Finding a Moving Company

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College moving day is usually pretty hectic. Hundreds or even thousands of students (and their parents) flood the campus with boxes, microwaves, and mini fridges. Navigating through the mass of people while trying to figure out where your room is and what paperwork you have to fill out is, to say the least, chaotic. Having a mover handle your move into or out of school can save you a lot of stress and hassle.

Small Movers and College Movers

Fortunately for you, there are moving companies that specialize in handling small moves, and some even deal with college moving exclusively. Small movers aren’t limited to dorm rooms alone, but, in general, handle moves that are less than 2000 pounds (e.g., small apartments or just a bedroom or two).

The benefit of using these types of movers is that they’ll have experience with college relocation. They’ll know just how to deal with your school’s moving guidelines, and they often have pricing that’s specific to college moving. For example, they may offer pricing packages that cover a certain number of boxes, along with additional, but reasonable, fees for TVs and mini fridges.

TIP: Some moving companies offer student discounts, so be sure to ask when talking to potential movers.

What to Look for in a Mover

Now that you know what kind of mover to look for, it’s time to figure out which one to go with. Start with some easy background check on a moving company.

First, the company you choose should be a licensed and insured mover. These are the benchmarks of legitimacy in the moving industry. A moving company without them could be, at best, unprofessional and, at worst, a scammer. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) can both provide you with more information on a company’s reputation.

The ideal would be to find a mover that is licensed, insured, and well experienced and has a reputation for excellent service.

Compare Pricing

Once you’ve put together a list of potential movers, you can narrow down your choices further by getting estimates. First, you should know about the three types of moving estimates. They are:

  • Nonbinding estimates – These estimates can change depending on the actual weight of the shipment or, in some cases, the actual number of boxes. If the shipment weighs more than originally estimated, the cost will go up, with the reverse being true as well.

  • Binding estimates – In this case, the estimate will be the actual cost. It can’t go up or down.

  • Binding-not-to-exceed estimates – With these estimates, actual cost can’t increase over the estimated cost, but it can drop if the shipment or number of boxes is less than estimated. This is the best of the three types.

Get estimates from the best moving companies on your list, weigh the cost against the quality of service you’re likely to get, and pick a mover. Once you’ve found a mover to handle your college move, you can rest easy, knowing you won’t have to deal with all that moving-day stress.

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on June 29, 2010

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