Common Moving Questions Answered
Q: How much does a typical move cost?
A: There is no simple answer here. Local moves are charged by the hour and Long Distance moves are charged by weight and distance. So it all depends where you are moving to, how much you are moving, and how long it will take to move you.
Q: What kind of mover do I need?
A: In terms of Local or Long Distance, if you are moving within your state you need a Local mover, and if you are moving outside your state then you need a Long Distance mover.
Q: Is it worth it to let the movers pack for me?
A: It might save you some time and effort, but I would say it is not worth it. They will charge you significantly for this service, and they will not take as much care of your items as you would. At the very least, pack and move your own valuables yourself (fine china, jewelry, etc.).
Q: My mover was terrible, who can I complain to?
A: For Long Distance movers you can issue a complaint with the FMCSA, and for a Local move speak with the state authority for moving in the state where the move took place. There are also numerous review sites out there where you can express your issues. If you found this mover through a 3rd party (like a site that gives you free moving quotes), let that company know about your bad experiences. They won’t be able to resolve anything for you, but they would be happy to know if a mover they work with is causing trouble (so they could stop doing business with them).
Q: Do I even need a mover?
A: It really all depends on what you are moving. If you live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and are moving a short distance you might be able to move everything yourself with a few U-Haul trips. A big move (big in size or in distance) might be easier for you if you hire a mover. And don’t forget the hybrid option – move what you can yourself and leave the big items (beds, couches, tables etc.) for the movers.
Q: Should I get moving insurance?
A: This is a hard question to answer because it all comes down to how badly you want to protect your stuff. Most movers will cover 60 cents per pound (so a 10 pound broken item will get you $6), but this is terrible coverage since most things are more valuable than 60 cents per pound. So if you trust your movers or are not worried about damage, then maybe you don’t need added coverage. But if you are worried about damage or loss, then it might pay to get additional moving insurance.
Q: Should I tip my movers/how much should I tip my movers?
A: Yes, you should tip your movers. But like with everything else, tip only if you feel they deserve it. If they do a terrible job, then obviously they don’t deserve a tip. But if you think they worked hard and took care of your stuff, then it is appropriate and customary to tip. $10-$20 a mover (generally) should cover it, and even consider offering them something to drink or a snack.
Q: Is there anything I’m forgetting?
A: Mail forwarding with the post office. Changing your address with your bank, magazine subscriptions, utilities, cable company, credit cards and any other account you might have. Pack a bag with some clothes in case you can’t unpack on day 1. Get some rest the night before. Make sure you have some cash on you. Make sure to read and reread your moving contract.
Q: How can I tell if my mover is trustworthy?
A: Outside of someone giving you a good recommendation, or you experiencing it for yourself, it’s very difficult to know if your mover is trustworthy. But at the very least, make sure they hold the proper licensing and insurance, and make sure they are very clear with you on what you are being charged for. Before you sign any contracts with them, make sure you understand what you are singing up for and make sure you aren’t getting any worrisome signals from your mover (such as being hard to reach, not wanting to put anything down on paper, or giving you extremely low moving rates).
Q: What is a Moving Broker?
A: A moving broker is not a mover. They act as a middle man between you and the mover. When a broker books your move, they do so with a mover that you may know nothing about. It’s quite possible that the first time you speak to your mover is on the day of your move. The risks are obvious – not knowing or being able to choose your mover means you could be signing up with an unlicensed and unscrupulous mover. Do not use a moving broker!