Moving costs have increased as much as 30% in some places. But moving for a reasonable price isn’t impossible once you understand what’s causing inflation and how to avoid it.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the rising costs of living, combined with the uncertainty of the economy, are making it difficult for people to find reliable and affordable moving services in their area.
But where are these problems stemming from? And is there a way to avoid them?
To answer these questions, we spoke with leaders in the moving industry who’ve experienced first-hand the struggles facing consumers trying to find an affordable moving company.
The Labor Shortage
As of the time of writing, the USA has 10 million open jobs, yet millions of workers are still unemployed.
This has led to a labor shortage across the country that the moving industry is feeling as well.
With fewer people available to staff their teams, moving companies have had to offer higher salaries or other incentives for overtime and weekend work, increasing their overhead and costs.
Furthermore, according to Harrison Gough, lead moving specialist at MovingAPT.com, “The complicated logistics of moving require skilled workers who cannot be easily replaced by automation and have to be trained in-house, resulting in additional expenses for moving companies that get passed onto consumers.
Fortunately, at MovingAPT.com, we partner with experienced, local moving companies with flexible pricing regardless of their staffing issues.”
The Rising Cost of Fuel
In addition to the labor shortage, many moving companies face higher expenses due to rising fuel costs.
Gough explains that this, too, gets passed onto consumers through increased fees. With long-distance moving companies charging by the mile traveled, cross-country relocations especially have seen the biggest price jump.
And since heavy loads can significantly strain a moving truck’s fuel efficiency, the costs of cross-country moves are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.
These rising fuel costs are also seeing an increase in costs for local moving services, as gas-consuming city driving is becoming increasingly expensive.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Not to make everything about the pandemic, but the truth is that the economy is only just beginning to see the effects of COVID-19, and the moving industry has been no exception.
With more people staying at home and avoiding contact with strangers, many have decided to put their relocation plans on hold, resulting in less business for moving companies – and higher prices for those who still need to move.
Gough adds, “It’s a double-edged sword for moving companies. On the one hand, people are not traveling as much, and there is less demand for their services.
But, on the other hand, those who do have to move due to job transfers or family emergencies may be in more of a rush than usual, resulting in additional costs.”
Finding Affordable Alternatives
Thankfully, even in this economy, there are still affordable moving services that can be found with some research and effort. The first and most important step is to start planning your move as soon as possible.
The best movers agree that planning should start about 8 to 10 weeks before your preferred move-in or move-out date.
This way, you can compare rates, get quotes from multiple movers, and find the one that best fits your needs.
You should also look into special discounts or promotions. Many moving companies have seasonal sales and deals throughout the year when business is slow.
Gough suggests organizing a move for a weekday or mid-month since movers are usually the least busy and prices are at their lowest.
Finally, Gough emphasizes the importance of taking on small tasks yourself.
“While professional moving services are the ideal way to safely and easily move from one place to another, choosing to save money by packing your own boxes and doing the loading yourself can have a huge impact on your moving costs,” he says.
Will a DIY move really save me money?
Ultimately, a DIY move is not always an affordable and safe option. Many people underestimate the time and effort that goes into packing, loading, and unloading their own belongings with a rented truck or van.
Furthermore, if you’re moving long-distance, you’ll most likely drive for days on end with no help.
This can take up a lot of energy (and gas money) and take away from the time you should be using to settle in your new home, sort out utility transfers, or look for a job in your new location.
As Gough explains, “There are certainly times when it makes sense to do a move yourself, but it’s important to remember that there are real risks involved as well. So carefully weigh your options and decide what works best for you.”
How To Avoid Moving Scams
In some cases, the higher cost of moving locally or long-distance isn’t associated with the rising cost of living but with moving scams.
Unfortunately, some companies will take advantage of people in desperate need of services and may try to overcharge for their services or even create fake estimates.
In order to avoid being scammed, Gough suggests that you always ask questions when it comes to pricing and should never pay up-front.
He also recommends asking for references and getting the company to do an in-home estimate to help make sure you’re paying the right price.
Lastly, it’s important to double-check that your mover is properly licensed and insured. A reputable moving company should be able to provide proof of this very easily, considering it is a legal requirement from both federal and state transportation agencies.
Rising Costs Don’t Have To Mean Expensive Movers
Finding an affordable mover in this economy is possible, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. With some planning and effort, however, you can make sure that your move is smooth and cost-effective.
Be sure to do your research and compare rates, get quotes from multiple movers, look into discounts and promotions, and take on small tasks yourself where you can.
All these actions will save you money and ensure you get the best moving services for your budget.