Olympia238_resizeThe moving industry has, over time, developed a vernacular that is exclusive in nature.  It takes years to become fully acquainted with the terminology and the surplus of unnecessary acronyms. 

The practical manifestation of this reality is that moving estimates can be extremely difficult to comprehend.  This is especially true on interstate shipments, where many of the movers themselves would be hard-pressed to define all of the specific line items referenced on a given quotation.

Having said this, ultimately you need to relocate your personal property from point A to point B, and therefore you should focus on the following common elements/questions in evaluating a potential service provider.

  1. Weight: How much weight is being estimated? If you are comparing quotes, ask the competing companies to provide you with a quote based upon the highest estimated weight.  If you rececive any quotations based upon cubic footage, simply eliminate those companies (while there are some subtle workarounds, it is technically illegal to provide interstate pricing based upon anything other than weight).
  2. Packing: How much packing and how many containers are included in your estimate?
  3. Services: Nobody likes surprises when it comes to moving.  What (if any) are the potential additional charges?  Make sure to ask about “shuttle charges” at the delivery residence.
  4. Estimate Type: Is this a non-binding, binding, or not-to-exceed estimate?
  5. Who is conducting the move?  Will the company that you are speaking with actually transport your shipment directly, or is the salesperson that you are working with representing a larger van line?

In the interest of helping prospects and clients to navigate the industry terminology, Olympia has included a glossary of terms on our website.

The bottom-line is that, while all interstate carriers are required to have some “legalese” in their document, if your representative is not able to fully explain the estimate, or you have concerns that the estimate is intentionally nebulous, simply cross that company off your list.