The process of finding a reputable moving company can seem daunting. Nonetheless, a little research and referral from friends are worth it. By shopping around, you can save significantly and avoid scams. Here are five steps to guide you through the process of selecting a long distance mover.

1. Get Recommendations

Seek referrals from co-workers, friends, relatives and, real estate agents. Browse the internet to find long distance movers that have offices near your home. You are looking for a mover who can help you estimate the cost of your move. Don’t rely on providers who don’t inspect all your closets. Again, don’t assume that big-name companies are always the best.

2. Conduct an Initial Screening

Once you have a list of recommended movers, perform a quick background check through the internet. You may also email or call the American Moving and Storage Association to determine if your chosen mover is a member. You may also check the consumer-advocacy sites such as movingscam.com to see if a company has been blacklisted. More online resources are available at Premiere Van Lines.

3. Review the Estimate

Your estimate may serve as an order for service and bill of lading if signed by you and the mover. The estimate along with the inventory list created when loading your goods are some of the essential documents any mover should provide. For an interstate move, your estimate should describe the distance to your new home, packaging details, and the types and quality of goods you are moving. If your mover is offering additional insurance, make sure you understand the costs and terms of that coverage.

4. Compare Bids

After you have contacted several moving companies, compare the bids. Nonetheless, be wary of any company whose offer is much lower than others. Compare high bids to determine your best fit. You may call and ask questions if you don’t understand some details. If you have several bids from reputable movers, feel free to negotiate to get the best possible rate. Movers are often negotiable especially in a market where there is a fierce competition.

5. Make Sure Your Mover has the License

Many movers solicit business without legal authorization. You may call or email the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or go to their website, safersy.org, to see the background information of your moving company. You may also call the FMCSA’s consumer complaints and safety violation hotline to ask about safety violations and consumer complaints against your moving company.

You should feel confident about any mover you hire. Confirm the details and date of your move, and make sure your moving company signs your order for service and a bill of lading. Make sure you provide your mover with a detailed direction for getting to your new home.

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