NEW YORK -- The people you hire to move your belongings is a big decision. Before reaching out to any companies for estimates, do your research. Talk to family and friends, read online reviews and be sure to get multiple estimates. Here are a few questions to ask before hiring a mover:
1. How long has the company been in business? Ask for customer references and read reviews. You want to make sure that your stuff makes it to your new home safely.
2. Are they licensed? The company should have a unique license number that can be issued by either the United States Department of Transportation or the state in which you live. Make sure it’s valid by searching this database.
3. Is the company insured? Verify that a company is insured on the same website above; do not use a company if they do not have a license number or insurance. Ask how they handle claims of damage or broken items, you want to see how they respond. If you want, take pictures ahead of time with a timestamp just in case or consider additional insurance.
4. What do their rates include? Low estimates don’t necessarily mean a low final bill. Ask about additional costs – fuel, overtime, lunch for the movers etc. Some companies will offer better rates based on season or day of the week you are moving.
5. What’s the minimum time window? How long will the job take? How many movers will there be? Will you be charged if there is overtime? If you live in an apartment reserve the elevator to speed up the moving process.
6. What materials do they use for packing? Are they new or being reused from previous moves? What do you have to do to prep for the move ahead of time?
7. How are estimates handled? For the most accurate estimates on large moves, in-person is the way to go.
8. How do they handle payment? Use caution if they require a large deposit or only accept cash. Know that it is illegal to charge for parking tickets that the mover receives while moving the customer in most cities.
If asking questions isn't your fancy, Zootly does the vetting process for you already. To get started, download the Zootly app or visit Zootly's website and use one of their certified moving partners to do the heavy lifting.