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The Price is Right – A Guide to the Visual Estimate

Contributed by Olympia Moving & Storage in Skokie, IL

Let’s face it; we’ve all heard horror stories about moving. Moving can be a stressful and tedious process.  We’ve heard countless trials and tribulations—customers describing missing shipments, items broken in-transit, mishandled belongings and increases in price! However, as a reputable moving company, we take precautionary steps, before the “product” ships, to ensure the safety of our “packages,” meaning your belongings.

To make sure that your goods are safe and you won’t experience price spikes on move day, we recommend getting a visual estimate done with about 2-4 moving companies or fully calculating your inventory online with Unpakt. This facilitates the most accurate cost for the relocation as possible.

When receiving a visual estimate, the cost can’t always be spot-on because of two factors:

1) With a binding estimate, cost is based on the items that compose your inventory list (binding does not mean that this cost is not to exceed, which is a common customer misconception.) If you have a few more items that appear on the day of your move, then naturally, the movers have to charge you for them.

2) With a non-binding estimate, the cost is based solely on the entire weight of your shipment. An estimator can do his best to calculate the weight of your shipment, but chances are they will be slightly off. We are speaking of a typical fluctuation of less than 100 lbs., which 9 out of 10 times the mover will disregard.

Things to keep in mind when having in-home estimates performed:

  • Beware of low-ending estimations. If, for example, 3 visual-estimators approximate 5,000 lbs., and the fourth estimates 3,000 lbs., he’s most likely fraudulent.
  • Make sure to show the estimator all cabinets, crawl spaces, attics, basements, garages, sheds, etc.
  • Let the estimator know, upfront, if you are looking for full-packing services (where the movers pack everything in your house, including the packaging of all boxes.)

Most importantly, be direct and honest with the estimator. Show them all items being moved, and mention all additional services needed, upfront. Do your research, shop around and go with the company that you feel most confident and comfortable with. Sometimes the extra money spent on your move could mean the extra care and consideration with all of your life’s most sentimental and valuable possessions. Be keen and have a happy move!

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