When choosing a moving company, get at three to five estimates from reputable, licensed and insured movers. They should be registered with the State as movers and have a registration number, which means they are insured and meet all legal requirements to operate. If they only have an MC, ICC or DOT number they may sometimes be just brokers or middlemen who contract your move to others and an occupational license # is not sufficient either.
Have a representative from their company come to your home and give you an onsite visual price quote. Do your homework before choosing. Do an internet search of their address and phone number. If they operate from their apartment or use a cell phone they are probably not your best choice. If they only own one truck they are probably not your best choice. If they cannot provide a copy of their State Mover Registration they probably are not your best choice. If they are in another State or hours away on the other side of your State they are probably not your best choice. If they just started their company that year they are probably not your best choice. If they have opened and closed under other company names they are probably not your best choice. Simple division of corporation searches to find the company owners and associated partners name and simple web searches of their names sometimes results in mugshots and all sorts of reasons for them to probably not be your best choice moving to california .
With a poor economy there has been a recent outbreak of rogue movers. The moving industry in itself has received a tarnished image over the years from unethical moving and Vanline trucking companies using bait and switch tactics with vague fine print to increase prices which double and sometimes triple the original price. Most other companies and local competition fall short of customer expectations. With the current unemployment market we have also seen a recent increase of rogue movers who out of work in their particular industry such as let’s say construction and are now illegally operating by renting trucks and placing ads on the internet. These inexperienced individuals are unlicensed, uninsured and the nightmare stories and unprofessional results continue to grow. The old saying you get what you pay for unfortunately holds true when it comes to the moving industry.
Legitimate companies hourly rates may normally average from $90 to $110 per hour. Most reputable companies pricing by a flat rate inventory quote will be priced within an average range of $150 higher or lower of each other. The extremely high price quote and unrealistic low price quote will always stand out for you to be leary of. The low price is sometimes a bait and switch. They offer low rates to earn your business, load the items then ask for a higher price or they won’t unload your items. They have hidden fees and add on charges in the fine print. The highest price sometimes comes from inexperience or just plain greed. Whether it is a flat inventory rate or an hourly rate a good rule of thumb you will pay for a quality move is $100 per hour. If you or they estimate it will take three hours to load and three hours to unload your paying $600 and so on. Don’t be fooled by cubic square feet or weight as those estimates almost always increase substantially. Additionally these large trucking companies will normally not guarantee your unload date if out of area or out of state and normally will not guarantee the same movers that loaded will be the same movers that unload. Trucking and Vanline companies that use tractor trailers sometimes mix your items with other peoples and with the German cockroach and bed bug problems spreading through the US it sometimes may not your best choice to go with that type of company.
Don’t be fooled by non binding or binding estimate. An estimate is an estimate. If they offer a flat rate price total make them put in writing the words all inclusive, no hidden fees and guaranteed not to exceed this price. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that the hourly rate is no good. The hourly rate works great for most people because you get to control your move. The clock doesn’t lie. You can pay for just the services you need that way. Just make sure on an hourly rate there is no fine print that everything must be wrapped. We have seen recent videos on the internet where they blanket and shrink wrap everything turning what should have been a six hour move into a ten hour move. If they ask for payment prior to unloading they are probably not your best choice.
All of these things I mentioned will weed out most of the let’s say less than perfect companies. Oh and I almost forgot always ask for references that you can contact. Don’t just settle for what is on the internet. Most companies post their own positive reviews and although a great deal of the bad reviews may be true for some companies. Other legitimate companies sometimes suffer because it is normally only the angry customer that takes the time to post a review to begin with. It does not mean that the review is accurate or true as there are two sides to every story and the bad review sometimes only gets to tell one side.
Anticipate the exact date of the move as far in advance as possible. Arrange for the telephone to remain connected the whole day of the move. Arrange for kids and pets to stay with friends or neighbors the day of the move, so they do not impede the moving process. True professionals won’t need direction. Let them do their job and don’t try helping as most times you will be getting in the way. Most movers are like machines from start to finish. They don’t stop moving and know exactly what to take to the truck and when. Prepare before they arrive by getting plastic/shrink wrap, bubble wrap, boxes, packing paper, tape, labels, heavy duty large trash bags and permanent marker to write with. Safely secure and pack every small item in a box, tape and write area or room you want it placed at your new home. Bubble wrap or blanket and tape all of your pictures, mirrors or artwork, lamps and label fragile and what the item is. Stack all boxes in one area of each room and be sure not to block access or walking areas. Empty any loose miscellaneous items out of any drawers. Clothing can normally be left in drawers. Place all loose clothing, shoes, sheets, kids toys etc. in black trash bags and label. Put hanger hole in bottom center of bag and slip over each two feet of hanging clothing. Disassemble any items you can yourself such as beds, mirrors on dressers and washer/dryer hoses.
Make sure you have at least cold bottles of water for the movers at both locations. When the movers arrive do a walk through pointing out any special requests and details and tip them at least ten dollars each. Let them know that if they take good care of your items there will be an additional tip at the end of the move. Both the cold water and minimal tip goes along way with movers. You don’t have to take my advice but trust me when I say that the movers will be more careful, work harder and quicker for you with a small gesture.
Gather the following valuables to keep with you at all times: bank books, keys, passport, lease, will, jewelry, precious stones, stamp and coin collections, school transcripts, medical/dental records, vehicle registration and furs. After all items have been removed from the home, a final inspection should be conducted. Closets, crawl spaces, basement and attic areas should be checked. A second person can make the same inspection separately.