house shaped moving box on a hand truck

How to Price Moving Companies

How to Price Moving Companies


If you’ve just purchased a new home or are moving to a rental property- you know that nothing about this process is cheap or easy.  Considering that moving is the third most stressful life event for most people (and surely one of the most expensive)- we wanted to share some tips on how to price moving companies/ moving.

There are many factors involved:  Size of Crew, Packing/ unpacking, Storage or delays in your having access to your new home, Local, interstate, or even across the state!

Top recommendation on How to Price Moving Companies is to schedule 2-3 In Home Surveys.  Find the most reputable movers in your area that offer the services you will want and need.  Not all Moving Companies offer packing, not all movers are licensed to move across state lines.  Yes- this is a commitment of your time and energy; but it is well worth it in the end.

Expect the In Home Survey to take about an hour for an average sized home- larger homes may take longer.  Don’t forget to show your Move Consultant any storage space you have- on or off site:  Mini storage, the items you’re picking up from a friend or relative’s house a few blocks or miles away.  The more thorough your In Home Survey- the more accurate your estimate will be.

When you have your estimates- compare them.  But be sure they are actually comparable.  Moving companies ‘speak’ in terms of weight (pounds).  This unit of measure is universal and allows us to figure what size truck, # of movers, special equipment, and how many hours your move should take.  Are all the estimates close in the estimated weight?  Consider using a Move Cost Comparison Worksheet (like THIS- see Apples to Apples Worksheet Attached)

Second recommendation on How to Price Moving Companies is to consider Cost vs Coverage on packing.  What to pack yourself, what (if anything) to have your moving company pack- these decisions should not be purely budget driven.  Sure- we all have a budget; but there’s more at stake here that the packing cost itself.

When moving- boxes fall into 2 categories:  CP or PBO.  Carrier Packed (the Moving Company is the carrier)- or Packed By Owner (You!).  If you pack yourself, even if you purchase Valuation- it is likely not eligible for reimbursement if damaged.  There is no way for the moving company to know if it was already broken, not packed properly, etc and therefore- they cannot legally be held liable for any damages that occur within the box/ carton.  BUT- if the movers pack it for you and damage errors- the liability falls on the mover as they should have packed it to prevent/ minimize any potential damage risks.

So thoughtfully consider what you will pack yourself- linens, bedding, clothing, etc- things that are durable/ easy to pack safely.  Have these decisions made before the move consultant arrives for your in home survey.  This will prevent you making snap decisions that might not be the best ones.

Lastly, when pricing a moving company, Look at the valuation options.  On Interstate moves (a move that crosses state lines) has different Valuation requirements than a Local move (defined as 30 miles or less).  If you waive the additional coverage- the Moving Company’s maximum legal lability is limited to $0.60 per pound, per article.  In layman’s terms- that means a 10-pound table, if lost or irreparable, would have a maximum reimbursement of $6.00.


With these main pricing factors in mind; you should be able to make the best choice for your family’s upcoming move.  The following items should be pretty standard, across the board:

-Local moves are by the hour.  Most movers will have a 3 or 4 hour minimum, with off season pricing as low as $40-50 per mover and peak season rates in the range of $50 -65.  The truck is generally included at these rates although a small fuel charge may apply.

-Interstate or long distance moves are by the weight and mileage.  Long distance moves are much more regulated and the tariffs require a much more exact method of pricing.  Be prepared to hear terms like ‘Hundred weight’ (CWT), ‘Line haul’ Origin & Destination Service Charges; and be prepared for small fees for additional spots, mini storage pickups or deliveries, and such.  Sure- it can be a lot; but understanding these terms and having them itemized is better for you, the customer, than a lump sum without explanation of charges.


So remember: get 2-3 In Home Surveys, compare 2-3 Moving estimates, thoughtfully consider what to pack and what to have your mover pack for you, and look over the Valuation options.

Here we put our comparison, Check it out!!