What's a ballpark price to move a two bedroom apartment's worth of stuff about fifteen blocks in NYC?
August 20, 2012 7:33 AM   Subscribe

What's a ballpark price to move a two bedroom apartment's worth of stuff about fifteen blocks in NYC?

They take care of everything. We just point and direct.

We got a quote and it's rather surprisingly high. $1360. But, hey, it's NYC. What isn't? And a friend recommended these guys saying their easy to deal with.

Any past experiences? Is that a reasonable price? Thanks!
posted by chasing to Home & Garden (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Does that price include packing as well, or are they expecting everything to be in boxes when they show up?

For reference I just paid a bit over $600 for a move in Philly, from low floor to low floor, across town. We boxed everything, they showed up, we pointed.
posted by The Michael The at 7:39 AM on August 20, 2012

Are they packing and unpacking?

We did an intown move, no packing, for $500 in SoCal.

Packing is about $140/hr.
posted by k8t at 7:41 AM on August 20, 2012

Last time I moved it was $900 to move a 2BR roughly ~20 blocks in NYC, which did not include packing, and both buildings had elevators. YMMV re: walk-ups, packing, large furniture w/narrow doors, and the like.
posted by bedhead at 7:45 AM on August 20, 2012

Easy answer: get another quote. There are tons of moving companies in NYC. Make sure your quote doesn't include time and materials for packing.

When we moved about 5 years ago (2 bedrooms), I think we paid a little over a grand, including tip. That was from a 3rd floor walkup to a 4th floor walkup. We used Moishe's. Distance doesn't matter one iota unless you're travelling far (interstate).
posted by mkultra at 8:01 AM on August 20, 2012

Get another quote but that price isn't crazy
posted by JPD at 8:05 AM on August 20, 2012

Try FlatRate. You can enter your info online, and they'll give you another quote.
posted by John Cohen at 8:08 AM on August 20, 2012

In-town move in Chicago (farther than yours), no packing service, just load-drive-unload: about $240 with a generous tip.

I think you should get another quote. Yelp was very helpful for me, so I would search there if I were you.
posted by phunniemee at 8:20 AM on August 20, 2012

Get another quote, that seems a little bit excessive to me. I just moved (admittedly only 3 blocks) for about $800.
posted by elizardbits at 8:22 AM on August 20, 2012

Yeah... I would get a couple of estimates from reputable movers. I've used these guys- NYC Moves for three moves now. My last move- three years ago, was $525 to move a studio with elevators on both sides. They will give you a flat rate ahead of time, and totally stick to it. And they are phenomenal.. on time, polite, and extremely careful. They have their own blankets and other equipment, and the price is inclusive of them wrapping furniture as needed. I think they might be a little more that other movers... but the piece of mind was worth it.
posted by kimdog at 8:24 AM on August 20, 2012

Wow, geez. The guys I use cost... let's say SIGNIFICANTLY less than that. I wasn't moving furniture, but they got my boxes moved in for under $250 with tip. I can't speak to what it would cost with a whole apartment's worth of stuff, but less than a k for sure.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:33 AM on August 20, 2012

A $1,360 quote for moving a 2BR in Manhattan sounds very reasonable to me. I would have expected a quote north of $2,000.
posted by dfriedman at 8:50 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sorry, I don't know if this question pertains to Manhattan or one of the outer boroughs. If it's the outer boroughs, perhaps that quote is a bit high.
posted by dfriedman at 8:51 AM on August 20, 2012

I agree that "they take care of everything" is vague.

Is it a "full service" move where they pack everything (i.e. "your old apartment just appears in your new apartment")? If so, your estimate seems reasonable.

Or, is it a "you pack, they move" situation? If not, I agree that the price seems pretty high. We paid only a little more than that for a move up to Vermont last summer.

The only way to know if it's really reasonable or not is to get other quotes. However, be aware that the moving industry is a place ripe with con artists. There are some excellent, excellent movers out there, but there are also some jerks. If one price comes in WAY under all your other estimates, they are probably not reasonable. I very much recommend Moving Scam for discussion and recommendation (their "Companies We Endorse" in the right hand column is perhaps most useful).

For a personal recommendation, I highly, highly recommend Shea Moving. We've moved with them twice in the last ~3 years. They are great, friendly, honest people who do a really wonderful job. They offer "not to exceed" estimates and have come in under those estimates both times we moved with them. They are typically among the cheapest for reputable movers.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:56 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

*If it *is* a "you pack, they move" situation, the price does seem pretty high.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:57 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

As many have said already, this depends on how much packing they're doing, but over all it doesn't sound insanely high.

I paid about a $1000 3 years ago for a similar move (though instead of 15 blocks, it was 100 blocks, but the cost is more for the crew's time anyway and the drive was only about 45 minutes out of the entire day). I'm paying about 1200 this week for a move up into the suburbs. In both cases, we didn't have all that much for them to pack.

A friend needed an apartment move of about 5 blocks, but he had lots of fine china and artwork that needed to be packed and it ended up running him well over 3k.
posted by NormieP at 9:04 AM on August 20, 2012

Response by poster: We're in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, btw. Which, to means, means Brooklyn, but closer to Manhattan prices...
posted by chasing at 9:31 AM on August 20, 2012

Response by poster: And they pack.
posted by chasing at 9:31 AM on August 20, 2012

That is an excellent rate for packing as having them pack basically doubles the cost of a move.
posted by saradarlin at 9:43 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

For reference, it took 2 guys about 8 hours to pack our 1 bedroom apartment and they charged $100 to $150 an hour for packing (was billed to work so I forget the exact amount).
posted by saradarlin at 9:45 AM on August 20, 2012

chasing: "And they pack."

If they're packing, that quote doesn't sound unreasonable. It actually sounds a little low.
posted by mkultra at 9:49 AM on August 20, 2012

I they're packing, then this is a reasonable price. However, particularly if they're packing, you should make sure to get:

1. A reputable mover.

2. Someone who can accurately estimate time or a "not to exceed" quote. A standard ploy among dishonest movers is for them to quote you one price but to WAY underestimate the time packing will take.

For both of these counts, I again recommend getting a second quote from Shea or another reputable mover.
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:51 AM on August 20, 2012

They sound dangerous.
I would have your spouse/partner/beard call them with nearly the same details, an address 1 block over and see what they quote you for:

- with packing
- w/out packing
- different time of day/weekend

You'll get the best true comparison this way.
posted by Kruger5 at 10:10 AM on August 20, 2012

Response by poster: Dangerous?
posted by chasing at 10:24 AM on August 20, 2012


Yes. For NYC, this is a surprisingly low number, especially if packing is involved. Hence, your 6th sense should be heightened.

Movers on the city are notorious for lowballing, and then making up the $$ through alternate ways. This could include up sell charge once they have commenced the move, or at worst, theft from your home. You have to understand the path some movers take to become movers.

The potential other possibility is they offered you a reduced price as referral. No way to know for sure, which is why I suggest calling un-referred, with the near-same logistics.
posted by Kruger5 at 10:54 AM on August 20, 2012

I agree that for New York, that sounds like a reasonable-to-low price. If you are moving a fully-unpacked 2 bedroom apartment, it will likely take them on the order of 5 hours to pack and load the truck. Be prepared to tip well and possibly offer lunch for this price. As for whether or not there are hidden fees, I'd make sure someone has done a walk-though of your apartment to know exactly how much work will be involved, and look at their contract and have them explain what happens if it takes longer, etc.

If they are doing your packing the cost isn't in the driving, it's in the packing.
posted by Phredward at 11:09 AM on August 20, 2012

Yeah that sounds totally normal. I moved my NYC 1-bedroom about 5 blocks and it was about $800(?) a few years ago, but we had most of it packed ahead of time. Feel free to message if you want more information. Pretty sure the company I used was Oz and they were great.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:05 PM on August 20, 2012

"Dangerous"? Good god, you'd think the NYC moving industry is a den of thieves.

Look, just use a reputable company. Almost all the horror moving stories you see are from people using shady, unlicensed (yes, licensing for movers is a real thing) movers.

There are plenty of great recommendations in the moving threads here (Moishes, FlatRate, just to name a couple). They're not going to steal from you, and they're not out to screw you over. Their business is built on reputation, like any other. Just make sure you're clear and up-front with them about the extent of what you need done. Typical things that will trip up your estimate are "forgetting" about major pieces of heavy furniture, being totally unprepared on moving day (just because they're packing doesn't mean you shouldn't organize your stuff), or having to navigate narrow stairs or hallways.
posted by mkultra at 10:37 AM on August 21, 2012

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