Common home renovations

Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them

Nobody wants to add more stress to the already stressful process of moving to a new home. Avoiding the many moving scams that go around is one way to ensure the moving process is simple and without added troubles. There are a few ways to protect yourself from these cons, and we will explain them below.

Pay Attention to Things that Seem Strange

There are a few things that can clue you in to a potential scam in the very beginning stages of researching movers. If you run into a company that answers the phone with a generic greeting, rather than a specific company name, walk away. Don’t believe any bids for jobs that occur without seeing what they will be dealing with. You should also be wary of companies whose websites don’t offer a physical address or have no information about insurance or registration.

Don’t Agree to Very Cheap Bids

If a bid seems way too low, it’s probably because the deal is too good. There have been instances of movers who give you a low bid, pack up your possessions, and then refuse to give them back without you paying a lot more. These tend to be small, unlicensed companies that advertise by handmade signs or on Craigslist. It’s better to pay a bit more and have the peace of mind that the company has a good reputation.

Prevent the Act of Identification Theft

Identity theft can happen at any time and moving is no exception. Because you have so much going on, it becomes easier to slip up. This is even more true when you are selling your former home. If you are holding open houses, be sure to lock up jewelry and other valuables in a locked safe or outside of the home. You would also do well to include important documents like wills, passports, and birth certificates.

Be Aware of Your Paperwork

Keep all your paperwork from the moving process somewhere safe. The “bill of lading” is the most important to have with you as it is a legal document that proves the moving company has your possessions. It also acts as a receipt. The “order for service” is another important document that tells what the mover is going to do, along with pickup and delivery dates, and an inventory list that shows what was shipped and what the condition was.

Binding estimates have a fixed price, but can be higher than nonbinding estimates. With a non-binding estimate, however, movers may be allowed to inflate the charges by around 10%. There will also typically be insurance, but it is often minimal. If you need more insurance, first check whether your homeowner’s policy covers items lost or broken in a move.

Do Not Pay a Deposit

Any legitimate moving company will not require any sort of large deposit. They will also not require you to pay in cash. You will almost always pay upon delivery. The problem with paying upfront is that you have little control over the process and whether you ever see your belongings again. It’s often a good idea to use a credit card to pay at the end of the process, so any fraudulent activity can be easier fought.

Ensure an Estimate is Real

Any mover who gives you an estimate over the phone or without seeing your home is likely going to provide you a number off of the mark. A reputable company with a good estimator will ask you plenty of questions to ensure they understand exactly what the move entails.

You should ask for information as well, for the same reason. If you plan to buy some new items and they’ll be moved, the estimator needs to know that. If you plan to sell off a large chunk of items, that’s just as important for them to be aware of. Be sure you are upfront and explain exactly what will be happening during the move for a true idea of the cost.

Sources:
http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/moving-scams-tips-to-avoid-moving-fraud.html
http://www.moving.com/tips/top-10-moving-scams/
https://www.allied.com/mover-scam

 

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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