October 7, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

Tips and Tricks for Hiring Movers for a Long Distance Relocation

About 27.1 million Americans moved in 2021, according to the Census Bureau. With all these people on the move, increased demand for relocation services shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, there is a lot to learn before hiring movers, especially if you’re determined to work only with the best. We can help you discover how to hire a moving company and why to do so in the first place – so read on.

Long-distance movers unloading the truck
If you plan on hiring a mover, make sure you read our guidelines first

Why Should You Hire a Moving Company to Assist You?

There are many benefits that come with hiring cross-country movers, whether you’re relocating to a new city alone or with family, but they all come down to making your move easier and stress-free.

Getting long-distance moving services will give you peace of mind during one of the most stressful times in your life – the relocation! When you hire professionals to help with your move, you can rest assured knowing that everything will be taken care of and that your belongings are in good hands.

On top of that, with the help of professionals, you won’t have to do any part of the heavy lifting. Let’s face it, moving is hard work! Packing up all your large and bulky belongings (alongside your relocation essentials), loading them into a truck, and unloading them at your new home is exhausting – not to mention dangerous if you’re not careful.

Hiring cross-country movers means that you can relax and take care of some other important tasks on your to-do list. While you’re dealing with notifying others about relocation, changing the address, and organizing documents, you won’t have to handle more complex tasks, such as packing.

Why a DIY Move May Not Be the Best Choice?

Risk of damaging belongings or injuring yourself

If you’ve ever tried to move furniture before, you know how difficult it can be – not to mention dangerous! Furniture is heavy and unwieldy, and it’s easy to drop or damage items when trying to move them on your own.

At the same time, lifting heavy furniture and boxes full of packed belongings is tough on your body, and it’s not uncommon for people to pull muscles or get injured in other ways when relocating without professional help.

It's not time-efficient

Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage of relocation on your own is that it is very time-consuming. It can be especially inconvenient if you have a last-minute move and your relocation reasons demand you move promptly.

On the other hand, professionals can provide you with packing services as well as car shipping. Without them, your relocation day preparations could take days or even weeks, and you would need to waste time (and risk your safety) on driving long-distance instead of simply booking a flight.

It can get costly

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to move out of state, note that the costs associated with a DIY long-distance move are not insignificant. You need to count all the possible expenses, such as renting a truck, paying for fuel and food, getting packing supplies, renting necessary equipment, and so on. Therefore, it’s much less affordable than most people initially thought. If you’re not sure you can handle the physical labor of a do-it-yourself move or don’t have anyone to help you, it may be worth it to pay just a little bit more.

Your items won't be insured

If you choose to move without hiring professionals, your belongings will not be insured in the event that they are lost or damaged. If something goes wrong, you will have to pay for the repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. On the other hand, all reliable relocation companies are insured, which means that if any of your belongings are damaged during the move, the company will reimburse you.

The First Thing You Should Do When Hiring Movers Is to Check if They Are Legitimate

There are all sorts of relocation scams out there. Every year, there are many reports of people who have been scammed by dishonest movers. In some cases, these scammers will take your money and then simply never show up on relocation day. In other cases, they may show up, but they will hold your belongings hostage until you pay them an excessive amount of money.

So, how can you protect yourself from these frauds when organizing a move? Before choosing a relocation company, you must check if it is legitimate. Here is a relocation checklist with a few vital things to look for:

  • Does the company have a physical address and a working phone number?
  • Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Do they have any positive reviews online?

If you can check all these boxes, and there haven’t been many complaints filed against them, you’re probably dealing with a legitimate company.

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When Hiring Professional Movers, Also Check if They Are Insured

When a mover is insured, it means that their company has taken out a liability policy in case any of your belongings are damaged or lost while in their care. If something does happen, you can make a claim and be compensated partially or in full. Without insurance, you would have been stuck having to replace the item yourself.

The best way to find out is to use the USDOT number and check the insurance (and license) status on the FMCSA’s website. Still, note that any reputable mover will be happy to provide proof of insurance upon request.

Cross-country movers packing furniture
Insurance can provide you with additional protection

Avoid Cross-Country Movers That Change Their Name Often

Before you sign on the dotted line with any relocation company, be weary of those that have changed their names multiple times. There are a few reasons why a company might change its name frequently – from distancing itself from negative reviews or complaints to hiding its identity for other criminal reasons. Either way, it’s not a good sign, and hiring them would be one of the biggest relocation mistakes.

A company that changes its name often is not likely to be very reputable. After all, if the company was doing a good job, there would be no need to keep changing its name. So, if you come across a team that has had multiple name changes, it’s best to steer clear and look for another option. There are plenty of other reputable companies out there you can look into when planning a move.

Read Through the Online Reviews

While hiring movers can save you a lot of time and help you move efficiently, it’s important to do your research before settling on a specific team. In addition to checking out the company’s website and getting referrals from friends and family, one of the best ways to get an idea of what a company is like is to read their online reviews.

Online reviews are written testimonials from customers who have used a company’s products or services. They can be found on review sites like Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List, as well as the company’s own website. You can usually get a good sense of the quality of a company’s services by reading through both the positive and negative reviews – so don’t let going through them be one of the things you forget to do.

However, when relocating to a new home, it’s also important to keep in mind that no company is perfect and that every customer has different expectations. Take some time to read through the negative reviews and see if there are any common themes or concerns that pop up. This will give you a better idea of whether or not the company is right for you.

Other things to look after when going through online reviews are false recommendations. Take a look at the video below to learn how to distinguish fake reviews from real ones:

You Should Avoid Long-Distance Movers That Ask for a Large Deposit

It’s not uncommon for long-distance movers to require a deposit – after all, they need to make sure that they’re compensated for their time and resources if the move is canceled or postponed.

However, a reputable mover will only require a small deposit – usually around 10% of the total cost of the move. If you’re being asked to provide a deposit that’s more than this, it’s best to find another mover. Also, be wary of any mover that asks for payment in full upfront. This is almost always a sign of a scam.

One other payment-related red flag is if the company demands payment in cash. This could be a sign that they are not a legitimate business and could end up scamming you. It’s always best to use a card or some other type of traceable payment so that you have some form of protection if anything goes wrong.

Person holding cash for tipping movers during long-distance moving
Don't trust a company that demands cash payments

Ask for an Accurate Moving Quote When Hiring Movers

Before you can enjoy the benefits of having someone else do the heavy lifting, you need to get an accurate quote from a reputable company. But how to do so? Here are some of the best relocation tips when you’re dealing with the estimates:

  • Know what services you need and the preferable date of the move,
  • Be familiar with how the prices are set (based on the weight of your household inventory, distance, and so on),
  • Get quotes from multiple companies so that you can compare prices and services.

At the same time, beware of suspiciously low quotes. Some scamming companies will offer you very affordable services, only to add hidden expenses to your final bill.

Two long-distance movers smiling surrounded by boxes
Always check suspiciously affordable prices when hiring a company

Ask About All the Fees and Charges That Are Included in the Estimate

Some companies may charge for fuel or parking permits, while others may charge extra for stairs or move-out cleaning services. These fees may not be included in your initial estimate, which means you could be faced with hidden fees when it comes time to pay for the service. Be sure to ask about these types of fees so that there are no surprises later on.

Additionally, you should always get everything in writing. This way, you will have a record of what was agreed upon and can hold the company accountable if they do not fulfill their end of the deal. Therefore, when relocating to a new state, get a written estimate that includes all charges.

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Follow the Tips, and You’ll Hire the Best Long-Distance Moving Company

Relocation is a huge life event, but hiring the best cross-country moving company can make it much easier. By following our tips for hiring movers, you can be sure that you’re picking the right company for the job. Once you do, you can be completely worry-free. Let your movers from Seattle to California (or movers from California to Seattle) do what they know best and enjoy a move without any bumps down the road.

Milly Andrews

Milly is a Portland prodigy of packing and relocating! She has been on the move her whole life, and she's got the moving boxes and stories to prove it. With her vast experience in the art of relocation, she's like a human GPS, always finding the most efficient way to navigate the moving process.

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