How to lower the moving fee in Japan with a little effort

Moving fee in Japan are expensive, aren’t they? Here are some tips to lower the moving fee with a little effort.  If you know this tips, you may be able to keep your moving fee low.
Here are some tips from me who have moved 5 times.

Market price of moving cost

Before giving you tips on how to keep your rates low, let’s get a feel for the moving rates in Japan.
In Japan, many people move between February and April.  Therefore, the price tends to be higher from February to April than in other seasons.

How to determine the moving fee

The moving fee is determined by multiplying “amount of luggage x distance x moving season x negotiation”.  Often the amount and distance of luggage cannot be changed, but you can keep the price low by adjusting the other two well.
Now that you know the market price of moving charges and how to determine the charges, here are some tips for keeping costs low.

Tips for keeping moving fee low

Shift the moving season

From February to April, the fee will be higher due to the large number of Japanese people moving.  If possible, move between May and January.

Avoid moving timings on weekends, before consecutive holidays, and at specified times

Many people want to move before holidays and consecutive holidays, and the price tends to be high.  If you can afford the move date, show the mover a lot of candidate dates and times to move and let them know that you want to move to the lowest date and time.

Contact multiple moving company

Please contact 3 ~ 4 moving companies. The moving companies who have been quoted will compete for the price. In Japan, there is a service that available you can contact multiple moving companies by the Internet.

Access the bulk quotation web site “SUUMO

To avoid sales calls, It is rerecommended using SUUMO, which does not require phone number registration.

Enter the current address, new address, and house layout
Enter the item in the red frame
  • It is recommend that you do not specify a date and time, as moving cost tend to be high.
  • Please do not enter the phone number field unless you want to sales calls.
Click “内容を修正” in the red frame
Correct the number according to the item
Scroll to the bottom of the screen
Touch the button
If this screen is displayed, it is done

Ask for visit quotation

A quotation can be made on the Internet only, but price negotiations can only be done by calling a mover at your current home.  You may be worried if you can’t speak Japanese, but don’t worry.  I will tell you the flow of estimation and the points to keep in mind at each step.

Flow of visit quote

Ask a bulk quote on the Internet

Please check previous table of contents.

Reply to the emails you received

When you ask a bulk quote on the internet, you will receive a lot of emails. 

  • Reply to emails and adjust the date and time of visit quote.
  • You can reply to 3 ~ 4 companies.
  • Please be sure to reply to “サカイ引越センター”.
    サカイ引越センター is a famous moving company in Japan.

Email entry example

  • Copy and use the following.
  • Please rewrite the information of ▲.
  • Please reply with quotes from received mails.

Adjust the date and time of the visit
  • The date and time of the visit quote may be Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • It does not cost money to quote.
  • It takes about 30 minutes to quote the visit.
    Let’s adjust the date and time of the visit quote so that one moving company will come every hour.
Get visit quote from every moving company

Do not sign the contract immediately

This is an important point.
The moving company who showed you the quotation will ask you to sign the contract immediately.  However, there is no need to sign a contract immediately.  Tell them that you plan to get quote from multiple moving company, and consider after all the quotations are available.

Send email to the moving company with the cheapest quotation
  • Ask them that you will sign a contract if it gets a little cheaper.
  • The moving company asks for the budget.
  • Tell the budget about 65 ~ 75% of the initial quote amount.
  • Negotiate on how to make it cheaper.
  • You don’t have to be good at Japanese.

Decide the moving company
  • Let’s sign the contract with the cheapest moving company.
  • Adjust the moving date and time.
Make a notice of refusal

In addition let the contractor know that you have been contracted with another contractor by email. If you don’t tell this, you may get a lot of emails.


The moving fee will be pay before the work. Banks often close during consecutive holidays, so let’s withdraw cash by then.

Negotiation example at the time of visiting quotation

Sales person
Sales person

 Hello, I’m pleased to meet you, today. Let me check the amount of luggage to make a quotation.
/ お世話(せわ)になります。見積(みつも)りのために荷物(にもつ)の量(りょう)を確認(かくにん)してもよろしいでしょうか)


Here you go.

Sales person
Sales person

Here is a quotation.
/ こちらがお見積(みつも)りです。


It is high.
/ 高(たか)いですね。
* Please tell mover that the price is high due to the price reduction.

Sales person
Sales person

How much is your budget?
/ 予算(よさん)はいくらですか。

* Person will coordinate with the company to see if the price can be reduced to the budget.* A guideline is about 65% of the initial quotation.


It is ●● yen
/ ●●円(えん)です。.

Sales person
Sales person

If you sign up now, we will discount you to ●● yen.
/ いま契約(けいやく)してもらえるなら●●円に値引(ねび)きします。

* In many cases, person will be offered a slightly higher amount than the budget told you.


I’m asking other moving companies for a quotation, so I can’t sign up right away. I’m sorry, could you just give me a quotation now? / ほかの会社(かいしゃ)にも見積(みつも)りをお願(ねが)いしているんです。いまは見積もりを頂(いただ)くだけでもよいですか。

Sales person
Sales person

Understood. I look forward to your consideration.
/ 分(わ)かりました。


I will contact you again. Thank you.
/ またご連絡(ごれんらく)します。

Review of points to be suppressed

  1. Move between May and January, Move on weekdays.
  2. Get an visit quote from multiple moving companies.
  3. Tell other moving company that it is cheaper and let them compete for the price.
    The standard discount is 65 ~ 75% of the initial quotation.
  4. Be sure to get a quotation from the major Sakai Moving Service. 
    The Sakai Moving Service is the largest moving company in Japan, so it is often the basic price.
Procedures required when moving in Japan

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This blog is run with your donations. If this article helps you, I would be grateful if you could support this blog in the form of a cup of coffee.


Even if you negotiate the cost with the moving company, the moving company will not be in a bad mood, so please negotiate with confidence.  It is a game. Also, the moving company will always offer a high price for the first quotation.  Therefore, you can definitely save money by practicing the tips introduced in this topic, so please do your best.

See you again!

Introduction and usage of the online community “useJapan”

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