From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the busy summer moving season is in full swing. Americans move from one home to another, across town or around the nation. The U.S. Census estimates 3 million moves from state to state each year.
Of those, 800,000 were handled by professional movers. Download the infographic below or continue reading the following tips offered by the BBB and American Moving & Storage Association for working with a trustworthy moving company.
Here’s how to get your next move started off right!
1. Do Your Research
Get at least three written, in-home estimates so you can make an informed decision. Show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, including any sheds, garages, and storage areas. These are free estimates.
You have nothing to lose, even if you are considering handling the move yourself. Avoid any unusually high or low estimates. If someone says they can give you an estimate by phone or email, it’s possible they’re trying to scam you.
2. Know Your Rights
Reputable interstate movers must, by law, provide you with federal publications that explain the moving process as well as your rights and responsibilities. Interstate movers also must provide the cost of full-value protection insurance for your possessions in their estimates.
If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a warning sign. If a company says it won’t return your items to you without more money than you agreed to pay, contact the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement for help.
3. Get All Agreements in Writing
Read everything carefully. Make sure you have it all in writing, along with copies of everything you sign, especially the most important document-the bill of lading. This is the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Never sign any blank forms.
4. Take Valuables With You
Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs, and important papers should be taken with you or shipped separately. Use a shipping service with tracking numbers, such as FedEx or UPS.
5. Ask Questions!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.