Choosing a Removalist Service for your Furniture Move

Buyers Guide / July 1,2014

Relocating from one place to the other can be a daunting task and involves many aspects, not least of which is transporting your furniture from your current location to the place you are relocating to. We've put together a handy guide to help you choose the absolute best service for you.

 

SOURCING A REMOVALIST

There are many companies out there advertising themselves as 'family owned', 'best service' and 'affordable prices'. While these are all important factors to consider, it's always worthwhile to do a little digging before settling on a removalist company you can trust to make moving home a pleasant and less daunting experience.

Do Your Research

The internet is a revelation when it comes to sourcing services that best suit you. Make sure you read all the information available on a company's website and never be afraid to ask questions about what they offer. Go one step further and try googling their name with 'reviews' in the search box to see what others have said about their service. Public forums and blogs are an excellent source for finding out how past customers feel about the company you're looking at. Do a comprehensive check on all results yielded to read as much as you can about the service you may be choosing.

Does One Bad Review Decide Who I Choose?

One bad review shouldn't equal an automatic dismissal. While it is tempting to strike a name off the list at the first hint that they're less than perfect you may want to think twice. There are many different scenarios that a removalist will face when dealing with each client and their unique location. Factors such as access, service expectations, items to be moved, time expectations and, of course, everyone's unique character and personality will play their part in how things run on the day. Sometimes it comes down to something as simple as a lack of communication (more on that up next) however if you're seeing page after page of unhappy customers, that's definitely a sign of an underperforming company.

 

PROVIDE IN-DEPTH DETAIL

Be sure to provide your chosen service with as much information as possible. Many factors come into play when moving furniture; bulky or light, big or small. Removalist companies will appreciate your detail and thank you for letting them know before they arrive what they can expect to face. Gather all the information you can about both your current address and where you're moving to:

House Location

Is my house on the edge of a cliff? Is it a battle-axe block? Is it a townhouse or a 9th floor unit? Also, take note and advise the business you have chosen about the nature of your street. Is it wide, narrow, a cul-de-sac? Does your building have a loading bay and if so, what are the access hours and security measures in place? Knowing these details in advance could save everyone time and money, letting your move run smoothly.

Access

It is best to have details of all doors and access points available for the removalist. You can do this by measuring door frames and by measuring items in your house that are bigger than the normal piece of furniture. For example a leather lounge, a washing machine for your laundry, a fridge for your kitchen space. All these items are bigger than the standard household item and all require attention to make sure they will fit in the'desired space. Some removalist services will simply leave an item in your garage or at the front of your home if it is too big to fit through the access point. Others may go that extra little bit further and remove a door off its hinges to allow entry. It is best to check measurements and ask the question - "What will my removalist do in the event of...?"

Service Expectations

A very common question that is sometimes overlooked is "Will my removalist unpack and remove cardboard and packaging once it is in my new place?". Almost all services do offer this, however it's not something to be expected as a matter of course. Asking the question allows for better planning and avoiding those awkward moments and unexpected costs.

A List of What is Being Moved

Your removalist will appreciate being told what's ready for him to move when the time comes. Make a list of what falls under general items and a create a special list for fragile items. Sub-categorise your belongings into box sizes, this way the service can 'pre-pack' the truck even before they've begun to load up. Any dismantling of furniture should also be listed. This will help the removalist plan their day. Where possible, disassembling your furniture in advance will be appreciated by the removalist business you have chosen.

 

6 KEYS TO CHOOSING A GOOD REMOVALIST

  1. Is cheaper better? Depending on conditions, generally the cheaper the quote the lesser service you will receive. Choose someone who details to you what your money is buying you and, if the service provided is what you need, don't hesitate.
  2. Word of mouth - If your friends or family have had a good experience with a removalist then you should make that call providing that all the above objectives are met. Nothing like full disclosure to make for a better relationship.
  3. Backloading - There is a backloading option for a lot of big transport companies who say to you that opting for this service can and will save you money. This may be the case, but ask yourself if you trust your load on board a truck with someone else's things and ask the service how it will be managed and what time frame you should expect it
  4. Advertising in Local Gumtree Listings - It's 2014 and the age of the internet has been in full swing for a 15 years now. If a local team is advertising for free in Gumtree and they have no website, forget about them. If they are serious about their business and the work they do, surely a website with their business information isn't too much of a stretch.
  5. Answering the Phone - Many removalists do not have a reception desk or secretary. They use their mobile to conduct all business. If an enquiry/message hasn't been returned in a couple of days there is a chance the removalist doesn't want your business. That's okay. Don't despair. Competition is fierce in this industry and generally, the more enthusiastically one answers your enquiries the more you should find out about them and give them a go. Beware of the business who doesn't ask any questions about your move and guarantees you that "they'll take care of it all ... don't worry". Moving is a stressful exercise, how stressful depends on you and the team you choose.
  6. Experience - Just because they are removalists does not mean they have moved everything. Be sure to ask your nominated service if they have experience in moving specific things i.e. pool tables, glass and other fragile items, musical equipment. Some businesses refuse to move certain items due to lack of experience - everyone knows their own limits. Avoid an inexperienced removalist if you have special items that require specific handling or you may end up worse for wear.

 

REMOVALIST ARE NUTTERS, IN A GOOD WAY!

Over the years, legislation has made every attempt to streamline the transporting of goods across our vast country. In doing so, there are a lot of measures for truck drivers to adhere to. Long hours dealing with traffic on a daily basis and driving around huge loads, can take it's toll on a human. Add to that a days worth of lifting and arranging bulk furniture and you can understand why this choice of profession is not everyones cup of tea. A removalist will generally tolerate many conditions. If they are experienced, they will always remember their worst move and compare it to the job at hand. Providing as many details to them prior will almost certainly move you out of the "worst move ever" category. No one can blame you for living where you do and nor should they, but being upfront will save you a load of time and money in the end and make for a better business relationship. The service will be almost definitely better for it and your objectives will be met in a more pleasant and streamlined manner.

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