Looking for a way to turn a long distance move into a complete disaster? Hire the wrong long distance moving company.
Long distance moves are stressful even in the best situations. Consider these 8 tips when hiring movers to help ease your relocation woes.
1. Hire Local
Always hire a local long distance moving company. Hiring a company out of town can lead to potential scams. There are plenty of scammers operating off fake websites.
You don’t want to do business with any long distance moving company in your city that doesn’t have an office. If you can’t meet someone in person right away, the company probably isn’t worth your time.
All professional moving companies need a place to store their equipment. A company that says it’s internet based isn’t the best option to handle a long distance move.
There’s something refreshing about being an educated buyer. While you may never know all the ins and outs of the moving industry, have multiple quotes to compare side by side helps you understand the basic services you should expect.
You’ll feel empowered seeing how one company handles packing fees versus another. Get a minimum of three quotes in order to really understand what you’re buying.
The moving company doesn’t need to know you’re talking to other movers. Jot down general questions you have about fees on the estimate to ensure all the services you expect are covered.
Toss out any estimates that are unreasonably low. The company either isn’t credible or plans to nickel and dime you throughout the moving process.
3. Do a Walkthrough
Another way to empower yourself as a buyer when choosing a long distance moving company is to walk through your property with a rep from the company. This is your time to explain your needs and allow them to see the amount of stuff you need to move.
Point out any special items like family heirlooms that may require additional equipment or care. You don’t want to surprise your movers with a baby grand piano on moving day. They can help you troubleshoot ways to stay within your budget if they’re aware of all of your moving needs in detail.
Having movers visit your property also helps you understand their process. You can better for moving day with a detailed explanation of what you need to do to prepare for their arrival.
How should boxes be labeled? Can you save money by moving oversized items down a flight of stairs in advance?
Think on your needs as you walk through with a moving rep noting the answers to your questions as you go.
4. Verify Your Movers
Not every professional mover has the credentials for a long distance move. Movers that cross state lines must get permission/licensing from the federal government.
The Department of Transportation issues a number to each registered company approved to do business across state lines. These business might include commercial vehicles like buses taking people from city to city or a company hauling cargo.
DOT numbers aren’t private. As a consumer, you have a right to ask for a moving company’s DOT number to confirm they’re a legit business.
Some long distance moving companies advertise their number on their website to provide immediate peace of mind to consumers. Also ask about a carrier number.
These are provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The motor carrier number helps you confirm that all their information is up to date.
It’s a good idea to ask a long distance moving company for a DOT number even if you’re not crossing state lines. Some in-state movers need a federal DOT number.
5. Review the Reviews
Word of mouth is a great way to find credible movers. Other customers are gold mines when it comes to learning about the moving process.
Isolated bad reviews are often just a sign of a bad day on the part of the mover. Mistakes happen and shouldn’t be a reason to steer clear of a company.
The companies you want to watch out for are those with repeated mistakes. If more than three of the reviews discuss the same issue, the company isn’t worth it.
Long distance moves require lots of trust. Companies should take care to address customer concerns before they make it to a review site.
6. Large Deposits
Movers have to eat. Fickle customers signing and canceling contracts can lead to a major loss of revenue for a long distance moving company.
Moving companies sometimes ask for a deposit to guarantee a certain amount of revenue on the job. They begin taking steps to prepare for your move in advance of your moving day.
The deposit you pay can ensure a smooth moving day for you.
Large deposits can be a sign a moving company isn’t reputable. They shouldn’t need your deposit in order to run their business. You may want to read this article for more details on the long distance move process.
7. Customer Service
Moving your belongings requires a lot of trust. The first sign you have of how a long distance moving company will handle your belongings is how they answer the phone.
That first phone call when you’re looking for information is key. Take note of how quickly they answer, the way they answer your questions and the care they take in getting back to you.
A good mover has to be both detail oriented and customer friendly. You want to feel comfortable approaching them with your needs since you’re entrusting them with everything you own.
8. Available Equipment
Make sure your movers have the right equipment for the items you own. For example, if you’re hauling a trampoline and four bedroom house across state lines, this could mean needing a much larger truck than if you were moving a one bedroom apartment.
Be sure to check out the movers equipment for assurance they can fully meet your family’s needs.
The Best Long Distance Moving Company
The best long distance moving company offers the best value pricing and equipment for your needs. No two long distance moves are alike.
Your sister-in-law may have spent half the cost moving her stuff across country, but if she skimped on licensing and insurance, she took a risk that could’ve cost her everything.
Do your research in advance to ensure you get the best moving experience available in your area. For more information and tips, visit our blog for updates.