shutterstock_293575475With all the work to be done prior to making a major move, when it comes to hiring movers, you may be tempted to go with the lowest bidder and hope for the best. But choosing the wrong mover – and in 99% of cases, cheap equals wrong – will not only make your move more stressful than it needs to be, it can also result in damaged property and months of headaches as you chase down unscrupulous movers for compensation. Here are five common mistakes people make when looking for the “cheapest” moving services.

  1. Choosing the first moving service they contact. Resist the temptation to choose the first option that comes your way. Instead, contact and interview at least three movers before making a choice. Compare their rates, moving services provided, credentials and written estimates, and then make your decision based on which company best protects you and your household belongings.
  2. Not getting estimates in writing. Trustworthy, professional movers will always want to arrange a visit to inventory what will be moved so that they can give you an accurate written estimate. If a mover quotes you a rate over the phone, hang up and call another one.
  3. Taking a mover’s verbal reassurances and recommendations. Don’t sign an estimate or contract with a mover until all important details are in writing. Demand proof of insurance, registration number and fee structures, and ask questions about subcontractors, delivery date guarantees and the like. If in doubt, ask! And then get it in writing.
  4. Hiring the cheapest moving services. There’s a difference between the lowest bid and the cheapest service. Avoid assuming the capability of the moving service by the rates it charges. Do your research and choose quality over cheap every time. Some moving services cut corners by using poor quality supplies, like flimsy boxes. Be sure to ask about how they protect your belongings for the long haul. Then choose the best service at the best rate.
  5. Not carefully reading the contract or estimate. Be sure to thoroughly read any paperwork before you sign off on it. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask the moving company to explain it. To avoid hidden fees and extra charges, be sure to read the fine print. Finally, upon arrival, check your inventory list carefully to confirm that all your household belongings have arrived safe and sound.

Whether you’re looking for moving services for a long distance relocation or a local move, the key to a successful, stress-free move is taking the necessary precautions to avoid these common mistakes.