College Moving Companies SF
If you are a student moving in or around San Francisco, you already know it isn’t easy to find an affordable moving company to handle your move, no matter if it is local or long-distance. You may be looking for a company to manage a small move into or out of an apartment or to handle putting your goods into storage for the summer. No matter what your needs are, take the time to find the right company for your project.
How much will it cost to find a mover in San Francisco?
The cost of moving into, out of, or locally in San Francisco will depend on how much you have to move and how far you are moving it. Local moves are subject to regulation by the state of California, Bureau of Household Goods and Services, while interstate moves fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA. Both agencies provide regulations to maintain safety and protect consumers from fraudulent activity.
To determine how much your move will cost, you should obtain at least three estimates from licensed moving companies. If you are moving state to state, the FMCSA maintains a database of movers that have their registration with the Department of Transportation, as required. You can check out their safety and complaint history as well. If you are making a local move within California, the Bureau of Household Goods and Services has a “License Search” button on its website to simplify the process of validating that the mover you are considering is legitimate.
Within California, movers must provide you with an estimate that gives you a “not to exceed” quote so you know how much the maximum is that you will pay for the move. Local moves are usually charged by labor hours—how much time it will take to get the job done—while long-distance quotes primarily consider the shipment’s weight. Also, in California, verbal or online estimates are not allowed—the moving company must put the estimate in writing. If you are moving interstate, you should also obtain a written estimate and clarify whether it is binding, nonbinding, or not to exceed.
Like a not-to-exceed rate, a binding estimate means that the price can’t go up, but it also won’t be lower. This type of assessment assures that you won’t be facing a surprising price increase when your household goods are delivered. One common scam perpetrated by shady moving companies is to lure in the consumer with a lowball estimate, and then hold the shipment “hostage” until the customer pays a much higher price than what was agreed on. A nonbinding estimate (not allowed for California intrastate moves with licensed movers) is a forecast of the price based on the time that will be required or the weight of the shipment. If you are comparing nonbinding estimates from movers, review them carefully to verify that they are similar. Look at the inventory that each vendor created to support the quote since this list includes everything you have asked them to include in the move.
Do movers give discounts to students for small moves?
Discounts may be offered to specific affinity groups, and it never hurts to ask. Your school may have recommendations and may have a supplier that has agreed to provide affordable pricing. Usually, students move during the peak demand season for moving services, so it may be more challenging to negotiate a price reduction. Most people prefer to move during summer, with high demand running from late spring through early fall. Also, some small moving companies have minimums, so make sure that you ask if the companies you are interviewing charge for more than your shipment’s actual weight.
How can I save money on my move?
When you try to make your move more affordable, there are good ways to do so without taking chances on quality. Remember that finding a reputable company to do business with is crucial. Avoid potential scams by keeping an eye open for these red flags:
- A mover that doesn’t want to do a visual inspection of your shipment may be an unscrupulous operator. The physical survey is a requirement of both state and federal regulations, and you should not waive it unless you have a small project that can be comfortably described by the number of boxes included. If a mover is hesitant to include this step, choose someone else.
- A mover that asks you to sign a blank or incomplete document (estimate, work order, or inventory) may be planning to cheat you, perhaps by holding your shipment hostage for a higher payment. Never sign any incomplete document or one that you don’t understand.
- A company that asks for a large deposit upfront, or only wants payment in cash is suspicious. Most moves are paid for upon delivery. If you pay in advance, you give up your leverage over the moving company to satisfactorily complete the work.
- A moving company that does not have branded vehicles or a physical location could be running a scam operation. You may have encountered a fly-by-night company that is either completely fake or less than established if they don’t have a real office or their own equipment.
On the other hand, you can save money by comparing estimates and only paying for the services that you need. If you complete the packing on your own, use that process to reduce the number of items you need to move. Discard things you no longer need or want and donate what you can before you move. Be aware of the services that add to the moving bill, like elevator waiting charges. If you can reserve elevator time in your building, you may be able to save money on the move. Collect used boxes rather than paying for new materials, and use clothing and linens to protect fragile items like dishes and glassware instead of buying bubble wrap or packing paper.
One area to think about carefully before you highlight it as a potential for savings is the insurance, or valuation, as it is referred to in the moving business. Movers will provide you with basic valuation coverage for your shipment, and you may be tempted to decline the higher coverage that is available for an additional charge. But this may be a costly mistake if you have any valuable items. The basic level will only give you a reimbursement of $0.60 per pound to repair or replace anything lost or broken. If the movers break something as inexpensive as your 25-pound microwave, you will be unlikely to get even a used replacement for the $18.00 coverage limit. Now think about trying to buy another 25-inch computer monitor. Your current model may only weigh 4 pounds, but it is clearly worth more than $2.40. The additional choices for moving liability are worth thinking about since accidents can happen to anyone. Your books, furniture, and other possessions are also worth protecting for the small fee.