Having your possessions in someone else's hands can be a scary experience. However, finding a moving company that is reliable, responsible, "sensitive" with your belongings, and affordable should not be a complicated task.
The process of finding the right moving company for you will probably take this much time. You will request bids from each mover, check references, and make your final decision about which company is the best value for your money. Moving companies will need time to fit your move into their schedules, especially in the summer months, which is their busiest time of year.
It is always helpful to ask people you trust. Talk with your friends and neighbours who have moved recently, relocation consultants, and your real estate agent. If you happen to see someone moving into or out of your neighbourhood, stop by and ask them how they like (or liked) their moving company. We all know that the best recommendation for any mover comes from satisfied customers.
However, unfortunately, that is not enough. Ask each of your prospective movers for references from previous customers and for documents on their history of service. Take advantage of free estimates, and get them from several movers. Having several free estimates will give you a very good idea of how costly your move will be. Keep in mind that certain movers offer estimates that are outrageously low, and then hand you a large bill when the move is complete. In order to avoid this predicament, always make sure that any estimates you receive from movers are either binding or includes a "not to exceed" clause.
Decide in advance which possessions will be moved and which will be sold or given away. Then consider whether or not you would like the mover to pack and what other type of additional services you may want. Remember that packing is always a separate bid from moving. An estimator may come to your home and create a bid, or make an estimate by talking to you over the phone. Short moves are usually priced by the hour. For longer distance moves, estimates are based on weight.
If you decide to do your own packing or partial packing, remember that the moving company is not liable for damage to boxes packed by the customer. However, if there is an obvious exterior damage at the delivery, make a note of that on the inventory sheet of your shipment. The driver has the right to refuse to accept any carton that may be improperly packed. If the driver has to re-pack cartons that the customer has packed, additional charges may apply.
Try to provide as much information as possible about unusual situations on either end so your estimates will be more accurate. Make the mover aware of any problems they may encounter at the delivery such as parking problems, road access, street accessibility, delivery time restriction or if there are any stairs or elevators involved. The cost of your move can increase for such occurrences. Try to reserve a "parking space" for the moving van if your new home is on a crowded street. If the moving crew has to carry your load, more a great from the moving van to your door you may be charged for the excessive distance.
Estimates should include all moving charges, such as carrying up stairs or in an elevator, overtime, and additional transportation, moving bulky articles, carrying an excessive distance, storage, and more. These types of charges usually involve obstacles the mover has to overcome, which you can determine ahead of time and include in the bid. Packing bids should state not only labour charges but also the amount and cost of boxes. Make sure each bid is estimated the same way, so you can easily make comparisons.
You may want to use their Quoation on the Packing materials as a guide as to what you would need - and if you are doing your own packing - purchase the materials at THE BOX SPOT. This will definitely cut down on the overall cost of your relocation! As well, you will know what is in each box and will definitely know the order in which your things should be unpacked!
Contact your local Better Business Bureau or consumer affairs agency and ask if there are any complaints registered about the movers you are considering. Keep in mind that there are usually two sides to every story. A pattern of many complaints, however, is not a good sign.
Low-ball bids could mask less reliable moving practices. Use several factors in addition to price: references, performance reports, reported complaints. Get the final bid in writing (which you may be asked to sign), but never sign off on a final bill until the move is complete.
Make sure you understand the coverage for loss or damage of your property. All movers must provide liability insurance for the value of goods, which they transport. However, there are different levels of liability. You must be aware of the amount of protection provided and the additional costs that may apply.