Getting ready for a huge interstate move can be a big undertaking, and there are a lot of details that you’re going to need to work out ahead of time. How will you get everything accomplished? How much of a budget are you going to want to put aside? How long will it take? And, most importantly, are you going to have to hire interstate moving companies to help you take care of all of it?
If you’re thinking about hiring movers to deal with the complex parts of your move, then you want to be sure that you know who you’re hiring. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips and ideas that you can utilize in order to find the best interstate movers.
Get Referrals from Friends and Family
Your first step should always be to check in with your family and friends that may be able to help you sort out what it is that you’re looking for. Chances are, at least a few of them are going to have some opinions about where you should go and how you may want to proceed with things. On top of that, they are likely to have some ideas as to where you should avoid entirely so that you don’t waste your time with those companies.
Look Around Online
The web is filled with all sorts of information about different companies, and finding websites with mover information can go a very long way. Since movers are considered to be in the service industry, you will always be able to find different opinions about which companies are good and which ones that you may want to avoid.
Read reviews, but take reviews with a grain of salt. Typically, only the people that feel most passionately about how companies are doing are going to actually take some time to write any sort of a review.
Assume that there are many more people who fall in the middle of the road than you see on the website, and be sure that you keep your eyes peeled for people that may be “talking it up” too much. Finding that balance will help you get a better opinion and ensure that you know what you’re getting into.
Always Get Multiple Quotes
Now that you’ve figured out who you should consider and who you may want to avoid entirely, it’s time to start looking at the different types of moving options that you have so that you can determine whether or not you can actually make a decision about everything. You want to talk to multiple companies and make sure that you get the most information that you can about how much you can expect to spend on things.
You want to get multiple quotes from different companies so that you have points to compare. For example, how much do they want you to spend on additional services? How are they going to calculate the whole thing in the first place? And what sorts of things may end up changing the quote during the process? Compare the prices, their services, and what people have to say about them before you go and make any decision.
After comparing what these companies have to offer and how much you can expect to pay for certain items, you will have a much easier time sorting out what it is that you need to be able to do and how you’re going to accomplish your goals. You may even want to get another set of eyes on them.
Be sure that you get full quotes or estimates from the company. They should be written down, and they should have a lot of detail involved with them. If you have tried to get additional services, like packing or moving heavy items, they should also be included in your estimate. You want to have the most complete estimate possible so that you can go ahead and ensure that you have enough money set aside for the entire process.
There are two types of estimates/quotes: binding and non-binding. Binding quotes are not completely set in stone, but laws require that their final cost should be within a certain dollar amount (depending on the services you need and a variety of other factors). Non-binding quotes are exactly what they sound like – your movers don’t necessarily have to adhere to them exactly. Most companies will offer both types of options.
Steer Clear Of Companies That Want a Full Cash Deposit
No company should ever ask you for a full cash deposit. You should also never pay before the job is completed. This is to protect both you and the company in question. It protects you because you don’t need to worry about them running off with your money and never paying you back. It protects them because it doesn’t allow you to claim that they took your items.
That being said, a partial deposit or security deposit is acceptable in these instances. The deposit should never be more than 5 or 10% of your estimate, at the most, unless another type of arrangement is made for you. Your contract should be clear about what the deposit is, what it’s being used for, and if/how you get it back. If the details don’t make sense or the deposit is too high, then you’re better off going with another company.
Keep an Eye Out for Red Flags
Aside from the full cash deposit concern that we just mentioned, there are a few other red flags that you want to keep in mind when you’re trying to determine whether or not a particular moving company is going to be right for your purposes. Here are some of the other red flags include:
- Improper communication: Are they professional in their conduct? Do they answer your questions clearly and are they kind about any questions that you may have? If they are communicating with you poorly or they are rude, then they’re likely not a company that you want to work with.
- Blank or incomplete documentation: If the company tries to get you to sign blank or incomplete documents regarding your move, then you may want to go ahead and steer clear of them. In those cases, they are likely trying to pull the wool over your eyes or trying to make it so that you’re unable to get out of a lousy contract.
- No bill of lading: The bill of lading is a legal requirement for moving companies. They are to provide you with the bill of lading as an official contract before your move even gets started. If you don’t get one from the movers the moment that they arrive to get your items, do not allow them to start loading up.
- They don’t provide a written estimate: As previously mentioned, estimates are essential, and a written estimate can be binding or non-binding. If the moving company refuses to provide you with an estimate (or they only offer non-binding options), then that’s a red flag. It’s likely that they are trying to make you pay a lot more than the estimate when all is said and done.
- They can’t provide references to you: Do they come with any sort of reference? Do they have testimonials on their website or are they able to provide you with information related to other moves? If not, turn back now!
- No contact info to be used during the move: Are you going to be able to call or talk to the movers who have your items? Do they provide a phone number you can call or text? If not, then you want to avoid using them.
Also, if you just feel like they aren’t going to be able to execute your job properly, or you feel uncomfortable, then don’t use them. There are plenty of companies out there to choose from, so you don’t need to settle for the first one that may give you a decent price. Find the one that is going to give you the best customer service and help you to get your interstate move completed quickly and easily.
Licensing, Insurance, Bonds, and BBB Certification
Legitimacy is a big part of what you want to know about with these companies. You want to be sure that you know that they are going to take care of you and that they are actually a company that cares about its customers. First, you want to ask them about the licensing that they have. What sorts of moving licenses do they actually have and do all of their movers have them?
Insurance and bonds are another big part of what you want to look for. Insurance and bonds both work to protect you, the consumer. These help to protect your property and your transaction in ways that other options cannot. You may also want to look into any options that they may have regarding additional insurance, so if items get lost or damaged, you are able to get their full value back easily.
Lastly, are they certified by the Better Business Bureau and/or any national/international moving and storage entities? Can you find them on places like the BBB website and what does their rating look like? These sorts of certifications indicate that they are not only good at their jobs, but that they are also good at doing business in a way that is fair and trustworthy. These groups will not just certify any moving company – they all have strict requirements, so if the company is certified by them, you know that you’re getting help from the right place.
As you look at your options, you want to be certain that you find exactly what you need and ensure that you’re doing what is best for your situation and needs. When all is said and done, you’ll have a much better way forward and you can ensure that your move goes well. Finding an interstate moving company that you can trust is essential for the moving process, so we hope these tips help you to stay ahead of all that you need to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire a moving company?
Hiring a moving company is a good way to make sure that you’re doing what is necessary to stay ahead of things. On top of that, they are going to have the experience to take care of everything in a way that is helpful and that isn’t going to cause you additional stress in the meantime. While it may make your moving costs a little bit higher, it’ll reduce the time and stress that you may need to put into the process.
Do you tip interstate movers? If so, how much?
It all depends! In some instances, the tip is going to be included in the estimated costs of the move in the first place. And, if that is the case, the moving company will let you know about it. In most instances, however, you’re going to want to give them some sort of a tip for the time and energy that they’ve put into making your move happen smoothly.
If you decide to tip a mover, you at least want to tip $5 per mover, per day. If they do an excellent job, then you may want to look at something closer to $25 per mover, per day, especially if there are a lot of items that they are moving. If you can afford a tip for their efforts, it will be appreciated.
How soon should I hire interstate movers?
As soon as you know that you are going to engage in some sort of interstate move, then you want to be sure that you start sorting out who you want to do your move and what you need to accomplish. The sooner that you are able to connect with your moving company and set updates, the easier it will be for you to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.