Moving can be a stressful task, here is some tips to make your life easier when it comes to hiring a mover.
- Get a written estimate or onsite estimate if possible: Don’t hire a company without getting your quote in writing. You should find out if your move is hourly or priced by weight and distance, depending on state regulations, and whether your move is local or going out of state. It is a good idea to have an onsite survey/estimate, there are many scams out there from “on the go movers”, this will help you get a good feel of the company you are dealing with, and the company can get an accurate idea of what your move entails (whether its truck size, materials, equipment, tools, etc to ensure a safe move for your items.) However, there are some exceptions, for instance, the state of Ohio does not require a written estimate if the move is under $500, or booked within 5 days of the move.
- Don’t let price be the only criteria for choosing a mover: Going for the cheapest mover is not always the best choice. It is a good idea to get at least 3 quotes so you can compare and see what each company has to offer. Is the moving company experienced? “Are they special movers”? This is the question to ask. If a company is offering a lot of freebies, this is a RED FLAG, and you need to investigate a little further.
- Don’t hire a company that does not have moving authority/license/insurance: Every state has its regulations on moving companies whether it is a local move or interstate move. Some movers are not required to be licensed in certain states. This is something to investigate with your state representatives, or the federal motors carrier safety administration (www.protectyourmove.org) to check licensure for local and interstate movers. Make sure the company you choose has insurance (liability and workmen’s compensation insurance also). This does not mean your items are insured, make sure you ask about the companies options for coverage.
- Try to avoid scheduling last minute moves: Summer time is usually a busy time of the year for most moving companies. Be smart! Plan ahead. Allow enough time to get your written or onsite estimate, that way you can hire the “amazing movers” you are searching for.
- Be careful of a company who only takes cash: Reminds you of someone who does not want a paper trail. Most reputable companies will take credit cards, certified funds, or cash as an option to you.
- Make sure the company has a physical address:
- Avoid a company who doesn’t use their own employees: Be careful of companies who use day labor or temporary labor from an agency. If they are not employees, chances are they don’t have a lot of moving experience, and you want to protect yourself from damage, theft, etc.
- Avoid a company whose trucks and equipment are not their own or old and dilapidated: Make sure the company you use has the proper licensing on their trucks, equipment, drivers, etc. Finding out the size of vehicle that will be used, make, model and age does not hurt either.
- Avoid using a company that gives you a price without getting any detailed information: Information you should be providing to the mover is a detailed list of furniture, misc items, approximate # of boxes, access to your origin and destination, flights of stairs/elevators. If a company gives you a quote without this information, most likely they are not very concerned on how your move will turn out.
- Avoid a company who wants to be paid upfront: Some companies do require a deposit. In most states payment for local moves is collected at the end of the move. Long distance moves before the mover unloads at your destination. If moving out of state, get a binding estimate.
- Avoid a company who has a lot of complaints: Protect yourself and choose the right mover. A good idea is to use a company; you know someone else has had a good experience with. Check with your state representatives. Other resources are www.bbb.org (if a company has a low number of complaints with the better business bureau, this is a good sign), www.angieslist.com, www.yelp.com, www.protectyourmove.com, and www.movingscam.com .
Choosing a mover does not need to be a stressful task. Do your homework and you should be ok at the end.