Hidden Moving Costs and How To Avoid Them

Moving, aside from being a very stressful process, it is pretty much expensive. Depending on the size of the move, moving the entire household can cost between $2.000 to over $20.000. It is essential for you to know how to plan your budget for the move, or at least to be roughly prepared on how much money you will need to place aside for this endeavor.

The important thing that you should know when hiring a professional moving company is to be aware of their pricing. I am sure that this happened to you before, the infamous hidden costs, well no surprise but the moving companies might have them too. 

There are some costs that you are not aware of when scheduling the move, and at the end of the move, you are caught off guard not knowing for what you pay all that money. 

Here are some costs that are not included in the hourly rate or flat rate that you will have to pay at the end without being fully aware of them.

Transactions fee

Money and calculator

Using a credit card or debit is much easier than carrying cash, especially if there is a larger amount at stake. But using the card is not for free. As you are aware, merchants and banks charge the so-called transaction fee which can vary from 2 up to 10% per transaction.

The moving companies are no exception. At some companies such as Movers of Redondo Beach, the processing fee is included in the price, or you will be informed during the booking that a certain amount will be added and that it is for the merchant. 

However, not all companies have this warning. Sometimes you will be provided with the amount at the end of the movie but then receive a statement from your bank with the amount different from the one you were told.

The safest way to avoid, always to ask while getting a quote and during the booking process about transaction fees and how much they are. 

Fuel fee / Travel fee

Moving is not cheap, but you can pretty much have a rough vision of how much you will pay at the end.  But providing you with the price per hour does not mean that that is all that is going to be charged. 

Moving companies have something called a travel fee.

Moving company truck

That is not always pointed out, but they are covering the expenses for gas to get from their facility to your starting address. The distance is variable, therefore the travel fee may not be a fixed price. Usually, the companies have it determined by range, meaning if the starting address is 5 miles from their location there is one fixed price that is going to be charged. The more distanced the address from the company’s parking is, the bigger the fee is to be charged.

Packing service

When you wish to schedule your move and choose to go with professional movers, you would expect that they will have everything covered. That is true, but it costs more. 

You will be asked during the booking process whether you need the full pack service or partial packing, and that is an extra cost that is not included in the base price. 

Packing materials are not included in the hourly rate, they are charged as an additional expense at the end of the move. 

  • If you need packing service, ask upfront about how much this costs. 
  • The packing supplies are charged per item used, so you can expect to have a few extra costs for boxes, wrapping paper, or bubble wrap.
Woman packing items

Once you make a call you will be informed that some packing is included, but make sure to ask what exactly that means. For instance, plastic wrap is free, garment boxes are free to use during the move, in most cases, but if you think that you will get to keep them, you will have to pay extra. You can use but, but not have it. This goes in most cases for the moving blankets. 

Make sure to ask about the packing and unpacking service so as not to get surprised at the end, when the final bill is given to you.

Hiring movers for packing or labor jobs only

As mentioned before, when you choose to hire professional movers to pack your belongings or just to help you load or unload the pod, truck, or maybe even to move furniture within the house, you will be provided with an hourly rate, but that’s not it.

Movers carrying boxes

You may be charged for the travel time, even though you technically do not need a truck from the company, they will charge the travel fee because the movers still have to get to your address. Aside from the travel fee, you will be charged for packing supplies if you need any. 

Heavy item handling

Hiring the movers to help you means that you rely on them taking care of big, bulky items that you have, and they will, but at a certain additional cost. 

Items like armoires, china cabinets, gym equipment, machines, pianos, etc can be moved, but for an additional cost. In order not to get surprised on the day of the move, make sure to mention that you have items that are big or heavy to handle and you will be informed about this extra cost. 

  • This fee might vary from company to company, but normally it is charged between $100 – $200.
Movers carrying heavy item

Stairs/ long carry charges

This one can be quite surprising. If you are located on a high level of a building and the elevator is not an option to be used, you may face the stairs charge. This cost varies from company to company. The best way to avoid it, or at least not get caught off guard is to inform the agent during the booking process how many flights of stairs are included.

Spiral staircases

Similar thing is for long carry. If your driveway is too narrow or the parking is not available in front of the building is not accessible, you might be charged for the long carry. This is another additional cost that, let’s be honest, most of us do not come to mind immediately.

The safest way to avoid hidden costs is to do your homework, prepare all the questions, determine your budget, and than you can get into searching for the best company for you. 

Prepare all the questions upfront to ask the agent about the cost. 

Good luck!

Woman crossing fingers for luck

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