Why your highest moving weight estimate may well be your most accurate weight estimate

Chris Noblit
Weight Estimates

Your highest weight estimate is your most accurate weight estimate! This statement flies in the face of the number one rule of purchasing: throw out the high estimate, throw out the low estimate, and go with the middle estimate. But if we dig a little deeper, we will find out why this common rule of purchasing does not hold true for moving cost estimates, and here's why...

All movers use one single set of industry-standard measurements for estimating the weight of your shipment: the "Table of Measurements." Movers call this the "cube sheet" because it allows the movers to compute the total cubic footage that your shipment will occupy on the truck. The most important point is to understand that every mover assigns the same standard cubic footage to every article within your residence. For example, a 3-cushion sofa is 50 cubic feet, a dining room table is 30 cubic feet, a kitchen chair is 5 cubic feet, and a spinet piano is 60 cubic feet. Every mover who estimates your shipment uses these industry standard sizes to compute the cubic footage of your shipment, and when I say "every mover," I certainly mean every single mover: United, Atlas, Mayflower, Allied, North American, Wheaton, Bekins…EVERYONE uses this very same method.

When the moving company's sales rep walks through your home, he or she places a tick mark next to each article he or she is told will be moved. When he is done counting all of the items to be included in your shipment, he (or his computer) adds up all of the items and multiplies each item times the cubic footage assigned to each item, and then the total cubic footage of your shipment is totaled.

Here is an example of what a Table of Measurements/Cube Sheet looks like.

I'd like you to stay with me here...while this may appear a bit complicated, it is quite simple.

Once the sales rep has added up the total cubic feet of your shipment he or she applies an industry standard of 7 pounds per cubic feet to compute your shipment's estimated weight. For example, 2,000 cubic feet @ 7 pounds per cubic foot equals a 14,000-pound estimated weight.

Therefore...if every mover uses this industry-standard method to compute your shipment's weight...why did the three different movers provide you with three different weight estimates for your move?

Good question...why indeed?

But the answer is very simple: while each mover was shown the same items to be moved, two of the movers did not count all of the items to be moved, and, as a result, these two movers do not have the same number of articles to be moved on their cube sheets as does mover #3. The result is that these two movers have estimated less cubic footage than the mover who has provided you with your highest estimated weight.

Now that you understand how movers estimate the weight of your shipment, one very important question must be asked: understanding that each extra pound to be moved adds cost to each mover's price, why would any mover count items to be moved that do not exist?

The answer, of course, is that only an idiot salesperson would add extra weight for items that did not exist because doing so would unnecessarily add to his cost estimate.

As a result, using the exact same method and measurements as the others, the sales rep who provided you with the highest weight estimate has provided you with the most accurate weight estimate because he or she did not count items that did not exist.

Customers all too often are seduced by the bottom line cost of each movers cost estimate and the fail to compare apples-to-apples. As a result, the lowest price is often selected only to result in great disappointment when their actual shipment weight turns out to be inaccurate and the final move price is raised.

Professional movers urge consumers to look deeper than the bottom line cost and to compare apples-to-apples when comparing cost estimates so that they aren't taken advantage of by people who try to obtain business by underestimating shipment weight.

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Reader Comments

Shannon (not verified)

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 12:40

Awesome explanation - makes perfect sense, but I never would have thought of that. Thanks so much for pointing that out.

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