Approximately 16.5 million households or roughly 38.7 million Americans move every year. If you’re moving, you need to carefully screen movers to make sure all goes smoothly in relocating your belongings.
Cheaper Than Everyone. Don’t just go with the cheapest quote. You may want a deal, but carefully consider what’s behind that lower-priced quote from a moving company, especially if it’s 20 to 30 percent lower than any other companies’ offers. “While finding an affordable mover doesn’t mean you’re about to get scammed, if you feel like you’ve landed an unbelievable deal, it probably is unbelievable,” U.S. News & World Report notes. The quote may be lower, but some consumers later complain that prices mysteriously triple on moving day, items are stolen or missing, or they find lots of damage.
High Deposits. Movers may ask for a deposit fee, but that fee shouldn’t be above 10 percent of the job cost, says T.J. Peterson, social media coordinator for Oz Moving and Storage, based in New York. “It’s not unreasonable for a mover to ask for a deposit of $100 or $200 to cover their costs if you change your mind, but if a mover wants more upfront – like 25 percent of the cost of the move – don’t pay it,” warns Nancy Conner in her book, Buying a Home: The Missing Manual.
Unknown Moving Company. Finding a moving company in the Yellow Pages may give you some assurance that it must be legitimate since it’s advertising there, but don’t assume by just an ad. To check if the company is reputable, ask for its Department of Transportation numbers. “If a company cannot prove [it is] registered with the state and United States Department of Transportation, that’s a warning sign,” Peterson told U.S. News & World Report. Also, consumers should be leery of any company that doesn’t have any Better Business Bureau profile or no reviews.
“A few hiccups for any reputable company is not a warning sign,” Peterson says. “It is an inevitable side effect of being in business.” But nothing about the company should be more of a warning sign. You can always use Yelp to find your movers.