Before you buy a car, you read reviews, take test drives and haggle with the car salesman. Before you buy a house, you choose an agent to assist you, look at different styles and sizes, check out the neighborhood and perform an inspection.
Even before you make a restaurant reservation you may view the menu online, check out restaurant reviews and even ask a few friends about their experience.
So when you move, why don’t you spend at least as much time selecting a moving or shipping company as you did in making your car or home choices?
Research & Plan
Before talking with a mover, decide in advance which goods will be shipped and which will be sold or given away. Then consider whether or not you would like the mover to pack and what other type of additional services you may want. Remember that packing is always a separate cost from moving.
Next, call or email the movers or shipping company you are considering for the job and ask for an estimate. An estimator may come to your home or create an estimate by talking to you over the phone. Get involved in the estimating process and try to meet with the relocation consultant to survey your home and prepare a written estimate.
Moves that are less than 50 miles away are priced by the hour. For longer distance moves, estimates are based on weight. Often they are based on dimensional weight, which is the mover’s way of estimating weight based on how much room your items occupy. In the end, the load will be weighed and the final price will be based on actual weight. This is where some movers will underestimate price, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Be wary of dimensional weight estimates!) If your move is small, you may fall under minimum weight limits and be charged for weight you’re not actually shipping.
The final step in the selection process is to ask the mover for references, then call and check them out. A more responsible company will have a web site and include customer reviews on the site for all to see.
Select, Schedule and Insure
Once you select your mover, inform them of any possible complications on either end so your estimate can be more accurate. Make the mover aware of any problems that he may encounter at the delivery such as parking problems, road access, street accessibility, delivery time restrictions or if there are any stairs or elevators involved. The cost of your move can increase for such occurrences. If you are moving to a high-rise building where an elevator reservation is required, make the arrangements. This can cause problems for the delivery schedule if the mover does not know about this in advance.
Schedule as far in advance as you possibly can. This will allow you to have locked in dates for packing, transporting and the arrival of your items, as well as providing you with a solid idea of the costs involved. And be sure to understand the available insurance coverage for loss or damage of your shipment. There are different levels of liability protection offered and this is not the right place to try to save money.
About the Author:
Kevin S. Hagan is the Marketing Manager at Transit Systems, Inc. (TSI). TSI is one of the top nationwide shipping and freight companies that can assist you with all of your moving or shipping needs. Founded in 1989, TSI is fully licensed by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation and as an Approved Vendor for The UPS Store®. TSI also specializes in small moves and furniture shipping.