Contact Your Shortlist of Moving Companies
When you’ve drawn up a shortlist of potential moving companies you need to start the negotiation process. You’ll find a wide variety of costs and services out there and various types of pricing. Some companies will charge you on an hourly rate, some by estimated volume based on the rooms of your current property, some by estimating what types of furniture and goods you need to move and others by the estimated weight of your load.
When it comes to costs, you should be looking to get at least 2-3 quotes before you make a decision. Don’t just look at price but look at what they’ll offer you for the cost. It may be more cost-effective to pay a little more to get more services. Don’t be afraid to ask them about how long they’ve been in business, their experience, or for customer referrals.
Talk to them about how long it will take to move you. DO ask them about their insurance coverage, claims protection, and how far it extends (and doesn’t!). You should NEVER choose a moving company that doesn’t have adequate insurance. If possible, get a quote in writing and make sure that you completely understand how the quotation works. This is one of the times in your life when it really does pay to read the small print. For example, some moving companies won’t cover you for damage if you pack goods yourself unless they play an obvious role in damaging them. You must make sure that they not only explain your quote to you but that you get a full copy that includes any relevant terms and conditions, bills of lading etc.
It’s also good to ask how many people will be assigned to your move – the more there are, the quicker it’ll go. Most people generally find that 3 is an ideal number – this gives you 2 people to do most of the loading/unloading and 1 to sort out the vehicle. It also means that somebody is with your possessions most of the time for added security.
You need to be particularly careful if your moving estimate is based on weight. This type of quotation has specific problems, as it is hard to estimate the weight of goods before you actually weigh them. In these cases, an estimator will generally work out the weight for you before you are given a price. But, your goods will be weighed once they are packed up and, if the weight is higher than the estimate, you might be liable for extra costs. In these cases always check first about how the moving company’s system works and establish how binding their quotation is or isn’t. If you run into problems here, you really will be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Refuse to pay excess charges and the mover will simply hang on to your possessions until you resolve the dispute. It’s vital to spend time here assessing the company. For example, you have the right to be present when your goods are weighed to check the accuracy of the process and you can ask for a reweigh if you aren’t sure – make sure that the company agrees to this upfront.
Seal the Deal
Once you have talked to your shortlist of moving companies and have read through their quotes, you’ll be ready to make your choice. Whether you choose on cost or prefer to go with the company with which you feel most comfortable, you’ve made a more informed decision on this most important aspect of your move.
Once you’ve made a decision you may be asked to sign some kind of confirmation that outlines your agreement. This is always a good idea, as all parties then know where they stand. At this point, all you need to do is to get packing!