Moving is stressful enough, without the added worry of finding a respectable, legitimate moving company that won’t cost you a fortune in hidden fees.
Fortunately, when it comes to finding a great moving company, there are a few things you can look out for. Let’s take a look below.
#1: They are recommended and have a good track record
When you first start searching for a moving company, it’s a great idea to ask your local friends and family for any recommendations they might have. Chances are they’ve moved before too, and can provide insight into their experience with a moving company.
If your friends and family don’t have any recommendations, check out the company’s online reviews. This will give you an idea of the company’s track record — did they arrive on time, were they friendly, did they do what they said they would, etc. However, like with all reviews, take this with a grain of salt — people typically leave reviews only if their experience was very good or very bad.
Once you’ve narrowed your options down, you can also ask the mover for a list of recent references to contact with questions about their experience.
#2: They are licensed and insured
This step is key! If you decide to use a moving company to help with your move, you need to make sure they are licensed and insured. When a moving company is licensed and insured, it means they have met regulations set forth by the state (and the federal government, if you’re looking at interstate movers), and that they will protect your property.
Anyone can buy or rent a van and pretend to be a mover. Here are a few ways you can check to make sure they are the real deal:
1. Check their website to see if they have a CCB number listed. A CCB number helps homeowners confirm that a business is a licensed contractor. You can search CCB numbers for Washington here and for Oregon here.
3. Finally, double-check their address to make sure it’s a real location and not just a P.O. Box
#3: They offer a variety of services to best fit your individual needs
Every time you move, it’s going to be different. Maybe this time you acquired the world’s coolest but oddest shaped couch and aren’t sure how you’ll ever get it back out of your house. Or, you’re located up on the 14th floor of your apartment building and are dreading the number of stairs it’s going to take. Perhaps you have a 2-day gap between your current lease and your new lease and will require temporary storage.
Whatever your needs are for this move, talk to your moving company to make sure they have the experience, availability, and equipment required to get the job done safely and efficiently.
#4: They don’t hire day movers
Instead of only using trained, experienced, and full-time movers like we do here at ANC Movers, some moving companies hire day laborers. While this helps the company cut costs or take on more jobs when they are busy, it doesn’t do you any favors when it comes to protection, safety, or service.
Here are some of the cons of choosing a company that hires day laborers:
- You have an increased risk of liability if the day laborer gets injured since they are a temporary hire and likely not insured by the moving company.
- You don’t know about their experience or training. This means they could pack boxes poorly, or improperly protect a piece of furniture, leading to damage to your possessions.
- A company that hires day laborers might not perform background or reference checks.
- The day laborer will likely be slower and less efficient because they probably haven’t been trained. When you’re trying to meet tight moving day timelines, this can add a lot of stress to your move.
#5: They have upfront pricing and no hidden fees
When you first call a moving company, they will give you an estimate for the cost of the move, factoring in how big your space is, plus the number of hours and movers they think the job will take.
Choose a company that will take it one step further and conducts an inventory and a walkthrough of your home to get an idea of all of the items you plan to move. This will allow for more accurate pricing.
Additionally, always double-check about extra or hidden fees to make sure you are paying for exactly what you are expecting to. For instance, some companies charge extra for packing supplies, moving heavy items, the number of floors they have to travel up/down, the use of certain equipment, etc.
Make sure they know all these details beforehand and to ask about fees to ensure you are getting the most transparent pricing possible.
#6: They have all the supplies you need
Whether you’ve decided you can’t be trusted with packing all of the delicate dishes in your kitchen, or you have a heavy item like a piano, a gun safe, or your great grandma’s solid oak wardrobe to move, make sure the company you’re considering has the moving equipment you need.
Some companies charge extra-high rates for boxes and packing materials or might try to move a piano without the proper protective blankets, ramps, or straps, so it’s always a good idea to double-check with the company before you start your move.
#7: They stand by their work
When choosing a moving company, ask yourself — or better yet, ask them! — if they stand behind their work. Here’s what this means: if they break or damage something, when and how are they going to tell you, and what will they do to fix it? Is the price they quote you for the price they charge you at the end (without hidden fees)? Are they dedicated to providing you with good service? How?
Getting answers to a few questions like these should help you gauge the difference between a mediocre moving company and a great moving company.