Hiring a Moving Company & Finding Movers

Please wait while the video loads...
About This Video
Hiring a moving company might seem like an easy task. But before finding movers, you might want to go over these simple tips that can save your belongings and your checkbook.
Rate This Video
Very PoorPoorFairGoodVery Good
Overall Rating (72)
CommentsComments on "Hiring a Moving Company & Finding Movers"
What horror stories-- or happy endings-- about a move do you have? Feel free to share them below. 

Your first name, last initial and location will be displayed with your comment.
Farooq K. from Homestead, FL on 01/15/2012 at 02:30 PM MT
Report Abuse
Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down 7 of 7 Liked this Comment
Video Transcript for "Hiring a Moving Company & Finding Movers"
Lupberger on how to hire movers: Hi, I'm David Lupberger with ServiceMagic.com. There's no question that moving can be one of the most stressful experiences that you and your family might go through...and logistically, it's one of the biggest challenges you might face. Today, we're going to take some of that guess-work out of your next move.

Hiring a Moving Company - Talk to at Least Three Moving Companies
VO: As soon as possible, start talking to at least three moving companies. Check out the business records of each company thoroughly. Get a feel for how specific they are in answering your questions.

Hiring a Moving Company - Give the Company Details
VO: Give them as many details as you can. Make sure the movers are aware of any issues they'll have to work around on both sides of the move - such as a narrow driveway, or restricted parking, and whether that may add to their cost.

Hiring a Moving Company - Who's Packing?
VO: Ask how much the company charges to pack your belongings for you. If you'd rather save the money, then have them tell you which types of packing supplies to use...and avoid USED boxes. Remember that heavy loads WILL BE stacked on top of these boxes, so if you have something expensive and fragile it may be worth it to have the moving company crate it for you.

Hiring a Moving Company - Check the Company's Background
VO: Unless you're using a service like ServiceMagic.com that checks for appropriate licensing for you, be sure to always ask to see a mover's state license, or a federal license which is needed if your company is moving you across state lines. ServiceMagic.com is also a place you can read verified ratings and reviews from other people who've used the service. If you're using a moving broker to schedule your moving company for you, insist the broker give you the chosen company's name and license number...and do your own research.

Hiring a Moving Company - Moving Estimates

VO: After talking to several companies, schedule them to come over to give you an in-person estimate. Don't hire a company unless they've actually seen your items and have given you an estimate in writing. Get at least two of these estimate...preferably three.

Lupberger: And speaking of estimates, it's important for you to understand how moving companies set their rates...and the details of how they figure how much to charge you.

Understanding the Moving Estimate - Ask What Determines the Base Charge
VO: Most companies charge by how much your stuff weighs. The truck will be weighed before and after your items are loaded. Ask for written proof of how much the truck weighed before and after your items were loaded. The federal government requires that the rates charged by interstate moving companies have to be "reasonable." But go online to find an estimator that should tell you if you're paying too much...or to be leery if someone's charging you way too little.

Understanding the Moving Estimate - Binding or Non-Binding
VO: Tell the moving company up front if you want a binding estimate. A binding estimate holds them to the price they quote you, even if it weighs more or takes up more space when they get it all on their truck. Many people have seen their non-binding estimates skyrocket once their stuff is on a truck and it's too late to do anything about it. However, be aware that federal law prohibits a mover from charging more than ten percent over the amount of a non-binding estimate to deliver your items.

Understanding the Moving Estimate - The Contract
"Order of Service" or "Bill of Lading"
Make sure you understand every detail of the contract, which is sometimes called the "Order of Service" or a "Bill of Lading." NEVER sign a contract without filling in all the blanks. Remember, no matter what someone tells you, what you sign is what will be required to happen.

Understanding the Moving Estimate - "Your Rights and Responsibilities"
VO: If you're moving across state lines, federal law requires your moving company to give you a pamphlet called "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move." It details exactly what you must do and what your mover is legally responsible for. It even outlines a protocol for payment methods and how to handle disputes.

Lupberger on hiring a mover: If you're moving during the summer months, get ready for some company. Nearly 60% of the moving industry business comes when the weather is warm and the kids are out of school. But at any time of year, you need to know very specific details about how important your schedule is to your company.

Scheduling & Manpower - Windows or Exact Dates
VO: After you choose your mover, make sure you confirm all packing, pick-up, and delivery dates. Movers provide a delivery spread - or window - and you need to make sure it fits your schedule. If you can't take delivery at some point during that window, the company may put your stuff in storage at your expense.

Scheduling & Manpower - Who's Handling Your Stuff?
VO: Some moving companies make a point of telling you they're sending over their most-experienced loaders, but the truth is that they might be hiring inexperienced day workers.

Scheduling & Manpower - Photograph Your Stuff
VO: Take pictures or video tape your household goods before packing.

Scheduling & Manpower - Get Proof of Value
VO: Also, if you're moving artwork, antiques or any other high-value items, make sure you have something that proves the value, such as a purchase receipt or an appraisal.

Scheduling & Manpower - Transfer
VO: Also, in the course of the move - will your items have to be unloaded and loaded onto a different truck? You should know when and where the transfer is taking place, and who's responsible if there's damage during the transfer.

Lupberger on hiring a mover: The American Moving and Storage Association estimates that damage occurs in one out of every five moves. Moving companies can't sell you actual insurance, but they can offer a variety of protection plans. But those plans may cover just a fraction of what your valuables are actually worth.

Moving Protection Plans - Released Value
VO: "Released Value" is the least expensive option available and provides only minimal protection. Payouts for damages and missing items are usually capped at 30 or 60-cents a pound. So if your 50 pound, 3-thousand dollar plasma television gets broken, the "released value" plan would pay you about 30 dollars.

Moving Insurance - Homeowner's Policies
VO: Check with your agent, but most homeowner's policies don't cover your household goods while they're in transit, but they may be covered while they're being packed.

Moving Insurance - www.MovingInsurance.com
VO: Some insurance companies offer a policy that covers your goods specifically for the duration of the move. One such company, which is online line and easy to use, is called movinginsurance.com.

Moving Insurance - Record all Damages Before Driver Leaves
VO: Also, perhaps one of the most important things you can do is the final walk-through BEFORE the company leaves. Damages and missing items must be noted on the driver's paperwork and you should receive a copy for your records.

Lupberger conclusion on hiring movers: So, that's a pretty good taste for what lies ahead of you. You'll have lots of decisions to make and very few of them will be easy. But remember, to find a moving company that's been prescreened and rated by other homeowners - and for any other home repair or home improvement need - check out ServiceMagic.com.
Ideas & Inspiration (34 videos)
Play How Much Does Solar Cost? Part I
How Much Does Solar ...
David Lupberger is installing solar panels ...
Comments 27
Play How Much Does Solar Cost? Part II
How Much Does Solar ...
David Lupberger is installing solar panels ...
Comments 14
Play 'Green' Paint is More Than Just a Color Choice
'Green' Paint is More ...
Brandi LeMae of VaST Architecture goes over ...
Comments 2
Play 'Green' Flooring Options
'Green' Flooring ...
Everything from carpet to hardwood. Learn ...
Comments 6
Play Learn How to Green Your Countertops
Learn How to Green ...
Looking for an upgrade to your kitchen? ...
Comments 1
Play Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal
Increase Your Home's ...
It's the simple things that we overlook. In ...
Comments 1
Play Air Conditioner Maintenance
Air Conditioner ...
If you planning on scheduling an air ...
Comments 1
Play Low-Flow Lawn Watering
Low-Flow Lawn ...
Check out two forms of low-flow irrigation ...
Comments 0
Play Why Hire a Landscaper?
Why Hire a ...
Landscaping's simple, right? Seems like you ...
Comments 0
Play What Are the Benefits of Xeriscaping?
What Are the Benefits ...
Xeriscaping is a way to bring beautiful ...
Comments 0
Play Three Tips for your Flower Garden
Three Tips for your ...
If you have a nice flower garden out front ...
Comments 8
Play How to Clean and Stain a Deck
How to Clean and ...
How much do you know about deck cleaning and ...
Comments 9
Play 10 Projects That Bring More Bang for the Buck
10 Projects That ...
David Lupberger goes over the projects that ...
Comments 13
Play Garage Remodeling
Garage Remodeling
David Lupberger has some good advice about ...
Comments 2
Play Keep Your House Warmer and Your Checkbook Heavier
Keep Your House ...
Some things you can do yourself, but others ...
Comments 2
Play How To Save on Energy Bills
How To Save on Energy ...
David Lupberger has valuable tips on making ...
Comments 5
Play Installing Your New HDTV and Home Theater
Installing Your New ...
Are you sure you installed your Hi-Def TV ...
Comments 6
Play Finishing Your Basement
Finishing Your ...
Finishing your basement could mean adding ...
Comments 7
Play 5 Tips for Your Outdoor Space
5 Tips for Your ...
When it becomes the time of year for warm ...
Comments 5
Play Is Your Neighbors Grass Greener?
Is Your Neighbors ...
Make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood. ...
Comments 8
Play Bathroom Remodeling Ideas, Tips
Bathroom Remodeling ...
David Lupberger reviews some trendy bathroom ...
Comments 10
Play Easy Kitchen Updates
Easy Kitchen Updates
Want to renovate your kitchen without ...
Comments 1
Play Home Organizing Tips for Garage & Home Office
Home Organizing Tips ...
Over-cluttered garage? Messy home office? ...
Comments 6
Play Cost vs Value Remodeling Ideas
Cost vs Value ...
David Lupberger reviews the top 5 cost vs ...
Comments 4
Play Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights
Hanging Outdoor ...
With the Holidays comes elaborate outdoor ...
Comments 2
Play Man Caves & Man Rooms
Man Caves & Man Rooms
Man caves and man rooms are in hot demand as ...
Comments 25
Play How to Winterize  Your Home
How to Winterize ...
When winter comes around, it's good to be ...
Comments 1
Play HOA Problems & Complaints
HOA Problems & ...
Having HOA problems? Your HOA complaints ...
Comments 131
Play Luxury Master Bedroom Suites
Luxury Master Bedroom ...
Add some pizzazz to your master bedroom by ...
Comments 4
Play Your Neighbor's Messy Yard
Your Neighbor's Messy ...
Have a bad neighbor? Your neighbor's messy ...
Comments 5