Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
When you don’t have the energy or time to stress about your move, then hiring movers is surely the easy path to take. They help you with both the logistics and physical demands of your move. But on the flip-side, if the wrong kind of movers get hold of your belongings, you’d have a very chilling story to tell around a campfire and nobody wants that.
Even though there’s a vast majority of good moving
companies, the bunch of hinky ones have instilled a bad image for movers. This
makes the task of finding reliable movers slightly challenging. It can also be
hard to tell the truth from a tale when you’re bombarded with convincing sales
calls and names of thousands of companies when you search the Internet.
But worry not, as we’re here to help you learn all about the
things you should know about when it comes to hiring a mover.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
The quote you receive for a move is based on several
factors. The two primary factors are the distance and weight of the belongings
that need to be moved. There would also be additional charges for add-ons like
disassembling large furniture, managing the packing of electronics or any other
complex tasks that’s beyond what the original offer includes.
If you have special requirements that you’d like the movers
to take care of, then the quote would automatically increase. Each extra
service will have an extra fee to it. This is the usual structure behind the
calculation of the quote.
But if your mover tries to charge you based on cubic feet, then you should take it as a sign that they are trying to trick you into a scam. If the weight of the inventory is not measured well enough, the final estimate suddenly exceeds the amount agreed upon when it’s time to deliver your goods to you. It’s best to keep a safe distance from such movers.
See also: How Do Moving Companies Charge
Tip - Don’t trust movers that constantly revise the initial quote with no sound rationale behind the extra charge. It is a standard practice that the charge is always based on the weight of belongings. Ensure your belongings are weighed before they enter the truck and then after it’s all packed into the truck as well. This way you’re sure that there was no extra weight added on the truck with your boxes.
Sometimes you can tell a lot about a mover by the way they
talk and the questions they ask when they come home for a walk-through. If they
don’t probe into details like how many flights of stairs they need to prepare
for or ask you about whether you’re comfortable with the delivery window they
have available, then they aren’t covering all bases of your move.
The more questions they ask, the more informed they want to
be about the size of the move.
For instance, did they ask you if the front door is far from
the sidewalk? If they didn’t, they’ll probably pick on this later and then
charge you when it's time to deliver only because they have to walk an extra
block while unloading. This not only increases your budget at the last moment
but also speaks low about the moving company for not covering this matter while
calculating the estimate.
Good movers get into the nitty gritties of the move to avoid misunderstandings later. If they’ve been in the moving industry for long enough, they’re aware that not all customers have sound knowledge about the fine print. For instance, a reliable mover would make efforts to upfrontly inform you that if there’s no parking space in front of the building, there would be extra charges to lift the heavy furniture for a block. They would be happy to provide you with reasoning behind every fee and this helps them and you build a reasonable quote.
See also: Questions to Ask a Moving Company
Tip - Good movers would cover all bases of what affects the quote. They’d warn you about surcharges so that you’re not slapped with a new bill after the unloading process.
Another sign that you should look for when you’re hiring
movers is to confirm whether they have the right type of moving equipment along
with them. If they arrive without any tools, they take longer to load the truck
and eventually charge you more for the length of time and people it took to get
that bulky couch onto the truck.
If you’re personally visiting the office, try to look around or ask questions if the moving company is using dollies, straps to keep things in place and moving blankets. Confirm if there is an extra price for this. If they’re ready to converse with you on this subject, you automatically understand that they care about the efficiency of the move and hence have all the tools required.
For your own peace of mind, it’s also a good practice to
pick movers that have sufficient numbers of trucks so that you don’t have to
worry about availability. More trucks also means you have more choice when it
comes to picking a truck size as per the size of your home. If they have a good fleet of drivers and trucks,
you know that they would be capable of accommodating your move without
compromising on quality or outsourcing a truck just to keep you invested in
Tip - Preferably pick companies that have an extensive and moderately sized network of professional drivers and trucks.
A reputable moving company would never take the full payment
after you sign a deal with them. Instead, they would ask a small upfront
deposit preferably via credit card. The final payment must be done only once
all your goods have been delivered to you.
If they insist or are pushy about only accepting payment in
cash or money order, again this is something fishy and isn’t the way a
reputable moving company would deal with transactions. It’s safer for you to
send the deposit via your credit card as there would still be a chance for that
amount to be reversed to you if things go south. When a company is happy to
take credit cards, it shows they have nothing to worry about.
Tip - Stay away from movers that demand big deposits in cash.
Getting a referral could actually be the best way to get a
list of good movers you can depend on. This is a go-to method of hiring a
mover. But if that’s not possible, you can always ask the moving company that
you found by yourself, to let you have a conversation with customers who have
used their services in the past.
This way you would get firsthand knowledge about what to expect and can gauge
the service based on the remarks past customers make. You’ll practically be in
the know-how of the structure they used for building the quote from old
customers. This ultimately reassures you of your decision to invest in the
mover. This also reduces the risk associated with hiring movers and if the
response you get is positive, it means your mover is in the good books.
Tip - Ask friends, family, coworkers for names of moving companies they trust. This can help you make an informed decision.
Movers that are ready to sit down and work on the quote
according to your needs is a sign that you’ve hit the jackpot. Before you sign
the contract it is important go over all the terms and conditions that are
usually looked over by both customers and movers. Spend some time clarifying
points you don’t understand so that you don’t find yourself in a bind.
Tip - Spend time to go over the fine print of the contract and everything it excludes. Make sure there’s no hidden charges and ask questions about conditions that are not very clear.
A large part of finding the right movers is to do your own
homework about the background of the company. Google and Better Business
Reviews are good places to start with reading reviews. Find out whether the
company has a large pile of complaints on various platforms that’s just left
unattended. If they do, it shows that they don’t care enough about the company
reputation or customer satisfaction for that matter.
When you finecomb through the reviews, it is necessary to take comments with a pinch of salt. For instance, if there’s a ton of good reviews and a few negative ones it doesn’t necessarily mean the company is a complete no-show. Focus on comments that speak about things like if all items got delivered safely or if most customers were happy but faced delays.
If the company responds to complaints you know you can count
on them to respond too. Also, make a note of how long the company has been in
the moving business because this would speak more about their position in the
Tip - Once you have your eyes set on a company, do a mini background check of their reviews and USDOT number to make sure they are licensed.
Fraudulent movers in most cases merge their company name
with legitimate businesses to share the fame of top tier moving companies. If
you even get the feeling that this is the case upon Googling them a couple
times, then it’s best to trust your instincts.
You can tell apart these companies when the trucks have labels of another name and the website you visited states something else. At times trucks could also arrive with no company name on it. These are all red flags you should be aware of.
When the advertised offer is much lower than the average
quotes elsewhere then you must immediately take it as a sign that you’re being
reeled into a scam. This is why it is best to get at least 3 in-person quotes
so that you more or less know what your expense should look like.
The bill of lading is the most important document you need after you confirm the move with a company. It is the official legal contract that must be provided to you and if this is missing, you must see it as the biggest red flag that you’re dealing with fraudulent movers.
See also: How to Avoid Moving Scams and Frauds
There are three categories of movers you can opt for
depending on the size, distance and budget of your move.
Ideal for those who are low on time and would like professionals to take care of loading, unloading, packing, driving and additional requirements. A full-service mover also works best when you are moving long distances but it is the most expensive option.
Ideal for those you wish to handle the move independently
including driving the rental truck themselves. This falls in the budget bracket
and is the least expensive approach to take. In a DIY move you take care of the
packing, loading, unloading, driving and much more.
Also read: Risks Of A Self Move
A hybrid move is a combination of a few elements of a DIY
move and full service move. It's a customized option where you handle the
packing, loading and unloading as well if you like and let the professionals
take care of the driving.
Also See: Hiring Movers Vs. DIY Move: Which is Best For You?
What is the typical cost to hire
It could cost you $600 up-to $12,000 for a long distance move. But a smaller local move could be somewhere between $500 to $2000 depending on the distance, size of the move and how much professional help you’re actually taking. If you just rent a truck and do the loading, unloading, driving independently, you can expect to be roughly between $130 to $1780.
Is it affordable to hire movers by
Hiring movers by the hour is ideal if it is a short distance
local move. You can expect the charge to be somewhere between $50 to $160 for
How to strike a good deal with a mover?
Shopping around for quotes is one of the best ways to find better estimates for your move. We suggest getting 3 to 4 in-person or virtual quotes and then crossing off companies that are way beyond your budget.
How do I find a mover?
Finding a good mover definitely isn’t that difficult, provided you know exactly where to look. You can start off by surfing the web for any recommendations based on your area, budget, distance of the move etc. Go through any reviews by happy and more importantly dissatisfied customers in order to get a balanced view on the company. You can also question family members or friends who have moved recently to get suggestions or learn about any obstacles they encountered along the way.
Is it worth it to hire movers?
Moving is a stressful time, so
having a moving company take care of the majority of the heavy lifting,
transportation as well as packaging, is certainly an offer few can resist.
Unfortunately, the bill isn’t always so kind. If you have minimal belongings
and only have to shift a couple of miles, then doing it yourself is much
cheaper than hiring an entire moving crew. Especially if you do have the time
to organize, plan and carry out tasks like packing yourself. But otherwise,
hiring movers can really be worth it if you choose the right one.
Is it cheaper to hire movers during the week?
demand for movers is greater during the weekend, due to most individuals being
out of school or work. So the rates are a bit higher than during the weekdays.
Depending on the season though, the rates can easily fluctuate again.
How much does 2 guys and a truck cost?
whether you live in a more rural or urban setting, the moving rates and overall
local moving cost will vary between $60 to $120 per hour depending on the
amount of stuff, time and of course, labor.
How much should I pay movers per hour?
Movers charge an average of $50 to
$160 depending on the distance and size of the move, the equipment needed, the
season as well as labor required to carry out the move. We suggest hiring
movers by the hour if it is a short distance or local move.
How far in advance should I hire movers?
you should aim to schedule your movers 2 months in advance. Scheduling your
move in advance not only gives you more time to pack, settle bills, plan your
work or school leaves, but also have a concrete deadline to work up to. When
you book in advance, you have the extra time to modify your schedule in case of
any changes in plans rather than hurrying at the last moment.
How do you find a mover you can trust?
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when choosing a
Can you negotiate with movers?
Negotiating with movers is actually more common than some people realize. Shopping around for quotes is one of the best ways to find better estimates for your move. Many companies have price matching policies and negotiate on their prices with you depending on the quote you receive by a competitor. We suggest getting 3 to 4 in-person or virtual quotes and then shortlisting those companies that are within your budget.
Why is hiring movers so expensive?
The saying, you
get what you pay for, is definitely true in the case of moving. If you’ve opted to move the majority of your furniture as well as have them packed, assembled
and reassembled, it's no wonder packaging and
labor costs increase. Some items may require specialists to take care of them
or even go into storage. On a long distance move, you’re not only paying for
the vehicle but also the fuel, and for a driver who’s licensed to handle
commercial trucks. Majority of
trustworthy full-service movers also include basic liability moving coverage
that protects your belongings for $0.60 per pound.
How can I save money when hiring movers?
There are a multitude of ways to
reduce the costs of your move.
How do I prepare a for a full service move?
Make sure to designate items that only YOU want to pack, by creating a detailed moving itinerary. Get started by unplugging, unhooking, emptying and disassembling whatever you can. This is a good way to prepare your home before moving day arrives. Label all the flammable as well as fragile items from the house. Most importantly, be there to supervise the moving crew but at the same time allow them to just do their job.
There are reliable movers in the moving industry, but you
just have to be able to pick them out from the rest. Now that you’re familiar
with red flags you should steer clear of and things you should look for in your
mover, you can easily distinguish the ideal ones. If you still find the task
challenging, you can leave it to us to find you the most trusted moving
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