Moving is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful experience. It’s not always easy to know what you need for your move or figure out the logistics of getting your belongings from point A to point B. How do you know which one will give you the best service with so many moving companies these days? We’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to find a great company that won’t leave you stressed and frustrated at the end of your move.
1. A reputable moving company will take inventory of all your belongings
It is essential to know that all of your belongings will be safely transported from one place to another when you are moving. A reputable company will offer a free inventory at the start of your move and check off each box as they unload it onto their truck. They can also provide documentation for insurance purposes in case something gets lost or damaged during the move.
2. The moving company should be able to provide a written estimate
When your belongings are safely loaded onto the moving van, you will have to sign off on an estimate detailing how much all of your item’s cost. Most reputable companies will offer you a free estimate and then let you know if any additional fees are associated with your move. They will also be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take to complete the job and even provide you a time frame for when it should arrive at its destination.
3. A reputable moving company should have all of the required licenses to operate in that area
You should always check for licensed and credible moving company which is necessary to complete your move. Most moving companies will also be able to provide you with copies of this request information. All insurance should be in place before your belongings are loaded onto a truck.
4. A reputable moving company will provide all of its workers with an identification badge
As part of their job, moving company employees have access to your personal belongings. A good moving company will ensure that all of its workers are qualified and insured for the job they are hired to do. Workers should always wear an ID badge with a photograph (or work shirt with a name tag), so you can be sure that the people moving your belongings are who they say they are.
5. A reputable moving company will provide you with a list of references from past customers
When it comes to choosing a mover, you can never be too careful. A good moving company will have several positive references from customers who have used them in the past. Don’t just take their word for it that they have a good reputation – ask other people who had used the moving company before if they were happy with their service.
6. A Genuine Moving Company will give you an In-Home Moving Estimate
When you work with a moving company, you will receive an in-home estimate that breaks down the price of your move by room and gives you a detailed list of how much it cost to wrap/pack/haul each item. You’ll most likely be assigned a mover who will arrive promptly at your home or apartment to walk through your belongings and give you an in-home estimate.
7. Reputable movers won’t demand cash or a large deposit before moving
You’ll be required to pay a small deposit at the start of your move, sometimes about $100 or so. This amount is usually applied toward any charges incurred on the day of the move. A reputable moving company won’t require more than that unless they’re moving expensive items like fine art, antiques, pianos & other large high-end items. So, if they don’t have any problems, you won’t be charged anything for that day.
If a moving company charges more than this upfront payment or demands cash before starting your move, consider it a red flag and run the other way. Unscrupulous movers know that consumers are often stressed out at the start of their move and can take advantage of them with high-pressure tactics. It’s also a sign that they may be operating without proper insurance, which means if anything is damaged on the day of your move, you’re not going to get compensated for it or even know about it until after the fact.
8. Avoid moving companies with a name switch
Several companies on the internet lure customers in with low prices, but it’s a different story once they get your money. The moving company will be out of state or switch names and move you to an out-of-area location where shippers know how to work the system in their favor. You’ll have no recourse to get your belongings or money back.
The scam works like this: There are internet sites with posted prices that are much cheaper than legitimate moving companies. These sites recruit customers by posting an incredibly low price and then offering to beat any other quote you receive from a legitimate moving company. They will offer to move all of your things wherever you want for a rock-bottom price.
The moving company will tell you that additional costs were not included in the estimate due to weight or size limitations of whatever transport vehicle they were using. They’ll give you two options: get all of your things shipped at an exorbitant price (and they’ll pocket the difference), or you can forfeit your deposit and pay a cheap rate for only part of your belongings to be shipped. Take them up on their offer, and they get your money.
9. Get references on movers and check them out
When hiring a moving company, you should never take someone’s word for how reliable they are. Instead, if you have the time and patience, do your homework on potential movers by getting references from past customers and checking out their reputations.
In addition to referring family and friends who’ve recently moved, look online for places that let customers post reviews of moving companies.
In addition to asking other people for referrals, you can check online for places like city-data forums that let people post reviews about things like movers and utility companies, so you’ll get an idea of how the company operates on a day-to-day basis.
The Better Business Bureau is another great place to get information on moving companies. They post profiles of the company, their reviews, and complaint history so you can get an idea of how they operate when things don’t go as smoothly as planned. However, keep in mind that movers who are likely to give customers problems aren’t likely to do business with the BBB in the first place.
10. Avoid packing costs
Moving into an apartment? You’ll likely have to pay at least a portion of the cost for packing supplies. Moving across town or across the country? You’re going to be responsible for packing your things yourself.
Most movers offer basic boxes, bubble wrap, and tape, but you have to pay extra if you want special items packed like electronics or fine China. If you’re moving a lot of furniture or belongings, the cost adds up very quickly, and it’s not uncommon for people to end up paying hundreds of dollars more than they planned.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for hidden fees related to packing materials – like fees that aren’t included in your final price.
Moving is stressful, but the more prepared you are going into it, the smoother the transition will be. If you’ve gathered information on your moving company beforehand and given them a lot of consideration, dealing with movers shouldn’t be all that hard.
Follow these 10 easy tips to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible, and you’ll have a new place to call home before you know it.