How to Find and Compare Local Moving Companies
Multitasking can be confusing, particularly when you face the coming relocation. You have a job, family, kids, and probably a pet to take care of, so when you give thought to all the challenges that transitioning to a new home might bring along, you get frustrated. The optimal solution is to delegate some tasks to pros — local moving companies.
How to discover local movers experienced enough to streamline the transition to a new place and relieve you from headache? The step-by-step checklist below should come in handy if you compare moving companies; it is experience-based and it can guide through the entire process of choosing a transportation service.
It Is the Time to Make Up Your Mind: What Services Do You Need?
Well, you are now on the lookout for affordable and skillful local movers to rely on and entrust the delivery of your belongings. Now, the question at issue is that almost all movers promote themselves as skillful pros. However, local moving companies differ by the range of services provided, truck fleet, and regions they serve.
Start with the planned move size as it determines the requirements for trucks and the number of crew members. To transport a 4-bedroom house stuffed with bulky furniture, search for a company with a large truck and a fair number of employees to carry out the work. In case of moving out of your family home to a rental apartment, the moving size is very likely to be considerably smaller.
Next, think over if you need storage services. If the answer is yes, search for movers with in-house storage units or facilities. Are you ready to pack on your own or prefer hiring packers?
Once you’ve filtered out offers given the array of must-have services, proceed to the next stage — compare moving companies in the context of fees, customer feedback, and ranking on official listings.
Compare Moving Companies: Low Rates vs Reliability
As much as you want to lower moving expenses, you have to be watchful of scams. Pros do not hide the price lists — it is easy to find average hourly rates posted on websites. Typically, local moving companies bring out a variety of move sizes (a studio, 2- or 3-bedroom apartment, or house) and the average number of movers necessary to perform the work.
If you compare moving companies in respect of prices, pay attention to the scope of services they offer for the announced rates. One company may offer full-service relocation with a specified list of services, while another will provide only basic services and charge an extra fee for any additional service.
Note that pros do not require large deposits. Typically, the amount of deposit varies from $100 to $500 and largely depends on the move size. Most companies use deposits just to book a specific date for you. Having decided to compare moving companies, beware of businesses that demand a deposit of 50% of the moving costs, — this is direct evidence of a scammer.
Ask the movers you set your eye on about optional services they provide. Experienced local movers of good repute can assist with almost anything related to relocation.
- Packing and unpacking (in case you do not hire a full-service company). As for the packing costs, they may vary significantly and depend primarily on your move size and the presence of fragile or bulky items that require damage-free handling. The average cost is from $250 to $1200.
- Disconnection and reconnection of appliances and disassembly and subsequent reassembly of furniture.
- Handling fragile or bulky items. The costs vary from $150 to $400.
- Storage-in-transit. Not all movers have facilities to store your shipment. Some companies partner with third-party storage companies, and others offer free storage for up to a month. Costs: from $30 to $300 per month.
- Cleaning services. Understandably, you might feel too exhausted to perform move-out cleaning, so local moving companies should be able to assist with this task. If they do not have a dedicated cleaning crew, they might have a third-party service they cooperate with. Cleaning fees may vary from $150 to $300.
It stands to reason that full-service movers include packing/unpacking service in the package, as well as packing materials, floor protection, disassembling and reassembling of furniture, and even disposal of packing materials after unpacking the stuff at a new place.
Do thorough research studying websites of local moving companies you’ve previously selected. Read published testimonials and try to find online reviews from clients on movers’ listings. Third-party review platforms prove to be useful for the evaluation of skills, level of services, and overall efficiency.
Make sure that chosen companies are fully licensed and registered in compliance with industry standards. Try to find USDOT numbers for chosen companies (typically you can find it at the bottom of a company’s website or in the section “About us”), open the FMCSA platform, and use the “mover search tool” to reveal a full history of each company’s operations.
Additionally, compare moving companies according to their ranking at Better Business Bureau. Companies with BBB A+ ranking are considered trustworthy.
When a company has no reviews and rankings, avoid it at all costs, particularly, when it offers rates much lower than the market average for the same array of services.
Request Online Quotes
Moving budget is definitely of utmost importance when we compare moving companies. Thus, requesting moving quotes from several movers is essential. Use online calculators on official websites, or require virtual or in-person estimation. Reputable movers usually offer free quotes: you are usually asked to enter your current and new locations, the move size (i.e., a 2-bedroom apartment, studio, or house), inventory of large items, and specify a range of required services.
The moving costs may vary significantly even between local moving companies, let alone businesses that offer nationwide services. Let’s say, shifting from Irvine (CA) to San Diego (CA), you’d better hire a company located in California rather than booking movers headquartered in Ohio or Virginia.
Once you’ve obtained quotes from the selected companies, proceed to analyzing prices and the range of provided services. Relocation is costly, but you shouldn’t draw conclusions based on the price solely. Low-balling is widely used by scams, so suspiciously low moving calculations accompanied with profuse promises might signal that you bump into a moving scam.
Having successfully completed the quest of detecting a suitable moving service, at this point, you should have a winner. Before making a reservation, specify if movers are vacant for your dates.