People are moving again in larger numbers and it's a good time to take a look at how to hire a reputable mover.
The price quotes in the moving industry are dictated heavily by supply and demand. You'll generally pay a premium if you have to move on the last 3 days of the months or the first 3 of the month -- basically, when everybody wants to move! Try going middle of week, middle of month instead.
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You'll find the best moving companies through this website...
If you're hiring professional movers, the first step is to check the moving company's history. State governments maintain a database of moving company complaints. Make sure they are properly registered in your state and the complaints are at a mimimum.
Then go to Moving.org and look for "ProMover" certified movers. These companies will generally have a vetted dispute process in place should a problem arise with their service.
Before the move, you'll need to purchase optional insurance from the mover that covers replacement value should something go missing or get destroyed. By law, your property is not insured unless you buy this cheap and necessary insurance. (One caveat: Check with your auto insurer to see if you have any coverage on a smaller truck rental.)
In some state-to-state moves, you have to be particularly aware of some companies that might try to "hijack" your possessions for a large ransom. This happened to a recent caller, who was asked to pay $50,000 to get his household goods back. All the more reason to assure you're working with a reputable firm.
But the most important thing in a state-to-state move is to request a "binding estimate," which is the maximum you will pay for moving your goods. Normally the industry just gives you an "estimate," which means nothing in the end, as they could ultimately charge you anything they want. The best moving companies, however, will be forthcoming with a binding estimate when you ask.
Meanwhile, if you need your belongings delivered by a certain date, you need to put a delivery date in your contract with high penalty fees on the mover for every day that your delivery is late. It may make the quote more expensive, but it's well worth it if time is of the essence.
Finally, the best choice may be to put your moving job out for bid on a site like UShip.com. Movers will bid on your job to drive down the price in a reverse eBay sort of way. This works especially well if you have one large oddly shaped piece of furniture that needs to be moved.
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For more money-saving advice for your home, see our Homes & Real Estate section.