If you’re on the eve of a big move, you’re probably starting to think about hiring movers. You’ve never hired a moving company before, though, and you’re not sure where to begin with professional movers. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Here at Gallo Moving and Storage, we’re happy to be a full-service moving company with a reputation for helping our customers save money, whether they’re moving locally or moving long-distance. In this post, we’ll share a few of our top tips for finding and hiring a moving company and how to know when you’ve hooked into a bad one instead. Let’s dive in. How to Hire a Mover: 5 Pro Tips From Inside the Industry You’re more than a little confused about hiring movers. Where do you start? What should you be looking for in a full-service moving company? Here are ten smart tips for finding the professional moving company that works for you and avoiding mistakes in the process: 1. Do your research Before you settle on a moving company, be sure to do your research. There are many players in today’s moving industry, but not all of them are created equal. With that in mind, hop on Google and do some research about local moving companies in your area. Here are a few things to look for: Reviews. We recommend checking the company’s website, social media pages, and Yelp profile, if they have one, to find the company’s reviews. You can also consult the Better Business Bureau to find customer reviews about the company. You can also call the consumer complaints hotline at the Federal Motor Safety Administration to learn more about a company’s history. Services. Does the company offer the services you need? Your needs may vary if you are moving long-distance or moving locally. Prices. If the company lists prices on their page, do they roughly align with your ideal moving budget? Also, see if they use hourly rates or have extra fees. Don’t be afraid to get multiple quotes so you can make an informed decision. Certifications. Check if the moving company is certified with state or federal bodies like the DOT, which can help indicate quality and reliability. If you have friends who have moved recently, reach out and ask them if they have a moving service they’d recommend. You may also check with the Better Business Bureau to learn about the ranking of any team of local movers you’re interested in. 2. Get some estimates Most moving companies will claim they can help you save money. But you can’t be sure about this until you start getting estimates. Depending on the nature of your move, you may be surprised by how different moving estimates can be. For example, interstate moves are often charged based on the weight of the items you’ll need to be moved, as well as the presence of other services, like packing. Local moves, meanwhile, are usually charged based on the estimated amount of time the move will take. Local movers may also charge for things like packing materials, travel time, and more. To be sure you’ve done your due diligence, get a mover’s estimate from at least 3-4 moving companies. Keep these moving estimates handy for future reference. 3. Look into moving insurance If you have homeowners or renters insurance, your belongings will all be insured while they’re in your home. That coverage, however, may not extend to the time when they’re on the road between your homes. If you’re facing a long move, you’ll need to consider moving insurance. While reputable moving companies like Gallo are liable for a specific dollar amount (generally multiplied by the weight of the shipment), coverage only extends so far. If you’re moving high-value items, you’ll benefit from getting your insurance to cover those items, should anything happen on the moving truck. 4. Read the contract closely Once you’ve narrowed the field and found a moving company you like, take a close look at the contract. A reputable moving company should send you these documents with plenty of time to sign them. Read it carefully, looking for red flags – like non-binding estimates or a demand for payment upfront. Also, never sign a blank moving contract. You want everything in writing! Once you’ve read the contract, keep a copy on hand for future reference. 5. Consider additional services Once you’ve decided on the moving company you want to work with, look at their additional services. Many moving companies offer services like packing, storage, unpacking, and transport for high-value items. While these moving companies will also happily move the boxes you’ve packed yourself, many customers hire professional movers to help with more than just transport. Packing services can really come in handy when you’re short on time, for example, and good packing supplies will go the distance to help protect your heirloom dining room table. Consider adding services to make your move easier come moving day. FAQ Q: Should I give my mover a deposit? or Do I need to give my mover a deposit? A: No legitimate mover will ask for a deposit to hold your move date. This is a scam usually used by companies that only provide phone surveys. This usually is part of a bigger problem of low-ball estimates and then holding your shipment hostage when “there is more here than you told us.”Good movers have the flexibility and will not charge you to change your date. At Gallo, you can cancel or change your move the day before with no financial penalty. Q: How much time should I give myself to hire movers? A: We recommend leaving at least a few months to find movers you trust. Most movers are booked out at least a few months in advance, and the problem can get especially bad during peak season. Long-distance movers will appreciate the notice, and you may be able to save some money in the process. Q: Should I pack my own belongings? A: If you like packing, have at it! If you don’t have time, though, you can hire movers to pack for you. Some movers do this hourly, while others handle fragile items and other belongings for a flat rate. Talk to your mover for details.