Smooth movers: How to find a moving company that won’t let you down

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · Updated January 16, 2024

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Moving is stressful enough without worrying that the company that you hired on whim is reckless and/or unreliable. A good moving company is one that sets your mind at ease and has the experience to foresee any pitfalls before they happen, and gain a good understanding of what they’re moving before the day it happens. It also helps if they arrive on the right day.

If you’re moving house, you’ll recognise how time and money will often become tight, with slim margins for error. If anything doesn’t go like clockwork, the cost is considerable, not to mention the needless additional stress. In which case, it’s well worth getting to grips with what makes a moving company your lifeline at this critical moment, and what criteria should ring alarm bells if met.

Let’s face it: the DIY move may be cheaper but it’s flat out impossible with the amount of stuff you need to shift. Like it or not, you’ll need to rely on an outside party. That makes choosing the right one a crucial decision. It’s one you need to make with confidence, so you’ll have some serenity when the moving date arrives.

Not to worry. With millions of relocations happening within the US every six months, there are plenty of options catering to such a massive market. But so much choice can be daunting: Do you choose an established, franchised outfit with a hefty price tag but an apparent guarantee of perfect transit, with insurance as standard? Or opt for a less expensive local team still building their reputation, eager for your business and hard-working but untested?

It’s a choice millions of movers face. Follow these guidelines when you make your decision, and the moving itself will go swimmingly. Erase some of your movers’ stress by paying close attention to the three hot tips below.

Research and Reviews

The first step before choosing any moving company is to find out as much as you can about them – and if you have time, their competitors. What makes this moving company stand out? Is it the price, the experience, the insurance package or something else? Whichever factor has caught your eye, use a search engine to find out if any other companies offer the same benefits – and if so, for what price? It is tempting when you are in a hurry to say yes to the first quote. But that company may not be as competitive as it claims. Don’t skimp on research; the dividends can be more substantial than you’d think.

Once you’ve ascertained that no other outfit offers the same temptation as the one you’ve picked, it’s time to learn what others say about them. A good sign is if the company’s website makes their testimonials easy to find. A bad sign is if there is no link visible that takes you to them. One reason might be they are a young company with few testimonials to show yet. A more common reason is that many reviews are negative and they don’t wish to display them.

Google has your back. Almost every licenced moving company has a review on Google, and there you’ll find the unvarnished truth. Don’t be too put off by one extremely negative review, though. One early mistake should not cost a business your custom, and chances are they have learned from it. If you find repeated instances of the same complaint, that’s a red flag. A website might be all singing and all dancing, but the company’s reviews can’t be dressed up. So make sure to check before signing any document. Your future self will thank you!

Extra Fees

A simple way to cut down on moving costs is to pack your belongings yourself. This is typical, although if you are pushed for time this is not always possible. Be aware, if you do pack your belongings for transit yourself, that your mover does not include unnecessary packing costs in your quote. Some less reputable companies may try to slip this charge under the radar, so study the estimate you’re given.

If you choose to hire your movers to pack as well as carry, inquire about their experience. They should know which types of packaging are best for which objects and be able to recommend safe packaging for delicate items like picture frames. This will minimise the risk of hiring someone who will throw all items into the same box willy-nilly. This is rare, but to avoid this absolutely it is suggested that you handle the packing yourself.

Request an In-Depth Estimate

A mover keen to maintain or establish their reputation will be keen to take a full inventory of the items you wish to ship. Beware of movers who take only a cursory look at your goods. A mover with a good reputation or who is keen to build one will always pay close attention during the inventory stage. This shows not only care on the mover’s part, but also an understanding of the part insurance plays in the transit. A reliable mover will want to know exactly what they are moving in order to deliver a fair cost estimate, and to ascertain risk. A mover who cares more for money than risk will pay little attention and announce a high price, without understanding which items are precious and delicate and deserving of additional care. 

This stage in the process really sorts the wheat from the chaff. You will be shown the moving company’s true colours, and that makes this the most important factor in your decision. If your mover has questions and makes a thorough inventory, then chances are they are a reliable and reputable mover.

Best Options

For best results, use CitizenShipper to be sure of a fast, reliable and inexpensive delivery of your belongings from one home to another. Simply post the details of your shipment to the CitizenShipper marketplace and let the best-suited movers contact you with quotes. It’s super fast and super easy. Get a free quote today.