You're moving to New York – congrats! It's now time to find a mover. As with hiring any company to handle a big job for you, it's important that you ask specific questions – and get specific answers.

After you have narrowed down your list of New York movers to three or four, have them visit so they can see what possessions you want moved, as well as other services you will require, and give you an estimate. The only way to get an accurate estimate is to have them in your home looking at the ACTUAL things they will be moving.

Here are the questions you should ask your movers, and the kinds of answers you should get. You are not looking for just the right answer, but how the question is answered – a meticulous salesperson usually represents a meticulous moving company, and that's exactly what you need.

1. How long have you been giving moving estimates?
You want someone who has been doing this for awhile. Ask the salesperson about their background. Were they a driver or did they work in some other aspect of the moving process before being an estimator? The more experience they have, the more comfortable you will be that you are getting a true estimate.

2. How long has your firm been around?
If the moving company has been in business for some time, it is usually a good sign they are doing something right and have been providing good service to their customers. You should not base your decision on the time in business alone, but it is a good insight into the company.

3. What pricing options and estimates do you give? You can learn a lot about the moving company representative – as well as the moving company – by how knowledgeable he or she seems, and how willing they are to take the time to explain your options. If someone rushes through the explanation or seems to not understand the options and how they might apply to your move, be wary.

4. What is my delivery schedule?
You want a realistic answer. For long-distance moves especially, it can be tough to be precise to the exact day. Most movers will ask for the option of a couple days in the moving period; beware of anyone who offers dates that seem just a bit too good too be true.

5. Does your company do any repeat work for businesses in the area? Many will ask a moving company for references of individuals who have used their services, but let's be frank – what mover is going to give you a BAD reference? However, if the moving company does a lot of repeat relocation work for a particular business, it is a good sign they do quality work on a consistent basis.

6. How will you handle (name of object)? If you are moving a treasured item or a large, cumbersome object like a piano, find out how it will be moved. This is another test of the moving consultant’s knowledge, and a test of how you can expect to be treated.

7. The last question is for you: Is the sales representative just telling you what you want to hear? You probably do not want to work with someone who disagrees with everything you say, but you do want someone who isn't afraid to tell you something you might not want to hear. Did what they say make sense? If it did, it's a good sign he's looking out for your interests.

After you meet all the applicants, compare notes, and don't let price be your only guide; in fact, a much lower price may indicate that something was missed in the assessment, or indicate you'll get hit with additional charges later. Follow-up after the ‘in-home estimate’ is also important.

Finally, and this seem elemental, but which moving consultant worked the hardest for your business?

Charlie Morris worked for over 30 years as a moving estimator as a certified moving consultant.


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