FAQ

Is your company licensed and insured?

Yes, we are fully licensed under the Department of Transportation (DOT# 2005212) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (MC# 707471). Many other companies in this industry are not. You can check here.

We are also insured to our eyeballs, with general liability, cargo, auto, workers compensation, and a general umbrella policy. This is a very large expense for us, but an important one in our profession. Many other moving companies are not insured and may leave you in the lurch in the case of damage, or worse, an injury. Be careful out there and remember to ask for proof of insurance before booking a move.

If your building requires adding them to our insurance policy as an “Additional Insured”, please let us know at least 2 weeks ahead of the move date. Most buildings do not require this.

We are also accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

What is your pricing structure and what can I expect to pay?

We keep it simple by charging a flat hourly rate for our services. In 95% of moves there are NO extra charges.

To get the exact rate we’d charge for your move, as well as a custom estimate of the time it’d take, please fill out our free estimate form. We generally respond back within just a few hours, often a few minutes. We’re pretty obsessive about it.

We consider our rates very fair and competitive. You’ll find some companies out there that charge a lower hourly rate, but not many that also 1. won’t tack on additional fees elsewhere, 2. are fully insured and licensed, and 3. use a well-experienced and fairly compensated moving crew.

The typical one bedroom apartment takes about 3 hours, however there’s a substantial range, depending on the client’s possessions, how well those possessions are packed up, the length of the walk from apartment to truck, the number of stairs to climb, and more.

In our estimate, we’ll also let you know if any other charges would apply in your case. A fairly comprehensive list of extras that might apply is below:

- Extra mover: $30 – 40, typically
- Travel charge if you’re kind of far from us – Equal to 1/2 to 1 hour charge, approx.
- Box charge if you want us to supply boxes for your packing:
– Small box (16x12x12):$2
– Medium box (18x18x16): $3
– Large box (18x18x24): $4
– Wardrobe box (24x24x36): $5 to rent for the move, $15 to buy

Again, we’ll always let you know if these apply to you before the time of the move. There are never any surprise fees!

Lastly, in general (except in very extenuating circumstances) we start the clock when we arrive at your starting location, and stop it when we take off from your ending location, and we bill in quarter-hour increments.

Do you use temporary day laborers?

Never. We only use full-time, well experienced, and well skilled employees. Many of our movers have done over a thousand moves by now and we consider them the best in the business.

Do the movers work fast, or do they stall to pad the clock?

Our movers work very fast. They are strong and execute efficiently. There is no padding of the clock ever, period.

Do you do long distance moves?

Sorry, at this time we are limited to moves within the greater D.C. metro area only. But even if we can’t do your move personally, if you shoot us an email we’d be happy to recommend some other quality long-distance moving companies for you. Having us load a POD or truck for you is also an option.

The areas we serve most often, in order, are Washington, DC; Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Falls Church, VA; Silver Spring, MD; and Bethesda, MD.

What types of payments do you accept? Do you require a deposit?

We takes checks (preferred), credit cards, and cash due at the completion of your move.

No deposit is required for moves.

Do you accept tips?

We do, and they are always very appreciated. There are myriad expenses involved in providing a licensed and insured moving truck and crew, so movers rely on tips as a significant portion of their take-home pay. If you appreciated their work, let them know.

Do you have a cancellation fee?

We do have a cancellation fee. We wish we didn’t have to, but when clients cancel on short notice it can be difficult to impossible to find a replacement job, and so this does in fact cost us a lot of money each year. If you cancel or reschedule within a week before your move it amounts to one hour’s fee. Inside of 48 hours is two hours fee.

If the rescheduling is due to an Act of God (blizzard, terrorism, collapsed bridges) these fees do not apply and we reschedule for free.

How do I book a move with Bookstore Movers?

We thought you’d never ask. Please fill out our free estimate form here. Or feel free to email us at bookstoremovers@gmail.com or call at (202) 570-4697.

It’s a good idea to book your move well in advance to ensure you get your desired slot. Weekends at the turn of the month, especially during the warmer months, are very popular. This is especially important if you have limited date/time flexibility.

Tips – Parking

Reserving parking is key as a distant spot means we have to carry items farther than necessary and this can add significant time and expense. A lot of clients underestimate this, but most of moving is just hauling possessions to/from the truck! If the truck is twice as far away, it will therefore extend the move commensurately.

Below we’ve listed the area sites where you can reserve parking with your city/county. We are not permitted to do this for you, unfortunately.
- DC – Charge is typically $50
- Arlington, VA$34 (link for fee schedule)
- Alexandria, VA

Elsewhere, you typically won’t need a permit. However, we recommend you confirm this for your particular streets before your move.

Tips – Reserving Elevators and Loading Docks

Reserve any elevators or loading docks that might be used. You generally do this by contacting the property manager of your building. Weekend and month-end dates are the most popular, sometimes getting fully booked weeks, even months ahead of time. Be sure to give us a heads up if you have a limited elevator, dock, parking, etc reservation window that could make things tight, or if there’re limited hours moves can take place within your building.

Tips – Packing and Preparing your Possessions For Their Journey

1. Box up as many items as possible. Hiring us to make hundreds of trips back and forth with small, loose items is not a good use of our time or, more importantly, your money.

It’s also recommended to use similarly sized and weighted boxes as much as possible. This makes stacking for hauling to the truck, and packing into truck much easier and simpler, and therefore faster and cheaper.

2. Remove and box up items from any dresser, desk, file cabinet, wardrobe or armoire. This makes these items easier and safer to move.

3. Disassemble large furniture items beforehand, if possible. Large appliances, such as washers, dryers, stoves, should be disconnected. Our crew can perform these tasks also, but please provide advance notice.

We strongly recommend you disassemble Ikea and other particle board furniture. This kind of furniture is not meant to be moved in assembled form! We understand dis-assembly and re-assembly can be a pain, so we’re happy to help with this. If you want to leave particle board furniture in an assembled state for the move, we will be very careful, and it generally goes just fine, but please be aware that we cannot be held responsible if damage does occur. See our policies page for more detail on our limits of liability.

4. Dense items like books and papers should be packed in small-sized book boxes. A large box with books my risk tearing apart and be difficult to maneuver.

5. Make sure you have plenty of boxes and tape. You’ll probably need twice as much as you realize. Craigslist is a great place to find free boxes. Or if you opt to purchase them, most places will let you return any leftovers for a refund. Home Depot is a great place to purchase boxes at a far lower price than U-Haul, etc. Another great resource is Rentourboxes.com, for high-quality, re-useable boxes, delivered to you. We can also generally bring some for you for $1-$15 depending on the size of the box. The $15 boxes are armoire boxes for hanging clothes.

6. Labeling a box’s contents makes a mover’s life (and yours!) simpler and helps us take better care of your possessions. Noting particularly if a box is fragile or extremely heavy. Also, unpacking will be significantly more streamlined if your boxes designate their new destination by room so we can take it straight there and you don’t have to face a Himalayan mountain chain of boxes in your living room.

7. Leave yourself enough time for packing. This usually takes far longer than you expect! We’ve had many clients still packing when we arrive, and it can really complicate the logistics of loading items into the truck in an optimal manner. We recommend trying to have it all done the night before to give yourself a cushion.

8. Pack a box of things you will need imminently when you get to your new abode, such as your rental agreement, cleaning supplies, snack, trash bags, toothbrush, etc.

9. If at any time you realize you have many more boxes or items than you initially thought, it’s good to let us know so we can judge if it makes sense to add a mover or send a larger truck. Having too small of a crew or truck can add time and therefore cost to your move, especially if we have to make two trips. It is also important to let us know of any unusual circumstances or particularly heavy or valuable pieces during the estimate process, not after we have arrived. This allows us to make special arrangements and make sure we are fully equipped for any situation.

10. Take especially expensive or valuable items yourself, if possible. Be sure to pack and pad fragile items adequately. It’s very important to label fragile boxes “FRAGILE” so our movers are aware. We also recommend you group them in a corner, out of the way of moving traffic. Lampshades and globes must be removed and packed. We strongly recommend you move plants yourself. We strongly recommend you pack electronics in their original boxes. Antique clocks you may want to dis-assemble, and pack the various moving parts (chimes, pendulums, etc) separately. Please pack and pad picture frames adequately as well.

11. We cannot move anything hazardous or explosive! (including propane tanks, paint cans, turpentine, gasoline, etc)

If you want help packing, let us know. We may be able to help depending on our schedule, and typically at a cheaper rate than we charge for moving services. We do need an accurate sense of the amount of items we will be packing for you, beforehand, however.

Tips – Sundry

Make sure your new place is clean and that you have a sense for the arrangement of the furniture before your rooms get crowded with boxes and are harder to navigate with your larger items.

We do not do piano moving. Nor do we move anything that would have to be hoisted up through a window. But if you need this done we would be happy to recommend some other high-quality moving companies that do offer this service.

Lastly, here’re are two helpful resources from the gov’t site ProtectYourMove.gov

Ready to Move? Tips for a Successful Interstate Move
Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move

They’re a bit long-winded at times, but contain a lot of good information.