Moving is definitely a stressful event, at least for most of us. Packing up boxes, estimating how much packing tape and bubble wrap you’ll need, and loading and unloading boxes is nothing short of nerve-wracking. When people choose to use a moving company instead, things suddenly become a lot easier. Moving companies know how to handle and pack every single item in your home, and do so very efficiently. They do not waste space, time, or money because they are experienced in every aspect of moving a home or office from one location to another. However, when you’re hiring a moving company, how do you determine which one is best for you? How do you know that particular company will offer you the best deal, and will handle your household items in a competent and efficient manner? By researching the company, and keeping certain things in mind, finding the right moving company can be a simple task.
Tip #1: Get Referrals
Referrals are easy in today’s tech-savvy world. Asking friends and family is an excellent tip, but going online is just as good. Checking out sites that offer online testimonials and other information on the company is a very smart idea. Try websites such as The Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and Yelp! In order to get unbiased, objective reviews of the company. Online testimonials on the moving company’s own website also help, but they may not be as objective as testimonials on other websites.
When asking for word-of-mouth referrals, you can also ask professionals such as real estate agents—people who have first-hand knowledge of the reputation of local moving companies. Get as many referrals as you can, and pretty soon the right moving company will become obvious.
Tip #2: Check Out the Company Itself
Most moving companies will have a well-maintained website, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is legitimate. Make sure the company has a physical address—not a post office box—that is verifiable. Their website should also contain all of their certification information, and they should be accredited by organizations like The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). The company should be licensed through The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and they should also carry full insurance coverage, including cargo insurance. This is especially important if you are moving across state lines.
Tip #3: Get Estimates
As a general rule, you should receive three in-home estimates from various moving companies. These quotes are free, and the companies will come out to your home, ask you questions, and view the items you need to move. They will also give you a quote in writing, which usually means that even if the move costs a little more than projected, they will still charge you the quoted amount. Also, you should write down your questions before the moving company arrives, and ask them of every mover, so you can more easily compare the quotes that you get. Ask about any hidden costs, and beware of any company that will give you a quote over the phone.
Tip #4: Know Your Rights
When shopping for a moving company, every one of them should give you a pamphlet entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This publication will answer many of your questions, and presenting it to you means the company is doing everything in its power to make sure you know that they are competent. Not only is this pamphlet invaluable for people who are getting ready to move, but it is also required by federal law that the company present it to you. In fact, if the moving company does not give you a copy of this pamphlet, you should consider reporting them to the Better Business Bureau.
Tip #5: Beware of Fly-by-Night Moving Companies
We have all heard horror stories regarding “rogue” moving companies. If your research on a company proves any of the following, stay away from them:
- There is no physical address or licensing information on their website
- They give you a quote over the phone
- They require a large down payment
- They show up with a rental company truck instead of a moving van
When you know what to look for, it is simple to find the perfect company for your moving needs.