According to the United States Census Bureau, roughly 40 million people (or 14 percent of the population) move home every year. It’s no surprise then that behind this movement there is a large industry that is not only prolific but also regulated.
Even with so much movement, business, and regulation, there are still many out there who are waiting to scam you. These concerns, along with the level of competition, make navigating the market a somewhat difficult task.
Today, we’re going to go through a few tips to help you in making your decision. If you’re going to entrust someone with your family’s valuable possessions, then you should be equipped with the right knowledge to make an informed decision.
RECOMMENDATIONS CAN SOMETIMES BE GOOD
Everyone has family that’s moved house at least once in their lives. Ask around and see if you can get any recommendations. It doesn’t take a lot of work with today’s social media; just one post and your friends and family can get back to you if they know a guy. You can also check directories on association websites such as the American Moving and Storage Association. A seal of approval like that goes a long way in ensuring your belongings are in safe hands.
Make sure to make an inventory of all the possessions you want to be moved to your new home. Any reputable moving company will take inventory itself, but you should still make one of your own to make sure everything is covered. If the company is truly professional, then they’ll also determine the weight of your belongings at the time of the survey. This is important as a large element to the quote is going to depend on the weight of your overall belongings. Amateur operations will disregard this at first and then raise issues when it’s time to actually move. Arguments like “too heavy for the truck” and “extra weight charges” might come up at this time, so it’s important you discuss this with the company representative at the time of the survey.
DEPOSIT – A BIG ‘NO’!
Any company worth its salt will not ask you for a large cash deposit before the moving begins. Your preferred payment mode should be credit card as this allows you to track the payment and would help you avoid any scam. Cash should be your last option, especially when paying in advance. The second you give them that money you lose control over when your belongings will reach. The promise of payment is what keeps movers on the move, so to speak.
PACKING – IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL
You would think a moving service would have packing costs included in the bill, but it isn’t so. This is a bit problematic because if you pack your belongings yourself, then it becomes easier for the mover to deny responsibility for any damage. On the other hand, if your movers do offer a packing service, chances are it won’t be included in the quotation. You will have to make a decision based on the value for money you are getting. If you’re confident in your ability to pack, then, by all means, give it a shot, but we think it should be left to the professionals. Some items can be tricky to pack in a manner that keeps them from being damaged and requires a certain level of skill and experience.
UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TYPES OF QUOTES
Movers use two different types of quotes in their day to day business. One is a non-binding estimate, which means the company can’t charge more than 10 percent of the original quoted price. The other type of quote is a binding estimate which is a guaranteed price and will include all the extra services, such as packing and unpacking, assembling and disassembling. These details usually aren’t given when you’re presented with the quote.
EXTRA FEES – ALSO A BIG ‘NO’!
Be sure to read all the terms and conditions of the contract, especially clauses that deal with the payment. You should check what is included in the price and what ISN’T included in the price as well. Some companies will charge you simply because you’re moving into a two storey house from a single storey house, and will argue it was because it required more intensive labor. Another reason can be that your new house is in an apartment complex and will require a different vehicle to transfer your belongings from the hauler to the entry bay of the apartment complex and then will charge you’re the extra vehicle, the labor for transporting it from the hauler to the smaller vehicle, and then slap you with a fee for having to transfer it to a top floor. Make sure you go over these points with the moving company before you commit to using their services.
Under the law, moving companies are required to assume the liability of the goods they transport, but the coverage of that liability is where the gray area comes up. There are two kinds of coverage, the first being full replacement insurance coverage which ensures that in the event your belongings are lost or damaged, the mover will have it either repair it to the condition it was when he took responsibility for it or replace it (or pay for the replacement). The second kind of coverage is alternative liability which caps the liability of the mover to 60 cents per pound per article.
READ AND WRITE EVERYTHING
A moving contract is a big deal. It covers a lot of valuable possessions dear to you and your family and involves a significant amount of money being exchanged. This is why it’s important to read everything thoroughly on your moving contract and make sure that everything you have agreed to verbally with your moving company, is also put in writing. Hidden fees are not the only issue sometimes, and you need to be aware of what rights you have under your contract in case something were to go wrong.
We hope the above tips help you in your quest for a new home. Happy traveling and safe moving!