Jul 16, 2021 by Wendy Hoke

Comparing Moving Companies

There are approximately 7,000 moving companies in the United States. That gives you a lot of choices when looking for one to help you move. Each one is different, and some will offer services that fit your needs better than others do. What criteria should you use when comparing moving companies? We’ve compiled some tips and advice to make the decision-making process a bit easier.

Comparing Moving Companies

First, you need to determine which moving services you need or want. Do you want help with packing? Do you live on the 4th floor and have a piano that needs to be moved with you? Will you need a storage unit? Do you want help disassembling and reassembling your electronics?

By answering these questions first, you can then use the process of elimination to find the moving companies that offer the services you want. You won’t waste time interviewing companies that don’t offer what you need.

Not sure what you might need? Consider:

  • Packing services
  • Disassembly/reassembly of furniture, electronics, etc.
  • Transport of large items like a hot tub or pool table
  • Delivery on a specific, guaranteed date
  • Transport of fragile items like antiques or artwork
  • Delivery to temporary or long-term storage

Focus on Several Key Factors

There are several key facts you should determine before you proceed: how many years has the company been in business? Is their DOT Registration number published on their website, or can you find them on the DOT Database? Lastly, do they have an address and phone number listed for their local office?

Look for this information first to make sure the company is a legitimate business. It’s an unfortunate fact that the moving industry is attractive to scammers. Make sure that the businesses you talk to are reputable.

Check What Types of Quotes the Company Offers

Moving companies will typically give one of three types of moving quotes:

  1. A non-binding quote means the final price of your move could change by up to 10% of the original quote
  2. A binding, not-to-exceed quote means that the price could change. However, it is guaranteed not to exceed the given price unless you request additional services.
  3. A binding estimate is a guaranteed price based on all information gathered. Unless you require additional services or supplies, this price should stand firm.

If you can provide a pretty clear inventory and list of required services, a binding estimate will give you the peace of mind that the cost won’t suddenly change on moving day. Regardless of what type of estimate the company provides, get everything in writing. The contract should outline any additional fees or possible changes to the quote, as well as any stipulations around cancellations or weather delays.

Transparency is crucial. If you don’t understand all of the terms and conditions, ask the representative to explain them. They should be willing to do so.

Compare Moving Company Reviews

When you look at online reviews, remember that most people will take the time to submit a review when they are either really happy or really displeased. There are lots of people who are somewhere in between that don’t follow through with a review. So take everything with a grain of salt. But keep your eyes open for trends, whether they be positive or negative. This is going to be the best information about what type of service you’re likely to receive.

Compare Moving Quotes

Now that you’ve narrowed your choices, it’s time to start comparing moving quotes. Put together your inventory list and contact 3 to 4 companies for quotes. The quotes should always be free. There should never be a charge for a quote. Ask for an in-person quote for the most accurate estimate. Then take a few moments to put those quotes side by side. Consider your needs and budget, then make your decision.

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