Is this moving quote (Indy to Chicago) in the ballpark?

In 2018, my ex-wife moved back to Japan, and I used a Japanese mover to move my stuff locally. The cost was pretty reasonable. Since I already knew them, I had them quote my move from Indy to Chicago. It’s moving 430 cu. ft. (with a little bit of packing of a china cabinet’s contents) from a half-story up (stairs) apartment to the 71st floor of a building.

I was quoted $3,900.00 for that.

I am not in Indy now, making it hard to get other estimates, so your thoughts will be helpful. I am not worried about saving a few hundred bucks but will look elsewhere if this is way over what is normal.

Thanks in advance!

Yes that’s reasonable, probably even a bit low as it seems from what you said, the originating agent is in Asia, Japan to be specific? They will contract that out to a local agent of, I dunno, Atlas is a good possibility, or North American or Interstate, and the folks that come pack your stuff and take it back to the warehouse for a driver to pick up will be from a local affiliate of one of the Big Nationals. Joe’s Raceway Storage or Indianapolis Relocations or whatever. Or a driver may pick you up directly after your stuff is packed.

At the destination, delivery(which will depend on how soon they can get your small load on a truck going that way) it will be Capone And Sons or Windy City Storage and Transport or whoever thay delivers your stuff.

All of that on the assumption that your japanese movers are in fact in Japan. Yeah 3900 is reasonable. Get it in writing, there’s a very good chance the driver, if he delivers direct instead of dropping your stuff at a warehouse for the local folks to deliver, will try to hold you up for more money. Maybe not legitimately, but the driver who transports your stuff is probably going to lose money with a quote like that.

430 cf is good to know, sorta, but weight is the primary metric used for estimating price.

ETA 430 cf is a few books, maybe a few dishes, mainly clothes for the bulk, possibly a computer or stereo with a couple speakers and possibly a bike. There might be room in there for a small table amd possibly a couple of kitchen chairs. The more paper (books files etc) the more quickly the weight goes up. Paper is dense and heavy

They are transporting it from Indianapolis to Chicago and just happen to be a Japanese company. I am confident that they will do the work themselves.

The contents are not super small:
China cabinet
Kitchen table and chairs
Largish bookcase
A large chair and ottoman
A few other items

They guy came to my place and looked at it, so regardless of what cf he estimated, he is going to move what I showed him.

Yeah I was thinking about that a moment after I posted. Wondered what kind of stuff you were shipping. Which company if I may ask? They might put your stuff in a “lift van” (big wood crate) to make shipping and handling simpler. That’s fairly common as well and gives them a few more options for getting it from origin city to destination city.

Any further thoughts from anyone? Thank you!

Why not get a quote from a mover local to Indianapolis or Chicago?

I can but I’m not there right now and want to get the moving done the next time I’m back in Indy…

I just think that a local company is going to know the area better and may offer a lower price.

Can you describe the company in more detail? They’re a Japanese company, but have employees on the ground to physically perform the move in Indianapolis and Chicago? I mean, that’s technically possible I guess but I wasn’t even sure it was true of the US companies I’ve used (I sort of got the impression it was more along the lines of local franchisees or subcontractors or affiliates). What makes you so confident that they’ll do the work themselves? Personally I’d have gone into this with the assumption that it’d be subcontracted unless I saw evidence otherwise … and I do wonder if introducing a Japanese agent into what otherwise would be a simple domestic transaction overly complicates and limits things to the point that it isn’t as competitive as it would be otherwise.

Seems high to me.

We recently moved a 3-bedroom home’s worth of stuff about 800 miles for ~$6000. Obviously, there are some fixed costs involved in moving, but moving maybe 1/3 as much stuff 1/4 the distance for 2/3rds the price seems off.

Notably, we also got a quote of $8000 for the same move, so it is definitely worth shopping around.

I also agree that using the Japanese company is likely going to increase the cost. They are almost certainly subcontracting (everyone in the moving business subcontracts because it’s really expensive to not hire the people actually loading/unloading stuff from the truck locally), and I wouldn’t count on them to have as good subcontracting relationships as American companies.

This seems high to me as well. But maybe this is a company that takes care of their employees and is therefore more expensive than typical moving companies. I’d still request a local quote for comparison. It’s all more expensive than a U-Haul and a couple of college students, but without being there I can understand why you don’t want to go that route.

I don’t think you can read too much into it. In my experience, typically getting at least three quotes for big ticket purchases or services, pricing varies widely. With some movers, roofing contractors, etc. quoting twice or three times the price as others with no discernible different in quality. Sometimes an anti-correlation actually. In many cases I’ve been left with the distinct impression that the company in question didn’t even want the job for some reason.

But was either end of your move in an elevator? “Three guys and truck” can have half the truck unloaded at a house in the time it will take for one round trip to the 71st floor. Moving is definitely a “time is money” project and they’ll charge extra for the “long carry.” Plus the time it takes to lay down floor protection that’s required at most high-rise buildings.

Right-o. One end is at the high-rise with everything you just said.

Good point. No, neither end required an elevator.