Learn the lingo

My mother always said, “You learn something new everyday.” This is definitely true for my roommate who is in the process of relocating.

The Wheaton salesperson came out to our house the other day to provide her with a moving estimate based on what belongings she plans to take with her. Everything went well. He walked her through the process and answered her questions. But, he used some terms she was unfamiliar with, and she was too shy to ask him about at the time.

Like anyone who specializes in a craft, movers often use technical terms to describe what they do. Here are some of the terms about which she had questions: 

Accessorial Services – services, such as packing, appliance servicing and unpacking                                                                                                           

Agent – a local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a national van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services.

Bill of Lading – the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation.

Estimate, Binding this is a written agreement made in advance with the moving company. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.

Estimate, Non-binding – this is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect.

Inventory the detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

Order for Service the document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT) – temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, for example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy.

Valuation – the degree of worth of the shipment.

Understanding these terms helped my roommate better understand the process so she can make informed decisions about her relocation. Moving is about more than an address change. It’s a life change. If you’re moving, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the salespersons, drivers and/or packers. They’re there to assist you throughout the moving process, and worry about the details so you don’t have to.

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