Are you moving to a new home? Making moving decisions can be a little overwhelming. And there are chances you are clueless about how to get things under control.
Today, we will share some of our best-kept secrets on how to find the most reliable movers in town. With over 40 million moves happening annually in the US, not all end up facing moving scams. However, it is important to look for a few ‘obvious’ signs before hiring any moving company for the job.
A little research can save you money and avoid unpleasant situations during the big move. To find which relocation company can offer you the best service, here are seven things you should look for:
1- Ask for recommendations
The best way to find great movers is to ask friends, neighbors, coworkers and local real estate agents about trustworthy companies. Not only will they guide you about their own experience, but you’ll also get an estimate of how much it will cost.
2- Do a quick screening
Once you have a list of recommended movers, do a quick background check by visiting Better Business Bureau (bbb.org). You can also contact American Moving and Storage Association (moving.org) to see if the company is a member. Being a member of AMSA means that the moving company has agreed to abide by conditions of the organization’s published tariffs, making them a much stronger candidate.
Don’t forget to visit the website movingscam.com. It is a great online portal where people share their reviews and complaints about various moving companies. Needless to say, it’s a great way to be sure of your choice of movers. Plus, it also has tips and other related information that can help you out with the moving process.
3- Make sure the company is licensed
The foremost thing to look for in a moving company is their license. You can avoid scams and rogue movers by being a little vigilant with researching the company’s credentials. All professional interstate movers should have a valid license number issued by the United States Department of Transportation. Make sure you ask their license number and check their complaint history online.
Local moving companies who offer their services within the same state should hold a state license. Remember, they do not fall under the supervision of U.S. Department of Transportation. Each state has a separate list moving regulations and license requirements, so make sure that the company you choose complies with them.
4- Call in a few companies for an estimate
Before you finalize a moving company, it is recommended to call at least three to four different companies for an in-home estimate. This way, you can have a rough estimate of how much the move will cost you.
Also, show around all the things that have to be moved, and this includes the closets, backyard, basement and the attic. Don’t skip a part of the house assuming it is included. The movers can challenge their quotation on the big day, so try to keep things as transparent as possible.
Remember, estimates are just a figure, and the final cost will most probably exceed it. Interstate moves are based on the weight of the items that will be shipped. While the estimates for same state moves vary from company to company. Either way, the estimates are usually based on the total time it will take for the whole job.
5- Study the rates in detail
Once you have a list of estimates, make sure you compare them to find the best mover for the job. Don’t be fooled by seemingly low rates. Usually, extraordinarily low rates have hidden charges that can take you by surprise.
Also, study higher bids to see what’s causing the difference in the amount. Are the fuel charges added? Will you get a better rate if you move on a Monday as opposed to the weekend?
Don’t hesitate to negotiate for the best possible rate. With so much competition in the market, most movers will be willing to accommodate your pricing.
6- Look for experienced movers
Try to stick with a moving company that has ample experience in dealing with your specific type of move. For instance, if you are moving to a high-rise apartment complex or a townhouse with multiple floors, inquire if the movers can deal with it. Ideally, a moving company should be prepared beforehand to deal with anything that comes their way, for example, small doorways, steep stairs or parking restrictions.
But instead of waiting for the day of the move, it is better to inform the moving company about any special conditions beforehand.
7- Avoid large deposit requirements
Remember, if a moving company is asking you to deposit over 20% of the total estimated cost, they’re most probably trying to scam you. Many established moving companies don’t ask you for a single penny unless all your belongings are delivered. If the company you’ve selected is still asking for an advance, put it through a credit card so you can contest the charge in case of a wrongdoing.
From selecting a reliable moving company to choosing the date to move, moving can be overwhelming. And with so many local and interstate moving companies ready to offer competitive services, the choice can be a difficult one to make.
If you have suffered from a poor experience through a moving company, file a complaint with the local consumer protection agency. Each year, more and more people are being scammed by fraud moving companies. In fact, there is a 25 percent increase in complaints against movers since 2014.
After all, it’s not about money but rather your memories that are stake. So, instead of being stressed about it at the last hour we suggest you protect yourself and follow the above-mentioned guidelines for a smooth move.
Are there any other things one should look for in a reliable mover? Share your ideas with us in the comments below:
Rachael Everly is an enthusiastic blogger who loves to write on home improvement and interior decoration related topics. She is also a lifestyle blogger who got featured on various high authority blogs and magazine. Follow @RachaEverly for more updates.