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10 mistakes to avoid when hiring movers

Two people checking the delivery information on the packages at the warehouse

Moving houses might be quite scary and stressful experience. And that’s not only because you have to leave the old place you’ve spent a part of your life in and the neighborhood with all the friends you’ve made. Not only because you’re intimidated by packing and unpacking hustle every move is related to, the change of living conditions, your new job or making friends at your new place. The process of hiring movers is one of the main causes of major moving worries.

One of the things that worries people who’re about to move the most is finding reliable movers and making sure that they do a really great job at packing my items safely, transporting them to the destination without breaking or losing something unloading them without making a big deal out of carrying heavy items up the narrow stairs and issues like that. And certainly, everyone would like to rely on reputable movers, who’re always willing to satisfy the client’s needs and bear the responsibility for their mistakes and compensate all the damages, caused by their not-so-perfect moving services.

However, you have to understand putting a lot of time and effort into finding the most experienced and trustworthy movers operating in your local area and conducting the kind of moves you’re about to go through is the first and probably most important condition, which ensures smooth moving experience.

It’s your job to take all precautions you can to hire the best movers out there and make sure that they won’t scam you or cause major complications during the move.

Sometimes, lack of experience or much faith in people may lead to significant moving troubles, including scam, extra fees, lost items, failure to meet the deadlines, etc. So, here are the most common mistakes you need to avoid while hiring movers. Be responsible for your choice not to regret it. Good luck with your move!

Top 10 mistakes to avoid when hiring movers

1. Don’t limit your choice

Even if you live in a small town, there’s certainly more than one moving company operating there. Your task is to get in touch with at least 3 of them, ask for estimates, check their legal stuff (license, insurance) and customer reviews, talk to the actual movers and decide, whom you’re the most comfortable to work with. The cost of the services will influence your choice, but not let it be the main factor you base your choice on.

2. Make sure to book the services way ahead of the fixed moving date

The earlier you start your moving company hunt, the more time you’ll be able to spend on doing your research on the prospective candidates and the less money they’ll charge you for your ‘emergency’ move. And, when you’re hiring movers quite close to the moving date, you may fall into the trap of moving scammers, who’re always ready to accept your emergency order, but never ready to carry it out. So, make sure to plan ahead.

3. Don’t forget to check the movers’ license and liability insurance

You want to deal with licensed and insured movers only. Professional providers of moving services, who’re legally entitled to carry out various moving arrangements, can’t operate without a license and, in most cases, insurance. That’s why if the mover you’re considering to hire can’t show you those (and not just copies, but original documents), you should probably talk to another candidate.

4. Don’t trust the movers, who do ‘one-glance’ estimates

Real movers are quite particular about their estimates. They take their time to carry out an accurate estimate, cause they have to include it in the contract. As according to the federal law they can’t charge you more than 10% over the estimate (see Point 8), movers have to make sure that they don’t underestimate the moving expenses not to lose their own money. Thus, they’ll ask you a ton of questions before giving you the final number. Consequently, if the mover comes to your house, walks through it briefly and gives you an estimate, there’s a high chance that you’re dealing with a scammer. Millions of Americans turn into victims of fake movers every single year. Those criminals take their things, hold them hostage until desperate owners pay them the demanded sum of money.

5. Don’t hire without conducting a background check

Obviously, license and insurance (for liability cases) are the most important. At the same time, you’ll be a lot comfortable with your moving company choice if you check the reviews of their previous clients online and/or contact a couple of them to talk about their experience with the company. Don’t forget to check company’s ratings online (on Craig’s list/HireRush.com/Angie’s List). In addition to that, visit the Better Business Bureau website to check if there are any complaints filed against the companies you’ve picked out to choose from.

6. Don’t base your choice on the price only

Lower prices surely attract more clients. However, in order to provide high-quality services, moving companies have to cover their operating expenses, including the employees’ salaries and the costs of every single move (packing materials, transportation, etc.), and make some profit. Lower prices don’t have to throw you off, especially if the company is licensed and has great customer reviews. However, you need to check those, as well as make sure that those attractive prices include all additional fees and that the company won’t charge you anything on top of that. As unfortunately, some moving companies trick their prospect clients by placing relatively low prices on their ads and estimates, but ‘forget’ to remind you about the extra packing, loading and other costs until they actually come to your house and you have no choice.

7. Don’t forget to provide movers with all necessary information about the specifics of your move

When hiring movers, you need to tell them all packing, loading, transporting and unloading details/conditions of your move. This way they’ll able to make accurate estimates and prepare for possible difficulties. Less stress and unexpected costs for both sides.

8. Don’t entrust your possessions to movers and don’t give them money without signing a written contract with final price

That’s an obvious mistake a ridiculous number of people make when hiring a moving company. Remember, hiring movers always, like always means signing a contract. Reputable professionals won’t even consider conducting any moving activities without signing a written agreement with their client.

The paperwork has to include all the details about the move, the rights, and responsibilities of both sides, liability guidelines, as well as the final price of the services. Bear in mind, that according to federal law, moving agreements have to include either a non-binding estimate (fixed price of the services can’t be exceeded by more than 10%) or a binding estimate (full price with all services included). If additional expenses do happen, the client has to cover them during 30 days after the move. Those are clear provisions you want to see in your contract.

However, avoid hiring movers, who offer signing contracts, which include fine lines about the possibility of price rise when the weight of your belongings appears to be more than it was estimates and extra fees. Accept agreements, which won’t allow your movers to pull out a ton of extra money out of your pocket.

9. Don’t underestimate moving lists

It’s unbearably boring to write those long lists with the items you pack and move. However, if you hire movers, packing lists are rather important when it comes to compensating for the lost/damaged possessions.

10. Don’t agree to pay in advance

No trustworthy and reputable mover will ask you to pay them a humongous deposit in advance. They’ll only do that once they reach the destination and finish providing all moving-related services listed in your contract. If you’ll pay something in advance, you’ll lose the control over your possessions. And, you’ll be really lucky if they end up delivered to your new place, but not stolen.

So, don’t pay right after hiring a mover. Moreover, when you actually have to pay, pay using your credit/debit card.

Now, as you’re informed about the most common mistakes you may make when hiring movers, you may go to HireRush.com, post a request to get matched with the most suitable local providers, and make the right choice.

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