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Moving companies are businesses, first and foremost. Obviously, they want to make as much profit as possible. This is why you need to become an educated consumer and really ask good questions along with watching all the charges a moving company might try to hit you with. There are a number of hidden moving fees that can be avoided if you know what to look for.
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Packing Materials & Supplies:
This will really depend on your particular situation. For example, if you have hired professional and full-service movers, then they should have all of the packing already included in their fee. All of the supplies and materials required will also be included, so you should not see any extra charges.
On the other hand, if you are going with a less than full-service mover you have likely decided to pack everything yourself. However, if you find out that you are lacking in terms of supplies or materials, anything the company has to provide for you will result in an additional fee. Any extra time they spend helping you to pack will also likely result in extra money spent since they are likely working on a per hour (and also per person) fee schedule. Avoid all of this by careful planning and preparation ahead of time.
Stair & Long-Carry Charges:
Get ready for these, because it might not be possible to avoid them entirely. If a moving company needs to carry your items up to a set or two (or more) of stairs, they will most likely charge you an extra fee. The same is also true if the walk from your house to the moving truck is particularly far.
Since you really can’t do anything to change the physical location or attributes of your home, you can still avoid these extra charges by preparing. This may require a bit of extra work on your part. For example, to avoid a long carry charge, you can bring all your stuff out of the home and put it closer to the truck. Also, ask ahead of time if they charge extra for going up stairs…and then plan for this extra fee in your moving budget.
Paying Extra For Credit:
Believe it or some moving companies may actually try and charge you extra for using a credit card. This is certainly not something that Visa and MasterCard are happy about, so by all means, if your moving company is trying to do this, call up your card company and tell them about the fee.
Of course, you could also avoid this fee by paying with a check or even cash (make sure to get a receipt). Additionally, you never want to pay for any move up front with cash or to ever put down a large cash deposit ahead of time. That is just inviting a scam. They may even ask you for more money afterward, holding your belongings as a hostage.