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Let’s face it, moving and packing from one place to another can be one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through. Apart from having to figure out what you need, what you don’t, and how to pack, your greatest concern is finding the right packing and moving service.

There are so many options out there, but, how do you decide which one suits your needs the best and above all, which one is the most reliable?

Well, there is a way – it’s called asking questions and making your job easier. We’ve listed out some of those key questions right here. So, make sure you choose your packing and moving service thoroughly before arriving at a decision.

Do you have a business license?

All businesses are required to be registered and licensed. A licensed business is a legitimate one and that’s what you’re trying to establish by asking this question. After all, you do want someone trustworthy to move your stuff, don’t you?

So, don’t hesitate to ask this question. In fact, you can ask them to show evidence for their licensing.

A reliable company will offer you all of this information right away. You may not even have to ask them.

Asking for licensing proof is necessary because there are plenty of fraud operators out there who can ruin things for you. They could either end up damaging your goods or worse, run away with them. So, learn to avoid trouble by asking for licensing proof.

Do you provide on-site estimates?

A reliable packing and moving service will provide you with an on-site estimate after conducting a basic assessment. However, if they don’t, keep away from such companies and start looking for other options.

You don’t want those kinds of problems. So, look for a company that is willing to give you a written, agreed-upon estimate right from the start. Such companies will stick to the originally quoted price and not surprise you.

Also, when hiring for international shipping, look for companies that charge according to distance and per pound instead of cubic feet.

You will have a few responsibilities on your end too. For starters, it is your duty to alert the packers and movers to any specifics or requirements. Make sure you discuss every clause so that there’s no issue later.

Finally, make sure the estimate has all the details such as the payment date, mode of payment, and charges. Request for a personal copy of the estimate for future reference.

What extra services do you provide?

Extra services may vary from company to company. Some might include packing and shuttle services as extra, while others might just provide one of the two. The same goes for other services such as warehouse handling, fuel, parking, long carry, and flight.

The point is to make sure you get an idea of what your packing and moving service provider is giving you. Sometimes, it so happens, that customers end up paying for extra services that they don’t need or didn’t ask for.

So, avoid such extra charges by simply asking for a list of all the extra services that are included in the service provider’s packages. Transparency is a good sign and if your provider gives you every little detail, you know you can trust them.

How old is your business?

A business’s reputation is determined via several factors and one of them is tenure. Tenure here refers to the amount of time the business has been active for. If your packing and moving service has been in business for a long, you can be sure that they do a good job. This is because poorly performing companies rarely last long.

However, there are exceptions. Some companies might be good, but, new to the business. In that case, you will have to judge them using other metrics such as the ones we’ve already discussed.

But, tenure is a good indicator of a business’s reputation and quality of work; the longer, the better.

Can you provide references?

One of the best ways to identify a good company is by asking for references. The logic is quite simple here – if there are plenty of other people who are satisfied with the company, it means they’re good at what they do.

You could start by looking at online reviews. If there are mostly positive reviews, you can probably trust them. If you’re not satisfied, ask the company for references. A good company that is confident about its reputation will gladly provide you with those references.

Plus, talking to other customers will also help you verify pricing and other such aspects.