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When planning to move, one of the most important things on your to do list is to find and interview three or more reputable movers. The only way to have your prospective mover provide you with a binding (not to exceed estimate) is to ask them to come out to see your shipment in person. A verbal rate quotation is not an estimate. Remember, verbal estimates are not binding and will not protect you from having problems in the future.

On-site estimates should be ordered at least 3 weeks before moving day. This will give you enough time to make the right choice.

When inviting an estimator to review your items, set aside at least 45 minutes for each appointment. When estimator comes to your residence, expect them to take detailed inventory of your goods. They may even measure some of the unusually large or bulky articles. This information is important in determining the right size truck, estimating proper amount of workers for the job, and finally time or weight of shipment, and the cost of your move.

Make sure to get your estimate in writing. The estimate must indicate the services provided and costs. Don't accept a blanket cost per move, as this estimate may not include some of the services you need for movers to perform.

When describing your wishes, be consistent with all estimators you see; this will make it clearer to see the differences between provided estimates. Make sure that estimators see all of your goods that need to be moved, and any special services you require and conditions that may effect the pick up or delivery. It is very important to provide estimators with a clear understanding of the new home, that may effect the delivery. This ensures a more accurate estimate of cost, and reduces the chance of misunderstandings and unexpected charges on moving day.

If your relocation is over 100 constructive miles, or going out of state is considered a long distance move. Long distance moves are charged by the size or weight of the shipment and on constructive miles.

If you are moving under 100 constructive miles, this is considered a local move. Most local moves are charged by the hour. The hourly rate is based on the amount of movers working on your move and possibly size of number of trucks hired by you.

Keep in mind that hourly rate covers any service performed by the movers, not involving special equipment, or non-reusable packing materials. On the other hand, long distance movers will charge extra for packing labor, as it is not included in the basic move estimate by weight or size. On long distance rated shipments there may be additional charge for stairs, long walks, elevators. If it is impossible for the mover park the truck with in 75 feet of the front door, a long carry charge may apply. If the truck is parked with in a few block radius, and goods need to be reloaded in a smaller truck to be brought over to the new residence, the shuttle charges will apply.

If you add items or request services not included in the estimate, the mover will have to provide a Change Order for Service form at the time you request that service.