From simple mishaps to serious blunders, moving mistakes can ruin your moving adventure – especially if they result in lost money and valuable time being wasted. Moving house is a major event. It takes lots and lots of careful planning, packing and organizing. It also requires many helping hands. The last thing you want to do is create complications and suffer extra expenses by making mistakes that could have easily been avoided. To eliminate emotionally and financially draining mistakes during your move, here are some things to avoid.
Hiring the First Moving Company You Find
Google “moving companies” and you’ll be provided a mega list of choices – each company claiming to be “the best in the business” in order to compete and attract more customers and to make a greater profit. But are they really the best in the biz? All moving companies offer moving services, of course, but their services may be radically different in terms of rate, quality, reliability and terms. Their level of competence and experience, along with equipment used, will also be different. This is why thoroughly researching a moving company before actually hiring one is so important. Hiring the first moving company you discover can lead to money lost and huge disappointment, so take the time to consider all of your options so you will pick the best company for your specific needs and requirements. Here are some important steps to take before hiring movers:
- Ask for several moving quotes;
- Interview several selected movers;
- Request onsite written biding estimates; and
- Compare and analyze offers.
When contacting moving companies, be sure to give them all relevant information – the number of household items to be moved, the final destination, any potential obstacles and requirements, and so on. Clearly stating your wishes and preferences is necessary in order to get the most accurate quote. Also ask about discounts, specific conditions, guaranteed pick-up and delivery date and time, etc.
Costly Mistakes to Avoid:
- Believing an estimate given via phone or email is accurate;
- Withholding relevant, must-know information your movers should know;
- Hiring movers at random.
Choosing the Moving Company with the Lowest Estimate
As the moving expenses pile up, up, up, saving money is definitely going to be at the forefront of your mind. But don’t let the fear of expenses cause you to make an unwise choice when choosing a moving company. If a moving estimate is too good to be true, then it probably is. You may be dealing with:
- Rogue movers who plan to disappear with your money and your valuable possessions.
- Incompetent movers who want to secure the job but will do it poorly.
- Scam artists who will demand a much greater amount of money than previously stated, for alleged accessorial services. (In this situation, they will not deliver your belongings until you pay these extra fees.)
- Moving brokers who will sell your move to a third company that has its own tariffs.
All of these scenarios will cause you to pay large amounts of money. To avoid situations like these:
- Before signing a contract, check the legitimacy of your chosen movers by verifying their USDOT number.
- Look for any complaints regarding their services by calling the FMSCA safety violations and consumer complaints hotline.
- Learn how disputes and conflicts have been settled in the past.
- Read the fine print before signing a contract.
Costly moving mistakes to avoid:
- Not thoroughly reading/comprehending movers’ paperwork;
- Not checking movers’ credentials;
- Signing blank or incomplete documents.
Hiring Movers at the Last Minute
If you have a big move ahead of you, one of the worst things you can do is procrastinate. This means everything, from signing a lease or mortgage on a new home to packing mountains of moving boxes. It also includes waiting too long to hire a moving company. As often as people move, moving companies are quickly booked up, and the longer you wait to sign a contract with one, the bigger the risk of:
- Restricted available moving dates;
- Limited moving crews;
- Limited access to moving equipment and supplies; and
- Higher price.
Moving at Popular Times
If you want your move to be as flawless and cheap as possible, it’s all about good timing. Here are some moving times to avoid:
During peak moving season. Between the months of May and September, moving costs dramatically increase. This is because more people are moving during this time. The result is paying more to secure a moving crew and vehicle.
On weekends. It’s a lot easier for most to move on weekends when they are off work and have a larger chance of getting help from family and friends. Unfortunately, your weekend free time can mean higher moving costs.
At the beginning or end of the month. There are several reasons why moving mid-month can lead to savings. This is because things like payday, end-of-lease agreements, and starting a new job typically fall at the beginning or end of the month. Because more people move during these times, moving companies are in higher demand, which, in turn, causes prices to skyrocket.
On holidays. National holidays are an extra busy time for a relocation, with moving companies pushed to their limits. The busier the time, the more you’ll pay.