How do you go about finding the best professional mover? When it comes to hiring a mover, there are many tips that can help you to find the best one.

The best company may not necessarily be the largest one or the most expensive one. The following tips can be used to find one that offers the best service at the best rates.

Get recommendations

The first step will often be to ask for recommendations from family, coworkers, friends and even local estate agents. You want to get an estimate of how much your move will cost and the company needs to give you that estimate with a full knowledge of exactly what your move entails.

It’s not always the best decision to go for the largest company. A company’s reputation is probably the most important factor when making a choice.  

Initial screening

When you have formed a short list of companies, you can go online and find out more about them. Social media sites like Yelp, where you can find customer reviews, can give you information.   

No-one is likely to highly recommend a company that does not offer great service at a good price. Consumer-advocacy sites like ripoffreport.com or movingscam.com have blacklists of companies with a history of complaints from consumers.

Experience and reputation

Find out how long a business has been around and its track record during those years.  Make sure exactly who will be moving you because some companies contract out to other businesses. Make sure that the company you choose has insurance and the required license.

If you go to the website of FMCSA called safersys.org, you can enter the company’s USDOT number and pick up plenty of information,  including insurance details.    

Estimates

Once you have narrowed your list down to three or four companies, you can start inquiries and get estimates. Some types of estimates put a cap on the price of your move. Interstate movers will usually give you a binding estimate for free, although they are allowed to charge for them.

An estimate for an interstate move will be based on the distance of the move and weight of the items. Estimates for moves within a state vary according to the rules of the state – some require written, binding estimates and others don’t allow them.  

Don’t ever underestimate how much you need to move when asking for an estimate and divulge conditions that may complicate the move such as elevators or stairs. Moving companies have ways of estimating costs based on the information you give them.  

Review estimates

An estimate should be signed by the moving company and be dated. If the move is an interstate one, the estimate should describe types and quantities of goods being moved, distance, and dates for collection and delivery. It should also include any additional services like packing.

If you’re unsure about anything in the estimate, make sure to call and clarify. If necessary ask for a revised estimate, rather than just accepting someone’s word. If you have reasonable estimates from all the companies you have selected, don’t hesitate to try and negotiate with them for the best possible rates.

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