Choosing Your Moving Company

I think a lot of people view shopping for a professional moving company to be like shopping for a car. There’s a dealership on every corner and they all have the same product. Admittedly, there are a lot of movers and generally, they all provide the same service. Are there truly significant differences between them? Why is there a difference in price from one to the other?

Let me start by revealing a trade secret. If you take a group of reputable, professional movers, and simply compare their local rates apples to apples, there won’t be enough difference between them to make a judgment. This is because most states, Ohio included, are regulated by the state’s Utilities Commission.

Moving companies are required to register and publish their rates. Since this information is public, every mover in town knows every other mover in town’s rates. Nobody strays from the pack for fear of looking too expensive, or feeling like they can get more because everyone else is charging more.

The bottom line is that there is true competition for your business. And just like any other industry, if you’re in need of hiring a mover, you need a selection process. So here’s some advice to make sure you get a good, fair, professional mover and don’t get stuck with a too-good-to-be-true headache.

1. You get what you pay for

There is no magic formula. Moving is labor and equipment intensive. The more men, the more hours, the more miles, the more it should cost. Nobody has figured out how to levitate your furniture with their mind, so if it seems too good to be true, it might be.

2. Get multiple estimates

Getting multiple estimates is a good practice because you get to compare the estimates (if you can understand them) and it gives you a chance to “interview” the company.

3. Ask a lot of questions

A professional mover is going to ask a lot of questions of their own to make sure that they thoroughly understand the scope of what they’re doing and what’s most important to you. They should also be more than happy to answer your many moving questions. In my experience, the higher caliber of service, the more questions they want you to ask. If they seem annoyed or unwilling to answer questions, that might be an indication of how they’ll treat your move.

4. Good communication equals good movers

Like any service-oriented company, a good, professional mover is going to have great communication. Do they tell you how and when they’re going to communicate with you? Do they ask how you prefer to be contacted? Do you know what to expect as far as the next steps? Do you know what you’re responsible for? Many problems can be avoided by simply engaging in good two way communication.

There are differences between movers, but the fact is you won’t find out most of them until after you hire them. I could go on and on about pre-hiring qualifications (drug screening and background checks), training, experience, and damage claims prevention. Those things differ from company to company. Don’t just get quotes, let the moving company earn your business. If you’re making your decision on price alone, you might be in for some surprises or disappointments.

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