Whether you’ve bought a new house or your lease is up and you’re eyeing a new apartment, it can be a daunting task to move your household. Maybe there’s too much to do and too little time — or some of the furniture is too big to handle, so you’ve decided to hire movers for the task.
Now what? Google and Yelp have page after page of options, and everyone claims to be the best. What should you look for before making a choice?
1. Get multiple bids
Even though we have a chance at losing business, we always recommend getting several estimates before choosing a company. It’s not all about price, it’s about trust. How is customer service? Was the quote clear and easy to understand?
For larger moves, request an on-site estimate. Most companies will provide this service free of charge, and it give a much more accurate estimate of cost and scale.
Companies will vary in hourly rate. Small companies or companies with lower ratings tend to offer cheaper rates, but pay attention to the estimated number of working hours. For example, if a company submits an estimate for two crew members and six hours, that’s 12 total hours. If another company submits a bid for three crew members and four hours, that’s 12 total hours.
In the end, go with the company you’re comfortable with. In nearly every case, you get what you pay for.
2. Make sure the company has up-to-date contact information
Does the company have a license and permit from the state? If not, steer clear. Licensed and permitted companies are regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, and UTC can provide background on whether or not a company is legitimate and in compliance with state regulations.
Always make sure you know where the company is physically located. Fly-by-night movers will store their supplies in a shipping container and park trucks in an empty industrial lot. The website looks legit and the phone number is a local area code, but what happens if there’s damage or missing items? You need to know where the office is. Always choose a company with a physical location and mailing address, not just a Post Office box and a cell number.
3. Don’t book without talking to a live representative
Most moving companies allow customers to request quotes online and even book without ever calling the company and talking to a real person — including Eco Movers. It’s easy and convenient, but it’s always good to talk to a company representative AND get moving day details in writing. If you can’t get someone on the phone from a company you’re considering, that’s a big red flag.
4. Ask questions!
The best companies have good systems in place to handle your move carefully and professionally. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable! Chances are, if the representative doesn’t want to talk about a certain issue, the company probably doesn’t have a system in place.
Here are a few good questions to ask:
How do you charge for travel time?
What if I have more than will fit in the truck?
What if there are changes in my inventory?
How do you screen your movers?
How do you handle claims?