Moving any retail space is quite a different job than when moving a home. With a clothing store, there is also more to consider than just moving the clothing (and even that is going to be different than the advice we give to homeowners). Vancouver store movers know that there will be operational equipment, furnishings and fixtures that need to be disassembled with the right tools, or handled with care.
And, retail supplies are not like ordinary furniture. If retail store movers don’t do their job correctly, any broken or missing pieces of a store can affect revenue at worst, and result in a mismanaged, frustrating store to shop in, at best. But, sometimes moving to a new commercial retail space is necessary – either to downsize your costs, or grow the traffic needed in your store.
With that in mind, we’ll give you some tips on how to move a clothing retail shop. Even if you plan on hiring professional store movers to do the job for you, it’s good to be equipped with the knowledge you’ll need to know if they’re doing a good job.
Thoroughly discuss moving rates, ask questions and plan for the unpredictable level of inventory to move
When you get an in-person estimate to move a clothing retail store, one question that will come up is: how much inventory are we moving? Let’s say your store is moving in two months. You’ll be getting deliveries or supplies in that time, to keep the store stocked. Or will you? What if you aim for liquidation, but don’t know how much you’ll realistically sell by moving day?
Since the inventory levels that need to be moved can be hard to predict, it’s crucial you discuss this with your professional movers in advance.
Another MAJOR consideration is for international movement of goods. If you’re planning on moving across borders, there may be customs documentation needed. Bring this up with your mover, especially in case they’re not aware, or forget to ask you about it. This page of the Canadian government’s website has more info: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/comm-eng.html Find out your costs, and what may happen if your movers are delayed or rejected at the border for any reason – who pays in that instance?
The next question to ask is about tear-down. You may have wall racks attached to studs, light fixtures (like chandeliers), cabinetry, wall divisions and other more-or-less ‘permanent’ materials in place for your store’s ‘look and feel.’ The store mover may not be thinking that the ‘semi-permanent’ parts are their job too. But if you need them to be, let them know! Sometimes, these can be thought of as part of renovation or junk removal services.
If this is your first time moving a clothing retail store, remember that movers are not like delivery companies. They are also not moving anything similar to your home. So these differences in your past experiences will need to factor in to your expectations.
On that note, we also recommend checking for moving insurance!
Prepare far in advance of the store movers’ arrival
While technically you could ask Vancouver store movers to handle everything about your move, chances are you’ll want to take care of much of this yourself.
First of all: consider labour costs. Your minimum wage employees may be the perfect cost saving alternative to boxing up your store. This is especially true of your store experiences down time with little traffic, and your store employees would otherwise only be holding down countertops for you.
They’re also trained to use your equipment and know how your store is already organized. So they’re going to be the most knowledgeable when it comes to keeping the right things together in the right boxes.
Some other tips for preparation of your retail move:
Have your packing tape, foam, boxes etc. ready for employees to start packing. Don’t let wasted time go by because they didn’t have the equipment to do the job. When you shop for these, you may also want to get some large paper rolls to hide what’s going on inside your store windows on moving day – though this up to you.
Take down mannequins and disassemble them if they’re not being used. Put them in boxes – either together with their individual parts, or ‘arms with arms, legs with legs,’ etc.
Find all your admin stuff – receipt rolls, price stickers, tagging guns and even your pens. Your extras may be stashed away somewhere that you forgot about. Gather them all together so they’re not loose ends that need to be cleaned up, wasting time, on the day of the move.
Hire your cleaners, or arrange for employees to do this task. Don’t forget to empty the steamer and vacuum. Best to have the dusting done before you pack up shelves and racks.
Check your lease rules to see if moving docks, backdoor access ways, delivery parking spots, or even allowed hours for moving are going to fit in with your store movers’ schedule.
Make sure your moving company will have all the equipment needed for a clothing retail store move. For example, do they have the right types of moving dollies for your needs? What about ramps on their trucks if they can’t use loading docks? Clothing racks and protections? Ask about everything!
If you have an alarm or security equipment managed by a third-party company, schedule them to come in on the same day of the move. They’ll need to re-install your systems and set you up at the new location.
Contact any utility companies to make arrangements for the move. Water hookups, electricity, phone lines, Internet etc. will all need to be operational when you are open for business at the new location. Do your address changes for other services where necessary (such as with credit card companies, banks, etc.)
Clear out personal items such as employee mugs, lockers, and whatever else may be hanging around.
Schedule your bank deposits from your cash register and POS system the night before, so that you’re not carrying large monetary amounts to the new store. You don’t want this to go missing during the commotion of the move.
If you hire a display designer, make sure they’re available to set up your store when you move. And if you’re using their staging supplies, you may want to have them pick that up on moving day, to avoid being responsible for any damages.
Find out how you’re going to take down signage, and if it can fit in your new space. You may need specialists to handle this part of the move. Same goes for vinyl wall or window decals.
We also recommend making it known on your website, and with a store sign, that you are moving, and what the new address will be. See our article linked-to below about how to preserve your SEO when moving a business, for more on this.
Sell whatever clothing inventory you can before moving day
Depending on how far you’re moving, your budget, and the markup on your inventory, it may be worth holding a massive sale before moving. That said, the case here can be different for different clothing stores. You may want to do a bit of math to find out if offloading your inventory is cheaper than paying to move it professionally.
Selling off inventory doesn’t just have to mean putting on a sale. This article by Profitguide.com explains how to move stock that’s not selling:
You can also donate to local charities, as another option for getting rid of inventory. See this article on our blog for options.
Protect your inventory when moving your store to a new location
It goes without saying that you’re going to need to take extra precautions to make sure your inventory is still sellable after you move to a new store location.
You may not have all the original packaging that your store’s clothes came in. But it may be a good idea to start collecting the plastic bags and boxes they’re being delivered in, so they can be re-boxed the same way for the move. You can also ask your suppliers for extras.
When you do pack the clothing, we do not recommend you use for-sale materials to cushion your breakables. We can give this advice to homeowners, but this is a different case. You want to keep your clothes looking as new and unused as possible. If you pack brochure displays or detachable hooks with your clothes, they might tear, and you don’t want that.
And, don’t forget about the breakables, like accessories. Do you sell nail polish and jewelry? How will you keep them from damage during the move?
When everything is boxed up, you may want to also consider humidity and moisture. If you’re moving dresses on rolling racks – even if they’re bagged in plastic – you want to keep the bottom away from puddles. You also want to make sure that the moving truck isn’t packed so that a water-filled steamer or cleaning spray bottle is sitting adjacent to clothing. Best to treat the clothing as fragile in this case, and let your movers know about the concern too.
Moving a clothing retail store doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does help to know the differences from when you’re moving a house. This can prepare you for the smoothest transition to your new space. And, by discussing these considerations in advance with your store movers, you’ll likely save money, or at least come to a more accurate estimate.
Ferguson Moving and Storage can help with your retail moving needs. Give us a call, and we’ll come by for an in-person estimate.
When you look online for Vancouver hot tub movers, or instructions on how to move a hot tub, you’ll get some confusing information. But if you look a little more, you’ll find out that moving a hot tub is no easy feat. This is why you may want to hire professional movers for this job. But if you want to do it yourself, or make sure your hot tub movers know what they’re doing, we’ll give you some tips in this article.
Moving a hot tub is expensive
The first thing you’ll want to really consider is whether or not it’s worth the payoff to move a hot tub in Vancouver. Sometimes, the cost of moving this large, over-sized luxury is about as much as it would cost to buy a new one. But, that doesn’t consider factors such as installation and delivery fees. And of course, if you invested in a pricey luxury spa for your backyard, moving it might be worth it, if you want to keep that investment.
Keep in mind however that once you move your hot tub, it will need to be re-installed. So you’ll have delivery fees (which can cost hundreds), and then installation fees. Possibly even repair fees if things go awry during the move.
If you read this guy’s story of finding a used hot tub, then transporting it himself (with friends), you’ll see that while yes, he saved money on the big picture. But he also had to do A LOT of work, pay a lot to move it, and already had the know-how in “physics, engineering, plumbing, hydrodynamics, electrical engineering” to make it all worthwhile. A novice – or merely a busy person – would probably not be able to do all this. So there is a reason why professionals need to charge as much as they do for moving something as complex as a hot tub.
Moving a hot tub is risky
A hot tub can break during transport, and it can also cause injuries. These spa pools can weigh between 500-1000 pounds. You will likely need to get the structure on its side, and that will require heavy lifting. Do you want to put your friends through that risk? A professional mover will have the right workers compensation insurance for any potential injuries, not to mention trained staff.
You need proper equipment to move a hot tub
You could try to wing it and move a hot tub with a few small doilies and some reliable, strong friends. But chances are, you’ll find that it’s a heavy, heavy item. It probably won’t fit in a moving truck (depending on size, of course). So you’ll need to get it on a trailer.
There are companies that make equipment specifically for hot tub movers. Here are some to check out, so you get an idea of what you’ll need for this job:
If you don’t have the made-for-hot-tub tools, you’ll need at least 4-wheeled dollies, preferably those with a flat bed of some sort (like skid movers), 4×4 wood or pallets, straps and the right protective gear.
Remember the small details when moving a hot tub
When you move a hot tub, you’ll also need to consider the small details. For example:
How are you going to wheel it to a truck once it’s on dollies? Some videos online will show movers using planks of plywood to create a flat, smooth surface all the way to the vehicle. You’ll need to purchase these as well.
Is it completely drained and dry for the move? You won’t want to move a hot tub that is wet, as that will make the job all the more annoying. In fact, this article mentions that if you’re moving in cold temperatures, water can freeze and damage your pipes in the tub! On that note, you may want to get it well cleaned before you move, or right after it lands in its new spot.
Do you have the padding material to keep it safe? Don’t let it crack or dent! Get the right protection for your hot tub when moving it. And that is not the top cover! Tape cardboard, blankets, whatever it takes to keep it from hard bumps.
What about re-installation? We mentioned this above, but don’t forget you can’t just plop it down on the grass in your hard and fill it with water! It needs proper installation.
Will your warranty cover a self-move? Maybe you want to hire insured movers for this, so that you’re covered if the hot tub breaks during transport.
How will you store all the small parts? We recommend you keep the blowers, pumps, heaters, cords, plugs and caps, wires or anything small and detachable that goes with the tub in a contained, separate bag or box. Don’t let these lie around where you’ll forget about them!
What if you have to get the hot tub through small spaces? Think about the logistics before you try to relocate your hot tub!
Consider recycling an old hot tub
If your hot tub is old or damaged, and you basically want to get rid of it before you have to move, you can consider two options:
Call a junk removal company to come and deal with it for you
And yes, there are fees associated with the above options.
Need a hot tub mover in Vancouver?
As you can tell by the above advice, moving a hot tub is not easy, and we don’t recommend doing it yourself. We have plenty of advice on how to move other items on your own, on our blog. But this one is a bit of a mountain to climb. Give us a call, and we can discuss how to move your hot tub if you need us to, or if it’s a good idea.
This is the third article in our series on how to avoid long distance moving scams. As we’ve stated in our earlier articles part one and part two, the advice we’re giving is based on real scenarios of people who have endured problems with shady business practices in the moving industry.
Moving in Canada should be safe, and predictable. But multiple news reports are showing that is often not the case. Even if you don’t move with a long establish company like Ferguson Moving and Storage, you should at least be aware of what’s out there and what to look for in a reputable, honest moving company such as Ferguson Moving and Storage.
Below we’ll continue mentioning what to look out for when hiring a long distance moving company.
Don’t use a long distance moving company that outsources it services
The other thing to watch out for is what the president of the Canadian Association of Movers says in this CBC article: moving companies that outsource their services.
In the story linked to above, the family whose belongings were in storage couldn’t get their boxes because one of the companies involved in the long distance move claimed they had not been paid! This is really an issue between two companies and should not be offloaded to a customer.
However, as a consumer, you should never be working with a moving company that does not hire and train their own staff, with full insurance, injury coverage and compensation. The person you talk to on the phone, or the person who does your moving quote, should be connected to the actual movers who show up on moving day.
Don’t pay a cash deposit, and don’t sign a moving contract without clear dates and times stated
Some moving companies just don’t show up. It happens, believe it or not. And what are you supposed to do when you have to be out of your home in a day, with no other moving company available last minute to help you move?
As the article we linked to above states, avoid paying a cash deposit. And if you do pay an up-front deposit, make sure you have a binding contract that ensures the moving company will show up. Being late is one thing (traffic and delays happen to the best of us). Not showing up is another. As a consumer, you should be protected and compensated for such instances.
Your contract should also state that your belongings will not be left in storage, and there should be clear dates for delivery as well, putting onus on the moving company to make the delivery. If you have to go and get your things out of a locker, that means extra cost for you, unless you own a huge truck, which we’re guessing you don’t.
Make sure your moving company has a real address and physical location
The CBC video linked to above shows a reporter trying to find a moving company that is accused of overcharging their customers based on false weight tickets. But when trying to go to the locations listed in their marketing material and documentation, all they could find were Shopper’s Drug Marts or another business office.
This is already a sign that something is not right. If a moving company can’t keep a single address, or at least keep its addresses up to date in a reasonable timeline, that may be a sign that other things are being neglected, such as ensuring weight scales are giving accurate data.
While that may sound like conjecture, remember that real moving companies have to hire employees (which are not just movers on location), and those employees need a place to work. They also have trucks they need to park and service. Sometimes, they also need storage lockers or warehouses to store belongings for long distance moves. So this is not the kind of business that can typically be run with a mere post office box service. If you can’t walk into a moving company’s office or warehouse, that can raise questions about outsourcing, as noted in our previous article on this topic.
You can do something about a moving scam
If you do encounter a problem with your moving company, there are steps you can take. To start, we wrote about how to start the conversation with them in this article:
In our first article, we explained that movingscams – even if they are based on legal-sounding contracts with legitimate moving companies – are all too common in thelong–distancemoving industry.
As this CBC Marketplace video explains, by interviewing a professional mover, starting a moving company is too easy nowadays. All you need is a friendly representative at the other end of the phone line, and a nice website. Heck, some Canadian movers don’t even own warehouses, addresses or their own trucks: all of that can be outsourced, or lied about.
Some want the moving industry regulated. But so far, that is limited.
In this series, we wanted to explain how to avoid the longdistancemoving problems that you don’t expect, or that are harder to spot. For example, a nice person comes to your home to give you a quote. Or a friend recommends a moving company. How do you predict moving company scams in situations like this?
There are tell-tale signs, and it helps to know what they are. We covered some of them in our previous article on this topic. Below we continue to cover more.
Ask about fees in detail before you sign a moving contract, or don’t let the movers load your belongings in their truck
In this story on the CBC website, a mother was told her moving costs would be 4 times what she thought they would be. As she explains in the story, the initial contact with the moving company was pleasant.
But come moving day, she was told that there would be extra fees for things like going up stairs. She was also going to be charged for wrapping TVs, and for weighing her stuff. Sound fishy? That’s because it is. All of these details should have – and could have – been covered in an initial estimate or quote, and then put in writing before moving day.
The other big lesson to learn here is also to get an in-home moving quote (it’s unclear if this happened in the story mentioned above). The person who gives you amoving estimate needs to come to your home to see your belongings. Describing the needs of your move is not likely your specialty, if you’re not a professional mover. So a moving company should be doing that for you.
Reading the story linked to above, you can see there was a lot of “she said this, she said that” – but it seems nothing was in writing except a “bill of lading.” And that document didn’t discuss all the details of what was to be moved beforehand, or what the final moving costs would be.
This comes back to the weight issue discussed in our previous article on this topic. A moving quote can be binding and set at a flat rate. You just need to find amoving company willing to give you this predictable pricing model.
But, even more fishy is that the bill of lading in this story did seem to outline what the estimates would be, as well as inclusions like ‘packing fees.’ And, get this – the addresses the moving company publicized were not accurate.
So remember – a nice website and a friendly phone call do not protect you as a consumer in the moving industry. You have to take more steps to be vigilant about the company you pick to handle yourlongdistance move.
Use long–distancemoving companies that are insured and provide insurance for lost or stolen belongings
In this CBC article, we read about a couple who claim a moving company employee stole their jewelry while it was unattended. The moving company denies the claims, stating that an investigation did not bring up proof of the situation. But the couple found out that one employee on the job had a criminal record.
In the case above, the moving company advertised it does background checks on all its employees, which it ended up not following through on, in this case. So this is not something that is easy to spot or predict as a tell-tale sign that you’ve hired a shady moving company. Just know there are no guarantees. And no one can say with certainty that a person with a criminal record is going to commit crimes agains, or shouldn’t be hired at a job to start a new beginning.
However, there is a lesson to be learned with all this: never leave your valuables unattended! Jewelry in this case was left in a box in the bedroom. But something that valuable should be kept in a safe.
Also, make sure there is insurance for this sort of thing, if it happens. Arrange that insurance before moving day, and as you negotiate your longdistancemovingcontract. Ask your mover: what if something goes missing in my home, even if I didn’t ask you to move it for me? What then?
Since the jewelry was in a box that was not hired to be moved by the moving company, they claimed it was not their responsibility. So, you will also want to make sure that your other insurance policies cover belongings like this in such a situation. For example, make sure your homeowner’s insurance would cover you if you put things in a special box on moving day to prepare for the move.
You also want to ensure your moving company has insurance for in case belongings get damaged during the move. This happened, and was caught on camera, withthis moving company customer.
To conclude: long distancemovingscams are preventable
As we noted earlier, a lot of these issues can be prevented if you are aware of how to spot them. They do happen, and we’ve only mentioned a handful of articles on the CBC site that describe them.
If you are booking a mover through an online bidding program or through an app, like this one used in the U.S., remember you still need to meet the mover in person, and ensure they are a reputable company. This is especially so with a long distance move, because your belongings will be going farther, and there is more to consider. There is also less you can take with you, or move on your own.
Long Distance Moving Scams in Canada & How to Avoid Bad Movers
Recently (January 2017), the CBC reported a story of a long distance moving company that wouldn’t deliver a family’s belongings until they paid double the amount they originally thought it would be. Digging into the issue, you’ll find that stories like this abound in Canada. We found many similar stories on the CBC website.
We, like other ethical moving companies in Vancouver and Canada, believe that this should stop. Some cross-country moving company owners are calling for more regulation of the industry by government.
Until then, we will do our best to help educate the public on long distance moving scams to avoid. These are not hypothetical: these have happened to real Canadians using real, so-called ‘legitimate’ long distance movers in Canada. By ‘legitimate’ we don’t mean ethical: we mean they had a pretty website, sometimes had really nice staff do the in-home estimates, and had branded trucks with logos and everything. It’s not always obvious to spot the shady businesses in the moving industry.
We will say for sure, before we start, that there are always two sides to every story. Long distance moving companies in the articles we’ll mention below do try to make their defenses and claims. And we don’t know all the information to say whether or not one side is being dishonest with their story.
However, the point of this article series is not to determine who wins the argument: it is to help future long distance movers avoid these problems in the first place. And they are avoidable, if you take some precautionary measures.
Always pick a reputable moving company by doing your research outside their marketing material
We did mention above that it’s not easy to spot an unprofessional company, especially if they have a nice website and branded vehicles. However, you can be sure that if people are getting ripped off by a company more than once or twice, it is likely they are going to be talked about. If the same complaints are happening over and over again, then it’s not likely an issue of a misunderstanding between two parties, which can happen in any business.
We wrote about how to pick a reputable moving company on our blog before, and encourage you to have a read:
Don’t sign long distance moving contracts that charge by weight after the fact
One thing you’ll want to do, as described in the articles above, is to look for a long distance moving company that will give you a binding quote – not an estimate that could fluctuate based on a mover’s discernment on moving day. And certainly one not based on weight.
That is what happened in the article we mentioned above, and we encourage you to avoid it. CBC’s Marketplace re-weighed the goods of the moving company customer, and found they weighed almost 2,800 pounds less than what the long distance mover had said it weighed. Of course, the mover said the customer changed the number of goods to be moved, which explained the extra cost.
But the point is this: disagreements like this need to be avoided in the first place with better, more assured moving quotes. If there will be anything undetermined regarding price that has to wait until the final move, beware of problems you’re likely to have.
If you do want to use a moving company that charges by weight…
The excuse that “mistakes” and “errors” can occur with weight-based quotes is not a good one (yes, this has been claimed). It should be up to the moving company to ensure they are using calibrated, government-certified scales when weighing belongings.
Some may claim that you can be there when your belongings are being weighed. Check in advance to know if this will be an inconvenience to you. Or they say you can ask for it to be re-weighed. But remember: you have no way of knowing how well calibrated the scale is. So yes, the scale can be ‘lying’ – whether or not intentionally on the part of the mover. You are putting a lot of trust in the moving company with a weight-based quoting system.
And the consumer should know what that weight will be before agreeing to the move, and well in advance of moving day. This way, they can opt to use another company if they want to. Looking at your furniture, or mentioning you have enough to fit a 1-bedroom apartment in an online form is not a great way to guess how much it weighs. That could be anything!
There are more long distance moving scams to watch out for
We are going to cover more of these stories in a follow up article on this topic. Stay tuned for our further advice, using real situations that Canadians have endured with shady moving companies.