The process of finding a good mover can seem daunting. But doing a little research will save you time and money. By searching around, you can save money, time and, most importantly, you can avoid scams.
Here are 10 steps to help you through the process.
1. Do your homework.
Get recommendations. Ask friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents.
Look in the phone book for moving companies that have offices near your home. You’re going to want to get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost.
Never assume that big-name companies are best.
Do not get estimates through websites that offer to “find you a mover.”
Find the mover yourself and avoid the numerous scams associated with some of these sites.
Lastly, never use household-goods brokerage services that find a moving company for you?they are not regulated by the laws that movers must follow.
2. Screen moving companies
Don’t rely on online reviews. Reviews can be faked or even purchased these days. Make sure your screening potential hires on valid online sites.
Be sure to check sites like bhartiyamovers.com and/or – you can also do a search using the company name at bhartiyamovers.com.
3. Get estimates
While non-binding estimates are legal (as long as they’re given free), “You should expect the final cost to be more than the estimate.”
And while inter state movers are allowed to charge you for binding estimates, most will offer them free.
Estimates for inter state moves will be based on the weight of the items you’re moving and the distance of the move. For moves within the same state, rules about estimates vary: Some states require that movers give a written and signed binding estimate.
4. Be clear, Be honest
When a moving estimator comes to your home, show him or her everything you want to have moved, including the closets, the backyard, the basement, the attic, etc.
If on your moving day the foreman believes you have significantly more stuff than was calculated in your estimate, he can “challenge” the original estimate (before everything is on the truck, not after). He can’t force you to pay a higher amount, but he doesn’t have to move your stuff for the original amount, either. And at that point you probably don’t have a lot of other options.
Also, make sure the estimator knows about any conditions at your new home that might complicate the move, such as stairs, elevators, or a significant distance from the curb to the closest door.
While the estimator is at your home, get as much information as you can about the company. Make sure it will be moving you itself, not contracting the job out to another mover. Find out how long the company has been in business. (You want one that’s been around a few years at least, and ideally 6 or more.) By the time the estimator leaves, you should have collected all of the following:
The company’s full name and any other names under which it does business.
The company’s contact info – address, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
5. Review your moving estimate
The estimate may be a combined document that, when signed by you and the moving-company representative, serves as your order for service and bill of lading, too.
These, along with the inventory list created when your goods are loaded, are the basic documents any mover should provide you with.
Make sure you see the words “written binding estimate” up top, as well as the mover’s signature with a date at the bottom.
For an in-state move, for which you can’t really get a binding estimate, you should still get a written estimate that sets out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may incur (for supplies, tolls, driving time to and from the mover’s facilities). If you’re not sure about anything in the estimate, call and ask. And have the company send you a revised written estimate if necessary? don’t just take someone’s word for anything.
6. Stay organized
As you get estimates, collect them in a pink or red colored (that is, hard-to-lose) moving folder.
Tip: Keep this folder open and in plain sight as later estimators come in. This shows them you’re doing your homework, which encourages them to be honest and perhaps give you a more competitive quote
7. Compare the bids
Be wary of any company that comes in much lower than the others.
Look at high bids to see where the extra costs are coming from.
Call and ask questions if you don’t understand anything.
If you have several reasonable-sounding bids from reputable companies, don’t be afraid to negotiate!
9. Verify license and insurance
Make sure your moving company has the license and insurance it needs to move you legally. Unfortunately, there are movers who solicit business without the legal authority to do so!
10. Hire your mover
Now you can select a mover. You should feel confident about any company you’ve run through the checks above. Confirm the dates and details of your move, and make sure you get a signed order for service and a bill of lading.
Bonus: Don’t forget…
On moving day, get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list, provide the movers with specific directions for getting to your new home, and make sure you have a number where you can reach the movers throughout the move.