You may have heard horror stories about moving companies charging people a fortune, losing or breaking items, and showing up late or not at all. But don’t let finding a moving company stress you out. Here are some simple ways to select a moving company to get your belongings to your new place as safely and inexpensively as possible.
Ask friends, coworkers and other people you trust to recommend moving companies they’ve used. Find out if the movers arrived on time, handled their belongings carefully, and had all the necessary equipment. Then do some research on the companies:
- Visit the Better Business Bureau website to see how they handled any complaints against them.
- Go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Protect Your Move website if you want to check on a company’s license and insurance.
Obtain Moving Quotes and Compare Estimates
Get a few estimates for what it would cost to move your belongings. You can even request moving quotes from licensed and insured movers on Rent.com. Make sure each company you’re considering will do an in-home inspection, since this is the best way to get an accurate assessment of what your move will cost. Then look beyond the dollar signs: The cheapest estimate may not be the best deal. When you are trying to select a moving company, make sure you are doing an apples-to-apples comparison by getting quotes for exactly the same services. Here a few things to compare between quotes:
- The number of man-hours included
- The type of moving service (will they be packing or just moving?)
- The type and amount of insurance coverage
- Boxes, tape, furniture padding and other supplies
- Disassembling or reassembling furniture
- Mileage and gas charges
Next, find out if the estimate you’ve received is binding (you won’t be charged more) or non-binding (the final cost could be up to 10% more).
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
If you’ve preferred dealing with one mover but received a better rate from another company, ask your first choice if they’re willing to meet that price. If the bids are close and cover similar costs, they may be willing to negotiate.