Saturday, March 25, 2006

The cost of moving...Movers quotes are in

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I've just received the second moving quote. It's amazing -- the prices are very similar. The cost of the actual move was only $10 different between the two companies, however, one firm estimated 6 man hours more for than the other.

I would have put a spreadsheet here, but I'm having lots of trouble dealing with converting spreadsheets into html -- anyone have any hints?

Hourly rates are $40/hr/man vs $42/per/man. Not far apart.
The actual move estimate is $2,340 vs $2,350 - again close - only $10 apart!
Time estimates total man hours 48 vs 56. Why so different here?
Packing is $1727 vs $1989 - about $260 apart here.
However vendor B had a $66.30 error on materials cost.
Vendor B also added line items for some extra work. It looks like A incorporated one of B's extra items (packing a painting) saves me $54.0 compared to B.

Thoughts on how to manage the prices:

  1. We're already packing the china, cutlery and glasses in the Kitchen
  2. We're also packing the books and our files
  3. Ask B to correct the $66.30 error
  4. Ask each vendor to protect us against over time charges (or overages)
  5. I'll pack closet clothing into our own wardrobe boxes, we can pay the same price and get 25% more boxes at costco.
  6. See if one or both vendors will lower their hourly rate
  7. Oddly B, who estimated more hours, didn't charge for driving back and forth - I guess they built it into their work estimate. Were they trying to trick me?
  8. I won't waste time negotiating material costs - I put together a complete spreadsheet and there's not a big enough difference between their prices and Costco when you consider you must by quantities of 10, 20 or 30 of certain boxes, although you may not plan to use all of them.

This was a very difficult price comparison. In many ways their prices are quite close.

I'm concerned if I knock down their hourly rates too much I'll get their worst crew (cheapest crew). What do you recommend?

Where can I save money here on the mover's side? Obviously the more I pack the cheaper it will be.

They both were recommended so I can't really use reputation to differentiate.

Here's another question:

It looks like my home owner's policy will cover the personal property in transit. Should I pay $600 to have the mover insure it with no deductible and no risk of having a claim on my history or should I put it on my personal policy? In the past I've had little damage, but I have no experience with this mover.

Any advice here would be appreciated.

Have a wonderful Saturday,

Making Our Way

1 comment: said...

I started my own financial blog a few days ago and I am just checking out what other folks are doing.
We moved a few years ago and based on my experience with our moving company(which I will NOT recommend) I would suggest several things. 1. Check them out with the BBB. The moving industry is full of fraud and dirty tricks. 2. Get a local company if you can. I think they have more incentive to treat you right if they are in the area rather than say New Jersey and they just subcontract out the work. 3. Make sure you have plenty of packing supplies on hand. If you come up short or they have to go over the amount of supplies stipulated in the contract they will really stick it to you for the extra supplies. Good luck. Tim