- Decide in advance which goods will be shipped and which will be sold or given away. Then consider whether or not you would like the mover to pack and what other type of additional services you may want.
- Call or email the movers you may consider and ask for an estimate. Get involved in the estimating process and try to meet with a relocation consultant to survey your home and prepare a written estimate. Ask each prospective mover for how long his or her estimate is valid.
- Be certain that the mover has marked all items that are “going” and “not going” on the survey sheet. The mover will prepare an estimate that will include transportation charges and the charges of additional services that you requested. Keep in mind that if you will decide to take more items or take fewer items the cost of your move will change. Please inform the mover if there are any changes with your shipment. Communication is the key factor for a successful move.
- If you decide to do your own packing or partial packing, remember that the moving company is not liable for damage to boxes packed by customer. However, if there is an obvious exterior damage at the delivery make a note of that on the inventory sheet of your shipment. The driver has the right to refuse to accept any carton that may be improperly packed. If the driver has to re-pack cartons that the customer has packed, additional charges will apply.
- Please provide as much information as possible about unusual situations on either end so your estimates will be more accurate. Make the mover be aware of any problems they may encounter at the delivery such as parking problems, road access, street accessibility, delivery time restriction or if there are any stairs or elevators involved. The cost of your move can increase for such occurrences. Try to reserve a “parking space” for the moving van if your new home is on a congested street. If the moving crew has to carry your load more than 75 feet from the moving van to your door you may be charged for excessive distance.
- Some neighborhoods may prohibit trucks over a certain weight. The driver will than offload your possessions into a smaller vehicle and the charge for that can be quite expensive. Please advise a relocation consultant if you will anticipate this situation. In addition to that, advise the consultant if you are moving to a high-rise building where an elevator reservation is required. This can cause problems for the delivery schedule if the mover does not know about this in advance and additional charges will apply.
- Ask the prospective mover what type of estimates they offer. There are two estimate options available, Binding estimate and Estimated Cost of Services. Take the necessary time to understand your options. This could have a significant impact on the final cost of your move.
- Compare all estimates for both weight and services provided by the prospective movers. To check the reliability of the moving company you may use, contact the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to inquire about the company’s complaint record. Ask your friends, neighbors and family for advice on movers. Ask all movers for references.
- Be sure to understand the coverage for loss or damage of your shipment. All licensed movers must provide liability for the value of goods, which they transport. However, there are different levels of liability. You must be aware of the amount of protection provided and the additional charges that may apply.
Picking a mover is one of the most important decisions you will make. Always check to make sure the mover is a legitimately licensed, bonded and insured company. This will give you the comfort that the mover is regulated by the state or the fed and that you will have recourse if something goes wrong that the mover cannot or will not resolve to your satisfaction. Please review this section to help you decide on the mover to trust with your household furniture.