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  • Writer's pictureJason & Liz Sautter

The Hidden Costs of Moving: When Professional Movers Underestimate Your Load

Moving can be a daunting task, and hiring professional movers often seems like the best way to alleviate some of that stress. However, there is an emerging concern in the moving industry that even seasoned professionals can sometimes underestimate the weight of items, leading to unexpected and often hefty additional costs for customers. Many movers base their quotes on weight, distance, and labor involved. When estimations fall short, the consequences are typically financial, with customers bearing the brunt of these inaccuracies.

In this post, we're going to go over what the hidden costs of moving actually are and how you can uncover them so you can get the most accurate quote when hiring movers.

Weighing In: According to a recent article by that goes into detail about common moving scams, many movers use visual inspections to estimate the weight of items, which can lead to significant discrepancies. Without the use of precise weighing techniques, even experienced movers can misjudge the weight of furniture and packed boxes, resulting in quotes that are far lower than the actual cost incurred during the move.

How to Avoid Underestimation Issues

To protect yourself from the pitfalls of weight underestimation, consider these tips:

  1. Request an In-Home Survey: Ensure that the moving company conducts a thorough in-home survey or a video call so they can see everything that will be moved. It’s important to be upfront with the exact quantity and for the movers to ask the right questions to assess just how much everything weighs as well.

  2. Get a Binding Estimate: A binding estimate guarantees the cost based on the agreed-upon weight. While it might be slightly higher than a non-binding quote, it offers peace of mind.

  3. Ask for a Weight Ticket: After the move, request a weight ticket. This provides a verified record of your shipment's weight.

The Financial Impact

When the weight of items is underestimated, customers often face unexpected additional charges. These charges can stem from:

  1. Overweight Fees: Movers may charge extra for weight that exceeds the original estimate.

  2. Additional Labor Costs: More weight can mean more labor, leading to higher costs for the additional manpower needed.

  3. Extended Time: Extra weight can also increase the time required for loading and unloading, adding to the overall bill.

Consumer Affairs reports that there were 7,500 scam complaints received in just 2022. It’s gotten so bad that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched Operation Protect Your Move, a nationwide crackdown that the agency hopes will put rogue moving companies in their place (which is so crucial now right before summer starts!)


While professional movers can make the process of relocating smoother, it is essential to be aware of the potential for underestimated weight leading to unexpected costs. By taking proactive steps and ensuring accurate estimates, you can mitigate the risk of facing unwelcome financial surprises on moving day.

At Valet Moving Services, we pride ourselves on accuracy and timeliness when giving you a quote. We are VERY thorough with our estimates as we examine every detail with a fine-toothed comb.

Call us or fill out the form to get a free moving quote!


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