4 questions for highly rated Boston movers

Moving can be a painful process for even the most prepared homeowner. Three moving experts — Mike Bavuso of Big Foot Moving & Storage Inc. in Arlington, Mass., Kamaul Reid of Rare Moving and Trucking in Boston and Ezekiel Wheeler of Intelligent Labor and Moving in Cambridge, Mass. — shared their advice for minimizing the agony.

If you break something, do you replace the item or reimburse the cost?

Bavuso: Big Foot Moving & Storage, Inc. has an excellent record of providing damage free moves to customers. Unfortunately, the possibility of accidents can still occur. We assume liability for the value of the goods that we transport.

However, there are different levels of liability, and customers should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option. Customers select the type of protection that they desire and indicate the choice, in writing, on the bill of lading. Most homeowners' insurance policies do not provide coverage for your household goods for moving purposes. However, customers should check with their own insurance agent to see if their existing homeowner or renters' policy covers the goods while in transit.

Reid: The RARE Team has always taken full accountability for damages we have caused during our jobs. We remedy all damages.

Wheeler: It really depends upon the items and the customer as to the course we take in the event of a damage. We work with the customer to find a solution that suits them. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to damages, or much of anything in the moving industry. 

Have gas prices and the housing market affected your prices and business?

Bavuso: High fuel costs have resulted in fuel surcharges to our customers. On all local jobs, we add a flat fee to help cover the high cost of fuel. The housing market in the Boston area is still strong despite what the media says. We have found that there is always a high demand for reputable and trustworthy local movers.

Reid: Our rates have not changed since the inception of our company. We post our rates openly on our website. However, due to the rise in gas prices, we have had to add a fuel surcharge to all jobs.

Wheeler: Gas prices have had a much deeper impact on our interstate pricing than our local business. Seventy-five percent of the addresses we go to are in Cambridge [Mass.] and most days each truck travels less than fifteen miles.

How do you charge?

Bavuso: Local move prices are based on an hourly labor rate which is computed by the number of men and the number of trucks needed to perform the job. This is multiplied by the amount of time it takes the moving crew to drive to your initial residence or office, load the truck, drive to your new address, unload the truck, place your possessions at your discretion, and drive back to our warehouse.

The amount of items you wish to relocate and the overall size of your residence will determine your estimate of costs and the number of men you will need. A local move may take a couple of hours or a couple of days, based on the size and the services requested. Local moves have a minimum of two hours.

Wheeler: For local work, we charge by time and materials.

Reid: We charge per man, per truck and per hour from the time we depart our warehouse until our estimated time of our return.

Why use professional movers instead of friends and family?

Bavuso: Professional movers are licensed, and insured and we are experts at relocating apartments, condos, houses, small businesses, storefronts and office parks. Professional movers are more efficient and they have the proper tools and equipment to perform the job.

Family and friends usually have no idea what they are doing, do not have the physical conditioning needed to do the work, barely have anything more than a screwdriver and certainly don’t really want to move you.

Reid: If you are no longer a college student and you care about having your furniture wrapped in moving blankets - call a mover. You truly need a mover when your friends or family are not returning your call because you are moving again.

Wheeler: It's a lot easier. You may spend more on professionals than it would cost with your friends, but once you factor in damages and opportunity cost, professionals are a more economical choice.

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