1. Trust your judgment! Go with your feelings!
Hire the company you feel most comfortable with. Did your phone conversation and quote process go smoothly? Did the mover ask ALL the right questions – When are you moving out? When do you want to move in? Any stairs/ elevator? Did the mover get a detailed list from you? Do you need an insurance certificate? Did the mover get back to in a timely manner? Were all your questions answered?
If the mover can’t get these things right then how are they going to handle your belongings??
2. Watch out for the low moving estimates!
Remember what your parents said… if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anyone can give you a quote. A trained, seasoned professional will get all the details. They will ask for a complete list of items to be moved. Your timing for pickup and delivery will be discussed. The pricing strategy will be explained. Ask what you’re paying for–size, weight, volume, distance or added services. Know what you are getting for your money.
3. The Internet- a curse or a cure for finding a mover??
The cure- check out the website. Does it look professional? Does it list an address or is it a “virtual” company? Is the company a member of a professional organization (e.g. the Massachusetts Movers Association or the Better Business Bureau)? Does it invite you to call for a quote or simply prompt you to enter your information?
The curse- Anyone can create a website, but that does not mean it’s a reputable or honest business? There are many unscrupulous people in this business and most of them live off the Internet. In particular, be wary of online price quotes.
Also, beware of price quotes tied directly to weight! One thousand pounds to Los Angeles for $1000.00!! Is it actual weight or calculated weight? Has anyone spoken with you about the list of items that you want to move? Do not get sucked in by lowball estimates on the Web!!
Moving is the third most stressful thing you will do in your life behind divorce and losing your job. Do you want to add to that stress level? Also, if you have any suspicions at all about a moving company with just a website, check out websites that list unscrupulous companies, e.g. movingscam.com
4. Deal with a local company.
Your mover should have local ties to one end of your move- either the pickup or delivery. Hiring out-of-town movers is dangerous. What happens if you need to be out of your place on the first of the month and your out-of-town mover runs late? Or worse, when the mover finally arrives on the 3rd, their truck is already full and your move needs to be rescheduled to the next week? A local company can accommodate delays, schedule changes and extra items being sent. Local small businesses are owned by people who reside in your community and build their reputations through happy customers. Should a problem arise, the local guy is better equipped to handle it.
5. Get a written quote.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, just accurate! Make sure it lists what you are moving, where it is being picked up and where it is going with lots of specific details. The price should be based on this list. If you think you are going to have extras (items that you will add on moving day), get the quote ahead of time. If you tell the mover five items and it’s actually 15, the price will be higher for the extra items.
6. Be clear on insurance.
Know what is covered and what isn’t. Know how much coverage is included and what you have to pay for. Discuss the issue of damage. Things can happen during move, but a reputable, reasonable company can correct them. Ask how they handle damage and repair. Be sure that you’re comfortable with the mover’s responses.
Who will do the packing of your boxes? Where will you get your boxes? Can you use old boxes? What if you have something you don’t want to pack, like china, artwork, computer equipment or a flat-screen TV? You will save money by doing your own packing, but there is a catch. Any boxes that you pack can be insured for loss only, not damage. So, if the china that belonged to your grandmother and the TV are expensive, you may want the mover to pack it for you. That way, if it is damaged and you declared value on it, you’re covered.