The days where people live and die in the same town are long gone. The average person in the United States moves around 11 times in their life. Sure, all of these could be local moves, but around 40 percent of the adult Americans reside in a state they were not born in. Although people move for a variety of reasons, work-related ones tend to top the list whether people are looking for new opportunities or were transferred to a new location.
If you’re making a long distance move, it might feel overwhelming especially when it comes to finding the right long-distance movers. There are so many potential pitfalls and scams out there it might almost seem easier to do it all yourself. However, if you know what to look out for, you can find trustworthy and affordable long distance movers.
Firm Up Your Dates and Destination
Before you hire long distance movers, you first need some sort of schedule and destination. Even if you haven’t signed a lease yet, you should at least know the town or city you’re moving to. Dates are also an important part of the equation. Do you have a specific day you need to move out? Maybe you’re starting a new job or enrolling in school. You should take these dates into account when you are planning your move. After all, you want to make sure all of your belongings arrive before you start your new life!
With that said, you don’t need to have your entire schedule sorted out, although it will make it easier for you and the movers. Still, as long as you have some general idea of when and where you want to move, it should make long distance moving a bit earlier. Of course, you will need to firm up all this information once you decide to hire professional long distance movers, so don’t take too long to make a decision.
Check Their Reputation
The best long distance moving companies will have an excellent reputation among current and former customers. An easy way to see how reputable your cross country movers are is to read online reviews about their services on Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau. If you notice a lot of negative reviews, you should definitely avoid them. With that said, you shouldn’t trust online reviews 100 percent of the time. There have been plenty of exposes showing how companies game the system to either take down negative reviews or even pay for positive reviews.
Do you know someone who has recently moved? Ask them how their move went. Personal referrals, whether from friends, family, or coworkers, are a great way to find trustworthy long distance movers. If a family member or friend used a moving service you are considering, get as much detail as possible to see if they are a right fit for you.
All long distance moving companies must be licensed by the US Department of Transportation. A quick check on the USDOT website will give you access to the record of each licensed long distance mover along with their USDOT number. If you don’t find them, chances are the company is either operating illegally or a scam. The top interstate movers will list their USDOT number directly on their website so you can easily search for them. You can then see if they are licensed and if their license is still active.
Another excellent site to check is the Better Business Bureau. Top-rated long distance moving companies will have proper BBB accreditation. While not required, this extra accreditation does provide an extra level of trust between you and your soon-to-be movers since if they do drop the ball, you can file a complaint and have the BBB find a resolution to the problem.
Make Sure It Fits Your Budget
It’s all too easy to go with the most affordable long distance movers. However, what might seem like less money upfront could actually cost you more down the road as you deal with lost or broken items, hidden charges, and more. As tempting as it might be, price alone should not be the deciding factor when picking a moving company and that’s true for local moves as well!
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money either. There are affordable long distance movers available, but they might look more expensive when you initially compare quotes. So take a good look at what services each mover provides along with their rates. Don’t be afraid to call each company and get clarification on the quote. Some questions to ask include:
- Is this a binding or non-binding estimate? A binding estimate is the best option as this means the price is guaranteed and not subject to change even if the final weight of your move is more or less than estimated. Keep in mind that the estimate only accounts for the transportation portion. If your estimate was based on self-packing but on move day the moving company packs everything, you will have to pay for the additional service!
- Are there any additional fees that are not listed on this estimate? Many shady companies tack on extra fees that they do not list out in the initial quote for stairs, long-carry, gas, tolls, etc. You want to work with companies that are as transparent as possible so there are no surprises after you arrive at your new home.
Trust Your Gut
While all of the tips above can definitely help you weed out the obvious scammers, moving scams have become more sophisticated over the years. If you feel that something is off about some long distance movers when you speak to them over the phone, trust your gut! Chances are your brain noticed some subtle red flags.
Of course, there are also times where you have several great options and the research didn’t point to any outright winners. In this case, you should choose the one that you think will be the best one for you.
Making a long distance move isn’t an easy feat, but when you hire the right cross-country movers, it won’t be nearly as stressful. While it does require some planning and research, you’ll be happy you spent the time finding the right movers for your needs. If you’re in the market for long distance movers, why not give us a call? We can offer a free quote based on the information you provide and, once hired, we’ll be with you every step of the way until you’re in your new home.