Frequently Asked Questions
Moving is one of those chaotic events in life that can turn our world upside down. Thus, to make it through you have to stay focused and have a plan. The key is organization. When the time comes to move, there will be several questions you will need to ask yourself. The first being, do you want to hire a moving company or make a move by yourself. The following most common questions may help you navigate that decision.
The best time to move is the summer for various reasons; however, it is also the busiest time for movers. Most people choose to relocate in the summer because of the favorable weather conditions. According to AMSA, some 32 million Americans relocate in the summer alone. Thus, moving companies get extremely busy, and if you don’t schedule your move in advance, you may find yourself relocating on your own. Therefore, consider moving in the off peak season. Off peak is usually in the winter and late fall months. If you have to relocate in the summer, try to schedule your move for the middle of the month when it’s not that busy.
This is one of the most frequently asked moving questions. Often you don’t know when exactly you will move and thus you can’t schedule your move in advance. It is best though if you can start contacting movers at least a month in advance. The earlier the better because then you will have the time to research several moving companies, get on their calendar and ensure your move for your desired day.
An estimate is an educated guess of the approximate cost of your moving. This educated guess is based on your inventory, the movers’ tariff and their experience performing the same type of moves – local or long distance. It is best that you get at least three moving cost estimates because that way you can compare moving companies and services rates. The more estimates you get the better idea you will have of how much your move may cost you.
You can easily check if your movers are licensed and insured. This information should be available on the movers’ website, advertising materials and trucks. Whenever you call a mover, you can ask them for their DOT and/or P.U.C. license numbers and then verify them with the Department of Transportation and the local authority. If they are licensed, by law they have to offer limited liability protection. Some movers offer additional coverage as well or can refer to agents they work with if you need full coverage for your belongings. If you are moving interstate, ask the movers if they can do an in-home visual estimate.
Every move is strictly individual and the time to complete it varies a lot. The time to complete a moving job depends on the size of your home, the magnitude of your household, special requests, how much you want to be involved, distance traveled, etc. The factors can be endless. If you are moving a one bedroom, it may take up to 4-6 hours to pack, load and move locally. If you are moving long distance, depending on the size of your home, packing and loading will vary and it may take up to two weeks to deliver your stuff. So, the time required to move your home will depend greatly on the type of move and the size of your home. There are some factors like the distance from your front door to the moving truck that can additionally increase the moving time for local moves.
This question again depends on the size of your move and the moving services you require. The best way to see how much your moving will cost is to get a free estimate. All movers offer free online or over the phone estimates. For local moves you can even get an in-house estimate, which will give you the most accurate assessment. Thus, begin by contacting movers and be sure to tell them about every little piece intended for moving.
Hiring a moving company is a privileged service and therefore costly. Thinking that hiring a moving company should be cheap because it’s physical labor would be a mistake. Though physical, it is a skilled trade and should be treated as such when shopping around. The service you end up hiring will give you all the details on how you can pay and if they require a deposit. Most reliable moving companies accept credit cards or offer an ACH bank transfer service; some will even accept PayPal or similar services. Usually, there is an initial deposit when you book your move and then the balance upon delivery of your goods. It is common practice that before movers start unloading, you have to pay the remainder of your balance. It is common for companies to require upwards of a 50% deposit to schedule your move and begin the supply purchase
Absolutely! I always find the confusion on this topic perplexing. Moving can be a difficult, back breaking job for those committed to doing a good job. Though most companies pay their employees well for their skills, many moving professionals still work from tips to supplement their income. Just as a waiter or bartender depends on tips for their livelihood, so does a mover. After a long day of sweating to make your life easier, a tip is a welcome reprieve and one that will be received graciously by your moving professional. The standard percentage to work from when deciding how much to tip, would be 15% – 20% of the final bill, just as in the case of a restaurant bill.
Hiring a moving company is a privileged service and therefore costly. Thinking that hiring a moving company should be cheap because it’s physical labor would be a mistake. Though physical, it is a skilled trade and should be treated as such when shopping around.
You should ask questions about everything you do not understand.
The moving company should provide all information you need. First, the movers should answer all your moving related questions, and concerns, some will even go even beyond and offer suggestions and moving tips. Upon booking, they must provide you with your final estimate and confirmation of your moving date and time. On moving day, they must also provide you with your ‘Moving Rights and Responsibilities Handbook’, offered on this website as a convenient download, a copy of the estimate, a copy of the signed confirmation, your Bill of Lading and an inventory list, if moving long distance.
Many moving companies today require that you pay a deposit to book your move and purchase supplies. A deposit is a rather typical policy for most moving companies. A deposit can range from a few hundred dollars to 50% of your move upfront, depending on the size, complexity and the supply needs of your move. You can be sure that there is nothing wrong with movers asking for a deposit.
There is always a minimum amount of hours to hire a moving service. The minimum number of hours is usually between 2 to 4 hours depending on the moving company. Thus, even if your move takes less than two hours you are still required to pay the minimum of two hours. If it is above the minimum and your move takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, you have met your requirement, and you pay the full time. For long distance moves, the minimum rule does not apply. The client pays for the hours the movers work, fuel costs, tolls, and any other additional services required to complete your move.
Some moving companies may provide additional discounts if asked. Just ask about their discounts and promotions and see if you can take advantage of those. This is one of the questions to ask when hiring movers that can save you some extra money.
Having more Questions?
Let us know if you have any other frequently asked questions when moving you didn’t find here. Do you know any questions to ask movers that we’ve missed. Please let us know in the comments below.
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