Get Suggestions: Ask around for moving company recommendations the same way that you look for advice on any other service. Consult friends and neighbors, look online, and ask other professionals like your trusted real estate agent or organizer. Professionals like these deal with moving all the time and can pass on the knowledge they have received from other clients.
Do Your Research: After getting recommendations and some names, do your own research by checking the businesses out online. Look at reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. Another great resource is the American Moving and Storage Association.
Make Some Calls: Once you have a short list of companies that match your needs and have the best ratings, make some calls and talk to them about your move. Here are some questions you will want to ask:
- Do you have availability around the time of my move?
- Are you insured?
- How do you calculate the charges? Do you charge by weight, miles or hours?
- (If you are moving interstate or internationally) How long it will take to receive my items?
- How do you handle the charges? Is there a deposit required?
- What forms of payment do you take?
- Do your movers break down and reassemble my furniture?
- Does your team bring padding, dollies or extra moving supplies with them?
- Do I need to empty my drawers or will the movers wrap and move them as is?
- Will the team pack artwork and wrap furniture?
Get An Estimate: We’ve all heard horror stories about how movers ended up charging way more than their estimated price. It can be the moving company’s mistake, but in many of these cases it can be the fault of the person providing the information about how much stuff needs to be moved. You want to be very clear and accurate when it comes to getting an estimate. Just saying how many bedrooms you have will not be enough. Ask them if you can send images of the place or give them a live tour on apps like FaceTime or Skype. Some companies offer an in person estimate which should get you the most accurate calculation. Most professional moving companies already have a list of questions they will ask you to help with this process. Here are some questions they may ask you and information you should make them aware of so you get an accurate estimate.
- What floor do you live on?
- Is there an elevator you have access to?
- Where should we park to load/unload the truck?
- Are you going to need wardrobe boxes? (This will add to the moving costs.)
- What floor is your new place located and how easy is to access?
- Let them know that if you have any items that need specialty moving like a piano or exercise equipment.
- Tell them if you have had any experiences in the past that need to be considered. For example, they had to take the furniture apart or through the window because it didn’t fit in the hallways or through the doorway.
- Let them know if the building you are in (or the one you are moving into) has certain moving rules regarding hours, days and such.
Lock the Price Down: If you give detailed descriptions to the moving companies, they should be able to give you a true estimate of the move. Once you have the price, make sure to ask them if there are going to be any extra charges or hidden fees. If there are, ask how you can avoid them. It is best to have a written record of these conversations by e-mail or track it on paper. We have been able to save our clients hundreds of dollars by getting a guaranteed rate from the moving company locked in. We have simply shown the document to the company after the move and if there was any difference we got the better deal.
Don’t Go for Cheaper. Go for Best Match: Once you have an estimate from 3-4 companies it is time to make your decision. Beware of very low prices that don’t come close to the other estimates. Remember, if you pay more for a professional company, in the end you are going to really save money by getting the job done right. Read between the lines if you decide to go with the cheapest option, make sure that in the end you are not going to pay more for overcharges and damages from unprofessional movers.
Put It on the Calendar: Once you have picked a winner, call them, make sure they have your move date available and confirm the appointment. Some companies get booked up months in advance. This is especially important if you are moving during high volume moving months or at the beginning or end of the month. This is when moving companies are in high demand. We have many resources available for your next move. From videos on M2O-TV, posts on our blog and our in person detailed move management service, we are here to support you for your next move. May the adventure of finding a new home bring you love, joy and happiness. Happy moving day!