Choosing the right moving company is an essential step to ensure that your moving process is easy and seamless. Picking the wrong movers can potentially delay your moving date, causing you to lose items or incur financial damages. Yikes!
To make sure that you select the right reputable moving company, you can use the checklist we are providing below. It will save you a ton of energy and money, and it will help your moving process go as planned.
1. Identify The Type Of Movers You Need
Every moving company has a specialty. Some specialize in inter-province moves, while others may only provide their services locally; some might focus on moving delicate objects such as pianos or artwork pieces. Therefore, before selecting a moving company, it is important to first identify your scope of work and the type of moving company you need.
Some questions you can ask yourself to determine your scope of work and the type of moving company you need include:
- Is my move local, or am I moving across the country? Will I require an inter-province moving company? Would a local company be able to complete the job?
- Are there any items that require special equipment or skill to move? Some examples include pool tables, pianos, hot tubs, etc.
- Do I require any other services like packing, trash removal, or a cleanout?
2. Find Potential Movers and Evaluate Their Credentials
While you can find a list of moving companies near you, contact them individually, and see which one fits your needs, you can take a more systematic approach to find quality moving companies and compare them. For example, you can create a blank spreadsheet to list all the moving companies near you and determine each mover’s qualifications and whether they fit the requirements you have set.
For each moving company, create a column for each of the following:
- Google review rating. See what customers are saying about the business. If a moving company’s Google review rating is low (below 3 stars), or a majority of the comments are negative, you may not want to hire this mover.
- Years in business. New companies might be less expensive, but companies that have been in business for a long time are less likely to be flight risks.
- Areas of service. Can this company accommodate both where you live now and where you are moving?
- License and insurance. Find out if the company has licensing and insurance information on their website. Interstate movers should have the Department of Transportation (DOT) licensing and insurance information listed.
- Accreditations. Are there any specialized accreditations or certificates on their website that are worth mentioning?
3. Read the Moving Companies’ Online Reviews
In addition to reading Google Reviews and ratings, look at the moving companies’ reviews on other review websites such as The Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Yelp, and other popular review sites.
4. Request a Virtual Quote
Once you have generated a list of moving companies and narrowed the list down to the top five or ten moving companies, the next step is getting their phone number and getting in touch with them. Many moving companies are offering virtual quotes given the current health situation, making it easy for you to get quotes through their websites. Some information the moving companies may ask you to provide include the number of items you are moving, the items’ weight and the dimensions. You might also need to share a video with the representative of the moving company so they can see the items you want to move and thus be able to give you a more accurate quote.
5. Avoid These Red Flags
Being aware of some red flags during the estimate process can help safeguard you from unreliable movers.
Watch out for the following signs:
Low bids. While low costs might be appealing, it can be a sign that the movers do not understand the scope of the project and will cut corners.
Large deposits. Generally, a mover should not request more than 20% of the estimate up front. We recommend never paying more than 20% down, and it is better if the company does not require payment until after the move. If you must make a large deposit for a more complicated relocation, make sure you put it on a credit card - never pay with cash. If something goes wrong, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.
Rented moving vans. Some smaller companies might need to rent moving vans to build up their business. However, these rentals are more common for small moves that include only about one or two pieces of furniture, for example; they are less common for whole-house movers. Reliable companies will have their own moving vans and equipment.
- Unprofessionalism. Other unacceptable behavior includes showing up for the estimate late, unprofessional demeanor, and any condescending attitudes. You can also check the company’s address to see if it is listed under a residential or commercial address. Commercial addresses are more legitimate because the companies are generally more formally established.
5. Have Everything in Writing
Before engaging in the move, document the terms of your contract in writing. Also, go over the insurance policy the moving company offers. What does the policy cover? How much does it cover? Learn about the difference between full replacement value and other no-cost options that may not include replacement value. Pick the insurance that you feel comfortable with and pay more for extra protection for your more valuable items.
We hope these tips help! Moving is a tiresome task with many potential problems but it can go incredibly smoothly if you follow the advice above. If you have any questions about moving, please feel free to contact us and let us know.
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