You may choose to do all of the packing, but do you really want to do the moving as well? If so, you’ll need to rent a truck, a couple of two-wheeler handcarts and some pads to protect your furniture. Then you’ll need to recruite friends to help and probably feed them. You may want to compare that to the cost of hiring movers.
Avoid scams – As in all professions, in the moving industry there are rogue operators who give you a low price to get the job, then demand a much larger amount before they will unload the truck. Don’t hire a moving company without checking them out.
- Get recommendations from friends and co-workers, or join Angie’s List to read reviews and rankings from past customers.
- Check out the company with the American Moving & Storage Association, which has a certification program called “ProMover.” You should be wary of any moving company that does not have ProMover certification.
- Ask for the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation registration number. You can then search a federally registered mover’s complaint history at protectyourmove.gov.
Questions to ask:
Even when you are using a legitimate, honest moving company you may have a bad experience if you don’t know what services the company is providing at what cost.
- What are the insurance terms for the move? You will typically purchase an insurance option for items damaged or lost in transport. Does the insurance cover the full value of the item?
- Is the quote price an estimate or a “not-to-exceed” ceiling?
- Are there any hidden fees? Moving companies often work from a “tariff,” which lists items for which you could be charged, such as if there are stairs involved.
- How long has the company been in business.
- Information on the moving crew’s status with the company. Are they employed by the company, temporary hires or casual laborers? Do they perform background checks on all?
- A copy of the mover’s bill of lading, liability insurance and valuation coverage policy. All movers must assume liability for the value of the goods they transport. “Released value” is a no-cost option that provides minimal protection, requiring movers to cover any damages at 60 cents per pound, per article. “Full value” is the most comprehensive option, but cost varies.
- A timetable for performing the move, including packing and arrival date.
- Does the company perform the move or work as a household goods broker? A broker can’t represent himself as a mover, doesn’t own trucks and generally has no authority to provide an estimate on behalf of a specific mover.