If you’ve chosen to move home, that’s half the battle won. The next step is getting quality movers to help relieve moving stress. But, here comes the catch! Not every shipping company can conveniently meet your specific needs and demands. The good news is that the moving company is quite competitive, so you can find at least three reliable and quality shippers that offer the service you require.
In this guide, we highlight some professional tips for hiring professional movers to help you make the best hire when the need arises.
1. Choose shippers that insist on taking inventory of your belongings
First, our tip for hiring movers is to choose one that makes an inventory of your precious items.
Sometimes, you may feel you have every detail of things you intend to move. But, no one is above mistakes. Movers know this, which is why they insist on keeping a detailed inventory of your belongings. This helps them make precise estimates, so they don’t overcharge you. Plus, it allows them to closely watch your belongings to avoid misplacing them on the road.
The downside of hiring shippers is not most will try to avoid this step because they want to avoid the liability covers they promised. Only a good moving company will offer this service.
2. Good movers insist on in-person walk-through
An estimator or shipper that asks about the things you plan to transport to your new home over the phone or a conversation won’t give your delicate items and expensive home accessories the attention they require. Movers need to thoroughly investigate your home so they know how to plan the move before D-day. A reliable relocation company will offer these services because they know a step like this gives them an idea of your special needs.
3. Avoid contractors that demand large upfronts
Any licensed, insured, reliable, professional, and good relocation company won’t demand large upfronts because they know it might ring warning bells. Regardless, the FMCSA warned against transport companies asking for a large sum before delivering services. In short, you want to avoid any shipping contractor that requests large payments (up to 40% of agreed estimates) before completing their job. If you reject paying in advance, but movers hold your items hostage, contact the police or the FMCSA to lay a complaint.
Pro Tip: If you agree to pay large deposits before the scheduled day, do so via bank transfers. This way, you can easily track the money during unexpected situations. The downside of this move is that scammers already know you might track the transfer, so they may result in identity theft.
4. Stay clear of shipping contractors with a name switch
One of the best ways regulated bodies vet manufacturers, businesses, and large organizations is through audits. The moving company does not escape this procedure. So, if you research and observe that the removal company often trades using several names at a time, it means they are trying to dodge assessments by the Better Business Bureau. Hence, it’s best to forego their services. Instead, choose local movers near you can trust and can easily get information about them.
5. Ask for professional references from trustworthy people
Online references are never one you can trust since they can easily be altered. Rather, ask your parents, siblings, friends, close family ties, and neighbors for reliable references, so you won’t fall victim to scam acts. If you can’t get reliable references from them, you can also get references from moving associations like the American Moving and Storage Association.
6. Do the packing task yourself
If your goal is to reduce moving costs to a minimum, then it’s always a good option to do the packing yourself. While removal companies today offer full-service shipping, the downside of this is that full-service shipping is usually more expensive than when relocators help you load, transport, and unload your belongings. Yet, the drawback of packing yourself means if things are damaged, you have to bear the cost. While this may seem bad, the good news is that you know you can always replace them when the need arises.
Pro Tip: if you opt for full-service moving contractors, ensure you know their packing, boxing, loading, and unloading techniques. Quality shippers will find these tasks a breeze, but unprofessional ones might make you regret hiring their services.
7. Ask about extra charges
Some quotes require you to pay up to 10% extra charges when you ask for extra services. Others will demand you pay for every single fee not stated in the contract. How do you avoid this? Make sure you ask transporters about the possibilities of extra charges if unexpected situations happen. If the mover hides such fees from you, they are not reliable. A reputable shipper will inform you of possible rates that may apply when unforeseen situations occur.
8. Say no to guaranteed quote
A guaranteed quote stipulates that the customer will cover all damages and extra charges that may apply. If you’re trying to save cost, this kind of quote is a no-choice zone. Even if you aren’t restricted by finance, guaranteed quotes are never a good option because they quickly add up. Instead, get every cost-related fee written.
9. Report problems on time
Damages may occur when shippers handle your belongings. Whether they are precious items or not, you want to report damaged goods immediately. If after nine months you fail to report problems with your belongings, filing a claim would yield no meaningful result because shippers won’t cover the cost of broken items after this period expires.
Apart from this, when you have problems with your shipping company, you can easily file a complaint to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, BBB, Transport association, and other consumer protection bureaus for local and international moves.
10. Know what insurance and liability coverage movers offer
A reliable relocation company will offer insurance covers and assume liability for damaged properties. However, you need to know that not all liability covers protect all your belongings. If you live in places like Boston, Maryland, and other high-end parts of the United States, you know a moving company will either provide Full value protection or Alternative Liability for your items. Some local movers Chicago boast of Full Value Protection, which covers the total cost or repairs of your damaged items.
On the other hand, most US state transport services will offer alternative liability that proposes only 60 cents per pound for every damaged item.
11. Choose movers that offer free estimates
It’s unlawful for US removal contractors to request money for giving out quotes. If the removal company you want to hire requests money, overlook them because they only care about their pockets and not your belongings.