Everyone knows that the best way to save money is to “shop around”, but looking for a discount or bargain when hiring a moving company may not be the best way to go. Professional moving companies are obliged to have certain credentials, especially those working on an “interstate” basis (meaning they transport goods and possessions from one state to another), and it is fairly simple to be sure a moving company is legally qualified to perform the service. For example, a visit to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website will indicate if a company is registered legally.
You can check the interstate ICC MC and DOT number using the licensing and insurance carrier search page
Additionally, the Better Business Bureau makes it simple to determine if a company has received complaints or legal action against it via a quick visit to their website as well. Clearly a bit of research is the first step to discovering the best moving company for the job.
The next step, after identifying all legal and reliable companies, is to request a quote for their services. At this point it is a good idea only to consider those companies that send a representative or agent to the physical location for an examination of the property (often referred to as visual estimate or on site estimate or inspection) and the household goods. Such a review is the only way to draft an adequate and realistic estimate on the job.
At this point in the discussion it is important to distinguish between the two types of moving companies at work, and the kinds of estimates they may provide. First, there are intrastate and interstate movers. Intrastate will travel one hundred miles or less, and usually within a state’s boundaries. These companies work by the hour, rather than by the entire job, and their estimates must reflect their status. Interstate movers will work in whatever states they have legal status, most work nationally, and they may be a larger chain operation or they may be a small independent company. Interstate movers will create an estimate based on estimated weight and fuel costs, as well as any labor fees which can include packing, hauling and special services.
Estimates can come in three varieties: binding, non-binding and “not to exceed”. A binding estimate provides a fixed expense for the job that will not vary widely from the written estimate. Non-binding is strictly based on a moving company’s method of estimating the cost of the entire job, and in the end the total expense is not permitted to exceed the estimated expense by more than ten percent. The “not to exceed” bids have a cap placed upon them, and will not legally be allowed to exceed that amount, regardless of any issues or delays that make the total job more costly for the moving company.
In order to enjoy the best opportunities for selecting a reliable moving company, you should seek out a quote or estimate from no less than three service providers. It is not always the cheapest bid that is the best, and it is a good idea to thoroughly scrutinize the services covered in the estimate.
Choosing a moving service, after “weeding out” any questionable or dubious candidates, will involve some time and “leg work”, but in the end will provide for a fairly comfortable and stress free moving day.