*My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

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*My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

Postby indexer » Fri May 25, 2007 1:58 pm

Update on our moving progress…..

About 2 weeks ago, we finalized our plans to move from Chicago to Baltimore. I am work freelance in the publishing industry (hence my user name! ) and my husband is going for an advanced degree – a one year program. So, we’re on a budget—we don’t have any company at the eastern end helping us out,.

Originally, we planned to go with ABF, at $1122 door to door. But that started looking expensive. I won’t go into all the details, but based on various factors (2nd story apt., a few pieces to be disassembled, etc…) we were easily looking at $500 for loading. Plus, since we are in Chicago, we’d easily be paying the extra ABF detention charge, at $120 per hour for easily 2 extra hours, maybe even 3 (assume $300). Then figure unloading will be another $400. At this point, we’re just over $2300. Also, remember that with ABF, you have to buy a lot more packing supplies (stretch wrap, mattress covers, and furniture pads). That can definetly get pricy, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could spend upwards from $100 on that kind of stuff, even before you bought boxes, so for an ABF move, we figure we need a bit less than $2500.

The logistics of an ABF move were starting to sound complicated in terms of all the coordination we would need to do between the various moving companies. I think our situation is more complicated because we live in Chicago and ABF needs to do a live load here. If we didn’t have the live load problem, using ABF would be much more of an attractive option. We began calling around some full service movers, and we found, that for a small move like ours (700 miles and slightly under 6000 lbs), we can really pay under $500 more for a full service move.

Our first in-home estimate was with Del’s Movers, recommended on this site. I originally called to discuss the possibility of hiring them to load an ABF truck, but on the phone, they told me they do long-distance moves as well, so I had them come out for an estimate. Tony was our sales rep. He was very friendly and professional, without being too much of a salesman, or being too slick.. He came with his tablet PC and went through our apartment. He was 45 minutes late, with a phone call and apology, and he seemed to have gotten lost outside our building, but all went well. He did NOT give me a copy of my rights and responsibilities. He can estimated us at 5900 lbs, with a GTNE of $2971.

Our second estimate was Scott of Planes. He was super professional (also late, but also called and apologized). However, I did not like some of his questions “Who are my competitors, if I may ask?” and “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t use me?” I felt that it was a bit pushy. However, he was very thorough! His estimate was 5800 lbs, done on his Palm, and printed out with a portable printer. . His GTNE was about $3200 to do the move on 8/1. If we can wait until after 8/5 to do the move, the price goes down to $2961. He was the only sales rep that went outside and looked at our streets to see where a truck would park on moving day.

Next was Moishe’s. Oy vey. I am not sure why I called them in the first place. To her credit, the estimator was the only one who showed up on time. We went through the apartment and she did an inventory list, and then called in to her office to get an estimate. Seemed so….well, 1990s!  They estimated 8000 lbs at just over 4K. The whole estimate was done very quickly, in about 20 minutes. She also didn’t seem nearly as confident or as polished as the other two guys. She also told me that they don’t offer moving insurance, I can buy it through movinginsurance.com. However, , Moishe’s gave me a great promotional folder filled with all sorts of info about moving, how many boxes to buy, a premoving checklist, what to have on hand in your new home, etc...

Lastly, Midwest Moving and Storage came to do an estimate. They are an agent of Stevens (as is Del’s- I didn’t realize that I had 2 Stevens agents coming). He estimated just about 6000 lbs, at around $3200, but I didn’t like how they put in all these extra charges on the price list. they charge extra for stairs. Also, he added the price of boxes to my price list. He also didn’t give me a GTNE price, he gave me a binding price.

I also called In and Out moving. I really wanted to like this company, because the sales rep was so nice, and I’m Israeli :) …but no. The woman took down an inventory list over the phone and sent me an estimate, but not even in a word or pdf document! This did not look particularly professional . She estimated that I had just over 6000 lbs, and gave me a lower estimate than everyone else. . Plus, she told me that there is a surcharge if you live 2 flights up or higher, plus they won’t disassemble my son’s crib- “it’s too complicated.” Well, that’s what I pay you the big bucks for!! Of course, they won’t do an in-home estimate until much closer to the moving date—she said usually not until 6 weeks before. So of course, they will raise their price, and by then , you’ll be stuck! Also, they won’t even give you a GTNE until all your stuff is packed up. She said, “We can come over a few days before, once everything is packed, and give you a GNTE.” Well, that doesn’t do me much good! Also, it said something in the email about a minimum weight (which was the weight she estimated), So even if I have a garage sale and sell a bunch of stuff, I am still going to pay for those 6000 lbs.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised. I know that this sales rep is familiar with movingscam.com, and she knows that I know about it, but everything she told me went against what the people on this site advise…… so why would I use her company?

I also had called around a few other major van lines to get quotes. Sharone Mitchell from Prager (NAVL) wasn’t really flexible about when he could come give an estimate, so I crossed him off the list. A few agents never returned my calls. If it seems that I haven’t been thorough enough, then I don’t mind getting another estimate or two, but as of now, it’s between Del’s and Planes. We are kind of up in the air about which one. Here are the pros and cons:

• can move on our preferred day without any extra charge
• Del’s has a great reputation on this board for local moves, but wondering about long distance

• will have to pay extra to move on our preferred day. We are on a budget, so it makes a difference.
• extra assembly and disassembly charges (for anything that cannot be taken apart of put together within 15 minutes, we will be charged an hourly rate until it's ready. I am particularly wondering about my son's crib).
• Almost all the reviews on this board about Planes are very favorable.

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Re: My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

Postby farrah7031 » Fri May 25, 2007 2:16 pm

I think either of those agents will work well for you. Another option to at least try is Moovers Inc. They will not be able to come to do an in home estimate as they are based in San Francisco, but there are 60+ great reviews here on our website and don't need to worry about that. I know they're booking up really quick, but it's worth at try. www.mooversinc.com

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Re: My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

Postby ArchieWhite » Fri May 25, 2007 2:59 pm

Since Planes has been out, there has been an adjustment in peak prices, so you be able to get the off date price, instead of the slightly higher one that Scott gave you. It varieis by region, so call Scott and see if he is able to do it on your date at the lower price.
I don't know if he was being pushy, he may have just been trying to close the sale.....THE CLOSE, as it's taught in sales seminars....it's a fine art, and when you think about it, if you don't ask for the sale, they can't say no ( or yes). I went to bunches of those, they taught us the presumtive close, the assumtive close, and the Ben Franklin close.....none of them worked ( for me).

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Re: My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

Postby Diane » Fri May 25, 2007 3:18 pm


Fabulous information in your post! I'll repost either the whole thing or a link to it on the Superlist. Thank you so much!

I agree with Archie - see whether Planes can come closer to Del's price. And ask whether Planes is going to self-haul the shipment using its own truck and driver.

I'm somewhat mystified by the Stevens agent saying that they would charge extra for stairs. Maybe Stevens doesn't use the 400N tariff. Does anyone know?

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Re: *My in-home estimates so far: Chicago to Baltimore

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:37 pm

Somebody in the industry just told me that Stevens subscribes to the current 400N tariff. However, some contracts and/or customer relationships were originally established several years ago and are grandfathered in using the 400M [which allows for stairs and long carries to be priced separately].

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