Melbourne is a fantastic city, but you absolutely do not want to attempt to move your belongings across town on the tram – it’s no way to get your furniture moved safely. However, moving companies in Australia are not under any form of government regulation, beyond normal labour laws, so how to you find someone you can trust?
Moving With AFRA
While the Australian federal and state governments do not regulate the removal industry, there is a body that respected furniture removers will join. The Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) is a self-governing body, although they are consulted by various Government departments to gauge the impact of legislation changes might have on their members.
In order to be a member of AFRA a removal company must have appropriate levels of Public Liability Insurances as well as be able to provide Transit Insurance to customers. As membership is not restricted to large interstate companies, do not ignore the value of using a small one-truck operation for your move. As long as they are a member of AFRA you likely have some assurance that they are a reputable firm.
How Do You Find A Moving Company?
Obviously you are going to want the best Melbourne removalist, but how do you find them? Once upon a time you would go through the phone book (remember the yellow pages?). These days a quick Google search will bring up hundreds of results.
However, what you really need is a good word of mouth recommendation – but, before you can get that you need to be able to explain what type of moving company you are after.
One Truck, By The Hour
If you only have a room, or a small house lot worth of furniture to move, and you are only moving a short distance, your best bet is likely to be just a small firm. If you are able to pack and unpack, and perhaps even help them with loading and unloading the truck, then you will get the entire move done very quickly. As you are paying by the hour, the less time it takes for you to move, the cheaper your cost. Generally, a small firm will be able to give an estimate rather than a quote, as there is always the unexpected that could put an extra hour or two of time into the day. Also, make sure you check how many movers they are providing. Normally, you will get two movers, and be charged an hourly rate for each.
Melbourne Based Specialists
A larger firm may have offices all over Victoria, but if their head office, and the majority of their trucks, is based in Melbourne you are likely to get a good deal, and an experienced and efficient move. However, with larger firms you may find that they are booked up well in advance, as they will often be working in the retail and commercial sectors as well as moving residential houses.
Companies that specialise in moving people across the state lines will often be a little more expensive if you are just wanting to go around the corner. However, it is still worth speaking to them and getting a quote, as if they have half a truck free or a few hours between moves then they may want to have that time filled rather than have a driver sit idle.
Generally, you will find that movers who specialise in international moves won’t take on jobs that are small house lots moving across town. They have a very efficient system for quoting, packing, insuring and moving, which doesn’t always translate well (or economically) to a moving job that will only take a few hours. The packing quality for an international move is also significantly more robust than is generally needed for a short local move. However, if you have a large number of priceless artefacts you can ask your moving firm for an international standard of packing.
Word Of Mouth Reviews
IN the modern world you can get great word of mouth reviews online. Really passionate people who either loved or hated the service they received will post a review on the companies Facebook page, people will add comments to a yelp review or a google review, and there is always the number one way of getting feedback – asking on the local Facebook group.
This is where you need to know what it is your asking for help with. Asking “can you recommend a mover” will get you a range of options, from someone’s friend with a trailer, through to someone who packed up a container and shipped it to England. If you are able to specify the type of move, that it is only a short across town move, but that you have a full three bedroom house lot of furniture to relocate, then you are more likely to get feedback that is easier to interpret.
Once you have the name of a few removalists, have a look at their website, Google their name looking for bad reviews, and get your top three or four in to estimate how much it will cost to move you.
Money, Money, Money
There is a new practice of charging for quotes that is starting to slip in, however this amount will be taken off the final invoice if you go with that company. You can however ask for a general estimate over the phone based on the size of your house. This will give you a ballpark figure so you don’t end up getting someone in to quote who is far beyond what you would be prepared to pay.
When you sign up a firm, double check with them what your insurance is going to cover. If you have any particularly valuable items, ensure that these are listed individually and will also be covered. Talk to the company about what circumstances their insurance will kick in.
Often you will need to pay a deposit to confirm the booking, with the final payment due once you have moved and are happy with your service.
A good removalist will make your life so much easier, so pick one that you can get along with right from the start.