Getting an Estimate for your Move
When planning a move and locating a mover it is extremely important that you take the time to shop a...
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Choosing a Professional Mover

Choosing a professional mover is an important part of the moving process to ensure success. If possible, look for a mover that is a member of the American Moving and Storage Association. Members of this organization are required to follow federal consumer protection regulations. They also participate in a loss and damage arbitration program. Many movers are also members of the American Moving and Storage Association Certified Movers and Van Lines. These specific members agree to operate by a code of conduct that will require disclosure of important information to consumers as well as prompt servicing of both complaints and claims.

To avoid any potential traps when searching for a mover, including possible theft and outrageous prices and surcharges, make sure you choose a professional mover. Take the time to find out how to spot a mover who may be less than professional.

Avoid falling for a low price. While we all want to save money on our move, keep in mind that if the price seems absurdly low in comparison to prices quoted by other movers, you probably have good reason to be concerned. Most legitimate movers will provide quotes that are all within a reasonable range of one another. If you receive an estimate that is far lower than other quotes this is usually a good sign that the mover is someone to be avoided. You can rest assured the low price you are offered won’t be all you’ll end up paying. Between surcharges, additional charges and the possible damage and loss that could occur to your belongings you will typically end up paying far more than you had planned. It is much better to go with a professional mover whose quote is slightly more and know that your belongings will be safe and you can count on the estimate you have received.

Another red flag to look for is the demand for a large deposit. Most movers do not require a deposit before the move; however, a less than honest mover will commonly require you to pay a large deposit before the move under the guise of holding your dates or to insure rapid service. Make sure you take the time to read all of the paperwork thoroughly and be on the lookout for any fine print.

Always ask how the prices are based. The prices should be based on the weight of the shipment. Avoid a mover who claims the prices will be based on the amount of cubic feet your items will take up in the van. This is a red flag for a scam.

Be sure to obtain a written estimate. Remember, you can’t hold a mover to an estimate you receive only over the phone or on the Internet. In addition, federal regulations require the mover to provide you with a written estimate. You should also ask whether the estimate is binding or non-binding. With a binding estimate, the mover cannot legally require additional payment beyond the estimate unless services or items have been added. A non-binding estimate; however, is simply an approximation and can change. This means the price quoted to you is not guaranteed. The final cost will be determined after the shipment has been weighed. According to law; however, the mover is not allowed to charge you more than 110% of the non-binding estimate.

After you have selected a mover make sure you fully understand the rates and charges and how they will apply. It is also important to be sure you understand what kind of liability the mover will have for your belongings, how pickup and delivery will work and finally what kind of claims protection you have if there is a problem.
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