You’re not alone in the pursuit of getting the most affordable movers possible. Many people shop around for quotes, closely examine packages and options, and rejoice when they find that “magic quote” that is remarkably lower than the others.
Unfortunately? If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Although tighter regulations have made it more difficult for scam companies to operate, shady business owners have found sneakier ways to squeeze their customer’s bank accounts.
We’ll give you the inside scoop on how to arrange cheap ways to move cross country, and how to spot and avoid the pitfalls of potential scammers while you’re at it.
Watch for these red flags
- Estimates that don’t include a home visit or a detailed inventory are almost always way off base and, of course, “subject to change” once the movers actually arrive at your home to assess your freight. They may measure your belongings by weight at a different facility once they’ve already loaded it into the truck, only then determining your cost — meaning they have your belongings hostage if you disagree with their charges.
- No online presence = no track record. A mover may have a hundred reasons why they don’t show up on review sites like Yelp or Better Business Bureau, but don’t believe them. Any reputable company welcomes reviews, will post their credentials, and be traceable online.
- Beware of companies that ask you for your budget and then tailor their quote to match. A reputable, well-organized company should have rate sheets available by weight, labor hours, truck size, something — they should not be making up numbers out of thin air. Ask for details.
- “We’ll deal with the paperwork on moving day”. If the company is shady about letting you see the terms and conditions of the move ahead of time, chances are there’s something they don’t want you to see.
How to hire an affordable mover
- Outline your budget to determine what you can afford, and what you are willing to pay, for quality, affordable movers. Generally? Cheaper isn’t always the best option. So where is the line for you?
- Choose a mover that will give you an all-inclusive price, rather than an estimate, that includes all fees that will be assessed. This will ensure you know exactly what to expect from the beginning and won’t be surprised by any fees that they just “forgot” to tell you about.
- Check the reviews! Unhappy customers who got hit with last-minute charges are likely to report them online, so pay attention to any red-flag reports. Better Business Bureau, MovingScam.com, and Yelp are great places to start.
- Examine your options on the DIY front. You could, for example, load the truck yourself and just pay the movers for the drive; you could also reverse that and hire helpers to load and unload your freight and take charge of the drive. There are plenty of ways to plan an affordable move without getting swindled!
- Affordable moving companies will often help you find moving supplies as well. Utilizing recycled boxes or purchasing a bundle of supplies from the company can be another way to cut down on moving costs.
It may seem like a tough task to tackle, but it’s doable! Here’s to a smooth and scam-free moving experience.