Moving is never easy, so much planning, sorting, and organizing. What to keep and what to throw out or donate? You also have to choose a moving company to transport all your personal belonging to your new home. That can be stressful too! You need a reliable moving company that can get the job done with the utmost care and precision – one that won’t break or misplace the special items you’ve accumulated over the years. Let’s look at some tips to ensure you get a moving company that won’t let you down.
Check Online Reviews
Never underestimate the power of checking online reviews. You can get fooled by clever advertising, but reviews give you the nitty-gritty details that an advertisement doesn’t. Through online reviews, you’ll learn a lot about the reputation of a moving company and how they treat their customers from other people who’ve hired similar services in the past. You can also ask friends and family members you trust about moving companies they’ve used in the past, and whether they had a positive experience. You can also question your social media contacts about their experiences with moving.
Ask for a free, no-obligation estimate.
Some moving company companies will not work with you until you pay a deposit, but most reliable ones don’t request money upfront. Ask for a free estimate before you move further into negotiations. This will help you gauge if they are trustworthy or taking advantage of unsuspecting customers. If they’re reluctant to do that or give you a ridiculously high estimate, count them out early on, but don’t forget that you may pay more for quality. If you choose a moving company that breaks your prized antique bed or drops a treasured vase, it might not be worth the low price they charge.
Be suspicious of very low estimates or estimates a mover gives out by phone without seeing the job. That raises red flags. Estimates are mostly based on the weight of what you’re moving, although they may add extra charges if they have to climb a flight of stairs to move your items, or if you’re moving items that require special care, like a piano. Make sure the company you’re considering has experience moving fragile items, like a piano. Also, long-distance moves will cost more.
Be sure the estimate you get for moving is a “binding estimate,’ so they can’t increase the price after you’ve reached an agreement. A binding estimate means they can’t tack on an extra fee on a whim.
Get several estimates from different moving companies.
Don’t go with the first moving estimate you get. Get three to five estimates before deciding. Getting multiple estimates will help you comprehend the range of prices movers charge. If they all seem equally competent, go with an estimate in the middle. The company that gives you the highest estimate is probably overcharging, while a very low estimate raises red flags. They might not understand the extent of your move due to inexperience.
Look at the license and insurance information.
You can check online to determine whether the moving company is licensed and insured. Their license number should also be on their website. This will let you know if they are trustworthy movers. Also, look at the policy numbers for bonding and insurance coverage. A reliable moving company will have this info on their website too. You can also verify a moving company is licensed through protectyourmove.gov. When you visit the site, ask for their U.S. DOT number. Also, make sure the mover you use offers basic liability coverage before hiring them.
Use a certified mover.
One way to increase the odds of finding an ethical moving company is to choose one certified by the American Moving and Storage and Association’s ProMover program. By using a certified mover, you get the peace of mind of knowing that they meet certain standards. To be certified, they must also undergo a background check. That gives you added peace of mind. Also, check with your Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints against the companies you’re considering.
The Bottom Line
If you like a particular moving company, but their prices are out-of-range, don’t be afraid to negotiate with them and ask for a lower rate. Start looking at moving companies early, so you can compare rates and services in a leisurely manner. Moving is stressful enough without scrambling to find a reliable moving company. Choose the right company, and it’ll take some of the stress out of moving and get your prized possessions to their new location without a hitch.