Reputable movers are always licensed with the Public Utilities Commission.
Make sure to check your mover's license certificate by calling the PUC
The mover offers a guaranteed price, within a small
percentage of deviation, that is based on a complete list of
items to be moved and the type of service performed.
or “Hourly-Rate" Estimates
This is not an estimate at all, only a price list.
These rates are based upon the movers' previous experience of
jobs similar to yours.
to exceed Price
This quote is binding only on the mover. The final
price for the move cannot exceed the “NOT TO EXCEED" estimate;
but if the move comes in under the estimated amount you pay the
Your mover cannot give you a binding estimate
over the telephone or the Internet. For a more accurate appraisal,
a professional estimator needs to physically look over every item
that you wish to have moved.
In addition, know (1) which items you are packing,
(2) which items the mover is packing, (3) which items need to be
picked up from a storage facility and (4) what packaging supplies
you'll need from them. Most importantly, make sure the movers know
the exact destination. Once the inventory is completed, your mover
will be able to give you either a binding or a "not to exceed" estimate,
which can be relied upon.
Take advantage of free estimates, and get them
from several movers. Having several free estimates will give you
a very good idea of how costly your move will be. Keep in mind
that certain movers offer un-guaranteed estimates that are outrageously
low, and then hand you a large bill when the move is complete.
In order to avoid this predicament, always make sure that any estimates
you receive from movers are either binding or include a "not
to exceed" clause. Keep in mind, however, that moving
is about more than getting the best price; it's about arriving
at your new house safe and sound.