5 Mistakes To Avoid When Looking For Cheap Moving Services

shutterstock_293575475With all the work to be done prior to making a major move, when it comes to hiring movers, you may be tempted to go with the lowest bidder and hope for the best. But choosing the wrong mover – and in 99% of cases, cheap equals wrong – will not only make your move more stressful than it needs to be, it can also result in damaged property and months of headaches as you chase down unscrupulous movers for compensation. Here are five common mistakes people make when looking for the “cheapest” moving services.

  1. Choosing the first moving service they contact. Resist the temptation to choose the first option that comes your way. Instead, contact and interview at least three movers before making a choice. Compare their rates, moving services provided, credentials and written estimates, and then make your decision based on which company best protects you and your household belongings.
  2. Not getting estimates in writing. Trustworthy, professional movers will always want to arrange a visit to inventory what will be moved so that they can give you an accurate written estimate. If a mover quotes you a rate over the phone, hang up and call another one.
  3. Taking a mover’s verbal reassurances and recommendations. Don’t sign an estimate or contract with a mover until all important details are in writing. Demand proof of insurance, registration number and fee structures, and ask questions about subcontractors, delivery date guarantees and the like. If in doubt, ask! And then get it in writing.
  4. Hiring the cheapest moving services. There’s a difference between the lowest bid and the cheapest service. Avoid assuming the capability of the moving service by the rates it charges. Do your research and choose quality over cheap every time. Some moving services cut corners by using poor quality supplies, like flimsy boxes. Be sure to ask about how they protect your belongings for the long haul. Then choose the best service at the best rate.
  5. Not carefully reading the contract or estimate. Be sure to thoroughly read any paperwork before you sign off on it. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask the moving company to explain it. To avoid hidden fees and extra charges, be sure to read the fine print. Finally, upon arrival, check your inventory list carefully to confirm that all your household belongings have arrived safe and sound.

Whether you’re looking for moving services for a long distance relocation or a local move, the key to a successful, stress-free move is taking the necessary precautions to avoid these common mistakes.

How To Choose The Best Moving Services

shutterstock_172365995When you’re making a move, choosing a competent and reliable moving services company is one of the most important decisions you face. Pick the right one to get your household belongings from point A to B and you eliminate a big stressor from the process; choose the wrong one and your relocation can become a nightmare. Here are some great tips to help you choose the best moving services your budget allows.

License, Please

Any mover you choose should be licensed. License requirements differ depending on whether or not you are moving out of state. Moving services that transport your possessions across state lines must be licensed with the federal government and have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. To see if your mover meets state and federal requirements, check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. For in-state moves, contact your state’s moving association.

National or Local?

Experts recommend that for in-state moves you stick with a local or regional business for your move. If problems arise during your move, it’s often easier to get them quickly resolved. For interstate moves, a national moving company is probably your best bet. In either case, good research into any moving services you’re considering will avert problems and losses.

Ask for Estimates

Get estimates from at least three moving services and make sure the estimates they submit include everything in your home:

  • Each room, inventoried
  • Attic and garage
  • Yard and shed
  • Crawl space and basement
  • Closet contents

Do not accept verbal estimates! The FMCSA recommends the estimates be in writing, binding, and clearly spell out all the charges. It also suggests you get these additional documents come moving day:

  • Order for service. This document authorizes a carrier to transport your household contents from one location to another.
  • Bill of lading. This is the contract between you and the mover and is a receipt for your belongings. Make sure you completely understand it before signing.
  • Inventory list. This receipt lists each items and indicates its condition prior to the move.

Ask Questions

Legitimate moving services know you need to feel they are trustworthy. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Is your company insured?
  • Do you hire temp or day labor help?
  • Does your company perform background checks on the movers?
  • Do you use subcontractors, or transfer my belongings to another company or crew?
  • Do you guarantee delivery on a certain date?
  • Does your moving service have a dispute settlement program?

Pay careful attention to the answers and choose a moving services provider who remains calm and professional during the interview process.

Finally, read online reviews. It’s the rare company that doesn’t have at least a few unhappy customers, so what is key is how the moving service dealt with a complaint and if the customer was satisfied with the result. Everyone dreams of a smooth and stress-free moving day and following these steps will ensure that dream comes true for you.