a Moving Company
Having all your possessions in someone else's hands
can be frightening. Finding a moving company that is reliable,
responsible, "gentle" on belongings, and affordable
could be a complicated task.
We will give you one less thing to worry about. The
following information can help you find the right moving company
6 to 8 weeks to select a mover
The process of finding the right moving company for
you will probably take this much time. You'll request bids from
each mover, check references, and make your final decision about
which company is the best value for your money. Moving companies
will need time to fit your move into their schedules, especially
in the summer months, which is their busiest time of year.
It's always helpful to ask information from people
you trust. Talk with friends and neighbors who have moved recently,
relocation consultants, and your real estate agent. If you happen
to see someone moving into or out of your neighborhood, stop by
and ask them how they like (or liked) their moving company. We
all know that the best recommendations for any mover comes from
But unfortunately, that's not enough. Ask each of
your prospective movers for references from previous customers
and for documents on their history of service. Take advantage
of free estimates, and get them from several movers. Having several
free estimates will give you a very good idea of how costly your
move will be. Keep in mind that certain movers offer estimates
that are outrageously low, and then hand you a large bill when
the move is complete. In order to avoid this predicament, always
make sure that any estimates you receive from movers are either
binding or include a "not to exceed" clause.
you should make in advance
Decide in advance which goods will be shipped and which
will be sold or given away. Then consider whether or not you would
like the mover to pack and what other type of additional services
you may want. Remember that packing is always a separate bid from
moving. An estimator may come to your home and create a bid, or
make an estimate by talking to you over the phone. Moves that
are less than 50 miles away are usually priced by the hour. For
longer distance moves, estimates are based on weight, usually
per 100 pounds.
If you decide to do your own packing or partial packing,
remember that the moving
company is not liable for damage to boxes packed by customer.
However, if there is an obvious exterior damage at the delivery,
make a note of that on the inventory sheet of your shipment. The
driver has the right to refuse to accept any carton that may be
improperly packed. If the driver has to re-pack cartons that the
customer has packed, additional charges will apply.
Try to provide as much information as possible about
unusual situations on either end so your estimates will be more
accurate. Make the mover be aware of any problems they may encounter
at the delivery such as parking problems, road access, street
accessibility, delivery time restriction or if there are any stairs
or elevators involved. The cost of your move can increase for
such occurrences. Try to reserve a "parking space" for
the moving van if your new home is on a congested street. If the
moving crew has to carry your load more than 75 feet from the
moving van to your door you may be charged for excessive distance.
Binding- The mover offers a guaranteed price,
within a small percentage of deviation that is based on a complete
list of items to be moved and the type of service performed.
Non-binding or hourly rate- This is not an estimate
at all, only a price list. These rates are based upon the movers'
previous experience of jobs similar to yours.
Not to exceed- This quote is binding only on
the mover. The final price for the move cannot exceed the estimate
figure; but if the move comes in under the estimated amount you
the lesser price.
how to read your bid
Bids are created by using a "Table of Measurements"
that assigns a certain number of cubes to each room. In moving
lingo, a cube equals 7 pounds. Estimators will multiply the number
of final cubes by 7 to determine the price. Estimates should include
all moving charges, such as carrying up stairs or in an elevator,
overtime, additional transportation, moving bulky articles, carrying
an excessive distance, storage, and more. These types of charges
usually involve obstacles the mover has to overcome, which you
can determine ahead of time and include in the bid. Packing bids
should state not only labor charges but the amount and cost of
boxes. Make sure each bid is estimated the same way, so you can
easily make comparisons.
the right questions:
Does your company subcontract its moving services?
Which subcontractors could be used to move my home?
Will the contents of my home be on one truck the entire time?
(Moving goods between trucks increases the potential for damage)
What services are not listed on this bid, and what do you charge
What training do your movers and/or packers receive
(especially for packing and moving fragile items)?
Can you provide recent references from other customers you've
for performance or complaints
You can get "performance reports" on larger,
interstate moving companies by calling the Interstate Commerce
Commission (ICC). Call for the number of the regional office closest
to you. Most states do not regulate intrastate moving, however,
call your state transportation department to find out if they
license movers in your state or have any performance information
about individual movers.
Contact your local department of consumer affairs
and ask if there are any complaints registered about the movers
you're considering. If the move is within your state, request
the same information from your state's transportation department
and public utilities commission. Keep in mind that there are usually
two sides to every story. A pattern of many complaints, however,
is not a good sign.
you decide - Don't make price the deciding factor
Low-ball bids could mask less reliable moving practices.
Use several factors in addition to price: references, performance
reports, reported complaints. Get the final bid in writing (which
you may be asked to sign), but never sign off on a final bill
until the move is complete.
for loss or damage
Make sure you understand the coverage for loss or
damage of your shipment. All licensed movers must provide liability
for the value of goods, which they transport. But there are different
levels of liability. You must be aware of the amount of protection
provided and the additional costs that may apply.