Whether you’re moving across the street or to the other side of town, across the country or the world, the services of a moving company can make the process easier, less stressful, and often more affordable. When shopping for a mover, however, it’s important to know what questions to ask and how to evaluate each company’s answers. Ask for references, check the BBB rating, and read online reviews, but be sure to focus on local reviews (from both past and current customers).
Depending on your budget and desired level of service, you may choose to hire full-service movers or simply transport your belongings. Some companies also offer packing, crating and storage services. Others provide storage-in-transit, which allows you to store your goods in a warehouse while they are in transit to your new home. Choosing the right service type and company will help ensure that your belongings are safe and secure throughout the move and that you pay only for the services you actually need.
The first step to getting a quote is to take an inventory of your items. This list will serve as a guide for you and your provider during the estimate and will ensure that all services are performed and that your final bill is accurate. There are two types of estimates: binding and nonbinding. Binding estimates lock in the price of your move once services are completed. A nonbinding estimate is subject to change based on factors like the amount or type of services provided and shipment weight. If the actual cost of your move exceeds 110% of the nonbinding estimate, the company must comply with what’s called the “110% Rule.”
In addition to transportation and storage charges, some moving companies may include extra fees on your bill of lading. These might be additional packing or unpacking services, appliance servicing, or a charge for an extra pickup or drop-off at your request. Another common charge is valuation, which is a percentage of your shipment’s value and covers the cost of repair or replacement in case of damage or loss. You can opt for basic valuation or full value protection, which is more expensive but also covers the highest value item in your shipment.
A reputable moving company will be licensed and insured, and they should be willing to share this information with you. They should also be able to provide you with an estimate in writing that clearly outlines the services and charges for your move. In addition, they should be willing to explain their pricing structure and answer any of your questions. If they seem evasive or unable to answer your questions satisfactorily, it might be time to consider other options. The best moving company will be willing to work with you and your budget to meet your needs. A quality moving company will also be active in the community, participating in local events and sponsoring charitable causes. This will help build a solid reputation and attract new customers.