Moving is not fun; the process leading from moving from one place to another cannot be done alone. You will need help especially from moving professionals to help you make it right and free of hassle as it can get.
However, while the right moving company can make for a smooth move, choosing the wrong mover can make your relocation a nightmare.
With an estimate of 2.2 million household moving in Lagos alone within the next 5 years (that translates to around 450,000 household per year), it will be really difficult if all moves go smoothly, having no hiccups whatsover. With so many moves, lapses, scams or shoddy practices are bound to occur. It’s in your interest to be informed about every step in the process and how to safeguard your own interest.
One step to ensure your own move is not plagued with lapses is to hire a quality mover. Below are basic things to keep in mind when you shop for movers and eventually hire one:
1. Shortlist three to four movers
There are so many movers than you can ever do business with. And you equally don’t have the luxury of time to start contacting each and everyone. The best option is to shortlist three to four movers by requesting for quotes through Hutbay Movers or based on recommendation from friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents. You can equally go through the directory for moving companies on Hutbay to find movers that covers your location.
2. Show me your license
This is a must; you must ask for it. No shying away at all. Licenses is a must when you are looking for a mover. The mover must be duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, must have insurance, and ideally, should belong to one or two professional moving/logistic bodies.
3. Read reviews or get recommendations
After you’ve shortlisted your movers, the next step is to do a quick background check (you can do a more thorough check later). Read their reviews or recommendations on Hutbay Movers. You can also ask the movers to send in recommendation letters from their past clients. There are crooks in the industry and cases of moving scams abound. Therefore, you need to take measures to avoid falling into the hands of scammers or downright thieves.
4. Ensure on-site visit
You’re going to want to get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Don’t allow a mover to phone-in to take inventory of your belongings; don’t rely on any estimate that comes from someone who hasn’t looked in every one of your closets. A reputable moving company will visit your home or property to take inventory of all your belongings and determine the bulk and weight of your move.
Your moving estimate should be thorough and based on checking all of your storage places such as cupboards, drawers, garages and bookcases. A large component of the mover’s price is based on the weight of your stuff and the space your goods take up in the truck. Be sure you understand this estimate and that it is as accurate as possible.
5. Review the estimates
Don’t simply look at the total costs, and you feel it is still within budget, so you sign the bill you are given. The estimate may be a combined document that, when signed by you and the moving-company representative, serves as your order for service and bill of lading. These, along with the inventory list created when your goods are loaded, are the basic documents any mover should provide you with.
The estimate should clearly describe the type and quantity of goods you’re moving, the distance to your new home, when your things will be picked up and delivered, and any additional services (such as packing) and supplies the moving company is providing. If you want to purchase additional insurance from your mover, make sure you understand the costs and details of that coverage. And have the company send you a revised written estimate if necessary―don’t just take someone’s word for anything.
6. Avoid packing costs
If you pack your belongings yourself, the mover generally isn’t responsible for damage to them. However, if you have your mover do the packing, you may pay inflated prices for boxes and packing materials, not to mention time and labor. If you decide to have the mover pack for you, ask about the packers’ experience. Most packers are careful, but you want to avoid the chance of getting someone who tosses whatever they can into a box and then seals it up with little regard for breakage.
7. Don’t pay a large deposit
Established and reputable movers may not demand a large deposit before moving. Ideally, you should only pay upon delivery. If you pay in advance, you may have no control over when you will move, etc including the possibility of not seeing your belongings again. Above all, when you do pay, never pay cash; only pay into the company account of the mover to help protect you from possible fraudulent activity.
8. Make sure you sign a contract
Again, don’t leave anything to chance. Ensure you have binding contract signed with your mover. Get absolutely everything in writing. The mover’s estimate and any extra fees should be listed, as well as your pick-up and delivery dates.
Carefully go through the contract terms and conditions and make sure all of your belongings are listed. If your laptop isn’t labeled on the inventory form you sign before the driver leaves, you can’t expect it to be in the box when he arrives. You can’t file a claim for something that doesn’t appear on the inventory list.
9. Ensure insurance and valuation protection
Moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods they transport. However, there are different types of liability you can levy against your mover in the eventuality of damage, lost or theft of your valuables. Ask your mover to provide you with full details of their insurance coverage and types of liability. You need to be aware of the charges that may apply and the amount of protection provided by each type of liability.