Shopping for moving companies is a huge undertaking, we know! From national long-distance movers to the local guys moving with a rental truck, there are a lot of companies to consider.
So, how can you know that the company you are looking at is really the best for you? Follow these seven simple tips that will help you see through the marketing and tell if the company you are talking to has the credentials to complete your move quickly, safely and within your budget.
Check How Long the Company Has Been in Business
If the moving company you’re talking with was just born yesterday, it’s hard to tell whether they have the credentials for your move. For complex national or international moves, a good rule of thumb is to hire a moving company with at least a decade of experience planning and executing these moves.
If it’s a simple local or in-house move you need, there’s probably no need to worry about how old the company is. Pay close attention to the amount of detail they take during the estimate and to the questions they ask. This will show that the company is competent and that they care about your needs.
Licensed & Insured Moving Companies
If the company is not properly licensed or insured, this could mean a big risk for your belongings. If you aren’t sure how to check this out, then look at their company website. Either on the homepage or in an About Us section, companies will normally list their Department of Transportation (DOT) licensing and insurance information. If you are still suspicious, ask the company for proof of their insurance or whether they are a member of the Better Business Bureau.
Moving Services Offered
It is important to know the span of work that the moving company can perform. Most moving companies should be able to perform house-to-house moves within their territory. If there are any specialty items, however, your moving company may not have the manpower or equipment to perform the job.
If you need special items moved (gun safes, pool tables, hot tubs, pianos, etc.), you should notify the moving specialist during the quotation. Additionally, if you need any services added, including storage, decluttering, estate cleanouts, etc., you should also notify the moving company. The best movers can easily accommodate you.
Check Their Reviews Online
Reading reviews from former customers of a moving company is a great way to research your options. Depending on the company, you can usually go to the BBB.org, Google, Facebook or Yelp to find reviews from customers. The star rating is normally out of 5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Companies with 4 stars and above are usually great to work with. You also can check to see if they’re a certified professional mover by the American Moving & Storage Association.
Though it might be tempting to validate or discredit a company entirely based on a bad or good review, try to avoid reading the 1- and 5-star reviews. You can get the most insight into a company’s practices by reading a 3-star review. These customers normally have good and bad things to say about the company, so you get a broad perspective on what the moving company will be like.
Find the Company’s Service Area
Checking whether the moving company services your area is important. To verify this, moving companies will have a map of areas served or a list of areas they serve. If a moving company is well-reviewed but is unwilling to travel the distance to perform your move, then they won’t be the right moving company for you.
Ask About Their Moving Equipment
There can be a huge variety in the services offered by different moving companies. There are national franchises that can pool heavy equipment and resources from other franchisees or their franchisor, as well as independent owners that might rent out a truck for a single job. To get an idea of what company you are inquiring about, ask about their equipment.
If you have specialty items that need to be moved by crane or need an industrial forklift for a certain move, the moving specialist should know what equipment they will need. Be sure to ask them if they have the equipment available or not.
If a moving company owns the equipment, they can accommodate any last-minute changes to your move. On the flip side, if a company is renting equipment, they might be slower to accommodate. A moving company might also be unavailable for certain move times because of rental availability.
Agent of a National Moving Network
All good movers need the right equipment and resources to pull off a job. If a moving company is part of a larger franchise or a moving network, then there is a great chance to have the right equipment no matter the moving job. If you are moving locally, this might matter less since the moving company should have all the tools they need at their location.
If you need a long-distance or specialty move, though, hiring an agent of a national moving network pulls a lot more weight. Having access to additional trucks and specialty equipment when the company is far away can be the key factor in keeping your move on schedule.
Don’t Look for the Best Movers; Look for the Best Movers for You
It is complicated to pin down what you should be looking for in your move because, depending on your needs, the answer for the best mover changes. Choosing the best movers starts with one thing: you.
You should feel comfortable with your moving company choice. Getting moving quotes and listening to what equipment and services the moving company can provide is the right start. But choosing affordable professionals to get your belongings from point A to point B is the ultimate goal.
Make your choice based on the factors that hold the most weight for your decision (price, area served, equipment, flexibility, storage warehouse), and then select the best company. It is a challenge to sort through a list of different companies, but it could be a bigger hassle if your belongings are damaged or delivered off-schedule. Hire professionals you trust for the moving job you need from them.