Moving can be a complicated process. The more detail-oriented you are from the start, the less likely you will run into obstacles along the way. Start the process off on the right foot by requesting comprehensive quotes. However, only request quote from reputable moving companies in your area. Here are things to consider when collecting moving quotes:


1. Narrow your options when collecting moving quotes.

When selecting a moving company, a well-informed decision requires knowing all the available options. However, requesting accurate and comprehensive moving quotes can be time-consuming. Scheduling several in-home walk-through or inspections will quickly fill up your calendar. Gathering information on your initial call to prospective moving companies can help you limit your list. The following are examples of questions you can start with during your screening calls:

Are you available on my moving date?

The first step to shortening your list of prospective moving companies is to inquire about availability. If a moving company isn’t available on your moving date, there’s no sense in requesting a quote.

Do you base your moving quotes on an on-site or virtual survey?

Prospective moving companies should offer moving quotes based on an in-person visit or a video (virtual) survey. Moving quotes should not be solely based on information collected through a phone conversation. This ensures you receive a more accurate moving quote on which to base your final selection.

Do you charge by weight or volume?

Consumer Affairs states that reputable moving companies charge by weight for longer-distance moves. However, for local moves, moving companies base charges on weight or crew-hours.

What type of valuation do you offer and what is the cost?

First, determine the type of valuation you are most comfortable with and how much you are looking to spend on it. For interstate moves, moving companies are required by federal law to offer two types of valuation – Released Value Coverage (also known as Basic Carrier Liability) and Full Value Protection (also known as Full Value Replacement Value Protection). Learn more about these types of valuation in our blog post titled “Why You Should Consider Hiring Professional Movers for Your Next Move”.

Remember to inquire about available valuation options and the associated cost. Once you have this information, familiarize yourself with the “fine print” on these options.

What do your baseline services include? Do you offer additional services? What are the associated costs?

Have a thorough understanding of each moving company’s basic service offerings. If you are looking for additional services such as packing or storage, inquire about this ahead of time. Some moving companies may not offer additional services you need/want or the additional costs may be out of your budget.


2. Collect a minimum of three moving quotes.

If for some reason, your first choice falls through, it’s ideal to have at least two other options to choose from. Avoid the risk of settling for your one remaining option.


3. To avoid unexpected charges, ensure the moving quote explicitly lists all the details and services included.

If the moving quote you received is vague, ask for clarifications and additional details. By doing so, you avoid being charged for services you don’t need or want. Even worse is finding out the moving quote does not include services you need. This may result in you paying more than you planned.

Be sure to review the inventory list on which the moving quote is based. Make certain major items are not missing from the list and that the estimated number of boxes included is realistic.

It is particularly important to understand what type of valuation is included in the provided moving quote. In the unfortunate event of an accident, you do not want to discover your move was not sufficiently covered.


4. Understand what type of quote the moving company has provided.

The three types of moving quotes are as follows:

  • Non-binding: In the simplest terms, this type of quote is an estimate. The actual amount you will be charged will be based on the actual weight of your belongings or the number of crew-hours used (local moves).
  • Binding: A binding moving quote ensures the estimated price is the actual price you will pay for your move. The actual price would be different only if you have added additional services or items to the inventory list after the quote was given.
  • Binding-not-to-exceed: This type of moving quote guarantees the final charge will not exceed the estimate provided. However, if the weight of your belongings or the number of crew-hours used is lower than estimated, your final charges will be less than the quoted amount. This quote type is the most consumer-friendly and more common in long-distance moves.


5. Do not be fooled by a moving quote that is significantly lower than the others.

Moving quotes that are significantly lower than others you collect should raise red flags for you. Do not allow these supposed “budget-friendly” moving quotes blind your judgment. Verify the quote type (non-binding, binding, or binding-not-to-exceed) and what exactly is included in the quoted price. Also, be sure to check out the moving company’s online reviews. It’s possible the significantly lower quoted price includes only bare-bones services. In addition, the moving company may have a questionable reputation.


6. Once you have selected your moving company, sign quotes only if they are completely filled out.

Before signing any documents on or leading up to your moving date, verify that all the information is filled out. Signing documents without the necessary information filled out opens yourself to the risk of charges being added without your knowledge.


Collecting reliable moving quotes is an important part of the moving company selection process. Following these tips will help you gather the information you need to select a first-rate moving company within your budget.

Learn more about our Madison residential moving and national residential moving services at Reynolds Transfer & Storage. When you are ready, we can work with you to provide a comprehensive quote. Fill out our form to begin the moving quote process.