Industry Facts Shopping Around

New Moving Season, New Moving Rates

Moving season is right around the corner and most movers are starting to prepare now. The industry generally sees a huge increase in moving demand mid-March, which usually stays active until November.  With that being said, most movers have two types of seasonal rates: winter (December-February) and summer (March-November). Winter rates are always going to be cheaper than their counterpart. Most movers (us being one) honor winter rates even when someone is moving in the spring/summer. This means that if you’re planning on moving, explore options now and try to schedule with a mover within the coming weeks!

Industry Facts Shopping Around

The Value of a Detailed Inventory List

A detailed home inventory list is not something that most homeowners have readily available. Keeping a current record that’s updated quarterly is a good idea, especially for high-value items. Maintaining tabs on your belongings is beneficial when it comes to insurance claims and relocating homes.
We recommend this Home Inventory Checklist created by StateFarm: https://static1.st8fm.com/en_US/content_pages/1/pdf/home_inventory_checklist.pdf

 

When contacting movers in preparation of moving, one of the most important pieces of information they’ll need to collect is the list of items being relocated. In addition to the list in itself, if you’re concerned about your delicate/expensive items, a moving company will request an approximate valuation in order to quote you for FVP (Full Value Protection) insurance for specific items or even lump sum insurance.

Industry Facts Shopping Around

When Local Movers Guarantee a Price

Beware! Movers operating legally and under licensure provided by the ICC (Illinois Commerce Commission) are not permitted to offer guaranteed and flat-prices for a local move. Every now and again we come across a client that mentions something to the effect of, “..But X Movers quoted me exactly $500.00! Why can’t you guarantee a price!?” So, if it’s illegal, why do some movers do it?

There are two possible reasons:

 

  • A “mover” isn’t legally licensed to help people relocate within Illinois. Instead they advertise themselves on online classified pages. These guys are simply looking for work. Chances are they’ll show up with a truck, van, or even a rented truck. Since they aren’t licensed, your goods aren’t protected and covered by a movers insurance. If something is damaged…you’re on your own.
  • Bait-and-switch! A licensed mover can assure a customer that they will charge them a flat-rate of, say, $300.00 to move their 2 bedroom apartment from River North, Chicago, IL to Evanston, IL. Then the movers show up, begin the move, load the customer’s goods onto their truck, and BAM! “Hi, this is Frank with Y Movers. My crew is telling me that you have more furniture than we expected and that the move is going to take longer. We can no longer honor our quote of $300.00. We’re going to have to charge $700.00.” Well, what choices does a customer really have in such a situation? Not very many. The movers verbally told you they are offering a flat-rate, but in reality, on paper, and filed with the ICC, they charge hourly. You have to pay up, especially since your items are already on their truck.

The takeaway should be to double-check a mover’s reputation online, verify that they are licensed through the ICC, and not believe promises that other movers can’t make.

 

Resource links:

Industry Facts Shopping Around

Top Four Sites to Search a Movers History and Reputation

 

Today we’re going to share with you the top 4 best places to search and understand a mover’s reputation online:

This following list is in no specific order

  1. BBB – Most people are familiar with BBB, at least I think they are. The Better Business Bureau “…Ensures that high standards for trust are set and maintained. We exist so consumers and businesses alike have an unbiased source to guide them on matters of trust. We provide educational information and expert advice that is free of charge and easily accessible.” This is the go-to site for seeing a quick snapshot of a mover’s reputation over the years.
  2. Moving Company Reviews – “MCR verifies every review with a Bill of Lading (move receipt) to ensure it was written by a real customer for a real move.” MCR has paved the way for reliably reviewing moving companies. Each review is verified, so you know everything you read is accurate and trustworthy.
  3. ICC – The ICC (Illinois Commerce Commission) is the issuing body for a mover’s local license. Without a license through the ICC, a moving company can’t legally perform a local relocation within Illinois. Always make sure to ask a mover what their ICC license number is, so that you may be able to double-check their credibility.
  4. DOT – The DOT (Department of Transportation) is the issuing body of a mover’s long distance licenses. Without a license through the DOT, a moving company can’t legally perform a long distance relocation.

What about all the other review sites out there? They’re nice and each serve their own purpose, but will all the sites out there it becomes too overwhelming. Pick 1, 2, 3, or 4 from the above and you should easily be able to get a general feel of a moving company.

 

A few resource links:

 

Industry Facts

Industry Trends Are Neat!

I guess people in Chicago have had it with these passive-aggressive seasons we experience. According to AMSA’s (American Moving & Storage Association) most recently published Mobility Data trends, Chicago had the second most outbound moves in Q4, 2014!

Their reporting’s are as follows:

Top 10 Metropolitan Areas, Outbound

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
  5. New York, NY
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  8. Philadelphia, PA
  9. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
  10. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

That’s out of an estimated 307 million Americans that relocate annually!

Hopefully this just means less crowded rush hour traffic?

 

Source: http://www.promover.org/mobility

Shopping Around

Why We Love, Love, Love MovingCompanyReviews

MCR (MovingCompanyReviews) changed the moving review’s game for the better when they first launched in 2012. See, the problem movers have (had!) with online review giants is validation. Essentially, and very easily, anyone can hop online and write a review, good or bad. There’s no verification process. It suuuucks. Why does it suuuuuck? Well, mostly because very few customers go online and publish positive reviews and, believe it or not, there was this awful period of time where movers would go and publish fake reviews bashing other companies. THE ORIGINAL INTERNET TROLLS!

 

Anyhow, fast forward to 2012 when MCR launched. They decided that it was time movers received the praise they deserved. As they so accurately write on their About Us page, “MCR verifies every review with a Bill of Lading (move receipt) to ensure it was written by a real customer for a real move.” They even reward people who post a review with a gift card, or better yet a PIZZA! If only you guys came around sooner!

 

I’ve seen a lot of good come from MCR. Most specifically, we had the chance to move MCR’s Founder, Doug Breaker. He actually wrote about it here: http://blog.movingcompanyreviews.com/how-finding-a-great-mover-took-me-3-years/. The best part…we didn’t know until after we moved him! Don’t you just love it when someone really believes in their own product? We sure do!

 

Thank you MCR for trying to fix an issue the moving industry has been facing for quite some time now.

Packing Tips

What the Heck is Partial Packing?

Partial packing is the most cost-effective packing-of-furniture solution out there. Its aim is to make a customer’s relocation as smooth a transition as possible. Partial packing service covers all basic household furniture. It includes moving pads and blankets, industrial sized bubble wrap, durable shrink wrap, and specialized packing tape.

Moving pads and blankets are the most regularly used protector for furniture during the transportation phase. The most common furniture item that is packaged with a moving pad is wooden furniture. China cabinets, dining tables, office desks, and anything of the like will be securely packaged in blankets. Aside from what was just mentioned, items that are irregularly shaped will be covered as well. An irregularly shaped item can be as common as an office chair, to a disassembled bed frame, or even a BBQ. The moving pad is the most versatile tool a packer has.

Bubble wrap is used on any and all fragile items. When it comes to packing glass/fragile items extra protection has to be accounted for. This is why a mover can’t use generic wrapping, rather the industrial standard of bubble wrap. This type of wrap will protect anything from a TV, to the glass top on your coffee table. All mirrors that are part of your moving list will also have a layer of this security wrap. Fragile items that are packed with bubble wrap give those moving the reassurance that their most delicate belongings will remain undamaged.

Upholstered furniture requires special protection from the elements. The shrink wrap movers use will keep your most cherished upholstered furniture clean and safe during transportation. Common items that are wrapped in shrink wrap include sofas, mattresses, and floor lamps. Dust, rain, and dirt stand no chance against multi-layering of shrink wrap on your belongings.

The most important tool a packer has is tape. Tape is used on almost every single item. Special tear-resistant tape helps movers secure their specialized materials to all of your furniture. When it comes to using tape, movers aren’t sparing.