TIPS on how to PROTECT YOUR MOVE by a REPUTABLE MOVER (Information Provided by Tara of SeaCure Moving & Storage, Tuckerton, NJ)
- Make sure your Mover is fully licensed, registered, insured. Ask the Mover to provide a License number and proof of insurance. Or call 973-504-6200 (State of NJ Office of Consumer Protection) to check.
- Make sre you are provided a free in-home survey and written estimate. A Mover is required to physically survey your goods prior to calculating an estimate. (The only exception is if the Shipper is not able to provide access or physically be there.) After physically surveying your goods, a mover is required by law to provide you with a written estimate of the costs at least 24 hours prior to conducting the move. The only exception is for a "short notice" move, or a move less than $500.
- Make sure you are provided a copy of your Inventory or Cube Sheet to accompany your estimate. An inventory outlining articles being moved should be generated and provided by your moving Consultant. It also details what the Mover is packing and what the Shipper is packing. This provides transparency for services and additional services to be done and proves that the price quoted encompasses all the articles noted. A move may be priced hourly, by weight, or by cubic feet (space). No matter the method, the price quoted should be based directly on what you are moving, and additional services such as packing. Estimates should be within 10% of final charges unless the customer requested additional services. It is easier to challenge a discrepancy in charges with the inventory detail.
- Do your online Research. Google your Mover to make sure they are a brick & mortar business and not an online broker. Or ask your Realtor for a Referral. Online brokers and search engines are great for finding best prices for a hotel or car rentals. But moving brokers can be trouble. An online broker sells leads to movers and does not always check to see if they are operating legally. They will quote you a low price and may ask for money down to book. They then farm the work out to whoever will take it. It often is an unregulated entity. You sometimes may not know who is coming to your home to perform your services. If someone shows up at all, you often do not know who you are letting in your home. Moving is a labor-intensive service which puts people inside your home with all your possessions. Reputable and licensed carriers screen their employees (drug tests and background checks). If someone is sending 4 men to your home for 8 hours for $500, they are not operating legally. Usually the mover who arrives will find a way to increase your price and you have no documentation (see above) to argue otherwise. They know you are stuck on the day of the move. And there is no recourse when you cannot locate the broker who put you in this mess! In N.J. a great resource is www.NJMovers.com. All Movers on this site belong to the NJ Warehousemen & Movers Association (founded 1969) who screens and monitors all members and provides ethical standards and monitors ethical practices of membership. They have links for out-of-state referrals as well! Check www.bbb.org for Better Business Bureau ratings or Angie's List for customer ratings. If you go to the Mover's website, click to map the actual location, and read the reviews. (Illegal movers and brokers have stolen our online photos to add to their websites.) Be wary of companies who use a name close to a nationally known Carrier. For example, you can go to www.Bekins.com to make sure we are an official Carrier for Bekins Van Lines. Or ask your Realtor for a Referral!
- You should not be required to provide a deposit to book a date or be charged monetary penalties to change dates. Reputable movers do not usually require money up front to book. A Consultant or Mover who pressures you in your home to book a date and put money down is the one to walk away from. Follow your instincts. Charges are usually collected after loading, prior to delivery (unless coming into storage) as regulated in the tariff filed by the Mover.
- You should review your closing timeline(s) with your Realtor and Mover to avoid unnecessary additional charges, especially in high volume months. Moving costs more on the weekends. Set your closings mid-week. Close Thursday and move Friday. (Do not close Friday and move Saturday if you can avoid it!) Summer months, end of the month (29, 30, 31) and mid-month (15) are the highest volume days. Lenders like to keep their ledgers neat and it forces everyone to move at the same time. Any flexibility can help you get a better price and a better selection of movers. Keeping in communication with your Moving Consultant, Realtor, and Lender is key in reviewing logistics to avoid bottlenecking around closings, which can result in additional moving costs.
To get answers to any moving questions, please email Tara at Tara@SeaCureMove.com or call 800-458-0026. Or see their website at www.BekinsNJ.com.