What to Look for When Hiring a Moving Company

Finding the right mover can make or break your relocation experience

Thankfully, moving is an infrequent event for most of us. On average, we move every 5 to 7 years so figuring out where to start and what to look for when finding hiring a mover can be a mystery.

Finding the right mover can make or break your relocation experience. Hire the right ones and they will make your move a breeze by simplifying the moving process, taking on the labor of your move, and freeing up your time on moving day for all the other things that go along with a life change you’ll be worrying about. Hire the wrong ones, and life can be disrupted for months after your moving day.

We’ve all heard horror stories about what it’s like to work with not-so-great movers. To help you avoid falling into the trap of hiring movers who will let you down, we’ve listed the top 5 things to look out for when hiring a moving company and getting quotes.

Recommendations and Reviews – By just Googling “movers near me” you’ll be presented with tons of options, but are they trustworthy options…? A good place to start is by asking family and friends who have moved recently who they’ve used, how their experience was, and if they would recommend them. If no one you trust has moved recently, look into reviews and social media comments to see how their customers are treated and what they are saying about their experience. Read the five-star reviews and read the one-star reviews too. Keep in mind, people generally only leave reviews if they’ve had a really bad experience, but you can take a look at how the company chooses to respond (or not) as a gauge for how caring, attentive, and trustworthy the moving company is. You can gain a lot of insight by asking those around you and doing your research online.

Longevity – While we love to support small, new, local businesses, there is something to be said about companies that have stood the test of time. No moving company is going to continue to function if they are doing terrible work. MiniMoves® has been in the business for over 30 years, so we know a thing or two about best moving practices. Moving companies that have been around a while generally have a good track record as far as booking at fair rates, being on time, and taking good care of their customers’ possessions.

License and Insurance – NEVER use a company that is not licensed and insured. This is something to look for right away. There are scammers out there unfortunately, and you don’t want just anyone with a van handling all your things. For interstate moves, movers are required to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and they are given a unique USDOT number. For intrastate movers, rules vary depending on the state, though most states do have licensing requirements. Research licensing laws in your state, and then verify that your moving company has all required licenses and insurances. Another way to check the validity of a Moving Company is through the Better Business Bureau, or by searching the American Trucking Associations’ ProMovers List (You can find MiniMoves® on both!)

Transparent Rates and Guaranteed Quotes – Movers charge based on a few different things. Some charge based on the time and number of movers required, some charge by weight, and some charge by the item. Either way, you will want an idea of what you will be paying for your move prior to scheduling with the mover. MiniMoves® goes through your inventory and provides you with a Guaranteed Quote or a Binding Estimate for interstate moves. A binding estimate specifies the rates the mover will apply and the cost of moving based on the items you plan to ship along with the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. Keep in mind, if moving-day services are needed at origin (additional packing), or unknown destination services (a stair carry to the 3rd floor), your binding price may change. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, usually up to 30 days. If you add items to be moved or require additional services between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, the cost of your move will need to be re-bound. A revision specifying these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.

A Good Fit for YOUR Move – Every move is different. Whether you have a studio apartment or a 3-bedroom home, your needs are uniquely yours. A little research will help you find a mover who can accommodate all your specific needs. Think about YOUR move, and be sure to consider things like: Do they have a moving truck that will fit in the area around your home? Do they have a truck large enough to carry all your things at one time? Will they be able to perform your move within the time frame you are looking for? If you’ll need packing services, can they provide packing supplies such as furniture moving pads, boxes, and bubble wrap? If you have specialty items to be moved, can they arrange custom crating?

There are many things to consider when planning your move. Do your research. Find the right company you can entrust your lifetime of belongings to with the assurance they will deliver them on-time, damage-free, at the right price. Doing your research will pay off and help make moving day a good experience. When it’s all over, post a review and rate your mover to help point others to that great moving day experience.