Choosing a Mover: Money Matters

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It is time to move, but you need to find a mover. The internet and local yellow pages provides hundreds of moving companies. It may feel overwhelming when trying to select a mover that fits your budget and will provide a quality job. There are certain guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you will be getting a reputable company for your money’s worth, your property is protected and your stress level down.


Prior to selecting a company, develop a checklist of questions to ask. The questions should cover issues such as fees, licensing and insurance, claims process, mover’s responsibilities and additional charges that are not standard in the moving process such as transportation surcharges. In addition, it is important to ask about the following documents: the bill of lading, order of service and inventory list. These 3 documents are essential documents for both the mover and you. The bill of lading serves as the contract. It will outline the items being moved and the estimated cost. The order of service authorizes the mover to move your property. It must be signed by both parties. The inventory list should outline what is being moved and its condition. These documents are needed should a dispute arise or any damage occur.


To start the selection process, contact friends and family for a referral. Generally, family and friends can provide a good referral based on their experience or others. If family and friends are unable to recommend anyone, check your local yellow pages. Once you have selected three to five, request estimates from each company. The estimates will give you initial cost assessment for your move. Never accept an estimate given orally. A company should be willing to provide a written estimate. To get a better feel of the company, do a reputation check with your local Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau can provide information if there has been a complaint filed against the company. You want to find a company that has a great standing in the community. Based off the estimates and reputation check, you should have 2 reputable companies to select from.


It may be easy for you to just select the one that cost the less. While cost is important, some final determinants can help you select the best-qualified mover for you. You will want to review the procedures for pickup and delivery, contact process, dispute resolution, policy on loss or damaged goods, and any additional fees that may influence the estimate given. A quality company will come and inspect your belongings to provide an accurate estimate. In addition, it's required that they provide a booklet entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” which places mandates on moving companies. After having these questions answered, you should be able to make a confident, cost-effective decision. Remember, a good moving company will provide all the necessary documentation, being open to discuss any concerns you may have, and adhere to what is outlined in the contract.