Studies show that moving is one of the most stressful activities in the lives of typical North Americans. While many people try to handle this stressful and exhausting process themselves, it is usually a better idea to bring in professionals. Moving companies have popped up all over the world, from local moving companies to the specialized international mover. Whether you are moving inCanadaor moving international, you will probably have several companies to choose from. Selecting the right moving company is not as easy as you might think. It takes some patience and some research, but it is ultimately worth it to save money while knowing that all of your precious heirlooms, keepsakes, furniture, and equipment are being properly cared for. Here are some useful tips for selecting the right moving company. Start the process early, allowing plenty of time for unforeseen delays or changes of plan.
Find a company that quotes moving costs. Not every mover quotes moving costs accurately, so you need to make sure that they will honor their quotes. Some of the more sophisticated moving companies will offer online estimates, but those are just preliminary. Be sure to get a few in-house estimates to compare service and prices, and get written “Binding Not-To-Exceed” estimates to ensure that you will not have to deal with a “bait and switch” type of issue with added or hidden costs later on.
Don’t be cheap. Unusually low prices may indicate desperation on the part of the moving company, which could be indicative of any number of problems with the company. A bit of research and examination of quotes should give you a sense of the average prices. Before even considering price, it may be wise to make a list of factors and services that are the most important to you – packing services, storage, safety records, referrals, etc. Once you decide exactly what you are looking for, try to find a good price for the company that matches your criteria, ignoring companies that do not live up to your standards, no matter how inexpensive they may be. It usually doesn’t pay to skimp on quality when it comes to transporting all of your worldly possessions safely.
Read testimonials and reviews on independent sites. The testimonials on a moving company’s website are sure to be good. They will only post the ones that are positive. But you can get a more balanced perspective by reading reviews on independent websites where you are more likely to have access to both good and bad reviews. Of course, some people are simply never satisfied. That’s why it’s important to read many reviews, and to look for patterns. One problem could be an anomaly, but if many people are complaining about the same things, there could be a real pattern (and a real cause for concern).
Even if you are moving in Canada, you may want to go with an international mover. There are some good local moving companies that do not handle moving international, but many of them are fly-by-night operations. Most of the time, an international mover will also handle local jobs. Although supporting local businesses is commendable, it’s sometimes wise to think big. If a company is good enough to handle moving international, it is probably good enough for moving inCanada. International moves involve a high level of organization, certifications, and legal oversight. Local moving companies that also have a proven track record of successful international moves probably have their stuff together pretty well.
Once you think you have it narrowed down to one or two movers, check out the companies through the Better Business Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation, and MovingScam.com just to be sure.