Some folks are also worried about getting burned because they have read so many online horror stories about moving companies ripping people off.
Frankly, many of the concerns are overblown as there are numerous reputable moving companies out there. You just need to take a little bit of time and do some practical due diligence.
If you're wondering what you need to look for when searching for a reputable moving company, read on:
1. Look for a Trustworthy Moving Company
The most important quality you should look for in a moving company is trustworthiness. Movers deal with expensive furniture and fragile items every day. It's integral that they know how to transport them safely. Additionally, the movers are usually total strangers to you. Therefore, if you're going to hire someone to take care of your valuables during a move, you must trust them completely.
Asking people around you for recommendations is the best way to determine how reliable and trustworthy a moving company is. Do you have a family member or a colleague that moved recently? If so, ask them whether they recommend the moving company they used. Let them go into detail about exactly why they were or weren't happy with their choice.
Alternatively, look at reviews online. Still, take the information with a grain of salt. The qualities you look for in a moving company may differ from those who left online reviews.
2. Hire Movers With At Least a Few Years of Experience
It's not surprising that experienced movers are generally better than new ones. Don't get us wrong, putting your trust in a newer company won't always end in a bad moving experience. However, if you can, it's smarter to hire a moving company with a few years under its belt for two reasons.
Firstly, there's a higher chance that experienced movers actually know what they're doing. They've been working successfully for years and maintained a large enough clientele to make a profit. The moving services field is quite competitive, and most lackluster companies don't make it past two or three years.
Secondly, hiring a company that's been operating for a long time is the best way to avoid getting scammed. Although scammers are not a common thing among moving companies, they're not unheard of. However, they usually get caught quite quickly. Some even end up changing the company's name to stop potential customers from finding out about their past actions.
3. Make Sure The Company Has a License and Insurance
Before you hire a moving company, make sure it is licensed and insured. Every reputable moving company that operates across states must have a license that allows them to work within the USA.
The best way to check if a company has a license is to check out their information on the U.S. Department of Transportation website. Simply type in the company's name and, if they are registered, you'll be able to access its electronic records.
Insurance is necessary for any reputable company to have. In case something happens to your belongings, they must be able to offer you proper coverage. Although you do get a basic protection plan when you sign a moving contract, it's only 60 cents per pound of a lost item.
That's why it's important to talk to your moving company about their coverage options before you hire them. If you have valuable, large items, let them know. The moving company should be able to offer you the best moving insurance option for your specific case.
4. Hire a Moving Company That's Honest About Their Rates
Be careful when hiring a moving company, as many of them are reluctant to mention hidden fees that they may have. If the price of their services seems too good to be true, it probably is. Talk to the company about their fees and which services they include in the said price.
One of the best ways for moving companies to estimate the price as accurately as possible is an in-home survey. That means they visit you before you hire them and make a price estimate. If the company refuses to visit you and insists on an on-site inspection of moving expenses, they're probably trying to overcharge you.
Additionally, make sure they don't ask for too high of a deposit beforehand. Many companies ask for a deposit because it's the only way to ensure you won't cancel them at the last second. However, be cautious if the deposit is more than 50% of the price. Similarly, don't accept to pay the company fully before the moving process is over.
Make sure you have a handle on any of the extra moving costs that are typically associated with a move.
5. Opt for a Company That Offers Customized Services
Everyone's moving needs are different. Some people need extra boxes and moving blankets, while others only need the trunk and movers. It's important that the company you hire offers a wide variety of services. Additionally, they should be able to customize the services to fit your needs. There are a few specialized moving services every reputable company should have.
Firstly, they should offer to disassemble your furniture, if needed. If you have large furniture pieces, they may be too big to fit through doors and hallways. Dismantling the furniture by yourself can cause damage and put you at risk of injury. That's why it's best to hire movers that have experience in furniture assembly.
Secondly, the company should offer crating services. Wooden crates are a great way to protect fragile and expensive items during transport. Thirdly, they should have storage options. You may not be able to move your things directly to your new home. In that case, you'll need temporary storage, in addition to the moving services. If a company has warehouse facilities, you can store your furniture in, that's a huge benefit.
And lastly, they should offer rigging services, as well. Since you can't dismantle some large items, for example, a piano, they may be too heavy to carry. In that case, the movers will need to hoist the item through your balcony or window, which requires specialized equipment.
Essentially, the best moving company to work with is one that's trustworthy and honest with its clients. They should let you know what to expect in terms of payment upfront and keep their word. Additionally, they should have skilled movers with years of experience under their belts.
Hopefully, these 5 tips can help you decide on a moving company that's right for you. However, make sure to research the company thoroughly before you hire them. Read online reviews and ask your friends and family for advice if they've moved recently.
About the author: The above article on how to find a reputable moving company was written by Guy Fuchs. Guy is the chief information officer for Ozmoving and loves providing helpful moving tips.