Moving Made Easy

How To Choose The Right Removalist | Two Men And A Truck

We’ve heard the horror stories of removalists driving longer routes so they can charge extra, or refusing liability after damaging items.

Dodgy removalists sometimes pull the wool over people’s eyes with websites that look professional.

But then turn up late and charge eye-watering fees for poor services (with no insurance protection, mind you).

It can be hard to know who to trust with your precious belongings!

You deserve good value for your investment. We’ve created this guide to help you choose the best removalist for your needs, so you’re not ripped off.

10 tips at a glance:

  • Does the removalist have a licensed business name?
  • Does the removalist have AFRA accreditation?
  • A detailed phone conversation
  • Performing estimates at your location
  • Cheap quotes may be too good to be true
  • No deposits or hidden costs
  • Check reviews from credible sources
  • Special care is taken for precious, heavy or fragile items
  • COVID-19 precautions for health and safety

Does the removalist have a licensed business name?

If your removalist has an ABN and local address, their business has been licensed, which indicates some credibility. Of course, an ABN by itself is no guarantee that you’re in good hands, but it’s a positive sign to start with.

Does the removalist have AFRA accreditation?

It’s in your best interest to choose a removalist that’s been accredited with the official body for removals. This is the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA). To earn the AFRA stamp of approval, members must meet the highest standards for staff training, equipment, vehicles, insurance and storage facilities.

AFRA only gives accreditation to companies that have their customers’ best interests at heart.

Any removalist that you’re considering should have the “AFRA accredited” symbol on their website. You can use this search feature to double check their accreditation, and find other accredited companies.

Don’t settle and choose a removalist that isn’t licensed.

Remember, the moving industry is NOT regulated. ANYONE can buy a truck and call themselves a removalist – without meeting the best industry standards.

A detailed phone conversation

Every move is different, based on your location and what you’re moving. A successful move always starts by collecting comprehensive information over the phone. This helps us to understand your requirements and constraints – before allocating suitable resources for a stress-free move.

Be wary of removalists that don’t take the time to understand your unique needs. A quick phone call won’t cut it! Moving quotes are based on far more than the number of items you own (size and weight can be important variables too).

A good removalist should always:

Ask for an inventory of items, to delegate enough movers with a truck that’s big enough. You don’t want to pay for multiple trips!

Find out if there are heavy or fragile items. Particular tools are required to move pianos, pool tables, furniture made of stone and other special items. If this is not understood over the phone, the removalists may not be able to move all of your items. Even worse, they could damage your precious goods.

Ask where the truck can park. The ideal parking location is next to the front door, however this isn’t always possible. Apartments, steep driveways, height clearances and busy streets can create obstacles. We need this information in advance, to prepare a tailored solution that makes your move easy.

Find out if there are any lifts or stairs. These features can add a lot of time to a move. Removalists need this information upfront, so they can consider sending more men or suitable equipment to make the day go quicker and with less hassle.

Ask if you need anything dismantled or reassembled. This is important because it ensures that removalists bring the right equipment on moving day.

Another consideration about phone conversations:

Sometimes you can pick up on suspicious activity based on how the representative answers the phone. If they don’t state their full business name when answering the phone, there could be reason to suspect you’re dealing with an illegitimate business.

Performing estimates at your location

A reputable removalist can organise a time to visit your property and understand your needs.

During the visit, they will estimate how many items need to be moved, and if any special considerations are required for fragile or heavy items.

A good estimator will be able to estimate the volume of your belongings in cubic metres. They will also identify potential obstacles such as walkways, stairways and oversized furniture.

The estimator will even ask questions that you may not have considered, such as whether or not you plan to sell or acquire anything large before moving day, and what you’re going to do with the food in the pantry.

Be wary of estimators who quickly walk through your house, without opening cabinets or taking proper notes.

Comprehensive insurance for peace of mind

Stay away from removalists that don’t offer any insurance protection.

Professional removalists go out of their way to protect your belongings. Even so, sometimes accidents happen that are beyond our control (it comes with the territory)! In the unlikely event that your belongings are damaged, you don’t want to be out of pocket to replace or repair items. Insurance gives you this protection.

The more comprehensive the policy, the better! It’s worth noting that only AFRA members can offer comprehensive insurance and usually your home and contents doesn’t cover moving!

Cheap quotes may be too good to be true

It’s only natural to be drawn to the most affordable removalist, but you could end up paying a lot more in the long run!

As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper the price, the lower the service quality. There’s usually more risk involved because the cheapest companies don’t have the safety net of insurance if anything goes wrong.

Their movers usually aren’t trained professionals, so they’re more likely to damage your beloved items (without taking liability for this). You could end up paying thousands more than you bargained for, and end up with a long list of regrets.

Most people work hard for their money, so price is an important consideration.

To avoid unnecessary costs, make sure you provide the removalist with plenty of information about potential obstacles, so they can bring suitable equipment for a streamlined job. Don’t be shy about asking as many questions as you want too!

No deposits or hidden costs

No deposits on a standard hourly rate move
If a removalist asks for a deposit on an hourly rate quote before the move, run for the hills. You’ll have zero control over when you’ll see your belongings again, if you pay this money. Withhold payment until delivery has been completed and every box is safe in your new home or office.

No hidden costs:

Dodgy removalists have no qualms about charging hidden costs, on top of the original quote. Reputable removalists don’t need to do this, because they ask all the right questions during the estimation process, and include all extra charges in the original quote.

Look for a company that has an all inclusive rate structure and if in doubt ask them if they charge extra for any of the following so there are no nasty surprises when you come to pay the invoice –

  • Trolleys, dolleys, blankets and equipment
  • Stairs
  • Fuel levy
  • Tolls
  • Protective wrapping charges
  • Dismantling and reassembling

Check reviews from credible sources

If you’re like most people, you don’t make important buying decisions without first checking what other consumers have to say. Take the same approach here. After all, you’re welcoming strangers into your home to move your possessions, so you need to trust them.

Online reviews from independent sources provide insight into how reliable a removalist company is.

But beware, not all reviews are created equal!

Some sneaky companies use fake reviews on Facebook and Google. Thankfully reputable services like Trustpilot and Product Review only allow true (verified) customers to share their feedback.

A good removalist should have 1000+ reviews with a rating above 4 stars. Read the feedback and ask your removalist any questions you may have.

You can also ask your friends, family and co-workers for their recommendations.

Special care is taken for precious, heavy or fragile items

It’s heartbreaking when family heirlooms and rare antiques get damaged during transportation, because most of these can’t be replaced. As for repairing or replacing other valuable items, this usually comes with a hefty price tag!

What about special items, such as that baby grand piano in your attic, or the Snooker table in the shed? A top removalist will consider all packing and moving requirements for special items. Even if this means temporarily removing windows and using pulleys and winches.

Would you rather not worry about any of the packing?

The best removalist companies can send a specialist packing team to take care of the entire packing process for you. Alternatively, you can ask them to send you packing materials with instructions that make the job easier. Right off the bat, any removalist worth his salt will explain the provisions they have in place to protect your belongings.

A note about storage:
You may need extra space because your new house isn’t ready in time, you’re downsizing or jetting off for a long holiday.

Whatever the reason, look for a removalist company that offers flexible storage options for short and long-term needs. Avoid removalists that charge hidden fees for storage.

Storage facilities should be clean, hygienic and secured around the clock with CCTV monitoring.
Save money by choosing a company that doesn’t double-handle your belongings.

Storage containers or pods are a good solution. Removalists choose a waterproof container that’s big enough for your items (but not too big that you’re paying for empty space).

This container is driven to you, and the items are loaded then and there (only once) – before the container is transported to a secure facility. The possessions are then safely returned to your desired location, when you\’re ready.

COVID-19 precautions for health and safety

Reputable removalists take precautions to protect their clients and workers, by minimising the spread of the virus. During the global pandemic, find a company that reassures you that it follows all current health regulations, and even takes personal hygiene precautions after the mandates end. The best removalists keep their clients updated about the steps they take during these uncertain times, to alleviate anxiety.

A final word:

Moving can be incredibly stressful, even before the pandemic! Sometimes a domino effect of chaos can be triggered by only ONE thing going wrong. If you rush the process of choosing a removalist, you could have regrets later on. Take your time to choose a company that walks you through the entire moving process, and frees up your energy to focus on other priorities.

Thinking of moving?

Two Men and a Truck (TMAAT) is committed to Making Moving Easy. Our licensed professionals do everything we can to ensure that your relocation goes without a hitch, and you feel in control every step of the way.

We offer a complete removal service, to help you settle into your new home or office within 24 hours (local) to 72 hours (interstate).

Our approach is flexible. Choose as few or as many services as you require and only pay for what you need.

Services we offer:

  • Boxes and Packing Materials
  • Professional packing and unpacking
  • Safe transport
  • Secure storage
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Ethical waste removal
  • Utility disconnection and connection

If you have any concerns or questions, please call 1300 880 412 or email We update this page regularly with the latest information. You can find us on Facebook too (@TwoMenAustralia).

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