Movers – 7 Secrets to Finding the Right Moving Company

Quick Summary

  1. Get referrals from local real estate agents and friends who have moved recently.
  2. Only consider movers that are licensed, bonded and insured.
  3. Investigate your potential movers through the US Department of Transportation, the Better Business Bureau and MovingScam.com.
  4. Evaluate a minimum of 3 movers based on in-home estimates of goods to be moved.
  5. Price isn’t the only factor- extremely low bids indicate a desperate mover.
  6. Ask for written “Binding Not-To-Exceed” estimates.
  7. Avoid “rogue movers”- if you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts!

The Details

If you decide to hire professional movers, you’re faced with a big decision- how do you find reputable movers or moving companies? The good news is that a small amount of time spent on researching potential movers can help insure a stress-free move. This article outlines those research steps.

Getting Started: Referrals

Getting referrals is clearly the best way to start your review of potential moving companies. While the Yellow Pages (for those of us who can even find their phone books!) and web searches can help, referrals can provide the best leads. Ask your friends, co-workers and new neighbors about their experiences. Look for people who have moved in the past 12 months, as companies’ quality changes over time. Be sure to ask for details such as the names of people they worked with, what went well, and what to watch out for. Even information about moves that didn’t go well can be helpful.

In addition to friends and co-workers, try to get referrals from industry professionals. Check with your leasing agent or real estate agent for experiences of their clients- they can be a wealth of helpful information. If you work for a large company, check with the Human Resources department to see if they have someone who works with relocation (even if you’re not receiving relocation assistance- they may be willing to pass on useful information anyway). Getting these types of referrals will get your research started on the right foot.

Licensing

Movers are regulated by federal, state and local laws. At the federal level, a moving company that carries goods across state lines (interstate) needs to be licensed by the Department of Transportation (the DOT does not regulate local movers). At the state level, laws vary widely, and several states (Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont) don’t require moving companies to have a separate license. For those that do, verify that the licenses are current. We also recommend that your movers be bonded and insured, both as proof that the company is legitimate and financial stability in case the worst happens and you need to file a claim.

Investigate Potential Movers

Once you know the basics about your potential moving companies, it’s time to find out about people’s experiences. You want to know get opinions from objective, third-party opinions based on dozens or hundreds of consumer evaluations. While almost every moving company has had some kind of complaints, having objective resources is important. Fortunately, there are a few excellent resources you can use for free. The U. S. Department of Transportation has a website devoted to its “Protect Your Move” program. There you’ll find a link that will allow you to look up individual moving companies. You can also check the websites of MovingScam.com, ProtectYourMove.gov and the Better Business Bureau. It’s a good idea to check all 3 to make sure you see a complete picture. Again, almost any mover who has been around for awhile will have a complaint from someone- you’re looking for patterns of issues and how the movers attempted to resolve the issues.

In-home Estimates

Many companies provide methods for customers to obtain an estimate over the phone or on the web. This presents tremendous convenience for the consumer. Until a moving company representative takes a physical inventory, any estimates they create won’t be very reliable. You should also be somewhat concerned when a moving company isn’t interested enough in your business to request an in-home visit. It can also be tempting to get only one or two estimates for an upcoming move. This presents two problems. The first problem is that it’s very difficult to evaluate an estimate without having a few others to use as comparisons. The second problem is that you miss valuable opportunities to evaluate a mover’s personnel without ever having met them. It’s worth the time to get these estimates in person.

Pricing

Price is obviously very important in selecting a moving company. However, it isn’t the only factor. In fact, we think that quality, safety and reliability are at least as important. When you think that you will be trusting all your most important possession to be driven off by complete strangers, it puts pricing in some perspective. Further, if you see an estimate that’s more than 1/3 lower than the next lowest estimate, it’s a good idea to find out why. Very often an extremely low estimate is a sign of movers who are either very inexperienced or desperate. And neither of those reasons should be cause for encouragement!

“Binding Not to Exceed” Estimates

There are 2 primary types of moving estimates- binding and non-binding. Non-binding estimates are not contracts, and provide those moving with limited rights. Binding estimates are contracts and are binding on both you and the moving company. “Binding Not to Exceed” estimates put a firm cap on the amount you can be charged, so long as you don’t request additional services or add items to be moved. Moving companies tend to be careful in creating such estimates, and many companies don’t offer them at all. However, wherever possible, see if you can get your potential movers to agree to creating one for you.

“Rogue Movers”

The Department of Transportation offers specific warnings about scam artists known as “rogue movers.” These groups offer a very low estimate for an upcoming move. However, once your goods are on their truck, they demand exorbitant fees to release your possessions. Here are the warning signs the DOT points out:

  • The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the phone or Internet-sight-unseen. These estimates often sound too good-to-be-true. They usually are.
  • The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move.
  • The mover doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.
  • The company’s Web site has no local address and no information about licensing or insurance.
  • The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance.
  • When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name.
  • Offices and warehouse are in poor condition or nonexistent.
  • On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned and marked fleet truck.

A Final Note

While selecting a moving company can be an imposing task, it’s important to note that moves with reputable companies tend to turn out well. Following the simple steps in this article can help ensure that your move is a successful one.

Tips for Smooth Relocation During the Holidays

With winter holidays knocking on your door, you have to make room in your schedule for all of the extra activities, such as shopping for presents, getting decoration in place and attending parties. It is not always easy, but truth is that it can become a real nightmare if on top of all that you happen to be moving to a different home.

While it is true that there can hardly be less ideal time to move, sometimes you don’t get to pick. Relocation during the holidays presents a lot of challenges, which you must be ready to overcome. The most important thing is to make a schedule with all of the tasks that need to be done. Doing so will allow you to devote just enough time for everything to get the move done in a successful manner, as stress-free as possible. Here are some other tips that can help you get the job done:

– Plan ahead of time – if there is one thing you will wish you had more of during your removal, it is time: to make plans, to pack, to research the market for a moving company, to prepare your new home for arrival and overall devote enough attention to every little detail. That is why planning ahead is of vital importance for the success of the move, as it allows you to arrange the tasks in a schedule that is convenient for you.

– Contact the right moving company – it is wise to hire a moving service, as that will save you a lot of trouble. You might think you are prepared to tackle everything on your own, but the truth is that carrying heavy furniture and a great number of boxes will only tire you out. Professional movers can provide assistance with carrying the heavy items and loading them so that you don’t have to bother with this aspect, which is most tiring. Just make sure the company is available on the closing date.

– Don’t overdo it with decorations – chances are that you will be well aware of your move in advance, and so you will know that it is during the holidays. For this reason it is wise to keep your festive decorations on the low side, as the more you implement now, the more you will need to take off and pack later. You will be busy with other tasks, such as furniture removal and there is no need to introduce even more work.

– Get the family involved – it might not be what everyone had hoped for the holidays, but it is still something that every one of your family will have to deal with. Every home removal is surrounded by a lot of tasks that you have to take care of, and it is your family that should be first on the list to help you. See to it that everyone has something to do, as that will guarantee a faster and more successful move.

– Don’t forget to celebrate – there is no need for grand festivities on Christmas, but you should still have a small party. This is especially true in case you do move into your new home just before the holidays. Nothing will spark up the Christmas spirit more than having a warm party in your new home, even if you still haven’t fully unpacked.

Relocating to a new home during the holidays is difficult, but following those tips will ensure that you manage it without much stress. Wish yourself a happy holiday moving and start planning your relocation to the new place.

Interesting And Simple Tips For Making The Moving Process Easier

Would it not be wonderful if you would move from one place to another with your property seamlessly and with no hassle at all? When it comes to home and business moving, it would be an amazing experience moving effortlessly and ensuring that you still have business continuity. To some extent, that can be achieved, but that will depend on how well prepared you are and who you have to help you out. Below are some interesting and simple tips on moving that will give you an easy time, use less space and ensure your property safety.

  • 3 Ps: Prepare, Plan, Proceed

Moving is stressful and disorganization does not exactly make it easier. If you do not plan, you might end up having a very frustrated day, damaged goods and incur many charges that would have otherwise been avoided. Take some time beforehand to prepare and plan accordingly. Plan to get city movers to help you out and consider all factors like the package you want, the price and other relevant details. Once you have this set out, proceed with the moving in the laid out plan.

  • Save some money by being conservative

This can be done by checking out how the stuff is being arranged. For instance, arranging the sofas in a vertical manner means they use less space, mirrors can be placed between mattresses and taking apart your cupboards prior to the moving will ensure you get a lot out of the experience. Lampshades are some of the most damaged in moving, so you can opt to pack them and move them in your vehicle instead of packing them with the other items.

  • Get lots of boxes: Better safe than sorry

It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Get as many cartons as you could. These can be gotten either free from your local stores or purchased. Have a variety ranging from large to small, which can be used for all the items in your house. In some cases, the city movers come with their own packing equipment but unless they have told you not to get your own, it would be wise to do so. In addition, packing on the moving day is not exactly a wonderful strategy. A day or two prior would be advisable given that you will be able to pack comfortably, label them and organize in order of transportation. You can also have them centrally placed meaning that on the moving day things will move faster.

Tips for Choosing a Commercial Moving Company

Home and office movers play an important role in making the moving process less challenging and stress free. When you find the right movers, you stand to benefit from a range of packages. Therefore, it is important to choose your service provider with careful thought. It is advisable to undertake the company’s background check, its credentials as well as its record of accomplishment. This will make it possible for you to shortlist a few of them for a wise choice. The tips for choosing a professional commercial moving company include the:

· Package

A professional moving company offers a range of services including project & inventory management, relocation planning, packing, loading, moving, storage, unloading, tracking of goods, contingency planning, certification & risk management, re-assembly, installation and more. The company will keep you informed about the various processes involved in relocation. They know different transit stages, which helps to offer an assurance to clients of a timely move.

· Scope of service

A professional company takes every initiative to understand your moving needs in order to tailor-make a package that caters for your specific requirements. Therefore, it is important to communicate the extent to which you want the movers to handle the moving, particularly if you are operating on a limited budget. This will help you get a quote based on the scope of service.

· Quotes

As you shop around, you will discover many movers all purporting to offer quality services. To help you find a mover that falls within your budget it is advisable to get price estimate from several moving companies and compare the quotes. The price estimates should be performed onsite as opposed to over the phone or via email. However, you need to be careful because the lowest price does not always translate to the best deal, just like the fact that the highest prices do not mean quality services. Find out whether the prices are binding or non-binding, and make sure to ask for a written agreement.

· Track record

Ask the mover about commercial service packages, safety records, customer satisfaction, licensing and liability insurance. By reading through the customer reviews you will get an idea whether a company is worth the time. You need to find a company that has positive online reviews. Find out from the moving company whether they are willing to provide you with contacts of their previous customers. A company that is unwilling to connect you to its previous customers is suspect. When you get in touch with some of the former customers, you will know their experience in the hands of the service provider and whether they recommend the company.

Top Ten Tips for Packing and Moving

The exhausting nature of shifting homes often leaves one hunting for quick tips and tricks to make it simpler. Here is our list of the most proven tips for packing and moving. These are simple to follow and have a great impact in making it a stress-free experience.

01. Make a Day-wise To Do List

Listing out your moving details is always the first step. Remember, the sooner you get down to do this, the easier it will be for you. It is recommended to do this at least 4 weeks before the move. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can keep revising it.

02. Toiletries, Important Papers and Jewelry move with You

This is one of the best tips for packing and moving. Whatever the case be, these three item categories cannot be left to anyone else. Before the day of the move, make sure you pack them and keep them with you.

03. Sell Your Old Clutter

If you have unused things lying about in the house, sell them before you move. With online sale being so easy nowadays, these will sell fast without effort. You will lower your total volume and cover a part of your moving cost.

04. Using Handy-man Services for Specialized Electronics

This is another of the awesome, but overlooked tips for packing and moving. If you have items like home theater, R.O. water purifier or similar complex electronic items, you will need specialized help. These items cannot be plugged off and boxed. Ask the respective brands to provide help.

05. Do Your Research on Packers and Movers

When opting for professional help, research is indispensable. With everyone claiming to be the best at what they do, you will have to get down to brass tacks. For example, ask about their use of packing material like bubble wrap and carton quality.

06. Get a Transit Insurance

Just like you buy insurance for your car, transit insurance is an added security. It does not mean that something will necessarily go wrong, but will stop your wallet from hurting if anything does happen. Always go for it.

07. Pending Bills and Services Disconnection

Before you move out, make sure you pay your water and electricity bills. Also remember to disconnect internet and cooking gas services.

08. Change Address and Ensure Amenities at New Home

You don’t want to start at your new place half ready. Before moving in, make sure all the services which you disconnected from your old home are ready at your new place.

09. Attention to Breakables

Even if you hire professionals, it is your crockery, mirror and your fragile showpieces. You must pay special attention to their packing. If they are all packed into a reasonably small box, better carry them in your car.

10. Categorize Items and Label Boxes

When the move starts, make sure you have a marker pen in hand. As soon as any carton gets packed, mark it with your name, box number and which room it will go in. It will make your life a lot easier when unpacking.

We hope that when you decide to shift homes, you get to use these tips for packing and moving. They are sure to make this complex job a simple affair for you.