These are the facts that are typically used by movers to provide you with a estimate of your move cost. They are only part of the big picture and relying on these factors only to guess move cost is why movers traditionally have a reputation for giving misleading estimates. The truth is that anyone who provides you with a telephone estimate of your total move cost is likely to be wrong and is probably telling you what you want to hear just to get your business. At OOmovers we do not give "guesstimates". We promise quality service at fair rates. If you want to feel secure at billing time your choice of a mover should be based on trust, not misleading and unreliable guesses.
The more things to move, the more it will cost. Save money by moving small things yourself. Carry difficult fragile items, such as art, in your car. If you are moving across the country, think twice about large old items such as couches or beds. Sometimes the shipping can cost more than they are worth. Make your cargo smaller by stuffing drawers and cabinets with pillows, blankets, etc. Disassemble everything you can to reduce the volume of your cargo. Space is money.
The farther the move, the more it will cost. Distance is not a large cost factor for local moving but long distance moving is traditionally billed by the pound with the cost increasing for each mile. This can be expensive even if you are only moving a day's drive away. At OOmovers we offer hourly or fixed rates for short in-province moves at a much lower rate than typical by the pound costs. For example, if you are moving from Vancouver to the Okanogan or the Island we will load the first day and then leave very early the next morning to enable us to unload and return in one day. This way you are not burdened with the overnight costs that are included in long distance rates. Our rates can be as low as half of the cost of poundage rates from the big national movers.
Bigger trucks and more men cost more. The right match of men and equipment is important, especially when you are paying by the hour. Ideally you want your move to be one truck load but that is not always possible and sometimes more expensive. Large tractor trailers are rarely used for local moving because their hourly cost is very high and they will not fit into space available for most inner city moves. Multiple loads are common but do not mean your mover has too small a truck. If time is a factor we will use two or more trucks to speed up your move. If you are moving a short distance it is often more economical to do multiple shuttle trips with only one layer of items in the truck. This is faster and cheaper than constructing the complex puzzle required to stack all your goods up to the ceiling of the truck for one load.
The number of men is also a big cost factor. Sometimes on a very small move we let the client help and only send one man. For small apartment moves two men work well but on a house move, three or four men is best to minimize your final cost. A large portion of the hourly cost is for the truck and the cost of an additional man is cheaper than tying up the truck for many more hours. Most trucks will only fit a three man crew, but in general more hands make quick work and extra manpower is most efficient.
Peak season (summer) and end of month are times when many movers increase their rates dramatically to take advantage of market demand. At OOmovers we will charge the same fair rates even if you call us desperate on the morning of July 31st. In addition we will offer you a discount mid-month all year long.
There will be some packing supplies charges on every move. We will bag all your beds for your protection (bed bugs--ick!). Leather and upholstered items will be shrink wrapped. Packing tape will be used as needed and sometimes you will buy some boxes. If your move is not strictly local there will be fuel surcharges based on the kilometers traveled. If your move requires travel by ferry or toll road/bridge they will also be added under the category surcharge.
This is a cost you will be charged in order to pay the crew to come and go to the work sites. We chose a fixed time charge to be fair as the old method of office-to-office charging is too open to abuse. We want your trust. In most cases it is a flat thirty minute charge at the beginning and end of the job for a total of one hour. In truth generally big city traffic is slow and we spend more time than that to get to and from your locations. If any of your locations are not local we will offer you an honest travel time charge based on actual driving time. This charge is often confusing to clients. Be clear that it is not related to the time we are driving to your new home. That time is just part of the Work Time cost detailed on your bill.
These factors are rarely discussed at "guesstimate" time but are the reason no honest mover can promise you a price up front. It is true that there are some fixed rate moves available but rest assured more often than not the fixed rate is much more than required. The mover must cover himself for variable costs and either you pay too much or the mover does not get enough. Find a mover you can trust to charge fairly by the hour and you will always get the correct price.
High value cargo costs more to move. We treat all of our clients goods with care but the fact is very expensive and fragile articles take longer to move. The risk of damage to fine furniture justifies taking extra time and care in the padding and transport. If you are a poor student with possessions of low value we are going to respect your need for a low cost move and are going to move your things as expediently as we can without damage. If you have high value goods we are going to make care the first priority and take the time required to ensure no mistakes are made. We know you are going to expect as close to perfection as possible and do not want damage at any cost. This is a balance that our experienced movers all know how to judge. Don't be shy to let your needs be known. Let us know what you consider priceless, even if just for sentimental reasons, and we will treat it accordingly.
Where we park the truck and how far the goods must be carried is probably the single most important factor that results in bad "guesstimates". Even if the mover does an on-site visit to your home the unload access can affect the final cost in a big way. Distance to walk, elevators, stairs , inclines, corners, door size and walking surface can all vary the move cost.
Do everything you can to enable parking close to your home. Buy parking permits, block off space on the street with your car or cones, work with your building manager or neighbours. Big trucks cannot get up super steep inclines or be loaded safely on a slope. When necessary arrange the use of a pick up truck for shuttling.
Get a key for your elevator and make reservations when required. When you can, get a wide window of time for elevator access. Many moves take longer than expected and delays can occur for many reasons. For high security locations get someone to help watching the main building door so the movers can go in and out freely. Work with your building managers in apartment complexes. They can often greatly influence your move cost.
Provide a smooth, clean surface for walking and for rolling cargo. No snow, ice or dirt is essential. Lay plywood over grass or construction mud if needed. Remove doors if narrow and large furniture or appliances are being moved. Have the elevator padded and cover railings and sharp corners when you can. We have floor runners but cardboard and heavy plastic can also help. Remember, it is not safe for movers to remove their shoes and WCB regulations forbid it. Trim bushes and do eveything you can to provide a clean dry route to the truck. Remember to do this both at the pick up and at the drop locations. Your move co-ordinator at OOmovers will discuss and help you with this very important factor in your final move cost.
This is a complex subject and much help is available on the internet but put simply, the more prepared move costs less. Pack only closed, taped boxes and tubs. Stack them in piles out of the way. No garbage bags please. Label boxes for location and warnings about fragile items. Keep hallways and room access clear. Bundle loose items like brooms, mops,etc. Disasseble anything that you can to save money unless you want us to do it. Strip your beds and don't pile things on furniture. Empty drawers and remove shelves inside cabinets. This factor is one of the big cost builders. If we have to pick items up twice or shovel stuff up, it will cost you more.
As you might expect, rain and snow can slow down your move, however our men are fully equipped to deal with whatever may occur. If you do your best to keep the access route clear and help mop up water we will get through it. Traffic can affect your cost when we are carrying your cargo. It is always good to avoid rush hour but remember we will not increase your Travel Time costs even if we have to come and go at the busy times.
Be prepared, but plan to expect problems! Have all your things and all your people organized as best you can but be flexible. Moving is a very difficult process and often there are delays and cost overuns that do not occur in your mind when planning your move. Trucks and men can be delayed or break down. Overreacting to stress at this time is common and only makes things worse. We have been moving successfully for over thirty-two years but can still be surprised at what happens on moving day. Sometimes it's our fault or the client's or a third party, but stuff happens. The one thing you can count on is that we will do everything possible to work through whatever happens and will not let you down.
This is the most avoided factor to be discussed by other movers but we hope it is the main reason you chose our company. Simply put, our guys are the happy movers and you will get more for your money. Employee movers are generally unmotivated, slave labor who cannot get a job anywhere else. They are treated like expendable muscle and drift from company to company without any future or reason to even try hard. The last thing they will do is bring their brain or their heart to work with them. At OOmovers our owner operators receive the money and the emotional rewards that we all need to give our all.
Many times our customers have little experience with hiring personal service workers and are not sure what to do. Movers are human like all of us and respond to kindness. Treat them with respect and trust that they know what to do. A cold drink and a smile will go a long way to saving you money and stress. Treat them as you would be treated and they will respond with loyalty and do all they can to get you through your move with a lower cost and a happy heart.
This is a topic that is also rarely discussed at time of booking by most movers but it is a major final cost factor. Moving delicate and valuable furniture without damage takes years of experience and constant focus on your work. One slip-up can cause huge repair or replacement costs. The truth is that employee movers are rarely commited enough to be careful because they are so abused and undervalued by their bosses. We have structured our company so the movers get the money and the recognition to truly care about thier work. They pay for their own mistakes and take full responsibility.
It is quite ironic that "Care" is the most commonly used word in all moving company names and slogans yet movers are the number one complaint source with the BBB. Advertising is a powerful tool. Make your choice of a mover with "care".