Moving house is not a task that most people look forward to. There’s so much to organise and pack, the whole exercise can seem overwhelming. The good news is that there is a lot of advice online if you take the time to search for it.
Moving checklists and moving apps can be a huge help in keeping you focused on the task at hand. To ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible, hiring a trustworthy and reliable removalist is essential.
Image: Moving Van
Choosing a removalist is one of the more important tasks to tackle. We’ve all heard horror stories of dodgy removalists damaging, overcharging and even stealing household items. If you do your homework when booking a removalist you stand a far better chance of having a hassle free move that stays on budget.
Narrowing down your options by deciding what type of removalist is best for you is a great way to start your mover search.
Different types of removal companies:
Local removalist– This type of removals company deals with short distance moves (usually within the same city). Generally they will operate with a cargo truck and a driver assisted by 1-2 workers who will load your home contents into the truck, transport it to your new home and unpack it.
Self pack interstate removalist– Sometimes called DIY removals or container removals, this type of company will provide you with a shipping container in which you load your household contents yourself. They will transport it interstate to your new home where you unpack it, they then return to remove the empty container. This is a lower cost option for people that don’t mind getting stuck in and doing the packing and loading themselves.
Full service removalist– These removalists do everything for you. You don’t need to pack anything as they will show up with packaging materials, pack everything up, load it and transport it to your new home where they will unpack for you. This is a higher cost option for people that prefer to have the removals company take care of everything for them.
Choosing the right removalist for you
Once you have narrowed down the type of removalist that will suit your needs, you’ll be ready to start researching individual companies. Aim to get at least three different quotes to compare prices and services offered. A reputable removals company should have a functional and informative website where you can easily find relevant information about their company.
Verify the removals company is legitimate- Unfortunately there are removals companies out there that are less than honest. Do your homework and get a few basic details from your removalist to ensure they’re legit. Most of these (if not all) should be on their website:
- Contact details – email, phone number, address
- Bank details
Check out your quote in detail- A thorough quote from a reputable company should include:
- Price – the total cost for you move, including GST.
- Potential add-ons – the cost for any optional or additional items not included in your quoted price, e.g. storage costs, packing material costs, excess weight costs, insurance costs.
- Transit time – how long your move is expected to take.
- Insurance – details of the types of insurance offered by the removalist.
- Payment terms – deposit requirements, full payment due dates.
Have a conversation– By speaking to your removalist on the phone you can get a good sense of the type of company they are , and the level of customer care provided. A willingness to answer your questions along with a helpful and polite manner are good indicators that you’re speaking to someone who cares about the service they are providing.
Read online reviews– Reviews can be a great way to assess a company. Facebook, Google Plus, Yellow Pages Online and the company’s own website are good places to find reviews. Pay attention to the overall star rating as much as individual testimonials.
Even the best companies get the odd 1-star review from time to time but if a company has 50 four or five-star reviews and 2 one-star reviews, I would assume that overall they were a favourably rated company. On the other hand if a company is consistently under-performing for its customers, this should set off alarm bells for you to look elsewhere.
Great price vs great service
If you manage to find a reliable and trustworthy removalist after all your research, you’ll discover there doesn’t need to be a compromise between great price and great service. An honest removalist will aim to make your move as smooth and stress free as possible without the need to charge you the earth for it.
A good thing to remember when choosing your removalist, is to not be afraid to ask for a price match. If you feel you have found your ideal removalist but they’re not the cheapest of your quotes, go ahead and inquire if they are able to match the cheaper price. You may discover why their quote is a bit more expensive and then can make an informed decision with all the facts in hand.