6 Important Questions You Need to Ask Your Movers

By MovingQuotes.com Staff

You're moving, and soon you'll be talking to movers that are looking for your business.

Here's how to go about your search.

With the initial call, ask movers for basic information about their company – address, how many employees they have, how many trucks they have, are they a member of any moving associations, etc.

The answers you get are not as important as how the moving company treats you: Do they answer every question willingly? Do they appear interested in landing your business?

After you have narrowed down your list of movers to three or four, have them visit you so they can see what possessions you want moved, and give you an estimate based on that.

This 'in-home survey' is the ONLY way you will get an accurate assessment of what it will cost you to move.

What do you look for when the moving consultant comes to see you? Based on my 30 years' experience in the moving industry, here are the questions I believe you should ask -- as well as the answers you should get.

1. How long have you been giving moving estimates?

You want someone who has been doing this for awhile. Also, ask the salesperson about their background. Were they a driver or did they work in some other aspect of the moving process before being an estimator? The more experience the individual has, the more comfortable you will be that you are getting a true estimate. Let’s be frank: Most salespeople love to talk, so if they are unwilling to discuss their experience, take that as a red flag.

2. What pricing options or types of estimates do you offer?

You can learn a lot about the moving company representative – as well as the moving company – by how knowledgeable he or she seems, and how willing they are to take the time to explain your options. If someone rushes through the explanation or seems to not understand the options and how they might apply to your move, you should be a bit concerned.

3. How long has your company been around?

If the moving company has been in business for some time, it is usually a good sign they are doing something right and have been providing good service to their customers. You should not base your decision on the time in business alone, but it is a good insight into the company.

4. What is my delivery schedule?

You want the answer to be realistic. For long-distance move especially, it can be difficult to be precise to the exact day. Most movers will ask for the option of a couple days for the delivery period. Beware of anyone who offers dates that seem just a bit too good too be true.

5. Does your company do any repeat work for local businesses?

People usually ask a moving company for references of individuals who have used their services, but let's face it – what mover will offer up a BAD reference? But if the moving company does a lot of repeat relocation work for a particular business, it is a good sign they do quality work on a consistent basis.

6. How will you handle (fill in the blank)?

If you are moving a treasured heirloom or a large, cumbersome object like a piano, find out how it will be moved. Again, this is another test of the moving consultant’s knowledge, as well as a test of how you can expect to be treated. If they take the time to give you a thoughtful and complete answer, chances are good this is a company that cares about the customer and their possessions.

7. The last question's for you: Is the sales representative only telling you what you want to hear?

This can be a tough, but it's crucial. Also, you probably do not want to work with someone who disagrees with everything you say, but sometimes the moving consultant may make a suggestion that is different than your thinking. Did what they say make sense? If it did, it's a good sign the salesperson is simply looking out for your interests.

After you meet all of the applicants, compare notes. Don't let price be your only guide; in fact, a much lower price may indicate that something was missed in the assessment, or indicate you'll get hit with additional charges later. Follow-up after the ‘in-home estimate’ is also important.