According to American Community Survey (ACS) data, over 40 million Americans relocated each year for the past five years. That calculates to around 13% of Americans moving each year.
With this high number of moves happening each year in the country, it’s a small miracle that most of them go on without a hitch. Even with so many slick moves, there are scams and bad practices. It is in your best interests to be aware of every step of the process.
Finding the best moving company should be at the top of everyone’s moving to-do list (unless you’ve opted to do everything by yourself).
Read on to learn the tips for finding the best moving company for your budget.
Your friends and family are a great source of information when you want to get an affordable moving company. Ensure anyone you get recommendations from moved recently to get up-to-date information. Ask them how the company’s customer service was.
Get to know how the movers handled their items. Was anything damaged during the move? If there were damages, did the company offer any compensation?
Another important thing to know is whether the movers arrived on time.
After talking to friends and family, you should have a list of companies you can look into. Research moving companies online to see how customers have reviewed their services. Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook are good places to start checking customer reviews.
Only consider companies with mostly positive reviews and a rating of at least four stars. After checking reviews, visit the companies’ social media pages.
Observe how they interact with customers. Do they respond to clients’ questions on their pages? Also, check how a company responds to customers’ complaints.
Sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have more information on customers’ complaints. The BBB rates companies based on their performance and trustworthiness. So, you can trust a company that has a high BBB rating.
After that, check each company’s website. See what information each company has included on its website. Check their service offerings, the areas they serve, and their answers to frequently asked questions.
Consider Local Movers
Before venturing to companies outside your area, first, consider local movers. It is easier to get information on a local company’s services as someone you know has likely ever used their services.
Additionally, a local company has its office nearby. Thus, you can visit to make an inquiry.
Check Companies’ Credentials
A trustworthy moving company should have registered with the Department of Transport (DOT). Companies usually indicate their DOT number on their websites. If you do not find the DOT number on a company’s website, ask them to give you the number.
Use the DOT number to check for other credentials such as insurance and federal registration. You may also use the DOT number to search for complaints against a moving company. Your local moving company may not have a DOT number.
Check if a company has American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) certification. The AMSA does thorough background checks on moving companies before giving them certification.
All certified companies must comply with the American Trucking Association (ATA’s) code of ethics. Additionally, all companies must demonstrate professionalism and honest business conduct.
Since AMSA certification is for international movers, your local moving company may not be certified. Still, do not overwrite a company because it does not have the certification.
Know the Company’s Service Offerings
You do not just want your movers to take your items from point A to B. It is an added advantage if a moving company offers other support services. Ask a company about their service packages to see which one works best for you.
It is best to hire movers who provide packing services. Packing services are useful because professional movers know how to handle fragile goods. Additionally, they have the right packing materials for all items you want packed.
Some moving companies also provide furniture assembly services and car transportation. If you have fragile items, high-value art, and antiques, ask how the movers can help you keep them safe. You will also need special services for items like large aquariums, pianos, and bathtubs.
Get a Detailed Quote
Ask each house moving company to provide you with a cost estimate of their services. Get estimates from several companies. That way, you can compute your average moving costs. DO not hire a company with an estimate that is way above or below the average.
An appraiser from the moving company should view the items in your house to give an accurate estimate. The estimate you get from the movers should break down the total costs into individual items.
For a local move, companies typically charge a per-hour rate. For long-distance relocation, house moving companies base their rates on weight and distance.
Expect extra charges if you are moving out of or into a story building. You may also have to pay extra if your street is too narrow to accommodate the moving truck. In this case, the moving company has to get a smaller car to move the items from your house and onto the truck.
Understand Your Contract
The contract you get from a mover determines the terms of payment. Do not sign a contract if you do not understand its terms. Below are terms of payment to look out for in a contract:
Under a binding moving estimate, a moving company gives you a fixed price to pay based on the estimated weight of your items. If you sign a contract with a binding estimate, you agree to pay the quoted price.
The mover cannot change the price indicated on a binding estimate. Therefore, if your items weigh more than the estimated weight, you pay a lesser amount. But, if your items weigh less, you still have to pay the higher estimate.
Here, you still get an estimate based on the approximate weight of your belongings. However, this price is not binding. So, you may pay a higher or lesser amount depending on the actual weight of your belongings.
Non-binding to Exceed Estimate
Under a non-binding to exceed estimate, the estimated price you get from the moving company is the highest amount you have to pay them. If the items weigh less than the estimated weight, you pay a smaller amount. If they weigh more, you pay the indicated amount in the contract.
Besides charges, the contract should indicate the mover’s liability for damaged items and the pick-up and delivery dates.
Take your time to read the contract and consult on anything you do not understand. Be wary of any mover who pressures you to sign the contract quickly.
Hire the Best Moving Company
You can have a stress-free relocation experience without spending lots of cash. Follow the above tips to hire the best moving company in your area.
Remember, the best company will work with your budget. Also, ensure the company you choose can work with your timeline and has a favorable payment plan.
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