Chipping Away - Busting Debt in Boston

A personal finance weblog about my own journey to eliminating my debts and building net worth. Hopefully this will serve as a place for me to share and discuss my strategies and ideas, as well as keeping me on track and focused.

8/09/2006

Expensive Move: The Importance of Shopping Around

As with anything else, shopping around and/or haggling will almost always get you to a better spot than you would be at if you just took the original price offered at face value. At the end of this month I am moving from my current apartment to one just outside the city (less money, more space. hooray!), and since the 1st of the month falls on a Friday it's just about impossible for me to rally up a bunch of friends to help me move. So in the interest of saving myself a lot of headache, I'm shopping around for a moving company to get the job done for me. I'm paying for cnovenience, as is the style in these times.

This definately isn't something I feel badly about, however, since I consider my time and well being quite valuable. Having a moving company take care of relocating my possessions is going to take far less time overall, and save my back/arms/legs/knees/etc... a lot of grief. Is this worth a few hundred bucks? Sure it is. But teh process of selecting and subsequently hiring someone for the job has defniately reminded me about the power of shopping around and haggling. Long story short, the first estimate I received was in the order of $1500 to move my very small apartment a distance of about 10 miles. After some price shopping, comparison, and haggling, I'm likely only going to end up paying $500 or so for essentially the same thing. While I'm sure I could shave another hundred or possibly two off of this total, I only have so much time in a day and only so much time before my move, so I'm considering this a win and booking these movers.

This is just a reminder to all out there. As much as we might think it's the simplest piece of advice out there, don't forget to shop around. Whether it's a digital camera, engagement ring, your favorite chilli-chese dip, or a moving company, someone out there can probably beat your current price with almost the same service or better. Don't put off buying forever, but just make sure you've looked around sufficiently to be sure you're getting the best price you can. Sometimes it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Likewise, with almost anything, the first price you're told is almost always somewhat negotiable. Give talking them down a shot. The worst thing that'll happen is you'll pay the original price. You were going to do that anyway, so what's the harm? As with shopping around, this can sometimes save you considerable amounts of money without sacrificing quality of service.

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