15 Practical Tips for Selecting the Right Professional Moving Company

May 9, 2024

Moving to a new home or office can be an exciting new chapter in your life, but it also comes with its fair share of stress, particularly during the selection of a professional moving company. With the daunting task of sifting through countless service providers, all touting the best service at the most competitive prices, how can you ensure you're making the right choice? The key to a successful move lies in preparation and informed decision-making. This guide will walk you through 15 practical tips for selecting a professional moving company that meets your needs, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition.

Tip #1: Research and compare

Begin by thoroughly researching moving companies. The internet is your ally here, as you can find a wide range of options with a simple search.

  • Online Searches: Use search engines to compile a list of potential candidates.
  • Comparison Moving Platforms: Check popular moving platforms like Movingle to find house movers and vehicle transporters where you can check reviews and ratings and book movers.
  • Word of Mouth: Recommendations from friends and family can offer a starting point.

Tip #2: Check for licenses and insurance

Never settle for a company that isn’t appropriately licensed and insured. This is a critical aspect of your due diligence, as it ensures you're protected in the event of any mishaps during the move.

  • License Verification: Cross-check the company's Department of Transportation (DOT) number against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)'s database.
  • Insurance Policies: Understand the extent of the coverage offered by the moving company, and consider purchasing additional insurance if needed.

Tip #3: Read reviews and testimonials

Feedback from previous customers can be a goldmine of information. Platforms such as Yelp, Google My Business, or the company’s social media pages can provide you with a wealth of firsthand experiences.

  • Consensus Opinions: Look for patterns in reviews to get a sense of the company's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recent Reviews: Pay attention to the timing of reviews, as service quality can change over time.

Tip #4: Understand your requirements to know what quotes to get

Knowing your job requirements is essential in obtaining accurate and realistic quotations.

"Oftentimes, people end up paying for services they don't need or use when they book with full-service moving companies. A simple way to save on your move is by choosing a labor-only moving company instead. They offer customizable packages, often at a flat rate, so you know you're getting a fair and affordable deal. By choosing a labor-only moving company over a full-service one, you could save up to 60% on your move." Says the Outreach Manager Ashlyn Cook at UniMovers.

  • Service Type: Is it a full service or labor-only? Do you need packing or will be self packing?
  • In-Home Survey: Opt for a company that offers an in-home survey for a more accurate assessment if you have a large inventory list.
  • Quote Comprehensiveness: Make sure your quotes include all potential costs, such as packing materials, moving labor, and wait times, stair fees?

Tip #5: Ask about their experience

The number of years a company has been in operation can be indicative of its stability and expertise, especially for moves with unique requirements.

"Find a company that is firmly established, we are a fourth generation family owned moving company who has been moving families and businesses in NC, SC, and TN for over 115 years.  One of the top agents for Allied Van Lines, enabling us to help customers seamlessly move across the country or the world.  The key to our longevity is treating customers like family.  This family-friendly service attitude has enabled us to become a trusted move partner for local area realtors, senior facilities, and to be recognized as the best movers by the Women’s Choice for several years in a row. Our service attitude is best represented by our tag line 'Carey carries with care.'" Says Vice President Brian Carey director of Carey Moving.

  • Specialty Moves: For complex moves, such as pianos or artwork, ensure the company has specific experience in handling these items.
  • Case Studies: Ask for examples of similar moves they've successfully completed.

Tip #6: Inquire about the moving crew

A professional and well-trained moving team is essential to a successful move. Contingent or subcontracted workers may not be as invested in maintaining the company's reputation.

  • Crew Consistency: A permanent, in-house crew is generally more reliable and accountable.
  • Training Procedures: Ask the company about their employee training and quality control measures.

Tip #7: Understand their insurance options

Moving insurance can be quite complex. It's essential to understand the differences between valuation and actual insurance and the extent to which your belongings are covered.

  • Types of Coverage: Companies typically offer Released Value Protection and Full Value Protection. Be clear on what each entails.
  • Additional Coverage: If the existing options don’t meet your needs, seek advice on purchasing separate coverage.

Tip #8: Assess their equipment and vehicles

For a smooth and safe move, the company's moving equipment and moving trucks must be in excellent condition and appropriate for the type of move.

  • Vehicle condition: Ensure the moving trucks and vans are well-maintained and clean. The condition of the vehicle can be indicative of the company’s attention to detail.
  • Specialized Equipment: If your move includes heavy or delicate items, confirm the company has the necessary equipment, such as dollies, ramps, or custom crating options.

Tip #9: Check for affiliations and accreditations

Moving companies that belong to reputable associations often adhere to higher industry standards.

  • Association Verification: Look for affiliations with recognized organizations like the American Moving Conference and American Trucking Associations(ATA).
  • Ethics and Conduct Pledges: Many professional associations require members to adhere to specific codes of conduct that can offer you extra reassurance.

Tip #10: Discuss their handling of special items

Ensure the company's policies align with your expectations for the care of valuable and irreplaceable items.

  • Point of Contact: Agree on a single point of contact who will oversee the handling of your special items.
  • Custom Care Plans: For family heirlooms, art, or electronics, inquire about custom handling and transport plans.

Tip #11: Review their cancellation and rescheduling policies

Flexibility is key when it comes to moving, as plans can change unexpectedly. Understanding the company's policies regarding these matters can save you from unnecessary headaches.

  • Advance Notice Requirements: Know the deadlines for canceling or rescheduling without incurring additional fees.
  • Deposit Refunds: Clarify the terms under which you can get any deposit refunded.

Tip #12: Ask for references

Reputable companies should have no qualms about providing you with references from past customers. This can be one of the surest ways to gauge the quality of their services.

  • Number of References: The more, the merrier. A robust list of references can speak to a company's history of successful moves.
  • Variety of Moves: Ensure the references cover different types of moves and services, including local and long-distance or transporting vehicles.

Tip #13: Understand their packing services

Packing services can save you a significant amount of time and effort, but it's essential to understand what’s included and any limitations.

  • Packaging Quality: Ensure the company uses high-quality materials to protect your belongings.
  • Cost Considerations: While convenient, packing services may add to the total cost of your move. Discuss these costs upfront and ensure no fees are hidden.

Tip #14: Be wary of unusually low quotes

Beware of lowball pricing. If a quote seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Comparative Analysis: Use your detailed quotes from various companies to identify any outliers.
  • Hidden Costs: Some companies might offer low initial quotes and then add numerous hidden charges later. Make sure prices are transparent from the moving company.

Tip #15: Trust your instincts

After following the above tips, you should have a solid understanding of the moving companies you're considering. Trust your gut when it comes to deciding which one to choose.

  • Communication Styles: Pay attention to how the company communicates with you, as it can reveal a lot about their work ethic and customer service.
  • Clarity and Professionalism: If a company is vague or unprofessional, it's a red flag indicating you to move on.

Conclusion

There you have it fifteen tips to help you choose a reputable and reliable moving company for your next move. By carefully evaluating the company on each of the tips outlined above—from checking the company's credentials and assessing their equipment, to understanding their insurance options and packing services—you're setting the stage for a successful move by selecting the right company. Remember, a reputable moving company not only possesses the experience and resources to handle your move efficiently but also values customer satisfaction and transparency throughout the process. Taking the time to do thorough research and trusting your instincts will ultimately help you find a moving partner that meets your needs and expectations. Good luck with your move!

 

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