Wild scenario: you’re moving into a new home, and the entire process doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The “wild” thing being, of course, the fact that moving won’t be too expensive.

But most times it is. Leaving aside some pretty important expenses that involve changing a living situation (be it buying property or just renting), the physical process of taking all your belongings from one place to another can cost a lot. The average cost of an interstate household move can cost roughly $4,300 while moving locally can take about $2,300 out of your pocket. That’s pretty high just to move some stuff.

The final price depends on an array of different factors such as the distance, how much stuff you need moving, or any extra services you may need (or the Winnipeg moving company may be charging you for).

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to lower those costs. Here’s how to negotiate your way into a better deal with a moving company.

Research the Market

Before you start making calls, do a little bit of digging online and look for moving companies. While your first instinct will tell you to single out the ones with the cheapest rate, don’t let that be your only criteria.

See if the company you have in mind checks out legally, meaning if they have the proper accreditation and licensing. It doesn’t hurt to check online reviews and see what other people have to say about the company.

Contact Multiple Companies

Make a list of moving companies that are legit and have good online reviews or come recommended by someone, then call each of them and ask for an estimate, preferably an in-house one. Then insist on having those estimates written down.

Once you collect two or three of them, you’ll have a better idea of what the moving process should cost, and can negotiate a better deal with your company of choice.

Make the Move

Now that you have these estimates from different moving companies, you can move forward and negotiate prices. Make the call to the company you like best, and use those estimated numbers as a bargaining chip. There are a lot of moving companies out there, so most people you call will most likely prefer to give you a lower rate than to lose your business altogether.

During the discussion, make sure to let them know that although you want their services, you’ve been offered a better deal by a competing company. Tell them the lowest bid you’d accept and see if they agree to beat or at least match it.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume your negotiation falls through, and the company refuses to offer a better deal. You have two options at this point:

  1. Call again in a few days. Maybe the person who’ve been in contact with won’t budge, but you might have better luck with someone else in the company.
  1. Move on. Perhaps you’ve chosen one of the few companies on Earth that prefer to lose clients, rather than lower their rates a bit.

Before You Move

 

While it’s good to polish your negotiating skills and talk yourself into a cheaper moving rate, know there are other precautions you can take beyond that to make sure moving won’t break the bank.

For one thing, you can clean up and get rid of some of your stuff. Humans have this peculiar habit of just collecting items along the years, so make an inventory and see if everything currently lying around the house has to move with you. Then, check for any extra services the moving company may offer, but you don’t need. Why pay extra for boxing when you can do it yourself?

But the takeaway here is this: shop around for the moving company and don’t just settle for the first one you find online.