Category Archives: Movers

How To Distinguish Good Moving Companies From Bad Ones

You go online and search ‘Moving Companies.’  You get back hundreds of results.  How do you determine which ones are good and which ones are not.  You could assume that if they are listed higher in the search results, then they must be good.  But this won’t work because the search results are not always a good indicator of what is good.

You also could try review sites.  There are free and paid sites you can look through to try and get a feel for what a company is really like.  The problem with this is, a lot of people don’t leave reviews.  Also, review sites can be gamed by unscrupulous companies to make it look like they have done an excellent job.

If you have friends and family that have recently made a move, you can ask them who they used.  But how many of us have close friends and family that have just moved.

More than likely, after you do an initial search, you are going to be left with a list of moving companies that you know absolutely nothing about.  So, how do you determine which ones are good and which ones are not.

  • Have a local office
  • Website
  • Timely response
  • Offer quotes
  • Accept multiple forms of payment
  • Offer references

Have a local office

Any good company is going to have a local office that you can visit.  If you contact a company and they say they are located out of state or don’t allow outside visitors, you should not do business with them.

Once you confirm they have a local office, you should visit it.  You will be able to learn a lot about the company when you go to their office.  By looking at the outside and inside of the building, you can see how they treat their own belongings.  If everything is shabby, you can expect they won’t think much of your stuff when they are handling it.  On the other hand, if everything is taken care of well, you can hope they will handle your things with the same care.

Website

Every real company should have a website.  If a moving company doesn’t have a website, you should for another company.  This is not to be judgmental.  But, you have to ask yourself, “Why don’t they have a site?”  If they can’t afford one, then you definitely don’t want to do business with them.

The website can also be an indicator of the quality they offer.  If the site is broken or just not designed well, you can assume that they don’t pay attention to details.  When someone if moving you stuff, you need them to pay attention to details.

A word of warning, the testimonials on a website or that they company presents to you on paper are selected by the company.  This means they are only showing what they want you to see.

Timely response

If they don’t respond to you when it comes to the little things, like returning phone calls, they won’t respond when it comes to delivering your furniture.  You need a company that is punctual.  You need to get them to commit to a schedule and guarantee they will keep it.

Offer quotes

All good companies offer quotes.  You need to know how much it cost before you make a decision.  One of the best ways to do this is to get quotes from multiple companies.  If the company you are thinking about using is higher than the other, ask them why.  They may have valid reasons for being high.  If they reasons a not good, you will have to decide is it worth it to pay more for their services.

On the flip side, you don’t want to choose a company base solely on price.  This could get you in a world of trouble.

Whichever way you decide to go, you want to make sure you know all of the cost before signing a contract.  You need everything spelled out so that there is nothing left unknown to you or them.  You may want to have an attorney look over the moving contract before signing it.

Accept multiple forms of payment

If a company says they only accept cash, you don’t want to do business with them.  All real moving companies have bank accounts and can accept checks.  If they say they don’t accept checks because they can’t verify them, they are lying.  All checks can be validated.  If a company is worried about that, they can use a validation service that guarantees the check or they can wait for the check to clear before they will move.

If you turn your cash over to someone that you have not thoroughly verified, you may never see it again.

Offer references

One of the best ways to determine how good a company works is to ask for references.  You want to get references for three people that were satisfied and three people that were not satisfied.  If they company says they don’t give out references, then they have not done their due diligence to make sure they can provide you with good, independent reviews.

Choosing a moving company is a big deal.  You will spend a good bit of time and money with them.  More importantly, you are going to trust them with moving all of your belonging in and out of you new home.  Choosing the wrong company could end up costing you significantly.  Choosing the right company will make you life, during your move, a whole lot easier.

Take your time.  Do some good research. Ask as many questions as you need to.  Only after you are satisfied with all of the answers give, should you move forward with hiring a moving company.

Cheap Movers

Choosing a moving company is an important decision.  You want to make sure your things are moved safely and timely.  You also don’t want to pay to much for the move.  Should you use cheap movers or is paying for the most expensive movers the right way to go.

I don’t think you can base your decision on price alone.  Choosing a company just because it is cheap can lead you into big trouble.  It is can be like buying the cheapest television in the store.  It may seem like a good deal, but a year after you have bought it and it won’t work anymore, you will know that you should have spent a little more money.

Likewise, just because a company cost a lot of money, it doesn’t mean they are a good company.  There are some really bad companies in many industries, including moving, that are very expensive.  The more services you get, the more you are going to pay.  That logically makes sense.  If you get a full service mover who packs, ships, and unpacks everything, then you are going to pay more.  Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  If the services listed in a quote are different, then you have to calculate that difference.

You also have to look at the speed of a company.  One thing that may make a company cheaper than another is that they are not very fast.  One reason for this could be that they have many customers and cannot service them all.  The less they charge, the more volume they have to do to make a profit.  But they could be very good at handling the volume and actually deliver you things in a better time than a more expensive company.

What I am trying to say here is, don’t let the price, whether high or low, dictate to you if a company is good or not.  Decide on all of the services you want done for you.  Shop around for different companies.  Compare their prices to one another.  Make sure you read reviews.  Because this is such an important purchase, I feel it would be in your best interest to ask the moving companies that you are considering to give you a few of their past customers to interview.  The key to getting all of the information is to ask for satisfied customers and dissatisfied customers.  Allow each party, especially in the case of the dissatisfied customers, to tell their side of the story and then decide which company you want to go with.

In the end, make sure you are getting what you pay for.  Don’t choose a cheap mover just for the sake of going cheap.  Also, don’t pick an expensive mover just because they have a high price tag.

Piano Movers

Moving a piano takes skills.   You should hire professional piano movers for a number of reasons.  Your piano is very heavy and irregularly shaped.  Your piano needs to be protect properly to keep it from the different elements that arise during moving.  A regular moving company doesn’t have the experience to move your piano the correct way.

Your piano is not like any other box, appliance, or piece of furniture you own.  It is heavy and has a unique shape to it.  This means you have to make the correct accommodations for moving it.  You do not want to stuff it in a moving truck and pack box around it.

You also have to be very careful when it is being moved to and from the truck, as well as, when it is in transit.  You have to wrap it correctly so it will not be scratched or broken.  You also have to be mindful of the temperature.  Extreme hot or cold conditions can make your piano warp.  Also, sudden changes in temperature can warp the wood.  The temperature has to be controlled at every point in the move.  If you turn the electricity of in your house or you new house doesn’t have the electricity turned on when the piano arrives,  it could be sitting in bad conditions.  Wrapping the piano correctly will insulate it.  Professional piano movers will know how to wrap your piano correctly.

Piano Movers

 

Regular moving companies are good at moving many things, but they usually are not equipped to move a piano properly.  If you are not careful, you could end up with your piano being damage and not even know it for a while.  If the wood in your piano warps because of improper moving, you may just think it is out of tune and then find out later that it will not tune no matter what you do.  It will be very hard to prove that the moving company caused the damage.

If your piano is old and you really don’t care to much about it, then you should move it yourself or have a regular moving company move it for you.  If you have a piano that is valuable to you and you don’t want to see it damage in a move, you should look for a professional moving company.  Search for moving companies and read reviews.  It is very easy to skip the research step after looking at a few websites and making a few phone calls, but it is in your best interest to spend some time doing the proper research.

Student Movers

Hiring student movers can save you money.  They are generally cheaper than higher professional movers.  But the question is, will you get the quality of professional movers if you use college student movers.

When I was in college I definitely needed extra money.  I also helped my fair share of people move.  I never equated making money with helping people move.  I had a truck and they needed to go somewhere.

The thing was when my friends and I helped someone move, which usually was another friend, we didn’t really know what we were doing.  We would pile everything into the back of the pickup truck anyway it would fit.  This usually resulted in things moving around and ultimately breaking.  We also would lay appliances, like refrigerators, down.  We did not know that the oil in the compressor would move around, and sometimes leak out.  We also didn’t secure everything and would have things fly off the truck.  You would think that after a few times of it happening, we would make sure it didn’t, and with somethings we did.

The truth was, we were not professional movers, we were college students, just like college students in Houston, Denver, or any other part of the country.  Now, if we had been guided by a mentor, someone who new the business and made sure we were doing things the right way, we could have been really good at moving.

I think that college students can do a good job at moving your house, office, or what ever you are moving.  I just believe that they have to have guidance.  I mean if you really think about it, some of our best military equipment is moved and used by college age men and women.  Under the right guidance, with the proper training, they can do extraordinary things.

There are also those few college students who excel at organizing, planning, and understanding the proper way things should be done.  These type of students have the ability to lead other student movers into doing excellent work.

So, my advice is proceed with caution if you are thinking of using student movers.  I believe students, with the right leader, can do very good work.  I would say do the same amount of due diligence you would use in selecting any mover.  Look for reviews from former customers, search the web for information about them, make sure you both have an understanding of the process and who is responsible should things not go according to plan.  The best way to do this is to have a contract in place.  If any mover will not give you that, then you should steer clear of them, even student movers.