How to research and compare moving companies
Finding a quality moving company for your relocation can be a very challenging process, one that requires hours and hours of research. While most guides showcase the importance of research, a few of them actually explain what you need to do and why is it so important. At Consumer Opinion Guide, we believe in providing our readers with all the necessary information they need to make the best choices. With that in mind, we have prepared several ways to research and compare moving companies, so you can hire the best long distance movers to help you relocate to your new home or office.
Seven great ways to research and compare moving companies
The way that you find the best long distance movers for your situation is through research, naturally. However, many people are not certain what areas should they focus on. To make the most out of your moving company, you will want to research and compare their:
Furthermore, you may want to check if a company is specialized in the relocation type that you need. For example, if you are relocating an office, you will want to compare among specialized commercial movers. Most moving companies offer a variety of moving services but those that are specialized in a particular type will make it clear to their clients. This can influence your decision quite heavily, as expertise in a relocation type usually means lower costs or higher service quality.
Speaking of service quality, the first thing you will want to do is research and compare the services that individual moving companies offer.
Researching and comparing services
At a first glance, you may think that most moving companies offer the exact same services. In reality, each company is unique and they offer a different approach to moving. Some movers are specialized in moving electronics or pianos, others in gun safes and art collections. Depending on your relocation needs, you will want to go with a company that has all the necessary services to create a smooth moving process.
The very best companies will offer customized solutions, as well as a complete evaluation of the costs prior to the relocation. This usually means that you will have to schedule an in-home inspection, however. The more services the company offers, the better. After getting the detailed list of expenses, you can simply choose the services you want and discard the others. That will provide you with a tailored moving experience.
Comparing rates is a great way to research and compare moving companies
Relocation is expensive, there’s no doubt about that. Managing a household or an office is a constant budgeting struggle. Therefore, moving rates are one of the most important factors when choosing your movers. Now, you don’t want the cheapest option as that can lead to a moving scam or a sub-par moving experience. What you want is to get the most value for the services that you pay for.
Numerous moving companies try to attract customers by offering impossibly low rates. These rates usually come with a rather confusing contract (or, in some cases, no contract at all), and always include hidden fees and charges that are introduced as the relocation progresses. What was once an amazing deal can soon become a huge money sink. And that is if you are lucky and do not encounter a fraudulent moving company.
What you want to do is choose a reputable mover that provides exact, binding, estimates to their clients. Understand that the prices do vary by company but they are quite uniform. If a deal looks too good to be true, it is an immediate red flag.
Another way that you can compare a moving company is by looking at their coverage options. Reputable movers will offer you several choices, from standard coverage to full coverage. No matter how good a company might be, there is always a chance for accidents. And that means that you need to purchase sufficient coverage and your company needs to give you that option.
You can find out about the mover’s coverage options by getting in touch with their representatives. They will gladly explain all of the options, as well as provide you with information about their licenses and other credentials (more on this later). If a moving company says that they don’t offer any insurance policies, you want to stay clear of them.
Research and compare reviews
Customer reviews are always a great way to research and compare just about anything. You can find most of them online but do not hesitate to ask your friends, family members, and acquaintances if they had any first-hand experience with certain moving companies.
While doing your research, you need to pay attention to the following things:
- Lack of a company’s website
- A small, overwhelmingly positive, or negative review base
- How the reviews are worded
Every good moving company needs to have a website these days. Gone are the days when any company can ignore the power of the internet. By ignoring a large portion of their clients, a company that does not have a website is, at the very least, showing that they are not taking their business seriously. Therefore, if you find that a particular mover does not have a website, you may want to skip them. There are notable exceptions to this, of course, but chances are you are not going to encounter them. Or, if you do, you will be quite familiar with them already.
Another thing to look out for is when a company has a small review base on all review sites. While it is entirely possible for a smaller company not to have a large number of reviews, it is not a good indication. Also, take note if almost every review is positive. The fact of the matter is that moving companies get quite a few negative reviews, as accidents occur and there is simply no pleasing everyone. Lack of negative reviews indicates that something is “fishy”, or suspicious.
While you are looking at the reviews, pay some attention to the wording that these reviews use. Most people will not shower movers with praise, nor will they write an extensive review. It is fine if there are a couple of these here and there. But if every review makes the company look like they came straight down from heaven and started moving people’s belongings, something’s not right.
Research and compare moving companies by asking for referrals
Similar to reviews, referrals are an extremely useful way to research and compare moving companies. That is why your first course of action is to get in touch with as many people as you can, inform them that you will be moving, and ask for referrals. You can then cross-reference that information with customer reviews, services, and other research you do. Even in this day and age, personal referrals are still incredibly important when doing any sort of research. They are simply much more trustworthy than any online information you might find. Of course, this is only true if they come from a reliable source.
Place most trust in the referrals you get from family members, close friends, or any people that you know are trustworthy. Never refuse to listen to a referral, though, but put less stock in it if it comes from a source you are uncertain about.
Check out the company’s credentials
Every moving company needs to be licensed by the US Department of Transportation. This is, incidentally, the first thing that you need to check. You will also want to see if your movers have any affiliations with other prominent moving authorities, such as AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association). Lastly, check if they are accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Any respectable mover will be present in all of the above registries and have good standing with each organization.
There’s no substitute for experience
But when it comes right down to it, moving experience simply cannot be ignored. Moving companies that have operated for 100 years will have much greater relocation knowledge than those who opened their doors yesterday. Now, this does not mean that whoever has more years in the business is better. What it does mean is that you should be looking to work with experienced moving companies. Every company that has at least five years of experience can be a good choice. You can, of course, choose to go with a “younger” mover but you are taking a bit of risk by doing so.
When you set out to research and compare moving companies, years of experience need to be one of the most important factors. It shows that the company is doing something right, as they are still in business. The moving industry is highly competitive, after all, and movers that are not providing quality or affordable services simply do not “live long”. In other words, you want to work with movers that have proven their proverbial mettle time and time again.