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How to Choose a Moving Company – Necessary Steps When Hiring Movers

Posted in How-to,Moving Essentials,Planning the Move on August 20, 2021

Deciding to hire movers is the first step in the process of how to choose a moving company. A few factors determine the quality of a business, and you have to take certain steps to check those factors. It’s not difficult to verify a licensed mover, but it requires time and effort, so be prepared for that.

The Most Important Step On How to Choose a Moving Company – Research

Before you make any decisions about hiring a solid mover and creating a household inventory list, you have to do vital research. If it were as easy as typing “How do I choose a reputable moving company” in your browser and going with the first result, there wouldn’t be any need to explain the importance of vetting and verifying information. It would also lead to you potentially never trusting a relocation company again.

The best way to find relocation companies that combine great quality and affordability is to do thorough checkups that show they’re not only licensed but good at what they do. Knowing your mover is legitimate is sure to verify you have excellent reasons to move.

Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations on How to Choose a Reliable Moving Company

Talking to friends and family might be the most solid advice, especially if you’re relocating to another state alone and want all the support you could get.

Before you start learning how to live on your own, start by asking the people in your inner circle about their relocation experiences and opinions on relocation businesses.

Of course, focus on getting advice from people who have moved once or twice. They’ll also provide insight into other aspects of the process that you may have overlooked, like how to pack fragile items or that you might need a relocation binder to make your move easier.

Leaving home is difficult, and any relocation hack and extra information could turn out to make relocation day, as well as any other day afterward, better.

Popular Businesses With a Lot of Reviews Are a Good Start on How to Pick a Moving Company

There’s a big difference between a long-lasting business that has twenty 5-star reviews and one that has hundreds or thousands of reviews of all ranges. Relocation scams typically happen when a person sees exclusively positive reviews without a lot of explanation or vague comments.

A scenario like this could mean they post the comments themselves, but also that the business in question simply doesn’t have a lot of experience (they recently opened up, for example.)

Any business with years of experience will have a mixed bag of reviews, and they also won’t refrain from posting every comment, even if it’s a negative one. Reputable businesses understand they can’t please everyone and accept that flaws are part of growing and becoming better.

Check out the video below to learn how to spot fake reviews and what to look out for when reading them.

Licensed Movers Give Estimates In-Person and On Time, Which Should Help You Learn How to Select a Moving Company

Do you know that organizing your move is possible in the company of relocation experts, too? A company like Cross Country Movers won’t just give you long-distance moving tips, but will also be there if you’re feeling like you can’t see the benefits of relocating anymore.

The new home is waiting for you, but you still need to say goodbye to the old one, and long-distance movers understand that. They’re human, after all, just like all of us.

How do they help you move to a new home before relocation day? They come to your house and estimate the value of your household goods a few weeks before relocation day.

After taking a long look at everything you want to pack and bring along, they give you an estimate of the relocation costs based on the amount, value, and weight of all items.

Now, if you want to move efficiently, you should allow relocation professionals to come to your home and make sure everything you want to transport is good to move.

They’ll inform you of anything that isn’t allowed for transportation, but they might also give you some tips to make the process better than you expect.

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How to Spot a Scam – A Few Red Flags

So, with all this info in mind, what sort of behavior can show you that it’s better to choose a different mover? Here’s a short list of red flag behaviors:

  • They don’t want to give you a cost estimate or give you one that’s vague and indirect,
  • They don’t come to your home to estimate the value of your items or transportation costs,
  • If they don’t contact or speak to you a few times before relocation day, they’re sure to be scammers,
  • They ask for payments in advance or cash-only payments,
  • They don’t mention or provide relocation insurance,
  • They show up in a storage truck different from the old one or one that doesn’t have a relocation firm’s markings,
  • They’re rude or unprofessional,
  • They’re not licensed.

The last point that mentions being licensed means a lot for checking someone’s legitimacy and professional background. You can wish for a stress-free relocation, but the part before relocation depends on you and your choices. Make sure you understand the red flags when they come up.

a mover and a customer making an inventory list for moving across the country
If relocation professionals don't visit your home for an appraisal, they're not a serious firm

A Tip on How to Find a Good Moving Company – Look Up Their USDOT Number

Businesses with official transport vehicles for either passengers or non-living cargo have to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Service Association, also known as FMCSA.

Whether the firm is old or new, everyone has to go through the registration process and get their official USDOT number. If this info is new to you, the USDOT number is a unique identifier for each firm, and the FMCSA monitors them through it.

To verify if the mover you chose is legitimate, our tips are to go to FMCSA’s website and type in the firm’s identification number. This way, you’ll be able to see their history of relocating, potential errors, fines, or mistakes, if there have been any in the past, and reviews and ratings of their work.

If you try to verify your mover and learn they don’t have a USDOT identification number, that means they’re unlicensed, and with that, not legitimate.

A person surrounded by papers and looking things up online
The perfect way to verify your mover is to look them up on official websites like FMCSA

Search For Cross-Country Movers That Can Provide Every Service You Require

Standard services of most relocation companies are – relocation, packing services, free use of storage units for a month, and relocation insurance. When you ask any firm about relocation essentials, they’ll typically list those options and provide information about services you can add for a specific cost. As we already mentioned, an estimate is a vital part of this service, too.

For example, the standard relocation insurance rate is the same for every firm – 60 cents per pound of damaged goods. This information is available on the official FMCSA website.

Professionals also bring their packing paper and other supplies, and the best part is they pack the relocation truck for you, so you don’t have to bother. If they say they need more money or ask for higher tips for loading the truck, that’s a bad sign.

Do You Need Your Cars Shipped?

Moving cross-country might mean you want to get some car shipping service, too. You can hire a different firm to do that part, but it’s best to go with the one doing your relocation for you, such as our company, Cross Country Movers.

We offer car transportation and a selection of trailers, storage units, and delivery methods. Another great way how to pick a long-distance moving company is to check if they provide options for car delivery and shipping, but you don’t have to look further from here.

Typically, long-distance moving companies offer enclosed and open trailers for transportation and door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal options for delivery. These are standard options to look for when booking a move.

Additionally, car insurance is mandatory with this type of transport, and it may be redundant to say that if none of these options come up, ask about them or just find another mover.

Will They Disconnect and Reconnect Your Appliances?

This part might as well be considered a trick question. Relocation experts typically don’t want the responsibility of connecting and disconnecting appliances for their customers.

Most of them will emphasize that they don’t assume liability for those actions, meaning you have to do it yourself before they arrive and after they leave.

If they offer to do it for you, they may ask for additional compensation and pile up your expenses on something licensed relocation companies never do.

Do You Know About the Items Relocation Experts Never Transport?

There’s a list of hazardous and flammable materials that no mover will want to move for you. Some examples of those items are:

  • Gasoline,
  • Propane canisters,
  • Oxygen bottles,
  • Firearms and other weapons,
  • Fireworks,
  • Paint and paint thinners,
  • Lighter fluid,
  • Nail polish remover,
  • Cleaning chemicals.

These are the typical hazardous items long-distance movers don’t want to transport because they can cause irreversible damage during transportation.

This doesn’t mean that you should take it upon yourself to move them; just leave them behind. In addition to dangerous items, no mover will want to ship food. That’s something you’ll have to pack into a personal bag.

The moral of this story is that if a relocation business doesn’t emphasize the listed items as forbidden or packs them anyway – you should be careful. This means they don’t know or don’t care about the safety regulations that are there for a reason.

a woman checking a bottle of a household chemical, preparing for cross-country moving
You can't transport or use storage for hazardous chemicals, so you should throw them away or leave them behind before the move

How to Find a Moving Company? Avoid the Cheapest Ones, Since They Aren’t Always the Best

Many people who want to move wonder how to find a moving company without breaking the bank. Getting great cross-country moving services isn’t always straightforward. While we wouldn’t recommend you go for the cheapest possible option, we wouldn’t insist you spend thousands of dollars for moving across the country.

Why do we insist on not hiring the cheapest long-distance movers? Typically, when you pick the cheapest form of moving across the country, the services are minimal and potentially awful.

You should check the standard relocation prices in the industry during the research phase. Understandably, you want to move for the smallest relocation budget possible, but it’s more worthwhile to do it with quality.

The answer to how much relocation costs depends on the things you require from the companies. You can always look up “What are the top-rated moving companies” and trust the first five results on the front page of your browser, but you have to pay attention to the areas they service as well as the number of reviews, as we already mentioned.

A nice balance between quality and price can be found if you stay realistic about the costs and requirements.

A man sitting in front of boxes, holding a dollar sign and a small house cut out, ready for moving cross-country
One of the main tips for ensuring your movers are legitimate is to compare their prices with others

Trust Yourself to Make a Good Choice When Picking a Cross-Country Moving Group

It’s normal to wonder, “how do I find trusted movers” even after all the info we presented. While there are perfectly easy and quick ways how to select a cross-country moving company, there could still be some doubt here and there.

Maybe you’re preparing your home for sale or planning the move-out cleaning schedule but still can’t convince yourself that you chose the right relocation professionals. If this is the case, then call them up and cancel.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind and going for something new if things feel off. While vetting and verifying a firm seems like enough reason to choose them, you should also feel good about them in your gut.

If you don’t, then make the necessary changes and make your move perfect. Trust that your intuition is the best method for trusting anything and anyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Choose a Moving Company

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Moving Company?

When choosing a long-distance moving company, it’s important to consider factors such as their reputation, experience, insurance coverage, rates, and the services they offer. You may also want to ask for referrals from friends or family, read reviews online, and compare quotes from several different companies before making a decision.

How Do I Research and Compare Different Moving Companies?

To research and compare different moving companies, you can start by asking for referrals from friends or family, searching online for reviews and ratings, and checking each company’s website for information on their services, rates, and insurance coverage.

You can also contact each company directly to ask questions and request a quote, and then compare the quotes and services offered to make an informed decision.

What Questions Should I Ask a Moving Company Before Hiring Them?

Before hiring a cross-country moving company, you should ask them questions about their experience, services, rates, insurance coverage, and any other relevant details. Some specific questions you may want to ask include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • What types of moving services do you offer?
  • What are your rates and how are they calculated?
  • What type of insurance coverage do you provide?
  • Can you provide references or customer reviews?
  • Do you offer any packing or storage services?
  • What is your process for handling fragile or valuable items?
  • What is your policy for resolving issues or damages that may occur during the move?

How Can I Determine if a Moving Company Is Reputable and Trustworthy?

To determine if a moving company is reputable and trustworthy, you can check its reviews and ratings online, ask for referrals from friends or family, and verify its licensing and insurance status.

You can also look for professional affiliations and certifications, such as membership in the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) or a ProMover certification.

Additionally, you can ask the company for references or customer reviews to get a better sense of their reputation and level of service.

What Credentials and Certifications Should I Look For in a Moving Company?

When searching for a moving company, you should look for credentials and certifications such as a valid license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and membership in professional organizations such as the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA).

You may also want to look for a ProMover certification, which indicates that the company meets certain standards for professionalism and ethical business practices in the moving industry.

Should I Choose a National or a Local Moving Company?

Whether to choose a national or local moving company depends on your individual needs and preferences. National companies may be better suited for long-distance moves, while local companies may offer more personalized service and better knowledge of the local area. Research and compare different companies to find the one that best meets your specific needs and budget.

How Can I Ensure That a Moving Company Has Adequate Insurance Coverage?

To ensure that a long-distance moving company has adequate insurance coverage, you can ask for a copy of their insurance certificate and verify that it is current and covers the types of services you require. You may also want to consider purchasing additional insurance coverage for your items during the move, especially if they are valuable or fragile.

What Are the Costs Associated With Hiring a Moving Company, and How Do I Get an Accurate Estimate?

The costs associated with hiring a long-distance moving company can vary depending on factors such as the distance of the move, the size of the home or apartment, and the types of services required.

To get an accurate estimate, it’s important to provide the cross-country moving company with as much information as possible about your specific needs and the items to be moved.

This can include the number and type of rooms, the distance of the move, and any special requirements such as packing or storage services. The company can then provide you with a detailed quote that outlines all of the costs associated with the move.

Can I Negotiate the Price With a Moving Company, and How Should I Go About Doing It?

Yes, it is possible to negotiate the price with a cross-country moving company, especially if you are able to get quotes from multiple companies and are willing to compare and negotiate their rates.

When negotiating the price, it’s important to be clear about your budget and specific needs and to ask if the company is willing to offer any discounts or special promotions.

You may also want to ask if there are any ways to reduce the costs, such as packing some items yourself or selecting a more flexible moving date.

What Are Some Red Flags to Watch Out for When Choosing a Moving Company?

When choosing a moving company, some red flags to watch out for include companies that do not provide a physical address or license number, require a large upfront deposit, offer an unusually low quote, or are not transparent about their insurance coverage.

Additionally, companies that have a lot of negative reviews or complaints with the Better Business Bureau should be approached with caution.

It’s important to research and compare different companies and to ask plenty of questions to ensure that you are choosing a reputable and trustworthy moving company.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

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