You finally made the decision to relocate and now you need to choose a moving service. It is a decision that roughly 35 million Americans have to make while moving each year. With all the things you have already on your plate, how do you figure out how to find the right one? Whether you are moving locally or heading across the country, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your belongings arrive safe and sound. Here are three tips to help you choose the right moving service for your needs.
The first thing you want to do when thinking about hiring moving help is to research their reputation. Yes, it is a bit of extra work, but you definitely do not want to skimp on this step unless you want to invite a nightmare of a moving experience into your life. You will want to know how long have they been in business and if they are state-licensed. If you plan to move out of state, the moving company you hire should have a USDOT number issued by the United States Department of Transportation. They should also be bonded and insured to protect you from any losses from missing or damaged items.
Has the moving service you’re looking into won any awards? That is a good sign you are in the right hands because you know they have provided excellent service. You can also check online reviews on sites like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints with the moving service. Check around with family and friends as well to see if they have any recommendations. Be cautious of any company that has changed names recently or asks for full payment upfront.
Compare costs of at least three to five professional movers. As they say, you get what you pay for. Be aware that just because some professional moving companies may offer low rates, that does not mean the final bill is going to be that way. Company rates vary widely depending on the season or even the day of the week. There are also extra charges such as the cost of fuel, insurance, and packing material to consider.
Do not accept any rates given to you over the phone. Have any movers you’re considering come to your home and do a thorough walkthrough. Point out every item you want to be moved and have them make a complete inventory list. Be aware that weight is a major factor in overall cost. Get a written binding estimate and make sure all moving items and fees are clearly listed. This will help you receive compensation for any missing or damaged items later on, should something bad happen.
Ask plenty of questions before you sign any documents. Find out what the company’s service area is and what equipment they have. Ask how much they charge for things such as packing, insurance, and fuel. Will the moving company wrap your furniture to protect it? How many movers will be involved? How long will the moving process take? Are there any overtime charges if the job takes longer than expected?
You may also want to ask if they have any special consolidation policies. Consolidation entails packing your items along with another person’s or family’s to cut down on overall transportation costs. If you choose this option, be aware that your delivery time may take longer. Ask them how long the delivery window will be and get these details listed in your written estimate. You may also want to find out what insurance options they have available if insurance is not automatically included in the estimated moving costs.
When it comes to choosing the right moving service, take your time and do your homework carefully. Research any potential professional moving company’s reputation thoroughly. Compare all the costs involved and ask plenty of questions. Get everything in writing up front so if a problem does occur, then you have the evidence you need to take recourse if needed. By following these tips, you will be able to reduce much of the headaches involved in moving to your new home.