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What to Look for When Choosing a Moving Company
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What to Look for When Choosing a Moving Company

Choosing a moving company involves a lot of careful consideration to ensure your needs are met.

Mateos Glen Hayes


6 min read

March 02, 2023

There are many considerations to take into account for any move. In addition to gathering the supplies you need, making a plan, working out the logistics, and doing research on your new hometown, you’ll need to find a good moving company. While you might be tempted to skip that last step in a bid to save money, you should know that hiring a moving company is a great way to simplify the entire moving process. Moving can be complicated and physically demanding for those that don’t understand best practices. For those reasons, it’s great to have some helping hands that relieve you of that responsibility and free you up to get your other affairs in order. 

With professional movers, you have a more streamlined schedule because the move no longer depends on how quickly you can transport your belonging. Instead, everything will be on a more predictable timeline. Plus, some moving companies offer nifty unpacking services, so you won’t have to spend ages unpacking all of your stuff after the move. 

You might be wondering how to select a moving company in the first place. Hiring a moving company starts with knowing the right questions to ask and looking in the right places. At the end of the day, moving means putting your trust in strangers to safely handle your valuables and belongings, so it’s important to thoroughly research your options and make an informed decision. Choosing only the best local moving company will save you money, and time, and give you peace of mind that you can’t put a price on. 

How Do You Trust a Moving Company? 

Moving with children can be a handful, so it helps to have some moving pros to help out with your relocation.

When looking for the best moving company, trust is everything. The surest way to determine if you can trust a moving company is by looking at its track record. A longstanding moving company that’s been around for a while is a good basic barometer for trustworthiness.

This is because a company that’s established will have a paper trail in the form of reviews, registration records, and consumer ratings that you will be able to sift through with online research. Of course, none of this will let you know with absolute certainty that a certain moving company will provide good customer service, but it at least gives you an idea. These steps will help you find a company that you’ll have confidence in, especially if you’re moving with children

What Are The Seven Steps to Choosing a Moving Company? 

Getting referrals from people you know helps to find the best moving companies.

As you’re doing your due diligence with extensive research and planning, there are seven key steps to follow to find the best moving and packing service for your relocation needs. 

Seek Recommendations 

It’s a good idea to get in touch with previous customers of the moving company you are considering and hear from them about the customer experience. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re able to take this step it will be valuable in your search. These types of in-person recommendations or referrals are a surefire way to get a good understanding of the plusses and minuses of any moving company. 

This also gives you the chance to get info on a company from someone you know, like say, your neighbor or a relative. When finding movers that suit your needs you should also take a look at online reviews. While individual reviews can be unreliable, many negative reviews should be a red flag highlighting problematic moving companies.

Avoid Rogue Movers 

In your search for affordable moving companies, you’ll need to be sure and avoid rogue movers. These are the type of moving companies that promise you a lot of services for a very low price. These companies are typically not registered in any government database and may ask for unusual things such as a 20 percent deposit. 

So if you come across a company offering a deal that seems too good to be true—particularly if the deal has unusual terms—that’s a good sign you should probably avoid that company. While moving company fraud is rare, it does happen from time to time. Protect your valuables and your wallet by doing your research. 

Each move is different, so it’s best to find a moving company that can cater to your specific needs.

Obtain Estimates 

Once you find a moving company that fits your requirements, you want to check what their rates are. Most reputable moving companies will not give you a set estimate over the phone, but a generalized breakdown of what you can expect to pay. Be sure to ask about any extra fees that could be included in the service package. 

If the company you call up doesn’t want to give you that information, this is a good sign to move on. Bear in mind that the average cost of a moving company is $1,400 for local moves, with a range of $800 to $2,500. If a moving company gives you a quote that is significantly above or below that range, without explaining the costs involved, this is another red flag.  

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Check Licenses and Insurance 

Proper licensing and insurance are a must for any moving company you are going to hire. If a moving company does not have either of these things, you should never use them. For those staying in California, you should know that intrastate movers must have a Household Mover license along with insurance from the state in which they operate. This gives you legal protection and recourse for property damage. We recommend researching your own state’s regulations to get a better idea of what to look for from a reputable moving company

Interstate movers have to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation, meaning that a properly registered company will be easily searchable on the USDOT database. You can also search for prospective moving companies on the moving company directory, a list of over 600 registered movers from across the country. These companies have been vetted and given a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. 

Reputable moving companies will have all the required registration and licensing per local and/or national regulations.

Research Moving Services 

No two moves are the same. We all have different family situations and different home sizes. You might be moving across town, from NorCal to SoCal, or even across the country. When choosing a mover factor in what your individual needs are. To do this, you need to ask yourself the right questions so you can ensure that you find the best fit for your individual moving needs.

Verify whether the moving company is available during the time window that you need them and whether they can deliver your stuff in a timeframe that is most convenient for you. Check that the moving company can provide the materials you need to facilitate the move including, but not limited to, bubble wrap, high-capacity boxes, and garment boxes. Finally, consider the size of your home and the items you need to move. Any good moving company will need to have the right-sized trucks and any heavy-lifting equipment required to get the job done. 

Compare Estimates

Once you find several moving companies that are strong potential options, it’s time to compare estimates. A trustworthy moving company will have transparent rates, a full range of different services to choose from, and upfront surcharges. While you might be tempted to just go with the most affordable moving company, it’s also important to go over the details of your estimates first. Namely, what kind of services does the moving company include in their quoted estimates? Ultimately, the best moving company will be one that provides the best value for its cost. It’s better to spend a little and get all the services you need.

When it comes down to it, trust your instincts when choosing a moving company.

Trust Your Gut 

Ultimately, this is the most important thing to keep in mind as you go on your moving company search, especially if you’re planning a major move to an up-and-coming place like Sacramento. All of these different tricks can make the selection process easier, but a huge component of choosing a mover is based on what you feel. In other words, do you feel comfortable doing business with a certain moving company? Are they courteous, quick to answer your queries, and generally easy to work with? If the answer to these questions is yes and the company has the services you need at a price you’re willing to pay, chances are you’ve found the right professional moving company for you. 

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