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
The time to move houses has come, and you may be left
wondering if it really is worth hiring a mover. Whether this is your first
rodeo or your tenth, it’s always a little nerve-wracking hiring a mover. The
temptation to just DIY it is quite strong to shake, and you’ll save up a fair
bit of cash. Plus, this way you’re the one handling all your precious
belongings. Let’s set those doubts straight.
There’s several ways to cut corners and save up on cash when moving homes. But moving your home by yourself sure isn’t one. Hiring good movers saves you loads of time, effort and trouble. You can allocate the responsibility of this one mammoth task to someone professional and reliable, leaving you enough headspace to get every other aspect of your move in order.
Thankfully there’s several ways to weed out the trouble and
narrow down on someone trustworthy. Read up on these tips for hiring quality
movers, that not only tells you the attributes of a good mover, but also tells
you about the red flags to look out for.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Word of mouth is often considered to be what makes or breaks
people’s perspectives of a service. Asking friends and family for their
recommendations will not only leave you with some reliability in your choices,
but also give you an opinion that comes from experience. We also recommend
running the name through Google and doing a thorough search. Past clients will
often head to a forum to talk about any distinctive service, whether good or
Additionally, ask your movers for references from past
clients. Anyone who does their job well will be happy to refer you to previous
clients. Any other reaction, and you may want to tread on the side of caution.
One of the initial ways to stray away from scams and rogues is to check for a license. All professional interstate moving companies are licensed by the US Department of Transportation. They will have a license number to show for the same. Look up the company on the Department of Transportation’s website to see their license number and complaint history. Intrastate, local moving companies will have state licenses. While each state has its own license regulations and requirements, there are verified ways to check the legitimacy of the moving company.
You can also look to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A government agency that regulates commercial vehicle operations, you can try to find out the status of the company. On the website of the moving company, look out for the MC # and its U.S. DOT #. Both these numbers have been assigned by the federal government. run either of these on the FMCSA database, and look for ‘Authorized’ under ‘Operating Status’. This is your green flag.
Picking the best movers involves coming up with a few options first. This helps you compare prices and cost estimates, and pick the one that best fits your budget. Receiving only one moving quote is restricting and won’t be beneficial. Professionals will differ in quality and rate, and you have every right to ask for quotes from each one to properly expand your options. Do a careful analysis and comparison of rates, and consider your personal experience with the initial interaction, to narrow down on potentially the best movers for you.
An important part of hiring a mover is informing them about
what it is they’ll be moving. Movers being the professionals at their jobs,
they’ll be able to measure the dimensions and weight of the items you want to
move much better than you will. This also helps you get an accurate estimated
quote of how much the move will cost.
For this reason, you should always have a mover visit your
home. This is also a good way to ensure they see every last item you’re moving,
resulting in their quoted inventory matching everything that was moved. A mover
who doesn’t insist or refuses on a home visit is one who isn’t thorough with
their job. Do not accept a quote unless it is issued after an in-home
estimation, and do not accept a mover who doesn’t want to do one. A great green
flag is that the best moving companies will insist on a home visit to be as
precise as possible, without you having to suggest it.
The closer you get to your moving date, the more questions will start to crop up. We recommend listing down all the questions you may have before you finalize your mover. Some of these could be around the cancellation policy, the equipment they have, and how they deal with highly fragile and sensitive items. A reliable, experienced mover will answer quite a few before you even ask them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about fees and insurance. Rogue movers will try to dodge these questions and be as vague as possible.
Ensure you ask for a detailed description of the services
they offer. Do not take things for granted, as certain companies only cover the
moving of items from point A to point B, while others will pack items, taking
them from your old house to the allotted rooms of the new. Lastly, ask about
the additional costs. Additional costs are not included in your estimates, and
can often show up as a nasty surprise when it comes time to pay the final
amount. Additional costs can include charges for extra stops, fuel, and
Make sure you ask the moving company about the type of
coverage they can offer you. Understanding and enquiring about this is crucial,
as it provides monetary safeguarding for your items. All moving companies are
required to provide basic liability coverage. It is free of charge, and insures
your items per pound. It is $0.30 per pound for intrastate moves and $0.60 per
pound for interstate moves. This is known as Released Value Protection.
In addition to this, some moving companies also offer Full
Value Protection. Under FVP, your items are covered for their current market
value. If any damage is incurred, you will be paid enough for repairs or
purchasing a replacement of the same value. You will have to purchase this,
either from the company or from a third party provider if the company doesn’t
offer it. The FMCSA recommends you check your homeowner’s insurance policy
before you purchase insurance from a third party, to ensure you’re not already
Lastly, ask to see the moving company’s proof of insurance. A licensed company should have no problems in showing you their own insurance policy, as it is proof of legitimacy.
The moving company has to give you an estimate in writing,
with one copy for themselves and one with you. Both you and the mover have to
sign it, and it must indicate a method of payment. More importantly, ask them
about the nature of the estimate.
A smart way moving companies can make extra money is by
giving you a duplicitous estimate figure. This is usually low priced, to come
across as a good deal and tempt you into signing. When moving day comes along,
additional costs are added to the estimate and your total cost is increased.
You ideally want a binding quote, or a fixed or
not-to-exceed estimate. A binding estimate is a guarantee that the final cost
of your move will not go beyond the estimate. It includes all additional
charges and add-ons, such as fuel, stairs, etc. Not all reputed companies offer
binding estimates, and rogue movers could very well offer them, so make sure
you tick everything else off this list before you finalize your mover.
Of course you want movers that are experienced. But more importantly, are they experienced in the type of moving you’ll require? Moving to a highrise needs different types of maneuvers compared to moving into a townhouse or a condo. Getting furniture up a narrow stairwell requires as much skill as navigating it through narrow doorways or up steep slopes. Having experience in the type of move you’re about to make is assurance of safety and professionalism on their part.
Several moving companies offer shipment tracking. Tracking your shipment can range from tracking it via an app, GPS tracking on the company website, or simply calling the movers for regular updates. Not only is this a sign of professionalism on the part of the company, it is also reassuring for you. Being able to keep tabs on where your furniture is can be relieving and take away some of the moving stress. Remember that even reputable companies may not offer shipment tracking; it is simply a way to keep your mind at ease. Finally, an important part of finalizing a good mover is understanding the types of movers available. These are based on the types of moves people make. While some movers specialize in interstate moving, some others work only within a state. Some are perfect for long distance moves while some are best equipped for shorter distances within a neighborhood or city. Thankfully, with our help you won’t have to worry about this, or any rogue movers trying to scam you.
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