In the US there are currently over 20,000 moving companies registered with the Better Business Bureau. These moving companies contribute to more than 5,700 annual complaints with the BBB. In this article, we’ll break down what you should look for to choose the best moving company for a smooth move and how to avoid getting scammed.
1.) Outline your move
A major first step in choosing a moving company is outlining the details of your move. Take a moment and write down all the information you know about where you’re moving to, when you’re moving, and most importantly what you’re moving.
In this step, it is important to take stock of the number of rooms you will be moving and the contents of these rooms. Are there any extremely large items that cannot be disassembled? Are you planning on taking items to the new property yourself?
2.) Decide what type of mover you need
Every move is different and different moving companies specialize in types of moves. Some may be better at interstate moving while others may be best at local moves for bulky items. To get a good sense of what type of company you should hire, ask yourself the following questions then refer to the types of moving companies below to see if one fits.
- Is my move local or more than 100 miles away? Is the move outside of the country?
- Are any of my items extremely large, heavy, or bulky?
- Do I have any specialty documents or business equipment?
- Am I moving my car?
- Do I need the movers to do anything else, like packing?
Depending on your answers above, one of the following types of companies may suit you best:
- Local Movers: Local movers (intrastate movers) generally move clients within their own state, up to 100 miles. These movers generally charge $30 per hour per mover, meaning that most moves cost between $300–$500.
- Long Distance Movers: Long distance movers have DOT authority to transport items across the country, thousands of miles. These companies charge by the pound and distance, therefore to move a 2-3 bedroom home 1,000 miles may cost $4890. If you want to gauge how much you should pay for your move, check this great calculator.
- International Movers: International movers are specialized moving companies that assist clients in moves to different countries. They help clients crate and ship items by sea and air (sea is much cheaper), they also help dealing with import/export restrictions, and handle insurance.
- Commercial Moving Companies: These companies specialize in helping business clients transport sensitive documents and business tools. They are also better equipped to handle large office spaces and the itmes that come with them.
- Car Transportation Companies: Car transportation companies help move people’s automobiles across country. They are able to safely and efficiently get your car cross country. These companies charge roughly $1200, but it is a great way to ensure your car gets there safely.
3.) Search out movers in the right places
To seek out your perfect mover you’ll want to search them out in the right prices. We recommend the following tools to find your mover:
4.) Evaluate Them
To ensure you’re picking the right moving company you will want to make sure you’re looking for the following things:
- Verify their DOT number to ensure they’re a legitimate company
- Check their deposit requirments, this shouldn’t exceed 20% of the moving cost
- Avoid companies that have recently switched names, this is a sign of customer complaints or past problems
- Check references with neighbors in local groups
- Check reviews on their online profiles- if there are any negative themes that come up, avoid the company
- Check to see if they have additional fees for things
5.) Get your estimate
When you’ve found several moving companies you like, start making calls to get estimates. Makes sure you select at least 3 companies to get estimates from. When the employee from the company comes out to check out your home, make sure you’re showing them absolutely everything and talking through the details you wrote out in step 1. Ask about the way their contracts work and ask about their qualifications. You may also want to ask about their ability to pack items. If the moving company packs the items they assume liability for damage done to them in the move.
6.) Pick your mover and draw up a contract
Once you’ve gotten your 3 estimates back, choose the one that makes the most sense. Do not pick a company with a blank contract. According to Moving.com there are 3 types of contract:
A non-binding estimate on your contract means the company cannot require payment more than 10% above the original estimate. Any overages must by paid within 30 days of delivery.
A non-binding to exceed estimate on your contract insures that you will not have to pay for any overages to the original estimate. The estimate is the maximum you’ll be required to pay for any services rendered.
A binding estimate on your contract is supposed to be a guaranteed price for the move and all extras and services. If you request additional services (such as unpacking), any extra fees must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
Once you’ve chosen the moving company and signed the contract you’re ready to go. Make sure you receive a copy of the packing list on the day of the move. Remember to take some time to breath throughout the process- you’ve got this. If you need storage solutions at your new destination, remember Nextstore is here to help with spaces available for the smallest or largest items. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.