July 25, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

How to Choose a Moving Company and Get the Best Deal for the Money

Long-distance moving is an overwhelming project that needs to be approached with the utmost concentration and organizational skills. Luckily most of the hard work you can outsource to a professional cross-country moving company. But how to choose a moving company and find the best service for the money you invest? Let’s find out.

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All companies must be registered according to the law

If you are not sure how to find a good moving company, you need to search for registered and licensed professionals with years of experience in the relocation industry. Ask for a free quote from at least five companies and weigh the best offer that fits your budget.

What to Consider When Choosing Movers?

The process of picking the right professionals is not that simple, and there are things you can consider in order to avoid relocation scammers and have the best and most efficient relocation without any stress.

No matter if you are looking for cross-country movers from Seattle to California or someone to relocate you down the street, you have to book professionals that will not lead you on or waste your time. There are over 7,000 companies in the relocation industry, so knowing how to pick a moving company to relocate you can be quite handy.

In the end, what matters the most is that you need to learn how to select a moving company that will be worth the money you paid. So before you start looking for movers in Seattle, California, or any other mover, some relocation tips must be followed.

Do Your Movers Have a License and Registration?

One of the common relocation mistakes people make is that they don’t check if their firm of choice is legit. Many usually just go online and assume they are dealing with a legitimate thing. However, even though online presence is important, it does not guarantee you are dealing with a reputable business.

According to Federal Law, all relocation companies must be registered and have a USDOT number at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). Also, if you are looking for a local business and wonder, “how do I hire a local moving company?” know that the process is the same. With minor exceptions in some states, companies do not have to be registered under FMCSA but have local licenses under the US Department of Transport. So before hiring movers, make sure to find out what the legal requirements are in your state.

You Need to Go Through All the Reviews and Recommendations

Probably the best recommendations for a relocation firm comes from friends and family who have moved recently. But if you are relocating alone and don’t have anybody who has recently relocated, the second best option is to go through reviews online. As you probably know, reviews and comments left by previous customers are an excellent way to see if someone is a relocation professional and, most importantly, not a scammer. Here are the places where you can check reviews:

Before Hiring a Long Distance Moving Company, Check if They Offer Insurance

Another important thing to consider is whether the firm is offering insurance for its long-distance moving services. Relocation insurance is mandatory by law, and it should be part of your offer, no matter if you have corporate relocation, residential, or any other services involved, such as professional packing. By having insurance, you will potentially save a lot of money in case some damages occur.

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Go With the Five Best Choices You Found Online

So how to find a moving company? Well, once you have followed the tips from above, you can now go online to search for “long-distance movers near me” and narrow down your choices to five firms. Go with the ones that have the best reviews, have been in business for some time, and have all the services you require, including car shipping or storage units. This way you will save some money by getting all the services from one party, which will probably lead to some discounts. But even without discounts, once you have a firm that offers everything, you will not lose time in searching for other parties to provide you with the services you require. In the long run, this will cost you more.

Packing Services

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Storage Services

Looking for storage space while you get settled? California-Seattle Express provides 30 days free storage with your move.

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Ask for a Free Quote

What is the most reputable moving company? Well, the one that offers a free quote is one of them. A free quote is a crucial part of organizing a relocation, as it allows you to create a draft of your relocation budget and pick the firm that fits your needs. Once you have narrowed down your choice to five businesses, the next step is to ask for a free quote from each of them. Note that this is only an initial quote and that the relocation price can go up later.

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If they don't give a free quote, don't invite them to your home

Book Estimates for Your Move Before Hiring

The next step is to call each of the firms from your list and book an in-home estimation for relocation. During this estimation, you will get to meet the people representing the firm and ask them all the questions you have while they create an inventory list of your house. Based on this home inventory list, you will get an estimate and the price of relocation. Depending on the destination and services you take, the price will then be sent to you with a contract.

So what to look for when using a moving company? As we mentioned, an estimate is excellent for learning how much the move will cost, but also because you get to see the people from the firm in person. You can see if they are behaving professionally or not. The first impression is really important and if you feel uncomfortable with someone, avoid hiring them. Also, if the representatives are not answering your questions, avoid them or give you wage answers, you should reconsider engaging with them further.

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Professional mover will make a detailed inventory list of your belongings during an estimate

You Need to Understand What Is in the Offer Before You Hire Someone

If you wish to have a stress-free move and not worry about losing money, you must be careful when signing the contract. Read the fine print, and if there is anything you don’t understand, call customer service and ask for elaboration. If the provided answers are not good enough for you, pick another firm.

When looking at the contract, see if it clearly states what you will get for the money you are paying. For example, simply relocating from point A to B is not good enough. There must be a clear explanation of what the mover will charge or not. Here are some things to consider when reading a contract:

Question Answer
Will you be charged extra for packing materials? Some companies charge extra for boxes and bubble wraps.
Will stairs in your building have an influence on the price? If the stairs are included in the price, it must be clear how the price is made.
Will they move large items? Some firms will charge you extra for relocating a piano or other large items.
Are there things workers won't move? There are things many firms won't transport, such as guns or flammable materials.
Will they charge extra for the protection of furniture? It is up to the firm to decide whether to charge this or not.
Will the storage be charged extra? Some firms charge usage of the storage units from the start, while others give free storage for the first month.

How to Choose a Moving Company? Red Flags to Watch Out For

Aside from the things we mentioned above, there are other little things that can point out you are dealing with shady businesses. For example, if the workers arrive in a borrowed truck, this can be a reason for concern. However, there are even worse things than this – if you see any of the following red flags, avoid them at any cost.

Don't Hire Anyone That Asks for a Big Deposit

Even though the cost of your move can be high, if the firm is asking for a big deposit, you should avoid them. Anywhere between $500 to $1000 is ok, but anything higher than that is too much. What happens is that scammers take a big deposit and run away. So be careful when it comes to deposits.

Avoid Low-Cost Companies

Another way scammers lure their victims is by giving a low price for their move. You have to understand that most companies have a price that is determined by the market, so if someone offers you a deal that is way below that price, you should skip them.

What scammers do is that they give you low-cost estimates, and then once your items are in their possession, they ask for more money. They usually refuse to give you your belongings back unless you pay. So if you think you will save money by going with a firm that gives you “the best deal,” you will be wrong and probably pay even more in the end.

Don't Hire a Mover That Only Accepts Cash

Like with any firm that only accepts cash, you must admit there is something wrong with it. So can you imagine if a firm comes to you and asks for a cash payment for a relocation? This amount of money is not ok to be given without any paper trace, bill, or check. It is ok for a firm to have this option, but if this is the only available payment method, there must be something wrong. Avoid them and find a firm that accepts different payments.

Also, if you wonder if it is ok to tip movers with cash on your relocation day, the answer is yes. This has nothing to do with the firm you are hiring. Tipping workers is your way to show appreciation for the help they provide.

When to Book Movers in California or Seattle?

Once you decide where to move and make all the arrangements necessary for that move, like house hunting, you can start a search for the perfect firm. The best time to move is in the summer season when the real estate market is booming, but if you wish to save some money on the move, you should pick months that are not in the summer season. Spring and fall have warm weather, and the demand for relocation professionals is not that high, so you will have more options to choose from.

If you really want to get the best deal for the money you have put in, why not relocate in winter? Winter time is not the peak relocation season, and the firms usually have discounts during this period for any services. Also, there will be significantly more dates available for your move, and you will have a better choice of firms to pick from.

However, when the time for the move comes, make sure you book a firm at least one month in advance. The ideal time would be to book them three months in advance but if this is not possible, ensure you have at least one month for all the preparation. One thing is for sure if you wish to have smooth relocation, you will require some help from professionals.

Find a Good Mover and Have an Efficient Move

For a smooth and efficient relocation, you will have to hire professionals to help you out. Find at least five companies you like the most and have the best reviews and ask them for a free quote. Once you have an idea about how much your relocation will cost, pick at least three companies that fit your budget the best and make appointments for an in-home estimate. Only then will you know the real price of your relocation. Pick the company that you like the most, that is most professional, and that offers all the services you need.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

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