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At 9Kilo, our primary mission is to simplify your decision-making process and give you free moving quotes from reliable service providers nationwide. 

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Is the Price Right? What You Need to Know When Getting an Online Moving Quote

If you’re preparing for a move, one of the first steps you’ll need to take is getting online moving quotes.

It’s essential to know what you’re paying for before deciding on a professional moving company that you can trust with your belongings. Understanding the components of a moving quote can feel overwhelming, but ensuring you’re getting the best value for your money is vital. 

On this page, we’ll explore moving quotes, help you understand how they are calculated, what they include, and what to look for. 

How Moving Companies Calculate Your Moving Estimate

The main factors affecting moving costs are distance and weight. The further the distance and the more stuff you have, the more the move will cost. 

Moves can be split into two types:

Local:  A local move, often called an “intrastate move,” typically means moving within the same city or town, or at least within the same state. The exact distance that qualifies a move as “local” can vary, but it’s typically less than 50 to 100 miles from the origin to the destination.

Long distance: A long-distance move, often called an “interstate move,” typically refers to a move that crosses state lines or involves a significant distance, typically 100 miles or more.

When it comes to moving quotes, companies usually offer two different types of rates—a flat rate or an hourly rate—depending on the distance and weight of your belongings.  

Flat rate

A flat rate quote means the moving company provides a single, all-inclusive price for the entire job, based on an estimate of the time and labor it will take to complete the move and the estimated weight or volume of your belongings. This rate doesn’t change, regardless of how long the move takes or if your items’ weight is slightly off the original estimate.

Typically, interstate movers will send a customer service representative to do an in-home estimate or use a virtual survey to gauge the amount and type of items you’re moving. They will then use this information, along with the distance of the move, to calculate your free moving quote.

This approach can benefit long-distance or larger home moves where the job’s scope could make an hourly rate more expensive. It’s also helpful if you prefer to know the exact cost up front for budgeting purposes. However, ensuring the flat rate includes all the services you need is essential, as some companies might charge extra for certain services outside the flat rate quote.

Hourly rate

An hourly rate quote means the moving company charges you for each hour of work they perform. This rate usually includes a certain number of movers and a moving truck. If the move takes longer than expected, you’ll pay more than the quoted amount; conversely, you could pay less if it takes less time.

Hourly rates are commonly used for local or smaller moves where the job’s size and duration can be reasonably estimated. One thing to remember with hourly rates is that unforeseen circumstances like heavy traffic, difficulty accessing your home, or packing issues could extend the time and increase the cost accordingly.

In addition to weight and distance, other factors can influence the cost of a move, which we’ll discuss in more detail below: 

Additional Factors That Affect Your Moving Estimate

Moving quotes are calculated based on several key factors. Understanding these elements can help you better anticipate the potential costs of your move and compare quotes from different movers. Here are the factors determining the final price of your moving quote:

➡️ Weight of your belongings: Some moving quotes are calculated on weight; therefore, the fewer belongings you have, the cheaper your move will be. Weight is one of the most overlooked factors in calculating your moving quote.

➡️ Move date: The day of the week and date can dramatically affect the price of your move. For example, moving dates during the peak moving season in summer tend to cost much more than a weekday, off-season move in winter.

➡️ Labor costs: Labor costs vary depending on the state and the moving company. Local movers typically charge an hourly rate. With interstate moves, the quote usually includes an estimate of the labor costs. 

➡️ Insurance: Basic liability protection is often included in your quote, but if you opt for full-value insurance protection, this will increase the price.  

➡️ Packing and additional services: If you require professional packing, disassembly, and reassembly of furniture, or special handling for items like pianos or artwork, these services will add to your overall cost. Storage services, if needed, also come at an extra charge.

The Three Different Types of Moving Estimates

Having learned what affects your move’s cost and the different moving rates, let’s examine the three main types of moving quotes you’ll encounter as you plan your move.

1️⃣ Binding quote

A binding estimate means the moving company gives you a set price for your move, which is done by assessing the weight of all your belongings and factoring in any add-ons. 

If you say yes to a binding estimate, you’ve got to pay the quoted price, even if the actual weight turns out to be less. The great part about this is that the cost cannot skyrocket beyond the original quote. 

The not-so-great part is that if your stuff weighs less than they thought, you’re still stuck paying the original amount quoted by your moving service.

2️⃣ Non-binding quote

A non-binding estimate considers your move details and gives you a pretty good idea of what you’ll pay, but it’s not set in stone. Your final bill will depend on the actual weight of your belongings, the mover’s standard rates, and the moving services you choose. 

This means your final bill might differ from the non-binding estimate, and you may end up paying more, or less, than the quote. But don’t stress too much—the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that movers can’t charge more than 110% of the original estimate when your stuff is delivered. 

3️⃣ Binding not to exceed

This type of moving quote is also known as a “guaranteed not-to-exceed” estimate. This means you won’t get charged extra, even if your stuff weighs more than you first thought. The quote they gave you is the most you’ll have to pay. 

If your belongings weigh less than the estimate, you only have to pay for shipping the actual weight. This type of quote often offers the best deal when comparing your free moving quotes. 

Instant Ballpark Quote or Moving Quotes?

Wondering about the difference between formal moving estimates and instant ballpark quotes you get through a moving estimate calculator? Here’s the lowdown. Formal moving quotes usually involve an in-person or virtual walkthrough, whereas instant online estimates are done without an official inventory check.

In the case of a formal moving quote, the best moving companies will send a personal move coordinator to your home to take an inventory of your household items. By doing this, they can better understand how much stuff you’re moving and the likely weight of the haul. They can also scope out special requirements or potential challenges, like staircases or elevators.

On the flip side, an instant ballpark moving quote is a very rough estimate based on the number of rooms in your house, the destination zip code, and when you plan to move. 

These quick quotes can be super handy as they give you an immediate idea of what your move might cost. Even though it’s a rough estimate, it can help you start planning your moving budget.

Formal moving quotes are more comprehensive, detailed, and accurate than online ones. But don’t write off instant quotes just yet—they’re quick and easy rough guides that can give you an initial sense of what your move could cost.

Questions to Ask When You Get Your Official Moving Quote

With a few moving quotes in hand, you might wonder, “What questions should I be asking potential moving companies?” Let’s dive into that next! 

Here are some important questions about each moving company when you’re ready to assess your long-distance moving quotes: 

  • ❓Which type of moving quote do they use?
  • ❓What are the terms of their insurance policy?
  • ❓Are there any hidden fees tucked away within their moving contract?
  • ❓How long has their moving company operated in your state?
  • ❓Does the mover outsource any of the labor?
  • ❓What is the timeline for completing your move?

Moving Cost FAQs

Where can I get an online moving quote? 

Obtaining an online moving quote is easy! Simply visit a moving company’s website or a third-party review site like 9Kilo for an online moving estimate. 

Many moving companies offer online quote tools or forms right on their home page. You typically just need to enter some basic information about your move, such as:

➡️ Your current location and destination

➡️ The estimated size of your move (often based on the number of bedrooms or square footage of your home)

➡️ The date of your move

➡️ Any additional services you might need, such as packing, storage, or large-item handling

Remember, getting quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services is always a good idea. And always ensure that any company you’re considering is properly licensed and insured.

How many quotes should I get?

Comparing moving companies allows you to compare prices, services, and company reputations to ensure you get the best deal for your needs. Getting at least three moving quotes from different companies is typically recommended before deciding.

Remember, though, that price isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a moving company. You should also consider factors like the company’s reputation, customer reviews, included services, and whether they’re licensed and insured.

How much does a moving company cost?

Hiring local moving companies costs around $30 per hour per mover. Moving a two-bedroom apartment should take three movers close to six hours, so the cost will be about $540 for labor. 

For a long-distance relocation, the cost of moving is around $3,750 for an average weight of 5,000 lbs.

What is the average cost of moving a three-bedroom house?

Moving a three-bedroom house out of state or more than 100 miles costs around $1,000 per room and $0.50 per pound.

How much does a full-service move cost?

A full-service move costs around $30-$50 per hour per mover. It includes planning, packing, moving, and unpacking. For a four-bedroom house, it usually takes two movers 10 hours to pack and another 10 hours to move, which means the minimum cost for full-service movers will be about $1,200.

How much does it cost to move cross country?

The cross-country moving cost of a three-bedroom house is around $7,000-$10,000.

If you want to relocate cross-country anytime soon, this list of the top cross-country movers in the USA will help you choose the right company.

Simplify Your Move with 9Kilo: Get Free Moving Quotes Today!

Moving can be a stressful and time-consuming process, but with the help of 9Kilo, it’s easier than ever to find the right mover!

Ready to simplify your move? Let 9Kilo help you get free moving quotes from trusted professionals in your area.