Before we move on and discuss the most crucial elements you must consider before hiring local movers, let’s quickly have an overview of this sector.
The United States has one of the world’s largest markets for packing and moving services. Industry estimates peg the total size of this market at more than $18 billion in 2022; the figure is likely to increase.
Furthermore, this market has grown by almost 2% YoY.
These figures indicate that millions of Americans use moving services each year, and the vast majority do not face any hassles.
If you are looking to hire one of the best local movers in your city to help you shift to a different locality, you’d appreciate the no-hassle experience too, wouldn’t you?
Here are some essential tips to consider to avoid stress and have a superior experience.
Note that these pointers are arranged in no particular order. Each of them is crucial.
You must know the antecedents of the local moving company you’re hiring before the work starts in earnest. To that end, visit their website, scroll through their offerings, their achievements in the past, and what their strengths are.
Research in this instance is complicated by the fact that most moving services have almost identical services and value-added offerings. You must also consider the next few points as they help you decide on which service provider you will go for.
Online reviews are a great way to understand how good the company’s services actually are. Crowd-sourced reviews from Google, Yelp, Facebook and other forums often tear down the veneer of the glossy websites of even the best movers in your area and expose shortcomings.
Choose from moving service providers which have at least 4 stars (out of the maximum possible 5) and scores of positive reviews. Even negative reviews can be equally illuminating.
This is a legal issue you must not ignore. All professional moving companies will have a DOT (Department of Transportation) number on their websites. Use the number to get a load of information including whether they are federally registered, their insurance compliance and complaints filed previously, and some additional facts.
All this information is provided by the FMCSA. There is just one drawback: local-only moving companies might not have a DOT number.
Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Our social grapevines are often underestimated. Ask your friends or colleagues who might just have shifted to a newer place how their experience was, how their chosen movers worked and whether they had a recommendation.
Personal experiences are often worth a lot more than online polls and reviews.
Also, many people you meet every day might actually have a better idea of moving to a different location, and you would not even know that if you did not ask!
For example, let’s assume you are moving from Jacksonville to Tampa. You’ve even zeroed in on a certain mover which you know is pretty good. Then, a colleague lists out all their demerits and negative aspects, forcing you to look for other movers in Tampa!
This is not an uncommon scenario. You must be receptive to new ideas.
Almost all of the best local movers employ estimators who visit your current residence and take notes of the materials which require relocation. The estimator is usually very adept at deciding how much space certain pieces of furniture will take and how much impact it will have on the bill payable once the move is complete.
Walk-throughs might be in person or virtual. A thorough professional will ask questions, give suggestions on which items you can abandon, and will generally try to solve your queries with patience.
Conversely, an estimation that is done haphazardly, without interaction and in an obvious bid to save time is a sure sign of an unreliable moving service provider.
Does the company offer special protection to pack and move stuff like pianos, antique aquariums, artwork, hot tubs, collectibles like invaluable Matryoshka dolls, and glass music boxes?
These items are irreplaceable; press for details on how some of the top moving companies in the area you might have shortlisted will deal with them.
Select the company that offers the most detailed and descriptive replies.
Only shady movers will ask for a large initial deposit. It is not incumbent upon you to pay a penny upfront; payments will be settled once the goods have been moved from Point A to B.
Even if you are hiring trusted and reliable local movers, always pay with a credit card. It is one way to avoid fraud.
All moving services- whether local or Interstate- are legally liable to provide insurance for the goods they are hauling. This liability is insurance and it comes in two forms: “Full Value Protection” and “Alternative/ No-Cost Protection.”
The first option is what you must always seek out and insist that the company provides all the mandatory safeguards which come with it. The second option is essentially worthless- to use a mild term.
Before you sign any binding documents, ensure that the first type of insurance cover is provided. Most of the United States’ best movers in your area have full value protection in place.
There are several unscrupulous movers who will ask for extra charges (over and above the agreed final amount) at almost every step. It is true that some additional amounts will be charged under certain circumstances, but not all amenities or utilities are chargeable.
Moving heavy goods to a high-rise building via stairs and elevators will attract a surcharge. As will transferring packaged items from a bigger to a smaller truck if the entry is too narrow. There are several more situations where extra charges are payable.
Have a sit-down with your chosen local movers and iron these issues out before you sign on the dotted line.
Of course, most of us automatically gravitate towards the company which dangles the lowest rates for the entire, end-to-end service. That said, it is always sound practice to discuss with friends, family & acquaintances what they think about your chosen service provider.
There are certain considerations you might have missed out on. After all, you will certainly be occupied with the work at hand.
Remember that the best local movers keep communication channels open and update you at every point. Trust your instincts too; it helps!