Is Negotiating with Movers a Tough Task?

A few months back while I was packing the home to Washington, someone told me that moving long-distance, especially when you hire a moving company in Washington, is a costly affair. But what he forgot to remind me was that moving cost is greatly based on how we decide to move. My guts tell me that my friend was not aware that negotiation can trim the moving cost to a big extent. And what I learned while hiring a mover in Washington was that when someone tells you that a long-distance moving cost is $4,200, it doesn’t mean that you require the exact amount to relocate home from Connecticut or Arizona to Washington. Instead, this is just a rough moving cost estimate meant to give you a hint of how much you need to keep in your wallet.

A moving company quote is determined based on multiple factors which include moving distance, shipment weight, extra moving services, and most importantly, the company’s name. However, above everything, what decides the final moving company cost is your ability to negotiate. 

It is possible to negotiate the cost for every service rendered by a mover and the better negotiable skills you have the better chance you have to score a good deal. 

Is it possible to augment the negotiation skills? Can I learn how to negotiate for a better moving cost estimate? 

Yes, it is possible and we here discuss a few tips to learn to negotiate. 

Before we move further, you need to know that the first step in the negotiation process is to confirm that your mover is genuine one. The moving company needs to be licensed and registered. 

Before you discuss the moving cost estimate, confirm the mover’s licensing and insuring information – registration with FMCSA, BBB accreditation, professional affiliations (such as membership in the AMSA), etc. You can even research the databases of,, and Yelp to learn about reported problems and disputes with moving companies.

Gather as many moving company quotes as you can

There is no cap on the number of moving quotes and you can get as many as you can. You need to have a minimum of 4 moving company quotes in hand. Compare them to analyze what is lacking in each quote and what you require the mover to include in a quote. There can be services that you don’t require and can ask the company to remove them to trim the budget. 

Consider the accessorial services (and their rates), valuation coverage, and special conditions. Ask as many questions as you can to make everything clear and transparent.

Never entertain moving quotes via phone

As the rule of a thump, a moving representative visits your home to take the stock of your household belongings. He analyzes every item and also other factors such as the distance from the front gate to the parking lot and space in the corridor to prepare the moving cost estimate. You should not accept a moving quote via phone without a representative visiting the home.

Ask the mover for more discounts and offers

Maybe the moving website is mentioning a discount but when you ask for more, you may get an extra off – between 5-15% which is a good deal. But that depends upon your skill to bargain.

Let the moving company decide the date

If you’re not specific about the moving date, consider the off-season – between October and May, in the middle of the month, or a weekday to relocate to the new home. Ask the mover to suggest a date in return for a slash in the moving company quote.

Save on extra services

When you are offered a moving cost estimate, you can ask to remove a few services in it that you don’t feel are important for a cut in the cost. For example, the house is a little far away from the main road and the quote is higher as the items at home need to be carried through a passage. Take the help of your friends to move the stuff from the road to the home and settle for a low-moving quote. In addition, skipping the packing services can also slash the moving cost.

Negotiation is an art. Just follow these tips and see how much you save while moving next time.