Pros and Cons of Hiring Movers

Friday Jan 11, 2019

You are moving — congratulations on finding a new home! Now, you have to figure out if you want to do the moving yourself, or hire a professional company that can pack up an entire home and move it for you. There are pros and cons to hiring a mover; please see some examples below:


Packing supplies provided: Professional packers come in with their own bubble wrap and boxes — it's usually all covered in the fee you pay. Even if you hire just the movers and a truck to move your stuff, more than likely the company will supply you with boxes.

Less stress: It's hard enough to move from one place to another, let alone pack all of it up. Hiring movers — especially a company that will also pack for you — will help save time and energy, as well as the physical stress of lugging boxes. In addition, you won't have to move things like heavy dressers, couches and chairs, or fragile items, like your wedding china.

You will save a great deal of time: Packing up an entire house can take you literally months. Movers that come in and do the packing for you could do it in a few days. The will not only pack boxes, but wrap precious artwork and ensure everything is correctly labeled. Especially if you are busy and would only get to packing on weekends — hiring a moving company could be a time-saving option.


It can be expensive: This is probably the No. 1 reason people do not hire professional movers — because of the cost involved. How much movers cost will depend on a number of things: How far from your old home are you moving; how many rooms are you packing; how many employees are needed for the move; and the cost of supplies. Sometimes if you move a long distance, you may pay a flat fee for everything. But if you are moving locally, more than likely the company charges by the hour, per moving staff. Ask the company to give you an estimate in writing or at least tell you, in general, how much a move like yours might cost.

You have less control over the move: When you hand over the job to professional movers, you are subject to the way they do things. You will not have control over how an employee wraps or packs your stuff. You won't be deciding what is packed and put where. If you do decide to hire packers, you may want to try to give them as much clear guidance in advance of packing as you can.

There are scams you need to be aware of: Unfortunately, not all movers are reliable. Sometimes sleazy companies will change the amount they charge you, even doubling or tripling what they quoted before the move. If you refuse to pay the new rate, they take your belongings hostage until you do.

Make sure you get a complete contract that both parties sign — this should include a guaranteed price and delivery date.

Don't pay cash and if you have to, get a receipt.

Don't ever put your furniture into an unmarked truck. Reputable moving companies have clearly labeled vehicles with commercial plates you can trace.

You should be able to keep track of your belongings at all times.

At the end of the day, once your moving job is finished, you should think about tipping the workers. Tips are usually based on job performance — was your crew professional, were they attentive, helpful, did they have a good attitude, and were they careful with your fragile items. Figuring how much to tip your movers should also be based on how much time they spent on the job. For example, after they moved all the boxes and furniture, did they take apart and put together things like beds and bookcases? Did they clean up packing supplies and take them away for you? If you are happy with your work, then tip them accordingly.

Rule of thumb: if the move takes a half-day — or 4 hours -- $10 a person is appropriate. If your move took a full day of 8 hours, $20 per mover is good. If you had a great deal of heavy items, or were moving to the second floor of an apartment building, you may want to consider tipping an additional amount. Make sure you give each person their own tip individually; don't lump it and give to the driver or foreman..

Finally, should you "treat" your workers? They have done a lot of hard and strenuous work, offering water or soda is appropriate. Some people prefer to feed workers pizza or a lunch instead of a tip. It is not appropriate to offer beer or alcohol; there could be liability issues if someone goes out and gets hurt. Keep the tip as cash and the workers can spend it how they wish.


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