Moving is a ton of work, and for most people, it’s one of the most stressful endeavors they’ll ever undertake. That’s why moving companies exist: to help shoulder the load and stress of relocating.
But hiring a great team of professional movers and packers isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem, and that’s especially true if you’ve never done it before.
Are you planning to hire a moving company for the first time? You'll definitely want to avoid several things to ensure you have a great experience.
1. Don’t Hire Based on Price Alone
If you’re trying to control your relocation-related expenses, hiring the most affordable moving company seems like an obvious choice. But that’s not always the case.
In some instances, extremely affordable services are only cheap because they’re low quality, so thoroughly research each company you get an estimate from.
Be wary if you receive three to five estimates and one is a low-priced outlier. Unscrupulous moving companies often attempt to lure customers with super-low rates, specials, and other low-priced or free incentives.
Generally speaking, choosing a company with a positive reputation and a strong track record of excellent service is in your best interest.
2. Never Hire a Moving Company That Only Accepts Cash
Before hiring a moving company, ask about what types of payment they accept. Working with professional movers and packers that only accept cash is never a good idea since you can’t file a dispute if something goes wrong.
If you’re moving long-distance, remember that you may not see your belongings for a couple of weeks, so you need to be confident the company handling them is legit.
If you unknowingly hire a dishonest company and pay cash up front, you may never see your things again!
3. Never Accept a Verbal Estimate
When you get estimates from moving companies, be sure to get them in writing. If you don’t, you may end up with a much more expensive moving bill than you were initially quoted. And unfortunately, there’s no way to prove that the movers quoted you a different price.
On each estimate, ask the movers for a full breakdown of all involved costs and any other fees that aren’t included in the estimate’s price.
Getting a complete written price breakdown will save you from a shocking surprise on the day of your move.
4. Don’t Assume Your Estimate Won’t Change
Never forget to ask whether you’re getting a binding or non-binding estimate! If you’re getting a non-binding moving estimate, the mover is basically estimating the cost of the move without guaranteeing a final figure.
If you’re getting a binding estimate, the price you see on the quote is the price you’ll ultimately pay. A binding estimate should detail all services included in the estimate and the items being transported during the move.
Should you add services after the fact, you’ll still be responsible for paying for the additional services at the time of shipment delivery.
5. Never Sign a Document You Don’t Understand
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand all agreements in their entirety. Don’t hesitate to ask your movers questions if something seems unclear, and ask about any additional fees you’re unsure of.
If in doubt, ask to speak to a supervisor to clear up any confusion!
6. Don’t Pay the Moving Company Until Unloading Is Complete
When your moving company delivers your belongings to your new home, don’t pay the final bill until you can account for everything loaded onto the truck. I
f you’re missing a box or two, don’t sign the paperwork. Conduct a home inventory, count your boxes, and then count them again.
Only when you’ve verified everything is present should you fork over your hard-earned money!
7. Never Leave High-Value Items in the Moving Truck
Anything that holds considerable value should not go in the back of the moving truck. Even if you trust your movers entirely, the reality is that accidents happen, and you don’t want your valuables to end up missing or damaged.
These items include:
● Important documents
● Personal records
● Valuable art or collectibles
Losing a box of sweaters or Christmas decorations is annoying, but losing high-value items can be seriously problematic and even impact your finances or identity security. That’s why these types of items should only travel with you when you move.
8. Never Wait to File a Claim for Reimbursement
Unpacking is a total snore, but the faster you get through it, the quicker you’ll know if you’re missing anything. Open all your boxes first to make sure nothing incurred damage during transport.
If you notice anything’s amiss, file a claim against your moving insurance coverage as promptly as you can. The longer you wait to file, the less likely your claim will be accepted.
9. Don’t Let Movers Have Full Control Over the Inventory List
Even if you hire the most reputable moving company in your area, it’s important to double-check your movers and packers. You should have someone record everything that goes on the truck at the home you’re moving out of, and you should also have someone at your new home who will record everything that comes off the truck.
They’re your belongings after all, so if you care about them, you need to verify that everything is intact and present!
10. Don’t Work Movers Unless They Provide a Bill of Lading
A bill of lading or BOL is a legally binding document the carriers provide to a shipper that details the destination, type, and quantity of the goods they are transporting.
The bill of lading serves as a receipt of shipment when the goods are delivered to the destination. It must accompany the products regardless of the type of transportation and needs to be signed by a representative from the receiver, carrier, and shipper.
If the moving company does not provide you with this documentation, do not work with them or hand any of your items over because it means there is no contract in place, and this is a liability for you.
11. Don't Choose a Moving Company That Isn't Insured
If the moving company you are considering does not provide proof of insurance, do not do business with them. Insurance is in place to protect the moving companies and reimburse you if any of your items are damaged.
It's also a safe assumption that if the company doesn't carry insurance, it shows a lack of care and concern for their business and their client's belongings.
Need a Moving Company Near the Seattle or Tacoma Area?
If you’re getting ready to plan a relocation somewhere in Washington or to another state, let our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage help you out! Since 1965, we’ve proudly provided a wide variety of professional moving services, including full packing services, climate-controlled storage, port services, and much more. No matter what kind of help you need during your upcoming relocation, we’ve got you covered!
To get started or learn more about how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today at 253-581-2446 or request a fast quote online, and we’ll be in touch.
Have questions or concerns? Send us a message, and we’ll get back to you.