Boston moving company sticks to their estimates
Who we talked to Reese Farrow, president Smooth Mooves Inc. 9 Chauncey St. Watertown, Mass. 617-666-5818
Reese Farrow gets to see new places and meet new faces every day. It's the reason he got into the moving industry seven years ago. "I had every intention of making a career of it right out of high school," Farrow says. "I first started doing small moves for college kids, but I've moved up into the big market, servicing Angie's List members and others with large homes. There's a lot of variety, so I enjoy it."
Why use professional movers instead of friends and family?
"It's less hassle for you to have three big guys come into the house and move everything in three hours. It would take you and your friends or family twice as long. We're pros, and we know what we need to do to get the job done right. We wrap everything really well, and we have the necessary equipment to get everything from point A to point B without dents and scratches to your items."
How do you charge?
"We charge an hourly rate. We may be higher than other movers, but you get what you pay for. Other companies will quote you less and then charge you more because it took longer than expected. We can do an on-site estimate that is binding, meaning we won't go over our estimated price. Rates vary, but for three movers and one truck, it's $135 to $150 per hour. The price also depends on the date - Aug. 31 is considered a peak time for moving, so it will have the highest rate."
Have gas prices and the housing market affected your prices and your business?
"Ninety percent of our moves are local, so we haven't been hit too hard by gas prices, but the housing market decline has slowed the whole industry. We now run three trucks instead of five. The decline started last July, and we're about 40 percent slower than one year ago. I think it's going to stay this way for a couple of years. We've added a fuel surcharge for long-distance moves - more than 200 miles out of Watertown. It basically works out to 40 cents per mile."
If you break something, do you replace the item or reimburse the cost?
"As a licensed mover, we carry insurance so the items are covered at 60 cents per pound, per item. We also offer supplemental insurance, which can cost $49 up to $300. You can also purchase mover's insurance through your homeowner's insurance. Our insurance covers anything catastrophic - if something would happen to all of your items - and single items, such as dents or scratches. Our most common damage claim is floor lamps. If it's less than $200, we'll try to offer a settlement to the customer and would deduct that from the bill."