Selecting A Moving Company 101

Finding reliable movers requires a bit of due diligence.  A poor moving experience is a waste of time and money during an already hectic period in your life. With a little bit of homework, bad experiences can be avoided. Follow these tips to source out the best moving company!

1. Don’t Get An Estimate From Just One Company

Doing a detailed comparison of at least three different moving companies will help you make a decision based on more than just price.

You should only get an estimate after an in-person inspection of your home. The movers need to see everything that needs to be moved and understand the layout of your place. Lots of stairs, narrow hallways and heavy objects all impact how much the moving company will charge you.

If you want the movers to move stuff into your new place, then you should also have them check out the new layout. Again, stairs, narrow hallways, and other obstacles will affect how much you’ll be charged.

2. Stay Away From Guaranteed Quotes

Dishonest moving companies use incentives like guaranteed quotes and low costs to prey on unsuspecting people. While guaranteed quotes (not paying more than the estimate) may sound like a good idea, it doesn’t ensure that your needs will be fully met.

When getting quotes from moving companies, you’ll encounter these three different types of estimates:

3. Non-Binding Estimate

This type of estimate means the moving company will charge you a maximum of 10% above the original estimate. Usually, you have 30 days from delivery to pay any overages. Non-binding estimates provide flexibility for both sides and usually end up being fair arrangements.

4. A Binding Estimate

Binding estimates are the same as a guaranteed quote. Anything not listed in the mover’s inventory before signing the contract will not be eligible to be moved on moving day. If you need additional services, the moving company will have to void the contract and get you to sign an addendum for the extra services.

5. Non-Binding to Exceed Estimate

This type of arrangement ensures you won’t pay anything above the original estimate. If the movers charge you by weight and your items weigh more than the estimate, you still will only pay the estimated amount. If your items weigh less, then you’ll end up paying less.

6. Avoid Companies That Operate Under Different Names

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) will help you find more information on the reputation of any moving company you’re considering.

Shady companies operate under multiple names so they can’t be looked up on the BBB. To protect yourself, double check that the company has a local address and that their moving license and insurance information is easily accessible. If the company has any hesitation giving this information to you, stay away. The Hudson Movers website is a useful source of information and resources.

7. Questions You Should Be Asking

Asking questions is the best way to weed out the dishonest and incompetent. You can tell by how the company answers your questions if you want to deal with them or not. Here are some questions to start with:

  • Does your company charge a fee for travel time?
  • What payment methods do you accept?
  • What type of boxes can I use when packing my own items?
  • How does your company handle items that require special treatment? (Electronics, ovens, antiques, musical instruments, etc.)
  • How will you provide the estimate for unpacking? (Especially important for long distance moves where the new place can’t be inspected for a quote)
  • Does your company offer any liability coverage?
  • How does your company charge? (Usually by workers, weight or time)