyond the released value protection.
If you want to move on a budget, you must be prepared to hunt for the best deals in the market. Luckily for you, Richmond movers are ever competing to acquire new clients, offering plenty of opportunities to find that amazing offer. The secret to getting affordable rates is to time your relocation for off-seasons and to start shopping for a suitable mover weeks before you are due to relocate. This way, you have sufficient time to compare different quotes and get a discount offer from that top-rated company.
The writing is always on the wall, and if you miss the subtle signs about how great or pathetic a moving company is, you have no one to blame but yourself. Make an effort to contact the movers you are interested in and note how they respond to your concerns and the guarantees they provide. Some of the questions you can ask include the following:
- Will I be assigned a moving coordinator? This helps avoid confusion on who to contact whenever you need an update on the moving crew’s progress.
- How long will it take to deliver all items to my place? Get an estimate of how long the team will take to complete your project, especially for long-distance moves.
- What happens if any of my items get damaged? Asking this will offer insights into how the company deals with accidental damages whenever they work on a project. To avoid costly losses, finding alternative ways of transporting your most valuable items, such as expensive family heirlooms, jewelry, and certificates, is highly advisable.
- Are there any other fees I should be aware of? The actual mover’s cost can greatly vary from the estimate you are provided with online, depending on several factors that could make the moving services more difficult. For example, the costs might go up if the crew has to spend more time getting your items to an apartment on the tenth floor as they have to take several flights of stairs.
Adherence to regulatory requirements
All moving companies in Richmond, VA, are expected to be registered as household goods carriers and adhere to the regulations set forth by the state. By ensuring you work with a state-certified moving company, you get to minimize your risks, as such movers will do all they can to play by the rules.
Moving is always hectic, but it is easily manageable with proper planning and the right moving crew. When searching for the best Richmond mover, ensure you are equally prepared to play your part to avoid inconveniences that can complicate a move. Most importantly, have a budget and use the above tips to help cut costs, so you can move without denting your finances.