any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

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thepragmatist
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 12:38 am

any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby thepragmatist » Thu May 08, 2008 1:52 am

First of all, thanks to all of the members and reviewers of this website for all of the helpful information thus far. This forum is my new addiction as I try and make my moving process as smooth as possible.

I am doing a small move (studio apt) from Los Angeles to Chicago and was wondering if there were any full service movers that had a low minimum during the summer period (ie, 1000-1500 lbs)? I have ~1500lbs of goods, since I'm only moving a few pieces of furniture and about 15 boxes. However, because of the minimum weight (or in the case of Flat Rate, minimum cost) requirement, I am being charged for ~500lbs more than I'm actually moving. Please see estimates below. I am considering going with a small move packager like Navis or ShipSmart but would prefer to go with a full-service mover if I could get a lower rate based on the actual goods I have rather than the minimum cutoff. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Also, does anyone know whether it is possible to get the movers to nail down a fixed date for delivery at the destination for a small move? Obviously since I am a small move, I wouldn't expect this could be done if it was being unloaded directly off the long-haul truck. However, I anticipate my stuff will have to be unloaded and then shuttled to my new place in Chicago. I have to pay a couple hundred dollars to reserve the freight elevator for a fixed date and window of time in my new building and needless to say cannot afford any last-minute changes. With the shuttle system, is this something that can typically be arranged and counted on?

My in-home inspections from 4 places are as follows:

1. Bekins - $2,583 for an estimated 1590 lbs but charged at the price of 2000lb minimum is

2. Flat Rate - $1965 binding quote based on inspected inventory without the actual weight provided to me in the estimate (there is an $1,850 minimum for the move)

3. Allied/Berger- $2,506 for an estimated 2060 lbs but based on the overly generous estimation of the actual size of my possessions (ie, my tiny printer that fits easily into a 1.5 cubic ft box was estimated as a large office printer necessitating a 4 cubic ft box), I have a suspicion the estimator magically estimated my goods to be 2000 lbs - the minimum cutoff.

4. Mayflower/Affordable Quality Moving - $2,552 for an estimated 1482 lbs but being billed for 2100 lbs

BillAdams
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby BillAdams » Thu May 08, 2008 7:08 am

"I am being charged for ~500lbs more than I'm actually moving"

Think of it, not as paying for the shipping of weight you do not have, but as having comfort knowing that when they weigh your load, it won't end up being higher. With a load this small, it's best to get a binding cost for the move.

2100 lbs minimum is common, in order for the mover to make a modest profit. I don't think it would be offensive if you called your favorite mover back and asked for a slightly better price by giving them generous flexibility with your delivery time frame. Price and dates often do go hand-inhand.

Good luck.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
-Mark Twain

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby Diane » Thu May 08, 2008 9:45 am

I don't know about nailing down the delivery date but of the companies you're looking at, I think Berger looks the best. They are big in Chicago and their quote seems fair. I think they would be the most reliable folks to deal with when it comes to delivery. Did you get a quote from Delancey Street-LA?

If you go with a packaging company like Navis or ShipSmart, your final cost may be almost as high as Berger's and it will be much less convenient.
Diane
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thepragmatist
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 12:38 am

Re: any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby thepragmatist » Thu May 08, 2008 1:01 pm

thanks for the input thus far. diane, do you think Berger would be a better choice than Flat Rate if it is over $500 more for a small move? both include a shuttle at the desination, and i anicipate an additional $75 for long carry for Flat Rate. i'd have to check again with the company, but i think the Berger quote is NOT a GNTE.

as far as the weight goes, i can understand that it is better to overestimate than underestimate so there's no shock when it comes to the bill. however, i am pretty sure my stuff is not 2000lbs, and may not even be 1500. i moved here less than one year ago and at that time had about 550 lbs of goods (shipped it via Fed Ex) and in the meantime have acquired only a sofa and a double bed/boxspring. i have lived bare bones and haven't increased my household goods otherwise.

at $2500, it doesn't make economic sense to use Berger. a quote closer to Flate Rate would make sense based on how much my stuff is worth and the limited time i have in chicago to buy new (or new to me) furniture, but i wonder about the quality of the company, since there doesn't seem to be too much written about them. i think i may get a quote on how much it would be to ship my furniture through Navis and then ship everything else with Fed Ex again.

to answer your question diane, i did get a quote from delancey. they quoted me about $2300 plus another $460 for a shuttle in chicago, and they said they're booked until the end of july for a move to chicago from LA, which was too late for me.

thepragmatist
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 12:38 am

Re: any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby thepragmatist » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:36 pm

To answer my own question, I did some more calling around, as there was no way I was going to pay $2500 for my small move.

Turns out there are at least TWO full service movers with only a 1000lb minimum during the summer in LA.
1) Allied/Jensen Relocation based in Lawndale CA
2) Allied/Beverly Hills Transfer and Storage

I ended up going with Jensen. The reason being that the woman I spoke to on the phone at Jensen was hesitant to give me an estimated quote over the phone for 1500lbs and was eager (but in a nice way) about setting up an in-home estimate. I was impressed they were so willing to set something up even for a small move, so I obliged. Tom, the moving consultant/estimator was very professional and courteous and estimated my goods to be 1300 lbs and the cost to be $1700. I actually emailed him back and told him to throw in another four boxes onto the estimate, and it came to $1800. This was a binding quote.

THIS IS A $700 SAVINGS COMPARED TO THE OTHER FULL-SERVICE MOVERS WHO HAVE A WEIGHT MINIMUM! Of course this may not be a big deal to some, but for me it was a 30% savings.

I am amused by the estimator from Berger who estimated my stuff to be over 2000 lbs. When I had asked him why his estimate was higher than that of the Bekins agent who quoted me at 1600 lbs, he scoffed and replied, "Well, I don't know about him, but I think I'm pretty good at what I do." Turns out he wasn't!!! Thank goodness I stuck by my guns and avoided being hoodwinked.

The move by Jensen was overall a success. I went with the option of having a 3 day window for pickup (they let you know 24hrs in advance) otherwise a fixed date would be an extra $250. Pickup went without any complications. They do have an aggressive delivery schedule, though. My only complaint is that I had almost no say in terms of the day/time of delivery. I guess I expected it with my move being small and less of a priority, but I had to do some pleading to obtain the freight elevator at my new residence for the time that they said they wanted to deliver. Also, they set the delivery for the very first day of the window I had given them and actually arrived an hour and a half earlier than agreed upon. This could have been a disaster if I wasn't home, as an 18 wheeler blocking traffic in downtown Chicago just screams for trouble.

The delivery itself went fairly well. One thing that surprised me was that the driver was there to deliver by himself. He had no helpers. Apparently, the Allied affiliate in Chicago (Pickens-Kane) said that the delivery time in the afternoon was too late in the day and that they couldn't provide anyone. My poor driver had to haul everything by himself into my new residence. One minor issue is that he had some trouble getting my sofa through my doorway, which probably wouldn't have been a problem had he had an assistant in maneuvering it. He was finally able to do angle it properly on his own but I now have a small hole in the upholstery thanks to the rough handling of it through the door.

Overall, though, I would recommend Jensen for a reliable quote, professional service, and fast delivery. I do have to warn that you need to be flexible about delivery with them, though.

Lastly, the reason I didn't go with Beverly Hills is that they weren't as aggressive about getting my business, but they did quote me $1900 for a 1500 lb move from LA to Chicago, which is comparable to Jensen. Based on all of the excellent reviews on this site, I would not hesitate to use them either.

So for anyone else in my shoes looking for a long-distance hauler from southern California for a small move, go with Jensen or BH.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: any full service movers in Los Angeles with a low minimum?

Postby Diane » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm

Thanks for this good review, which I added to the Superlist. You were extremely lucky that the tractor-trailer could deliver in downtown Chicago. Just a note about the Berger estimator - in my opinion, he was not actually trying to "hoodwink" you but was probably just being less careful than the other estimators. Since he knew that his company had a 2000-pound minimum that you would be charged for, there was really no reason for him to be exact on the weight.


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