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Posted in Moving Tips&Tricks on December 27, 2021
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

How to Choose a Moving Company for Long-Distance Move

Long-distance moving is a huge project, and without the right planning, it can become a nightmare really fast. A big part of said good planning is knowing how to choose a moving company that suits your needs. There are around 7,000 relocation companies in the US, and knowing which one is the best for your cross-country moving can prevent you from losing your mind (and money and belongings) in the process. This article can be a great reminder for you to return to from time to time while negotiating with a long-distance moving company.

Long-distance movers
Finding reputable movers is crucial for an efficient move

When making a checklist for relocating to another state, one of the first items on it should be how to find a moving company because relocating far distances is hardly imaginable without professional help. Still, finding the right help in the sea of choices can be challenging, but if you implement certain criteria when searching, you will most likely find a reputable and trustworthy provider.

Decide What Kind of Long-Distance Moving Services You Need

Before you start packing your dishes, furniture, family memorabilia, pots and pans, and others, you must first figure out what kind of service you require. For example, if you are relocating to a new state alone, it will not be the same as if you were relocating with family. Or, if you have a four-bedroom house, it will not be the same as relocating a one-bedroom apartment. Still, these are not the main factors determining what kind of long-distance moving services you require. In the end, what will matter the most is how comfortable and efficient you want relocation to a new city to be. Do you require storage or car shipping? Or do you just want basic services?

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Start Your Research Early and Only Choose Among Licensed Companies

If you have a relocation day in mind, one of the best tips would be to book a cross-country moving company at least three months before that day, so naturally, you will have to start searching before that. Start with friends and family and see if someone moved recently and can recommend good cross-country movers. Or, if they don’t have any recommendations, you can just search online for “long-distance movers near me” and see the results you will get. When searching online, you have to look up a couple of things to check if a company is legit.

First, see if they have a USDOT number. That is a number issued by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and every legitimate long-distance mover must have one. So if you are wondering how to select a moving company, this should be your first step. You have to look if the firm has all the information nicely placed on their website – address, phone number, and email. If the firm doesn’t meet these requirements, you should avoid those movers because they are probably scammers.

 Girl searching for cross-country movers online
Start your search for reliable assistance on time

What to Look For When Choosing a Moving Company?

Once you have double- and triple-checked all the legal requirements, you can include other criteria depending on your needs. Peruse the companies’ websites and ask for a free quote from at least five movers. This quote will not be the final quote, but it will give you an idea of how much your move will approximately cost. Then narrow down your choice to at least three companies that fit your relocation budget best.

The next thing you must decide is whether you require any additional services. For example, if you don’t know how to pack your plates, maybe you want to hire movers for packing service or plan to renovate your new home and need storage units. It would be best to find a single business that can provide you with all the services you need.

Do They Give an In-Home Estimate?

Another way to avoid relocation scams is to check if the firm does an in-home estimation. The in-home estimate is the only valid way for companies to give you a final quote. When thinking about how to pick a moving company, pick the one that will give you transportation, professionalism, and a reasonable offer. Arrange at least three in-home estimations, so you have binding offers from three different companies, and you can finally choose the one that suits you best.

Will They Take Care of Your Appliances and Other Heavy Equipment?

What is a fair price for movers? The price should mostly depend on what will be their job description. When you are in negotiations, ask what is included in the quote they gave you for moving. If they are thinking of charging you extra for any heavy lifting, you can pass this offer. And to answer the question, “what is the most reputable moving company?” – it is the one that will give you free of charge loading and unloading all your heavy equipment and appliances.


Does the Company Provide the Insurance?

All movers must provide basic insurance for your move. No matter if you are relocating furniture, piano, or fragile items. Insurance must at least cover 60 cents per pound of any damaged goods, as it is a legal requirement. Also, when thinking about “how do I choose a reputable moving company,” consider whether they provide Full Value Replacement Insurance. Offering that sort of coverage usually means they are professional and trustworthy. If the business doesn’t have any insurance, avoid them.

Will Your Cars Be Insured as Well?

One of the great tips to move efficiently and avoid any additional anxiety about the move is finding long-distance movers that offer car shipping services. And yet again, they should also provide you insurance for car shipping. The best way to truly explore the benefits of car shipping is to have one provider for all services. And if you only book one business to help you out, you will save on relocation costs by a large margin. For example, taking a storage unit from your long-distance moving company can prove to be more affordable than renting on your own.

Do They Have Good Customer Support?

You can really tell how professionally someone runs their business by customer support. If they don’t have trained agents who can answer all your questions, you should avoid them. In the end, you don’t need to add to the inevitable relocation stress by not knowing what you’re signing up for. A good business will have an agent who will know your relocation from beginning to end, who you can reach, and who can answer all your questions, so make sure you double-check that.

If Movers Are Not Behaving Professionally on Your Estimate, Avoid Them

Arranging an in-home estimation with the movers is something you shouldn’t miss. After all, their representative visiting your home will be your first in-person encounter with them. And even if you are relocating for the first time, you can tell if someone is behaving unprofessionally. If the agents are rude and avoid your questions, you should pass on their offer.

When choosing service providers, the first impression is equally important as their offer. You don’t want to end up with a team of workers in your home who will treat you badly. Also, it is important that agents who come to give you an estimation know what they are doing and are willing to negotiate the price.

Cross-country moving company truck
Look for signs and logos on a truck to know your movers aren't outsourcing their business

How to Choose a Moving Company – Make Sure to Avoid These Mistakes

Relocating from the West Coast to the East Coast and another way around will inevitably entail some mistakes. You can realize at the last minute that you haven’t downsized for a move enough or that you forget to change your address. Still, by far, the worst relocation mistake you can make is to pick a provider that is not good or, even worse, scammers. So before you sign a contract, read it carefully, even the fine letters, and if anything is not clear to you, ask them to clarify.

Do not sign anything that seems shady. Every reputable firm will give you a transparent contract where estimates and fees should be listed, as well as your pick-up and delivery dates. Also, never accept any “gentlemen’s agreements” because if the given word is the only guarantee that everything will be done as agreed, it probably won’t materialize. With that said, there are three types of contracts you can get:

  • A non-binding estimate means that the provider cannot require payment more than 10% above the original estimate.
  • A non-binding to exceed estimate means there will not be any additional charges on your estimate. The estimate is the maximum you’ll be required to pay.
  • A binding estimate is a guaranteed price for the move and all extras you agreed for.

Money Shouldn’t Be Your Primary Goal

What is a good price for a mover? This question is undoubtedly something everybody asks when organizing a move. And one of the mistakes people make is that they put a price on the top of concerns when choosing a provider. But a good price doesn’t necessarily mean you will get good service. In fact in you will probably end up paying more than originally planned. If a business is offering you a quote that is way below market price, something is not right. So when you gather all the estimates and pieces of information from companies, don’t fall under the temptation of choosing the bidder with the lowest price, especially if this price is way lower than the others.

Do Not Leave Large Deposits

Reputable movers will not ask for large in-front cash payments or deposits before relocation. The deposit should be a smaller amount, between $100 and $500. Never pay the whole amount in front, that is, before the movers arrive in your home to wrap things up and load them in a truck. And if possible, always pay with your credit card, so you have proof of payment and avoid fraudulent activity. Check this video for more information on how much you must save for relocation costs.

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Read Reviews and Complaints

When thinking about how to find a good moving company, one of the best ways is to read all the reviews and complaints your business of choice has. You can check reviews on the mover’s website or go on Google reviews and Yelp. If you see the mover’s rating is bad and there are many unsatisfied customers, better be safe than sorry and don’t book them.

As you can see, there are many aspects you need to check before choosing a provider for your relocation, and it is truly important to cover all of them. Not only will you get better service, but you will avoid fraudsters in the process. Choosing the right provider for your relocation must be your top priority if you want a stress-free move.

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