Whether you’re moving across town or making a big leap and relocating across the country, one thing is certain: moving is not easy. In fact, between finding a new place to live, finding movers and packing, many will say it’s just plain stressful and challenging.
However, one way to make it much easier is if you invest some time in finding the right moving company – a professional company can go a long way toward easing your way to a new home.
The good news is that the Internet makes this easier than ever by giving you a range of moving quotes, including the pre-screened companies found in Vanlines.com’s network.
Outside of your Internet search for movers, ask from recommendations from friends and family, and do a background check of moving companies you want to speak with by contacting the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to inquire about the company’s complaint record and how those complaints were resolved.
Above all, keep this in mind about moving quotes: If a low-price quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Moving scammers prey on consumers who look for a bargain only to find an unscrupulous mover who piles on charges after the fact. Getting a range of moving quotes helps you avoid this by allowing you to see what a “fair” price is – if five movers are quoting you $1,000 for a move, and one mover is offering $500, steer clear of the low-ball bid.
Now that you’re ready to talk to potential movers… decide what items will be shipped and what will be sold or given away. Also know whether you want the moving company to pack and what additional services you might need. Next, meet with the moving company sales representative to prepare a written estimate, and ask yourself the following:
- Is the moving company’s sales representative trained, friendly and knowledgeable? The sales representative will work with you on drawing up an estimate, taking into account the specifics of your move. This person should be friendly and give you a positive feeling that he understands your specific needs and can clearly explain the moving company’s services.
Listen carefully to the questions that the sales representative asks you to see if they care about your specific needs or if you are getting the same sales pitch as everybody else. The sales representative should be readily available to you for your questions and should be easily reachable.
- Did you get a clear and concise explanation about the costs and services you’ll be getting? A moving company should give you a customized moving quote based on your move. Be sure you understand the estimated charges and what situations, if any, could cause these charges to change. If you are not comfortable about what you are getting and what you are going to be paying for it, find another moving company.
You will always want your detailed quote in writing, signed by your sales representative or other company representative. Find out how long the estimate is valid for and whether it is binding. For a large, interstate move, get an in-home evaluation. For a smaller move, you might forgo in-home estimates from multiple movers, but try to get at least one to establish a baseline for other moving quotes that you get. Even a “small” move might have some peculiarities to it that could increase the cost. So long as you know that upfront, you could forgo multiple in-house visits.When getting an estimate, inform the mover of any unusual situations on either end so your estimate is more accurate: problems the mover may encounter at delivery include parking, road access, street accessibility, and delivery time restrictions.
Also, feel comfortable that the moving company insisted on gathering all information that could affect move cost.
- Does the moving company provide references quickly — without you having to ask for them? A quality moving company will have a number of customer references they can give you to show you the type of quality service that they provided in other moving situations.
Good moving companies are eager to share these “successful move” stories with you and will likely have them in their initial sales and marketing materials. You should look for recent references within the past 12 months because management and personnel can change within a moving company.
Those questions will help you find a good mover that you’ll be comfortable with. However, your job’s not yet complete. Ask these questions of the mover that you choose to ensure a smooth move day:
- Are there extra charges if the movers have to go up an extra flight of stairs even if I did not know about it when booking?
- What is the estimated delivery time and will the driver notify me?
- If I pack myself, what type of packing material such as boxes are acceptable?
- How do I pay? Cash, credit card, check (personal or certified)?
- When do I pay? Cash on delivery?
- Will the movers disassemble everything and will they reassemble all items at the destination?
- Following the initial weigh-in, will there be an additional weigh in to determine actual cost?
- If I have purchased liability insurance and I need to make a claim, what is the process?
Asking these questions – and more as they arise – will help ensure that you have a smooth, smart move.