Moving Guide: The Ideal Timeline for a Smooth Move »
Moving doesn't have to be an intimidating, overwhelming experience—if you've done your research. We put together this timeline to …
Moving doesn't have to be an intimidating, overwhelming experience—if you've done your research. We put together this timeline to …
Are you making a move soon? Get a breakdown of the moving supplies you'll need to stock up on, and learn about how to land free bo…
Looking for information about how to move to a new home? Learn the steps you need to take for a successful transition.
Best moving company Great American Van Lines No one likes to move. It's exhausting, time consuming, expensive: you only hope your stuff gets where it needs to go and that no one loses an eye in the process. Apparently after deregulation of interstate moving companies, many con artist/fly-by-night companies emerged to take advantage of unwitting consumers. The horror stories range from the movers refusing to give a hard estimate, then holding your stuff hostage for an exorbitant amount of money, to outright stealing, to just bad form and breaking your stuff to bits. You will find many of these companies on the net. I requested a quote from movers.com, and got about 5 responses, all hard sell salespeople who refused to actually send someone out to give a written estimate. Because I had received what I thought was a low estimate from one of these companies, I booked a move with them. After reading epionions, I realized I needed to book with a more reputable company. The trouble with reviewing a national frachise type company is that the office of"Put YOur Name Here" Moving company in Idaho, more than likely is very different from one in Wisconsin. I was leery of Van Lines, because initially, I read some less than favorable reviews of the franchises as such in other locations around the country. I canceled with the original moving company, and called Great America Van Lines very last minute. They were so accommodating right from the beginning and sent an estimator named Jason over within 24 hours (they really squeezed me in-don't try this at home!). Jason gave me a written estimate that read "not to exceed". For an interstate move from Nc to los angeles CA two bedroom townhouse crammed full of stuff, some packing/materials the quote came to $4700 I was so shocked that the amount was around what all the other "never heard of you" moving companies. Today two packers (one who has packing experience for 20 years) arrived right on time at 8 a.m. with the driver and two movers arriving in a HUGE truck shortly thereafter. I asked the packers to pack some additional things, which they didn't mind to do, as long as I acknowledged that I would pay them for doing so. They three movers (including 1 driver) went to work clearing out my place and by 2 p.m. they were basically finished, and just adjusting things on the truck. I bought them all breakfast, made sure they had plenty of bottled water on hand, and tipped each of the movers 40/ a piece,(they were very very appreciative). I plan to tip the driver more when my things finally arrive and of course if no one loses an eye, which so far, no one has. So my stuff is off to NC . The movers were very professional and the process was as decent as a move can be, considering the process is not fun in general. So far I recommend Great American Van Lines whole heartily. I will write part 2 when my stuff finally arrives in a week or so. I was able to pay with a credit card over the phone, which is wonderful because of course you can earn travel rewards!
I have recently used your company for my move from Cleveland Ohio to Fort Lauderdale FL. I want to recapture my experience for you so you can know how impressed I was with my service. I originally was speaking with Nathan and because of his persistence (and patience) he won my business. He was not overly pushy but answered any and all questions I had. He was patient with me as I did not know my exact move date due to a hiring process I was involved in. He never got short or impatient and that was a very good tactic for me. Once the move date was set, the moving truck came to my villa within the window of time that he said it would. I also got a call from Koba the day before to confirm this. On the day of the move, Koba pulled up in front of my house, hopped out of the truck, walked toward me, shook my hand and introduced himself. All the while he kept good eye contact. This immediately gave me confidence and assurance that I was dealing with a professional company because Koba himself was professional. Koba first sat down with me to explain the way the move was billed and that the quote was for 1400 cubic feet. He could see that I would exceed that and explained to me how that would work. He went over each page of the contract with me explaining it in a way I could understand. He did not rush me even though time is money. It seemed more important to him that I was able to understand what he was explaining to me and that I understood the process. This is huge from a customer service standpoint. Once the paperwork was done, the three men, including Koba starting the loading process, but not before Koba had me come out to the truck to see that there was nothing in the truck already except for some packing supplies. Once again, this speaks of integrity and he was transparent throughout the process. After reading many horror stories about moving companies, I found this to be very refreshing and comforting. It built my confidence in Great American Van Lines. Honesty goes a long way in today's world. One the other end, the truck arrived on time after I got to the apartment. Perfect timing. Koba got out and immediately got to work bringing the boxes into my apartment. He did have a local helper on this end but in all my life, I have never seen anyone work as hard as him. He is very focused, diligent, and professional. He is a good organizer, administrator, implementer, and communicator and is wise beyond his years. The way he deals with and interacts with people is incredible. Koba is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable assets in your company.
From the get go, Great American Van Lines was helpful beyond our belief, we had planned to move from Philadelphia back to Washington midsummer. We made all the normal decisions, started to plan and pack. We called all the usual suspects in relation to our transportation. And found that the cost involved in driving a truck was just too expensive. I called the transport and storage places and found that most of the quotes were UN realistic, either too high or WAY to low. When I started to scratch the surface the “fine print” came up and the cost rose considerably. With some googling we found this company and started to inquire. Pretty much all the companies have the same deal. At pick up they disassemble, pack it, charge you for the footage you use. I found that the transport rates were vast. However when I finally got around to Great American Van Lines a gentleman named Nathan answered my call, He was courteous, and up front. We discussed my needs and instead of throwing numbers at me he asked me what needs were. After several phone calls and price shopping we went with Nathan and Great American Van Lines. They weren’t the cheapest however the forthright honesty that Nathan displayed in his calls instilled confidence with our needs. We set a date and got a price…. Within that month we had made several changes to our transport needs, we changed delivery cities and pick up times over a half dozen times. The professionalism that was extended to us was amazing, plus the price quoted did not change. Over the next several weeks we had to maneuver our move due to our work schedules, again this did not phase Great American Van Lines. Move day arrives, a driver arrives in the AM, HE opened up the truck and I was happy to see a very well-manicured trailer and a clean sturdy loading ramp that was easy to use. Our load up was quick, easy and when it came down to it, we actually used less space than was originally quoted. I don’t think I have ever experienced a move so simple and easy over the 15 moves that I have done in my life. This was as easy and honest as it gets. Great American Van Lines will be used again by my family when our needs arise.
Every move is different, so it's vital to choose a moving company that's right for you. The first consideration you should make when hiring these professionals is how far you're moving.
Depending on the moving company, local moves are typically anywhere between one and 100 miles within the same state. Local moves are less complicated to plan, both for you and the movers you decide to hire. They're typically priced based on how much you need to move, how many movers the company plans to provide and how long the job is estimated to take.
Long-Distance and Interstate Moves
Even if you're staying in the same state, you may still technically be planning a long-distance move - though the exact mileage varies by moving company, these are typically moves that are more than 50 to 100 miles long or across state or country lines. In fact, even if you're moving within the same state but you have to go through another state or country first, it's likely considered an interstate move, rather than a local one. That's because the movers are technically transferring items between state lines, which means they'll be responsible for having the correct licensing and insurance in place.
Long-distance moves are much more complicated to plan, typically requiring you to pay numerous extra expenses for everything from shipping items to renting storage space.
Are you making a big move and trying to figure out exactly how much you should plan to spend? Or are you on a tight budget and looking to hire a mover who can keep costs low? Either way, it's important to understand how exactly moving companies charge their customers.
As mentioned above, for local moves, companies will charge based on the number of movers they provide and the amount of time they'll need to spend on the project. Generally, the more rooms in your apartment or house, the more movers and time you can expect to be charged for. The price of long-distance or interstate moves, on the other hand, will be based on the amount of belongings you have - and more specifically the weight of those belongings. The heavier the boxes or items you're shipping across state or country lines, the more expensive your move will be.
Moving costs will vary greatly, depending on where you are. Local moves in a small town in the Midwest will be much less expensive than comparable moves in New York City. For that reason, it's best to do some research about the going rates in your area.
No matter what type of move you're making, you can reach out to prospective moving companies for estimates - this is the best way to determine how expensive your move will be based on where you live and what services you're looking for. Typically, the moving company will send someone to your home who will do a walk through of each room, making note of the furniture, valuables and other belongings in each one. Then, he or she will provide an estimate. The exact amount you pay may, however, be different from the amount declared in the estimate. That's where the type of contract comes in.
Nonbinding vs. Binding Contracts
For any move, a company will ask you to sign a contract. It's crucial to know exactly what type of contract you're signing, though, to understand how much you can expect to pay. In basic terms, there are two types of moving contracts: binding and nonbinding. Binding, as well as binding not-to-exceed, contracts are the most preferable for people hiring movers. These list an estimated price the moving company cannot charge more than. So, even if your local move takes an hour longer or your belongings are heavier than expected for an interstate move, you're still only responsible for paying a fixed amount.
Nonbinding contracts, on the other hand, have no fixed final number. Instead, they list a rate - by the hour or by the pound/kilo - and you're responsible for paying exactly how much your move costs in those terms.
Keep in mind that movers provide a variety of services, many of which you may not require. These can affect how expensive your move will be. For example, a full-service move that includes packing and unpacking will be pricier than a local move that only includes loading the truck, driving it to the new home and unloading it.
For any move, there may be extra costs beyond the typical services offered. If you're asking your movers to transport large, hard-to-move items, like pianos, for instance, you'll likely pay an extra fee. Likewise, if your apartment building doesn't have an elevator or the truck has to be parked far from your home, you may be charged extra. Ask about these potential expenses when signing your contract.
Don't rush through the process of hiring a moving company. Make sure the movers you hire are dependable, reputable and the right fit for your needs.
Look for Reviews and Recommendations
When hiring movers, it's a good idea to both look at reviews online and ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Personal endorsements will go a long way toward helping you determine whether you can expect the company to do a quick and professional job.
Choose Top Candidates
As you're vetting candidates through reviews and recommendations, narrow your selection to three or four top options. Make sure the companies offer the type of move you're looking for, whether it's interstate or local. These three or four companies are who you'll contact for estimates.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
After receiving estimates, you'll have a better idea which companies are within your budget. However, this isn't the only factor you should use when choosing movers, especially for more complicated jobs. In fact, you may be willing to pay a little more to hire quality movers who can ensure the safety of your belongings. Don't be afraid to call these companies and ask questions.
During the hiring process, you want to make sure of three things: First, that the moving company is reputable and has the proper licensing and insurance. Second, that the movers are dependable, professional and committed to doing the job correctly. Finally, that the estimate provided is binding and that you're aware of any potential excess costs. With these factors in mind, here are some of the most important questions to ask a moving company:
As with any service profession, there are certain moving companies - though they are few and far between - that aren't reputable or that will try to take advantage of you. It's important to be able to recognize a scam if you come across one.
Call the FMCSA
For long-distance or interstate moves, you can easily check that companies have the proper licensing and insurance, which is a clear indication that they're legitimate. All interstate moving companies must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, so call 888-368-7238 to confirm the licenses, insurance and credentials of the movers you're considering. The FMCSA can also tell you if any complaints have been filed against a particular moving company.
Check with the American Moving and Storage Association
For both local and long-distance moving companies, AMSA is another good place to check out a company's legitimacy. Moving companies aren't required to be an AMSA member, but the ones that are have committed to the association's rules and regulations, which protect both the companies and the consumers hiring them. If a company isn't an AMSA member, that doesn't mean it isn't reputable, but an AMSA membership is a clear indication of legitimacy.
One of the most common fears people face when moving to a new home is that something they own will be lost or damaged in the process. While no company will be able to guarantee everything arrives safely, there are steps you can take to make damage less likely.
Pack and Transport Your Valuables
If you have items that are emotionally or financially valuable to you, do your best to pack and move them yourself. Keep jewelry, expensive artwork, inherited valuables and even costly electronics in your own car - that way you'll have complete control over their safety at all times.
Choose a Moving Company That Plans Ahead
Moving companies can better keep your belongings safe when the movers plan ahead. What does this mean? Many companies take extra time to measure doorways, halls and stairways to find the safest route in and out of your home. They should also provide furniture blankets, covers and moving pads to keep both your home and your belongings free of scratches or other damage.
Keep the Moving Area Safe
There are some things you can control on moving day and some things you simply can't, such as the weather. If you're moving on a snowy, icy or rainy day, keeping all of your paths, stairways and walkways clear and dry is crucial. This can help protect both the movers and the large items they're carrying to and from the truck.
The subject of tipping is relatively unclear when it comes to movers. However, there is a general rule of thumb that most people in the industry agree on: Tip your movers if they've done a good job and you think a tip is warranted.
Generally, a 5 percent tip is considered appropriate, though some people recommend paying $20 per day, per mover for basic, local moves. However, almost everyone agrees you should first do a quick walk-through of your home to check for any damage to your furniture or belongings and to make sure everything is where you'd like it to be.
If you do decide to give a tip, divide it evenly and give money to each individual, rather than giving the entire sum to the head mover and expecting it to be doled out equally. One type of tip to avoid: alcohol. It's usually illegal for movers to have bottles of alcohol in the truck or van, so tipping a bottle of wine or liquor could get them into trouble.