Back to blogs

How to Choose the Right Local Moving Company Checklist?

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Share

Regardless of how often you have moved and relocated in your lifetime, it never hurts to have a checklist or a reminder of what to look for in a local moving company. While you do have the knowledge it is often in the back of your head, meaning that you just need a little trigger to get it to the front.

Do Your Research On Local Movers

A family having a dinner together discussing a relocation to another town

Research, as you know, is one of the fundamentals for finding the best local moving company to take on your project. You can research online by using Google and seeing what the basic search term “local moving companies in [insert state]” brings up. The internet is great for finding companies that know what they are doing, but you can also come across scam moving companies that pretend to know.

You should be on the lookout for red flags and go with your gut feeling. If you notice while researching that they have changed their name recently or that the company you are looking into has multiple names, then this is a red flag. Another way to check it is by looking at their licenses and documents. Also, if the company asks for a deposit upfront, they are a no-go. If a local moving company says that they calculate their price according to weight, this is incorrect since this is only done for long-distance moving.

Local moving companies usually charge by the hour and work out their price according to the amount of luggage and items you have to transfer, not their weight.

Check Their Documents

A grandmother holding up a child while being outdoors in the snow

One way to make sure that the local movers you are looking into are legit is by checking if their documents are in order. You can see these documents by asking for the financial status of the company, and how many employees work for them. If the price is too high, you should be wary. Likewise, if it is too low. Also, ask what other moving services they can offer you, from packing, lifting, etc. 

When you speak to a representative from the company, as you know, you should take into account how they behave. If their manner is professional, and they are knowledgeable in the company as well as the local moving process, then you are more likely in good hands.

Check Their Licenses

A grandmother, a mom, and a daughter sitting together and smiling at the camera

It is more important that you check the local movers' licenses as well as their documents. A local moving company must have the backing of the US government in terms of having an FMCSA as well as a USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number. You can check out this information by looking at the company’s website, particularly at the bottom where the license should be present. You can also check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the company is registered with them.

Check Their Address

Two friends over 50 hanging out on a beach enjoying their new retirement lifestyle

When it comes to local businesses they would have to operate out somewhere. This is logical, and it can be checked. If you look up the address of a local moving company, and they are in a residential area, then this should bring up red flags. Also, if the company must rent out its trucks, you should be concerned. A company should have its own equipment.

Ask for References on Local Movers

A couple over 60 having tea with their friend while sitting at a table playing chess

Word of mouth is the best way to find the right local movers to get you safely to your new home. You can obviously ask people that you know like family and friends. The internet is also a great tool to read up on people’s experiences with a particular moving company. You can read the reviews and get a feel for the company you are looking into.

Keep in mind to not only read the good reviews, like the five out of five but to find ones that are not 100% as these are more realistic. Companies can also hire people to write fake positive reviews to get their numbers up. Be wary of this as well.

Read The Contract Carefully

Three friends over 50 having a walk together outdoors in the sunshine

When you have checked their licenses and paperwork and are happy with what you choose then you must read the contract with them carefully. You have to understand everything that is written and make sure it makes sense to you. Another thing is to look out for loopholes, or hidden costs. You must ask them about the latter. Go through the whole contract in detail so that you understand what you are signing completely. Remember, you do not have to sign it right away, you can take an evening to think it over.

Questions to Ask a Local Moving Company

A couple over 50 taking a selfie while standing on a bridge next to a river during their trip

Communication is important when it comes to hiring local movers. This is not only from their side but yours as well. Here are some questions you should remember to ask when speaking to a local mover:

  • Are you licensed? When they answer this question, ask for proof
  • Are you insured? This is in case something goes wrong since no one can predict the future
  • What do you offer? This is for finding out what other services they have, from packing to transportation. It will help you decide if you need to hire a professional packer or if the particular moving company offers this type of service
  • How long has your business been running? A question like this can help you judge how experienced they are in the relocation
  • What is your estimate? Again, this is so you can tell if they are over or under-charging you. It can also help you work out your budget for the move. Another note is that you should ask at least three different local moving companies for their estimates so that you can compare and see which one is best for you
  • Are there hidden costs? This is so you know the full amount that you may end up paying. You can ask them to give you examples of past experiences
  • What are your references? As mentioned it is important to read reviews of the company you are thinking of working with

When you have the answers to these questions, make sure to fact-check. While there are honest people in the world, it is better to be safe than sorry. Also, allow for hidden costs just to be well-prepared for what may happen during the moving process. Make sure that you have a full inventory list of everything that is being packed and moved. This is so you can check your items at your new home, and make sure nothing goes missing.

Find the Right Local Movers Through Shyft

A couple over 50 enjoying their time together after successfully moving to a smaller town

Organizing a long-distance move or a local one takes a ton of effort and time. Nowadays, you do not have to do it all on your own. AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft is here to organize your local move. Shyft is a company that specializes in hassle-free moving. 

Shyft takes your moving needs into account and provides comprehensive coverage that is suited to your requirements. To learn more look no further than the easy-to-navigate website. What is more, is that you can also reach out to a Shyft Move Coach at 1-888-838-5981 to speak to begin the process. 

The entire moving process starts with a video call from your dedicated Move Coach. This is someone who is there for you every step of the way through your entire moving process, regardless of how often you have been around the block.

The Move Coach will chat with you through the free-downloadable mobile app, Shyft Next. This app is available on both Android and iPhones. It is here that you get to see who you will be dealing with over a Video Survey call as well as ask any questions that you may have about their process. This video call is conducted at a time that you state, not before, and not after.

There is More Than Just a “Hello” with Move Coaches 

Another function of this video call is for the Move Coach to create your inventory list. This is done through the app, by you giving your Move Coach a virtual tour of your current home. It is nothing complicated, all you have to do is point your mobile camera at the items you want to move with you and that is it. You also only need to show the contents of one drawer and cupboard for the Move Coach to understand the volume of the contents you are taking with you.

This may take on average half an hour depending on the size of your current home. It would be best to ask the Move Coach how long this initial “virtual tour” will take. When the call has concluded you will receive your inventory list within half an hour from the end of the call.

Your inventory is 95% accurate, far above the industry standard, and Shyft gives you an opportunity to amend it should any items have been left out. You can add items, remove items, and even make notes on certain features that are important to you. The more information you can give, the more likely it is for Shyft to find a local moving company that suits your every need. When you are happy with this new inventory list, you send it to your Move Coach. They will take this updated list and your moving information to Shyft’s secure bidding platform. The information presented here excludes your personal details.

A couple in retirement having a nice walk in a field of yellow flowers enjoying their free time

While on the secure bidding platform, experienced, licensed, and Shyft-vetted local moving companies gather to bid for your move. When the bids are collected you will be sent three or more moving quotes. Each quote is from a different local moving company. This is done so that you can make an informed decision on which moving company is the best one for you to work with. You can easily compare the quotes and information given about the movers.

The moving quotes are fixed but may change if you add more items and pieces to your inventory list at the last minute. When you let Shyft know which moving company you want to work with, Shyft will lock them down as soon as possible. This is so they do not get taken by someone else.

Shyft is there for you to organize your moving process and Shyft can also keep you updated on what is happening. The latter is because Shyft is on call seven days a week. You can also save money by working with Shyft since AARP members get up to a $250 discount on their move. Contact Shyft today to learn more and let them find the best local moving company for you.