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Definitions of Moving Company Fees, Charges and Extra Costs

Know What Services are Extra


If you've hired movers, it's a good idea to understand mover fees and charges before you sign a contract. Knowing where fees might be charged will help you avoid unnecessary costs. Here, we provide definitions for all possible extra fees that a moving company might charge in addition to the moving estimate they provide.

1. Accessorial Charges

Extra charges for services such as packing, unpacking, and extra pick-ups. Could also include additional fees for long hauls. Some movers simply call this an extra charge.

2. Advanced Charges

Charges for services provided by a professional other than the mover. Can include a craftsman, or other third-party at the client's request. Charges are billed to the mover who in turn, bills the client.

3. Appliance Service

The cost incurred in preparing major appliances for safe transportation. Appliances are disconnected at the originating residence and reconnected at the new residence. In most cases, appliances like washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators are covered in appliance service. A fee for these services may depend on the time it takes to perform these services. If the mover does not perform this service or contracts with a third party, then it will be marked “NA”.

Find out more about how to prepare appliances for moving...

And how to move a refrigerator...

4. Appraisal Fee

When hiring movers, it's important that you have an adequate amount of insurance that will cover your household goods should they be damaged or lost during a move. Insurance companies will provide you with an appraisal of your goods, giving you a written value so you can determine how much insurance you'll need. Ask your mover if they provide such a service and if so, how much they charge for this kind of service. It's a good idea to ask around for fee quotes before you hire an appraiser.

Just know that if your household goods aren't valuable (except to you), then you might not need an appraisal, saving you the cost of this kind of service. I've moved countless times and have never paid for an appraisal; instead, I estimate what it would cost to replace our things, then make sure that we have enougth insurance to cover their replacement.

5. Auxillary Service

An extra charge per hour will apply if the moving company is unable to make the originally scheduled delivery or pickup due to an issue at the move location; because of this the company then needs to use a smaller moving truck or van to complete the move. Such issues could be no parking or an inaccessible driveway.

Avoid these extra fees by ensuring the moving truck can park close enough and that nothing is blocking the truck's access. If you're unsure of accessibility, call the mover first and ask questions pertaining directly to your move.

6. Binding/Non-Binding Estimate

The flat rate quoted for the given inventory. The mover quotes a flat price no matter how long the job takes. This is the rate provided when the moving company performs the onsite estimate.

A non-binding estimate is the initial quote given based on the company's past experience. It is usually quoted without performing an estimate. The final price is given once the job is completed.

Find out everything you need to know about mover estimates, right here.

7. Cost of Move

The amount the move will cost without including the extra charges and insurance. Cost of move estimations are calculated based on information gathered at the estimate/sign-up interview. Be aware that many factors affect the cost of a move, such as flight of stairs and distance between your residence and the moving van.

8. Elevator Carry

An additional fee that the moving company charges to transport your goods in an elevator either at the pickup point or destination. To ensure the mover's are aware of your particular moving needs, let them know if an elevator will be part of the move.

Want to prevent these extra charges? Find out how to do just that right here.

9. Expedited Service

This applies when you pay a higher minimum rate in exchange for the mover transferring your household or business goods on a specified date.

10. Flight Charge

An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs either at the place of origin or at the destination. For example, a third-floor residence would equal two flights since the mover begins on the first floor. If there are elevators available, and is large enough to transport your goods, there should be no flight charge.

Want to save on these types of costs? Find out more here.

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