Moving from one home to another is no small task, and it can be quite stressful. The team you hire to tackle your move can either reduce your stress or send your blood pressure skyrocketing, so it’s important to do your homework on your removalist team before you put all your earthly belongings into their hands.
But how can you be sure your removalist team is legitimate?
Here are 5 things to check before hiring a removalist and signing a contract.
1. Are They Licensed and Insured?
This should be number one on your priority list. Any removalist worth their salt should be able to quickly provide proof they are licensed and insured.
Ask to see their ABN number or business license as well as proof they carry insurance with the government of Australia.
2. Bonus Points if They are AFRA-Accredited
AFRA, or the Australian Furniture Removalist Association, is an optional accreditation that removalists may apply for. The vetting process to become a member is quite rigorous and the organisation prioritises the safety of you, the homeowner, while seeking to ensure removalists work in a way and with equipment that meets their high safety standards.
You may visit the AFRA website to find an accredited removalist in your area.
3. Read What Others Have to Say
Head to the internet and read as many reviews as possible. Check out the company’s Google and Yelp reviews as well as comments left on their social media pages.
That being said, keep in mind some companies pay for phony reviews to pad their page, so always ask trusted family, friends, and neighbors if they’ve had a good personal experience with a removalist.
4. Get an In-Person Estimate
Any removalist who gives you an over-the-phone quote that lasts all of 20 minutes may as well be wearing a sign that reads “HIRING ME WILL BE A TERRIBLE DECISION”.
An in-person assessment of your home and your belongings is essential to creating an accurate estimate for you. This allows the team to see exactly how much “stuff” you have, if you have any particularly large or delicate items that may require the use of special equipment (like a piano lift) or have items that may require additional time to move.
Once the removalist has seen your home in person, he or she should send you a detailed estimate for the cost of their service. You should plan on taking bids from a minimum of three or four companies.
(Hint: Given COVID-19 restrictions, there may be circumstances when a team cannot enter your home. If this is the case, they should offer to take a virtual tour of your home via a video call and will be able to create an estimate based on that. No reliable removalist will create a quote for your home sight unseen…it just doesn’t happen, so beware of anyone who makes such an offer).
5. Gathering Information from Them Should Be Easy
Listen to your gut—if you have difficulty getting answers to your questions or find the team is hard to pin down regarding certain policies, you may be dabbling with a dodgy removalist.
All their terms and conditions, standard pricing, and insurance information should be readily available to you.
Does the company charge door-to-door or depot-to-depot? Their answer could increase the cost of your move. Some moving companies start charging you from the moment they arrive at your door until the final box is unloaded at your new address. But other companies let the clock start from the moment they pull away from the depot and don’t stop until the empty truck is returned, which can add significant costs to your move.
Make sure they tell you what their minimum charge is, if they charge additional fees should the move run long, and what types of payments they accept. Some movers charge an additional fee if you pay by credit card, so knowing this information in advance allows you to save money.
Investing the time in a careful review of your potential removalist can end up saving you money and unnecessary stress. Do yourself a favor and ask the right questions to make sure you hire a professional team who will treat you and your belongings with respect.
As one of the top removalist companies in Sydney, we’d love to create a custom quote for your move. Contact us today and let us do what we do best—move your precious items and memories as if they were our own.