Top 5 Moving Tips for Anyone That Hires Professional Movers

shutterstock_401691505Hiring a moving company isn’t as simple as it seems. There are some unscrupulous moving men out there. Some will break your valuables. Others will tack on extra fees after agreeing to an initial quote. Follow the tips outlined below and you’ll greatly reduce the odds of a stressful and costly move.

Vet Potential Movers

Find out how long each prospective moving company has been in business. Do some digging to determine if they are licensed and insured. Check out online reviews to learn more about customer experiences. If you find out that a moving company lacks a US DOT number, they do not have the proper license and are not worthy of your business. If a mover lacks insurance, move on to the next candidate. Also, be sure to find out if your items are covered by your renters insurance/homeowners insurance policy. If such coverage does not exist, it might be prudent to secure supplemental moving insurance.

Ask What the Rates Include

If a moving company floats out an incredibly low rate, don’t automatically assume that this figure represents your final bill. Find out if fuel charges are a part of the rate. Ask if the rate applies to all days of the week and seasons of the year.

It Might be Possible to Obtain a Lower Rate Based on Delivery Window or Consolidation

Some moving companies are willing to charge extraordinarily low fees if you agree to have your belongings moved with those of other wayward individuals. Shipping these items together saves the moving company plenty of money and they just might pass some of those savings on to you. Furthermore, if you deem it acceptable to have your items delivered in a certain window of time rather than a specific date, you might be eligible for another discount.

Consider Packing Your Items

In general, those who pack their belongings tend to pay less for their move. Leaving the packing work to the movers usually results in a higher price as they’ll have to provide boxes, tape and other packing materials. There is also a certain peace of mind obtained by packing your own items. You’ll know which boxes contain specific items and you can pack them in your own nuanced manner. However, it is worth noting that some movers write clauses into their contracts that absolve them from liability in the event that items packed by customers are damaged. The onus is on you to pack your valuables in a secure manner that can withstand bumps in the road and possible rough handling by time-strapped moving men who are unaware of each box’s contents.

Do not Sign a Blank Contract

Some opportunistic movers will take advantage of young people and other easy targets by presenting a blank contract for signature. Never sign such a document. Make sure that each detail is written out and clearly defined along with a specific price. All “extra fees” should be listed in this contract, including the pick-up and delivery dates.

5 Ways to Find the Best Local Movers

shutterstock_363111836Pinpointing a trustworthy moving company with affordable rates is easier said than done. Ask anyone who has hired a moving service to transport his valuables to new digs about the experience and there is a good chance he’ll have a lot to say. Some people have had fantastic experiences with movers while others have endured broken china, scraped walls and a higher cost than initially quoted. The key is to do your homework now so you don’t have anything to worry about once you’ve committed to a moving company.

The Quickest way to Learn Something is to Ask

Reach out to friends, family, co-workers and anyone else in your social circle about their experiences with local moving companies. These discussions will provide you with some valuable insight. If you find that plenty of people in your social circle are pleased with a particular moving company’s services, slot that business at the top of your rankings. If the responses indicate that a particular company has low rates but unsatisfactory customer service, remove them from consideration. You’ll glean an abundance of valuable information by simply asking around rather than scouring the web for reviews that might not be completely forthright.

Obtain an In-Person Estimate

Schedule an in-home moving estimate with a handful of moving companies. If certain movers refuse to make the trip on out to your home for an estimate, cross them off your list. While on-site, ask prospective movers if they will perform the move with their own manpower or if they will sub-contract the work to another business. Do not hire a company that sub-contracts the work. Forcing them to provide an in-person estimate is prudent as it will give you an accurate quote that helps fine-tune your budget. This way, you won’t have to worry about an over-the-phone moving cost estimate that turns out to be wildly inaccurate. If the mover will only provide a quote according to cubic feet, discount him from consideration. A thorough analysis of your belongings should be performed before any sort of quote is provided.

Hop on the Web

As noted above, it is easiest to uncover the best local movers by asking around. However, some important information about your city’s movers can be found on the Internet. If your community has any local-oriented message boards, search them for threads about neighborhood movers. Check out online review directories for information about experiences with local movers. You can also post a thread to the MovingScam.com online message board to find out if any registered forum participants have had experiences with certain local moving companies.

Perform Some Detective Work

Though it is hard to believe, some alleged moving companies lack a physical office. Certain movers own a moving truck and employ a rag-tag team of moving men to handle jobs as they pop up. Once you’ve whittled down the field to a handful of candidates, visit their offices to verify their legitimacy. Aside from an office, they should have trucks and a storage facility.