Consumer Protections

Local movers should all be licensed in Georgia, and this insures that the moving companies carry the correct insurance and provides a state legal structure to deal with moving companies that might put consumers at risk by hiring un-insured day labor or contractors that may be a way to cut costs, but at the risk of cutting quality and putting homeowners in the position of not really knowing what business is liable for the completion of the relocation project or who is responsible should a problem arise.

We wish it was not so, but just like every industry there are companies that cut corners and play games to book a moving engagement with consumers.

3 Card Monty

One trick used in the moving industry is the lead buying game. If you have ever searched the internet for a moving company you doubtless see promises of up to 55 % off your move by making movers compete.

This is shady because this percentage is based on a full tariff move. In today’s market, ALL reputable moving companies are offering relocations at around 55% off the maximum legal pricing allowed by the interstate tariffs required for moving companies to engage in long distance moving.

Deal Direct, Pick your reputable Moving Company

We recommend against using a lead web-site. The promise of multiple bids from competing movers sounds compelling, but what is actually occurring is that you are giving your e-mail and cell phone numbers to a company that may then sell your data to third parties. There is a risk of not only the annoyance of tele-marketers but also a little foot in the door to identity theft.

The more people you ask, the More You Learn!

Instead, ask your friends and neighbors, co-workers and family and you will find the most often used moving companies.

So there are plenty of places to call and get competing quotes, if all you want is the lowest price. But if you have a household value of substance or your time is valuable you may want to consider a moving company that does not compete with desperate and un-licensed moving companies.

Types of moving estimates and quotes

For local household moves, short distance moves or moves under 50 miles, the cost of the move will be based on how long it takes to move. Hourly costs usually include the trucks, the men, and most companies will not charge for little things like moving blanket rentals or equipment rentals. This is the polar opposite of what a type truck rental entails, where the truck rental rate itself covers no freebies.

Flat rate moves

Movers offering flat rate moves will depend on an accurate picture of EVERYTHING that will be moved, the exact number of stairs at the pick up, the same for the destination, carrying distance, special crating and handling, phew, it can take longer to decide on a flat rate than it does to move! And this does not guarantee the price, if any detail is missed, the mover will probably have to adjust the flat rate. It’s like buying two tires instead of one, the price changes.

Binding Estimates

Similar to a flat rate, these require extensive inventorying of not only every item to be moved, but every detail of the move.

Non Binding Estimates

These are easier to assemble, as there will be and estimate weight and volume, and the final price is firm as long as the weight and volume is not exceeded.

On-site estimates

One of the main techniques used in a flat rate move is to have the customer waive an on-site estimate. For hourly moves, the largest category of local residential moving, this is not a problem. But for any kind of long distance or flat rate move, this could be a risk, i.e. the consumer may be surprised by the cost in the end. If the consumer over estimates the weight of their shipment, there will never be a refund. But if they under estimate, be quite certain that the price will be higher than initially thought. You bought two tires instead of one.

This has no consequence to skipping the on-site estimate in an hourly move, as long as you hire reliable and established moving companies.

A story heard again and again

But a binding estimate or flat rate mover uses this to under-estimate the weight and volume of the relocation.

After loading some items, the mover then tells the customer that the move will cost more, it will be heavier, the length of the carry is longer than the contract etc.

They already have your possessions hostage, and you have two or three muscular movers against you, so you cave in. In fact, while less than honest, this is somewhat legal.

How they change the fixed rate

The guy you talked to on the phone didn’t try too hard to come up with a good estimate and an honest price, and now there is more than what was on the contract. Some movers will even weigh the truck empty of fuel and then gas up before the final weigh in.

These are all tricks that stick to the letter of the contract that you sign, but may not please you much. For more information on movers and the tricks they play we like to recommend a website called movingscam.

Things to look for in fixed rate binding or unbinding estimates

Estimation of volume – People usually book movers before they have packed. It is normal to underestimate the volume.

Extra packing and materials – watch out, bend over! – Unpacked items not only risk loss or breakage, but do not stack neatly – increasing volume.

Take apart and assemble furniture, pieces that must go out windows or don’t fit down stairs. Hourly, we just get it done. The fixed rate mover sees dollar signs. Read the fine print.

Not ready for the van on the day. – waiting time

Valuation – this is what the moving company calls supplemental insurance. The ‘fully insured’ reimbursement rate is too low or the majority of households.

Check with your insurance agent, you may be able to add a rider to your household policy, but often the moving companies valuation is cheaper.

Vital Residential Moving Tips

Don’t move things you don’t need – throw away.

Van liner moving – you will have to move according to their schedule, and may wait two weeks or more for delivery. If you got a bargain, it could be three or four weeks.

If you want the least qualified moving company, always choose the lowest moving rate.

Book early, because the top tier companies are booked well in advance.

A moving companies reputation is never perfect, but there are usually good ones around.

If your furniture and tv’s are older and lighter, a cheap company can still be a safe decision.

Atlanta Moving Companies

In Georgia, one dependable choice is Mark the Mover, Inc. – delivering a consistent high level of relocation services for moving households including packing, household goods storage and any other services required during residential household moving.

Mark the Mover has four decades of Atlanta moving experience, and we work hard to assemble moving crews made up of quality moving professionals.

Local moving company Mark the Mover has been relocating Atlanta Georgia household customers for more than three decades. We have built a name for ourselves and have a trusted reputation for moving and storage.

Moving customers should check their reviews on Yahoo, Google and Yelp – Also check with neighbors and family members, co-workers and friends and the chances are that you will find household movers that trust the Mark the Mover name in moving. For moving and storage, local and long distance, packing and crating, Mark the Mover is a smart move in moving.

Mark the Mover Atlanta moving company is what is termed a local moving company, but they do long distance residential relocations also. Local movers will use nimble 20 to 26 foot trucks that can operate on narrow city streets. Full size moving trailers can block traffic, and take up hours to navigate tight turns. Don’t irritate your neighbors by blocking the whole street, consider local moving companies.

We saw on a review site a moving tip to control the cost of moving. They said you should move during off-peak times. They said that you should choose a departure time after the first day of the month and before its last ten days. They also suggested that you avoid the summer months.

The thing about it is that the summer months are indeed very busy for moving companies. People tend to move more in the summer than any other time. Kids are out of school and older kids are going away to college in the late summer, as well kids that graduate college start their first leases and living on their own the summer after graduation. Once we start our lives with annual leases during the summer months we tend to do the same thing around the same time of the year, year after year.

The Seasons of residential relocation

We sell a house, we sign a lease, we take a new job, we have to move when we have to move, summer or not. The biggest cost savings while moving came when I was younger and could move my cheap furniture myself.

Those were the days

Sometimes perhaps I could move with the help of friends. I would help them move and they in return would help me move. Someone would have a truck, or we would rent a moving truck, and we would get some food and refreshments and load the truck, and say goodbye to the old joint. Another piece of advice is the part I really don’t like, which is cleaning up the old place. I remember the last apartment I lived in, I had time to go back and do some quality cleaning.

Things were never cleaner, except for the day I moved in. I had a damage deposit on the line, and they still took a little out for carpet cleaning.

Saving money with Dependable Movers

We are trying to save money on moving. Another tip is packing yourself. I always struggled with this one. Depending on the size of your household, we just have to budget money for packing materials if we wish to pack ourselves. I always wanted to get the biggest boxes, but we really should get a lot of small boxes if we wish to move properly. The large boxes tend to get overloaded, they should only be used for light weight items.


Get your moving boxes from U-haul, or a moving company, because they are stronger and stackable. And use packing paper to make the top square and fully packed. This will help the movers to pack layers of boxes, and get more moved using fewer trucks. If you buy your boxes from the moving company, unused boxes can be returned for a refund on the day of the move, and you don’t even have to go to the store.

25 Small Boxes is just the beginning

As a general rule, buy half a dozen small boxes for each bedroom, a dozen for the kitchen, two for each bathroom, and twenty small boxes for the garage. Buy another dozen medium boxes for linens, from the bedrooms and dining room. Lastly a dozen large moving boxes for quilts, blankets and pillows should allow you to pack the bedding of two bedrooms. Lastly are the wardrobe boxes with hanger bars, at least one box for every two feet of closet space. Additionally for your kitchen you need three to six dish packs for dishes, pots and pans.

Even for a small move, the cost of packing materials will exceed $100 quickly. But this is cheaper than a single broken item. And improperly packed items can be exempted from any damage compensation in most cases.

The rule about smaller moving boxes is doubly important for the cheaper boxes you get at office supply stores and home improvement stores. A good first step for a three bedroom home is to buy 50 small boxes and several bundles of packing paper. Many people believe that newsprint is a better way to go, but the ink rubs off and stains clothes, books and fragile items. The best packing paper available is the plain white paper in sheets.  You will save money if you come to Mark the Mover and buy the 25# bundle of packing paper for around $ 30, which may be enough for a small home without an abundance of fragile items.

Dish packs should be packed with dishes stacked on edge. It may sound counter intuitive but professional moving packers will tell you that this results in the lowest likelihood of breakage. If you own a home stocked with valuable china and porcelain there can be no scrimping on small boxes, dish packs and packing paper. Also have a large marker and label the boxes by room.

Some people forget about the canned goods that fill their kitchen pantry and cabinets. These are heavy, and a home improvement store small box filled with canned goods exceeds the weight rating for this type of box. The best thing to do is fill the bottom layer with the heavy canned goods and place kitchen towels, lightweight pots and pans and boxes of pasta or other lighter kitchen items on top. If the box is heavy but not full, liberally smoosh packing paper into the voids before sealing the box.


Kenny is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheTalka. He launched the site in 2019.

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