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8 Smart Tips for Avoiding Moving Scams – iMoving

The whole process of moving to a new place can seem overwhelming and stressful, especially when you’re picking up your life and moving it elsewhere. When you’re getting ready for a big move, you are going to find that there are a lot of different things that you need to think about.

 

One of the biggest concerns is that, now with the internet, there are a lot of ways that you can get scammed by “moving companies” that are not legitimate. These scammers come in a number of varieties, so how are you supposed to know who is actually going to take care of your move and who is just looking for your money?

 

While there’s no absolute, surefire way to know what companies are legitimate and which ones are not, there are definitely some indicators that can give you a heads up.

 

Here are 8 of the things that you’re going to want to consider when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re dealing with a scam company.

 

Smart Tips for Avoiding Moving Scams:

 

1. Keep an Eye Out for Fake Credentials

 

There are not a lot of credentials out there when you start looking at moving and storage options for your big move. Many times, scam companies will make up credentials to make themselves sound legitimate.

 

In short, there are two credentials that you want to look for when you’re looking for legit companies: the American Moving and Storage Association and Better Business Bureau. If the company has high ratings and/or certifications from these entities, then they are definitely legitimate and you can go with them for your move.

 

2. Talk with Friends and Family Members About Who They’ve Used

 

One of the best ways to avoid scams is to talk to others about what companies that they have used for moving services in the past. Many people will tell you about their thoughts regarding the moving companies that they have used, chatting with you about what they liked, what they didn’t like and how they wanted to try and accomplish their goals. You can hear about the options that will work best and help you to make some solid choices.

 

3. Use a Reputable Website to Connect with Moving Professionals

 

When you use a reputable site like iMoving.com, you will find that there are a lot of pluses to the whole thing. One of the best things is that these reputable sites put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that the companies that they recommend are legitimate companies that do what they say that they are going to do.

 

There is so much that needs to be done during a move, and everyone has different needs. So, if you use a reputable website, you can actually look at everything that is available, seek out what you need to get and make sure that, in the long run, you’re going to get some solid value and that you’re with a good company. 

 

4. Be Concerned If the Cost of Moving is Way Off of the Mark

 

Moving is a pretty pricey thing. Local moves can be relatively cheap – a couple of hundred dollars will usually cover everything that needs to be taken care of. But, long-distance moves definitely cost a lot more – estimates average somewhere between $1200 and $1800 depending on where you are moving, what you’re moving and how long it’s going to take to deal with everything.

 

If a company lowballs the cost –for example, saying that a cross country move is only going to cost a couple of hundred dollars – you definitely want to avoid them because they’re likely just looking to get some money out of you without doing the work. Also, keep an eye out for overestimates as well.

 

5. Don’t Agree to an Unusually Large Deposit for Your Move

 

While many moving companies will require some sort of deposit, it’s usually no more than 5% of the initial move estimate – almost all of the companies that we at iMoving.com work with only require a small deposit in order to hold your date and do what they need in order to get you scheduled as needed.

 

Talk with the company about your deposit and make sure that it seems like a fair number. You should be especially concerned if you see that they want the entire move as a deposit, or even half of the estimate – steer clear and go with a more reputable company in order to get everything worked out.

 

6. Watch Out If The Contract is Incomplete or Doesn’t Make Sense

 

Many times, moving companies that are not legitimate will send you a blank document, or one that doesn’t make a lot of sense in relation to the move that you have been considering. If so, then you may be looking at just another scam - they probably threw it together hoping that people wouldn’t read it and wouldn’t pay attention. Be sure that you look the entire thing over and see what they’re saying in the contract before making any sort of decision.

 

7. Does the Company Have a Name or Do They Go By a Generic Name?

 

What’s in a name? A lot, especially if you’re looking at a moving company. If they only appear to be called “movers” or “moving company” without any other sort of name, it’s likely that they are a scam.

 

You want to be sure that you are able to look the company up, by name, so that you can see ratings and such. If you can’t find them on the web or via any other fashion, then they should also be something that you are going to want to avoid. It makes more sense and you can know that you aren’t going to lose money on whatever you’re trying to do.

 

8. If They Don’t Offer to do an In-House Estimate, Steer Clear

 

Moving companies will, more often than not, offer to do an in-home estimate for your move, especially if it’s a long-distance move. If they don’t offer at first, be sure that you say something. If they refuse, say it’s not necessary, or just tell you that it’ll be a number or flat rate, then you may want to avoid hiring them. Not only could it be a scam, but you don’t want to get low-balled (like we mentioned above) or end up paying too much after you were told a certain estimate.

 

Be sure to have a mover them come in and take a look, especially with a long distance move, so that you can get a true estimate of how much that you’re going to have to spend in order to make sure that your move goes as you plan it to.

 

Above all else, do your research. We have plenty of suggestions here at iMoving.com, and we can help you to find the legitimate, trustworthy moving companies that can assist you with everything that you may need here.

 

Look around as much as you can so that you can learn as much as possible and, when you work out what is necessary here, you can figure out the details and know that you’ve got some options that will make sense for what you need to do and how you want to get ahead of everything.

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8 Things to Look For When Trying to Avoid Moving Scams

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  • How Do I Estimate Moving Expenses
    Moving Tips

    Let’s face it, when it comes to moving there are tons of numbers to consider. Even if you’re moving within the same state, the average cost is estimated to be approximately $2,300 to move.

     

    Sure there’s the moving truck, boxes, cleaning supplies, but what about insurance? If you want to be sure not to miss a single expense while moving, you need a moving cost calculator.

     

    These calculators are great tools to prepare budget estimates and they can easily be found for free on most moving websites. For everything else you need to know, we have the answers.

     

    How do I move locally?

     

    Just because you’re moving locally, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s easy.

     

    Moving locally still requires the preparation and time, and there’s no doubt it will still be stressful.

     

    There’s no such thing as half-moving, no matter how close or far you go. Ensure you’ve got everything you need to move down the street by following these simple tips.

     

    1. Prepare just as soon as you would any other move

     

    Moving to a nearby neighborhood doesn’t give you the green light to wait until the last minute. Tricking yourself into believing there’s plenty of time can ultimately leave you with too much to do and not enough time, and before you know it, you’re being shoved out the door by the new tenants.

     

    As soon as you decide that you are moving anywhere, start preparing. Try creating a week by week checklist, to truly maximize efficiency.

     

    1. Gather packing supplies

     

    It’s all too common that people get the news they’re moving within the same city, and they assume they don’t need supplies. Where does your stuff end up going then? Everywhere.

     

    Remember, if you forego boxes, you forego half the stuff you own. You end up missing sweaters, files, the one screw you need to put your table back together - all because you didn’t pack anything into boxes.

     

    Even if you’re moving to the next block, boxes and other packing supplies help make sure you don’t leave any pieces behind.

     

    1. Throw out what you don’t want or need

     

    Moving is the most excellent excuse to declutter. Don’t take with you what you don’t want or need – it’s just extra weight. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t touched it in the last month or so, you might want to consider giving it a new home. Not to mention, donations can count as tax credits, lessening the cost of your move in the end.

     

    1. Pack in stages

     

    Remember the rule of starting early? Do this and then pack in stages. If you try to cram all the packing even into the last week before you move, you’re just amplifying your own stress. Packing in stages, even when moving locally, relieves a heavy load.

     

    In addition, many experts recommend packing in stages for children and pet safety. Whether you’re stacking boxes or just too preoccupied to tend to them, during stressful moving times, it can be unsafe for children. If you pack in stages, you can declutter first, organize second, and then slowly pack up the rooms that will affect them the least until the move gets closer.

     

    1. Transfer utilities

     

    Even if you haven’t gone far, your utility company won’t know where you are. Schedule your utilities’ transfer as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is be left without Wi-Fi in your new home.

     

    What do I need to consider when moving?

     

    If moving was free, it would be easy. However, the list of moving expenses during this day and age has seemed to increase exponentially.

     

    Whether you use a calculator or not, there are a few moving expenses you definitely don’t want to forget.

     

    Moving supplies

     

    We know this is the first thing on your list because surely it’s the first thing you can’t do without. Consider moving supplies, boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, etc., as an expense,but try to reduce this expense by looking for these supplies for free.

     

    Most large retailers, warehouses, etc. simply recycle the hundreds of boxes they use. In addition, if you’re lucky you might be able to find someone ‘selling’ boxes for free on social networks such as Facebook and Craigslist.

     

    Deposits and reconnection fees

     

    If you thought leaving your old home was free, think again. If you break a utility contract or even just your rental contract, there could be a fee. Then, once you’ve disconnected, there’s all kinds of ‘reconnection’ fees; you might even have to pay just to apply for apartment housing.

     

    Keep these deposits in mind because they could have a hefty impact on your moving expenses:

    • Utilities
    • Pet deposits
    • Application fees
    • Security deposits
    • First month’s rent

     

    Food and gas

     

    The worst thing is preparing all your moving expenses and then forgetting the really important stuff –that would be food and gas.

     

    You have to get where you’re going, right?

     

    Often this means driving your own car, potentially a considerable number of miles, which can be quite a bit of gas. Then you have to eat along the way, and there might even be hotels to consider. For example, if you move cross-country, you’ll have to stop along the way to sleep. Think about how easily and fast these ‘small’ expenses can add up.

     

    Cleaning services

     

    You want to leave your home as clean as you found it, or you might want to make your new home even cleaner than it is before you move in. For either or both of these reasons, a cleaning service may be highly useful, just remember to put it into your budget.

     

    Moving truck

     

    Whether or not you choose to hire professional movers or not, you definitely need a moving truck, even if it’s one you drive yourself. This could be the majority of your moving expenses.

     

    Moving insurance

     

    This specifically applies to moving trucks and professional movers. If you employ either of these things, there will be insurance fees to ensure them and your belongings.

     

    Storage units

     

    If you happen to be in one of those positions where you have to leave your old place at this time, but can’t move into your new one for a week, two weeks, or a month, then you might have to use a storage unit. A storage unit could be $100 or less per month, but be sure to add it to your expenses.

     

    Professional movers

     

    Professional movers are the key to having the least stressful move, but the decision is still up to you. They will organize and orchestrate your move from start to finish, so you literally don’t have to lift a finger (except maybe to sign the contract). They are a great benefit, but if you’re going to employ movers, make sure they fit into your budget first.

     

    What is the cheapest way to move?

     

    No one moves for free, but there are ways for you to move for less.

     

    When it comes to moving, just remember there are good money-savers and bad ones. For example, borrowing your friend’s pickup truck instead of renting a moving truck is a bad money saver.

     

    Not only will you have to compensate your friend somehow (even if it’s in just pizza), but the cost of gas driving back and forth that many times will practically equate to the cost of renting a moving truck.

     

    A few good money-saving ideas are move during a different date, ship your stuff, and don’t forget to see if your company will pay for the move.

     

    If you didn’t know, there are actually moving ‘seasons’. People move the least during the fall and winter. If you have the luxury of choosing when you move, choose a date during this time. Moving companies are slow and may offer you better rates, discounts, and coupons.

     

    Shipping your stuff cross country could also be less expensive than driving it across. Lastly, there are rules that state if you are moving for job purposes, if it is a certain number of miles away, the company may be required to pay for the move. Speak to your HR department for full details.

     

    How much does it cost to move?

     

    Every home is different, which makes every move different. The size of your house, how many cars you have, how many people, are all factors that might affect the cost of your move. Whether you move in-state or out of state, also makes a big difference.

     

    Moving within the same state will typically cost around $2300 while moving out of state can be upwards of $4500.

     

    There is no blanket moving cost that applies to move, but the best thing you can do for yours is to be prepared. If you know you are going to move in a couple of months, start saving, packing, and planning now.

     

    Pay for your move little by little, and it won’t intimidate you at the very end. Moving should be a chance for change, a new opportunity. Don’t let moving expenses weigh you down.

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  • How to Avoid Falling Victim to Fraudulent Movers
    Before Your Move

    More than 35 million people are predicted to move in 2018.  A jaw-dropping number of those who are relocating will find themselves victims of moving scams, with thousands of dollars in losses.  Below you’ll find tips to help you avoid being taken for prey by fraudulent moving companies.

     

    Moving scams range from the moving company flat out taking off with the load, never to be seen again to holding the customer’s belongings hostage until a ransom is paid.  Others trump up fictional charges that supposedly occurred unexpectedly and refuse to let go of the goods until the customer pays additional fees.  

     

    The Moving Scam Epidemic

     

    It’s important to note why the moving scam problem is so out of hand that it is being called an epidemic by experts in the field.  First and foremost is the red-tape issue.  Crimes occurring within one particular state are within the state’s jurisdiction while a crime that goes across state lines is in the hands of the federal government.  The fact of the matter is that neither have the resources delegated to investigate and prosecute properly.  Therefore, the majority of the moving scam artists get by with their criminal deeds.  And...they are fully aware of that.

     

    How Can You Avoid Moving Scams?

     

    Here are some suggestions to heed when choosing a moving company:

    • Screen companies thoroughly.  Don’t trust what a single company says about themselves on their site.  Many unsuspecting victims have just taken a company at its word that they are on the up-and-up.  Using a third party site that offers unbiased screening is always wise.

     

    • Be sure the moving company is licensed and bonded.  It takes time to validate credentials but it is well worth the trouble.  Most victims of moving scams admit that they did not verify credentials.  If you don’t have the time to fully validate the licenses of a company, a third party moving company will do that for you.  They partner with moving companies and verify each moving company’s credentials since their reputation is at stake should they recommend a fraudulent one.

     

    • Check out the moving company’s reviews.  What other customers say about a company goes a long way.  It isn’t unheard of for moving companies to have fake reviews written for their site, so again, a third party moving service is your best bet.

     

    • Watch for signs of integrity or the lack of it.  Being courteous, friendly, reliable, respectful and professional are traits that the staff of a great moving company should possess.  Honest pricing is a good sign too.  Companies with nothing to hide will have no problem being transparent with their customers.  They will answer all questions to the best of their ability and understand your concerns rather than being aggravated by them.

     

    Make You Move a Great One

     

    Moving is exciting.  Adventures and new beginnings await.  It can be stressful too and for some, it can be a total nightmare.  Avoid getting caught off guard in a moving scam by taking the tips above to heart so your next move can be a great one.

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