When it comes to moving, finding a reputable moving company that won’t make a dent in your budget the size of New York City is the key to success. So, if you’re considering moving places (or have already set your sights on a new home and are planning a move), you’ll need to find a good company that will make your move as stress-free as possible.
Now, you’d think that with 40 million Americans moving every year, there would be plenty of moving companies to choose from. And there are! However, not all of them are dazzling examples of professionalism and expertise.
So, how do you pick the right one for you?
Here are a few tips and tricks to help find a reputable moving company.
Things to Look For in a Moving Company
Finding a moving company, especially in big cities such as New York, isn’t easy. A great moving company has to tick all your boxes and not charge an arm and a leg for their services. Here are the signs that will help you recognize great movers.
Recommendations from Friends and Family
If you’re considering a move, you’ve probably already spent some time on Google, looking for companies near you that might be a good fit. However, before you start believing everything you read on the internet, try asking your friends and family for advice.
Chances are, many of them have moved at least once. Quite a few of them have probably moved recently, which isn’t that big of a surprise, considering that the world events have changed the moving statistics quite a bit.
So, many of them probably still have solid impressions about the experience. Ask trustworthy people about the companies they’d recommend (as well as those they wouldn’t).
Online Testimonials and Reviews
Once you find a couple of moving companies that the people from your social circle recommend, do some research online. Find out what clients had to say. Look for testimonials from other people that have felt compelled to leave an online review.
People don’t usually bother to do that unless they’ve had an exceptional experience. Now it’s just a matter of finding out whether their experience was exceptionally good or bad.
License and Insurance
Considering that the number of people who moved has skyrocketed over the past year and a half, it’s no surprise that the number of moving companies has also risen. However, anyone could buy a truck, “hire” a few people and call themselves a moving company. That doesn’t mean they actually are.
A reputable moving company will have a license to practice their business as well as insurance. If they don’t, you should definitely move on and find a different company. Licensed and insured movers mean that the company is legally bound to execute their part of the contract and take care of your things.
Giving your movers a deposit isn’t that unusual. However, suppose the deposit is relatively high, or the moving company is demanding that you provide them with a cash deposit. In that case, they probably aren’t a company that you want to work with.
Only accept requests for small deposits that can be paid by card. That way, you’ll protect yourself from potential fraudulent activity.
When checking if a company is charging deposits, also check to see if their rates are transparent. Although no one will be able to give you an exact estimate just based on one phone call, the company should offer you their rates based on the information you provide them.
They’ll estimate the number of hours the move will take, as well as the number of workers, and give you an estimate based on that.
However, keep in mind that there are different types of estimates. It’s vital that, when you meet with the moving company’s team or representative, you check what kind of an estimate they are giving you. Overall, there are three different kinds:
- Binding estimate — a guaranteed price that will include all fees and services that the moving company offers. Keep in mind that it won’t include extra fees (such as packing or unpacking fees) unless expressly stated in the contract.
- Non-binding estimate — the company will give you an estimate, and the final price you end up paying won’t exceed it by more than 10%.
- Non-binding to exceed estimate — the estimate you’ll be given will be the maximum price you’ll have to pay. That means the final bill can only be lower, not higher (unless you end up using some extra services that have special fees).
Of course, no matter how reputable a company is and how good their estimate seems, it’s always a good idea to shop around a bit. So, contact several companies that made your shortlist of potentials. Check what each of them might offer you in terms of rates and fees. Compare the estimates and pick your company based on that.
Any good moving company will make a moving inventory once the movers pack up your things into a truck. That inventory sheet should be thorough. It should include each and every box and item they collected and transported for you. It’s vital that you check it once your things reach the final destination. You’ll need to see if anything got damaged or lost.
Finally: It Has to Be a Good Fit for You
Since moving is more stressful than a divorce, finding a company that will help you through the process and make it easier (instead of harder) is vital. However, the most important thing is to find one that’s a good fit for you.
That means finding a company that has:
- a truck that’s big enough for all your belongings
- a team that communicates clearly and respects your needs
- availability during the time that works best for you
- additional packing supplies you might need or any extra services you may require
Every move is different, and just because one company worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. So always check to see if the company is a good individual fit for you before you sign the contract.
There are plenty of moving companies out there. So, with our tips and some research, you won’t have any trouble picking the right one for you!