If your big home-moving projects quickly turns from “invite a few friends over” to “we need some professional help,” it’s time to pick out a moving company Here are some moving company tips to help you find the right service.
Weed Out the Scams
The moving company market is one of those industries that is plagued by a certain number of scam organizations interested in taking your money but offering you little or no service in return. When investigating moving companies, your first step should be to weed out these scam organizations to avoid wasting any more time.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure the company actually exists. Even if there’s a website, a moving company should also have an local address, as well as a license and an office you can actually find. Real moving companies also tend to use their own, branded trucks to move your goods and typically offer their own insurance. Be wary cash or high deposit requirements and easy, online estimates as well.
Check Licensing and Agreements
Moving companies need to operating licenses for their trade. Local (within the same state) companies usually need to register with the state or city when doing business. State to state moving companies need to have federal licensing. To help with moving company tips and research, the government has a handy link you can use to inspect the interstate moving companies and know your rights and responsibilities regarding your move. The company needs to provide you with a copy of these anyway, but you can access the online version whenever you want.
Estimates are Nice, But Accurate Estimates are Best
Most moving companies will offer you an estimate, but you can tell a lot by the kind of estimate they offer. The best movers take a close look at your house and belongings, make note of what you have, and ask a few questions before coming up with a price. If a company offers a general estimate without visiting your home or without really calculating what materials you have, take heed and think about switching. A thoughtful, accurate estimate shows the company knows its business and is attentive to details, key qualities in the right mover.
Remember, an estimate shouldn’t cost you anything (if it does, you’ve probably found a scam). Tread carefully around estimates that seem too low as well, because this is often a sign of a scam that will quickly raise prices for add-ons after you have signed the contract.
You can do plenty of research on your own, too! Visit a site like City to City Moving to calculate the costs of moving a particular sized house between particular cities in the United States. Average prices can vary greatly, especially over long distances. Within the same local region, you can expect average moving prices around $100 per hour of work.
Investigate a Mover’s History
This company is going to be in charge of your possessions for a significant period of time: Make sure they know what they’re doing! Look up the history of the company to confirm it has plenty of experience in your area and is not a brand new, inexperienced business. Read any reviews you can find from the company website, review sites on Google, the Better Business Bureau, and so forth, watching for danger signs.
Fully Understand the Company’s Moving Process
There are dozens of different steps in the moving process, and for the best moving tips you need to understand the company’s approach. How the moving crew begins, what protective clothing they wear, what wrapping and protective they use for furniture or electronics, how long emptying the house is supposed to take…these questions and many others like them are key to understanding what kind of business you are dealing with. You may want to ask about particular experience, too – moving between large apartments is a different process from moving between two suburban houses, for example.
Read All the Fine Print
Tread very carefully when it comes to rates and additional costs. Once you have an estimate, look for answers to the hard questions and any unpleasant caveats. Does the company charge more for particular items or extra moving days? Will moving to another state cost extra? Will the company charge you for fuel and packing materials? Will they charge more to move during summer than during winter? There’s a lot of detail here, and you may have to dive in if you want to secure the best deal.
This is also the time to inspect insurance policies for damaged goods and how much (if any) they cost. Remember, you typically get what you pay for when it comes to insurance. If you want a little extra security, snap “before” and “after” pictures of your best goods and doorways to document any damage done.
Ask About Deals
Companies may offer a variety of deals to lower costs, from limited time offers to more unique options, like bundling your goods with other peoples’ to cut down on the price. Asking about the deals can help you find a discount that you may have missed!
Photo Credit: TheMuuj