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Moving Companies - Choosing the right one

August 31st, 2009 - 1:34 PM

Working for a moving service makes me overly conscious of what questions should be asked when choosing moving companies. It's kind of like how mechanics know what to look for when your car doesn't run and how realtors know what to do to sell your house quickly – when it's what you do, it's what you know.

So, I try to put myself in the shoes of the person who has never moved before - just to consider all the questions that surface when choosing moving companies.

Here's the beginning of my list of questions people ask (and my answers)…feel free to add more!

1. How much do moving companies charge? Remember, some moving companies don't include the price of fuel, taxes, insurance etc. in your quote. So consider the total price before you make a decision. For instance, you'll need to add fuel, tax and insurance to the price of your rental truck quote. Use the Truck Rental Fuel Calculator if you need some help calculating the estimated fuel charge. U-Pack includes fuel, driver and liability coverage in your price (tax doesn't apply). What about the rest of the moving companies on your list?  I'm not sure, but it's a good idea to ask!

2. Am I choosing moving companies that are giving me a good deal? What a sinking feeling to find out after you spend the money that you paid too much. Combat that by getting quotes and comparing the prices and services of reputable moving companies. Remember though, a low price doesn't always equate to a good deal. We constantly hear stories about customers who got a great price from some random company only to find out that they underestimated the shipment weight and it ended up costing them much more than they expected. You also want to consider the value you're getting for the money. Sure, one may be a few dollars less, but does the more expensive offer more value – and is that value worth it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.

3. How do I know these moving companies aren't scamming me? Great question and a legitimate concern. Research, research, research. Check with the BBB and consumer opinion sites like epinions.com and movingscam.com. If you can't find moving companies listed on these sites, or if they've got unsatisfactory ratings, you may want to reconsider – regardless of the price.

4. Do all moving companies do an in-home estimate? Again, it depends. Some moving companies give in-home estimates, many don't. Some in-home estimates are accurate, some aren't. Instead of in-home estimates, U-Pack offers great space estimators to accurately estimate how much space you'll need in the moving trailer or ReloCube.  I highly recommend that you use these tools – I think you'll find them helpful.

5. Do I have to do an inventory of my stuff? As you're going through the process of choosing moving companies, you'll find that some require a detailed inventory and some don't.  ABF U-Pack doesn't since it's considered a "self-move". However, it never hurts to create an inventory list – just for your own records. Full-service moving companies usually require one because your goods are likely to be intermingled with other household moves. Yours is the only household move in a U-Pack trailer so there's no chance of your items being confused with someone else's.

6. How long does it take to move my stuff? Well, it depends on your move and the moving company who is moving you. U-Pack can move customers almost anywhere in the U.S. within 2-5 business days on short moves). With other moving companies you'll see transit times that average 14 business days. Eeks…that's a long time without your stuff!  If you need your stuff fast, or have a specific day you need it, request guaranteed transit. I'm not sure if other moving companies offer this service, but it's a good idea to ask.

So, this is just the beginning. Obviously the list of questions that come up when you're choosing moving companies could go on and on (and they definitely change with each unique move).

Add more and we'll do our best to answer them.