Everybody who has moved at least once in a lifetime knows how hard finding a proper moving company is. Really, a huge part of the moving process depends on how good the company is. If you get stuck with a bad company, then you might run into a handful of problems. The movers might be running late – thus, you will need to postpone your move. Then, they can lose, or break your items – which is every person’s nightmare. On the other hand, good movers are lifesavers. They will help you with every step of the journey – from sharing some moving hacks with you to packing your things and getting them to your new home in one piece. In this article, find out how to spot the red flags when looking for a mover – and how to avoid them.

The paperwork is one of the biggest red flags when looking for a mover

People singing contracts - which can be great red flags when looking for a mover.
Make sure the moving company has a proper license to move you.

One of the most important things a professional moving company will have is a license. You should always check for it when looking into a moving company. If the movers don’t have the proper paperwork, you should make sure to avoid them. Now, depending on the distance you are traveling, you will require the moving company to have a different kind of moving license.

The United States Department of Transportation regulates all companies that do long-distance moves. If you are moving to another state, then you should look into a company’s U.S. DOT number. This is the company’s ID – with it, you can log onto the FMCSA’s website and find thorough information about the company. There, you can read about their license, insurance policies, their basic information as well as other useful bits. However, the same does not apply for the moves that happen within the state. In this case, the state government will regulate the company. Depending on the state you are living in, you should look further into what documents your company needs for their license.

The second thing that you should look into when moving household goods are the insurance policies the company will offer. These are very important. If you don’t insure your items, then it’s your responsibility to buy new ones (or repair them) if anything breaks. Because of this, look well into the insurance policies the company will offer. Read the fine print, and make sure you understand what everything means. There can be some legal phrases there, so get a lawyer if you are unsure about something. The insurance a company offers can be one of the biggest red flags when looking for a mover, so use that to your advantage.

Use estimates to spot red flags when looking for a mover

Another tool that you have at your disposal are the moving estimates and quotes that the moving company will give you. One of the most important tips for hiring high-quality movers is never to jump for the company that offers the lowest bid. Let’s say that you have gathered ten moving bids, and one of them stand out by how low it is. This should prompt you to ask yourself why it is so. What makes it so low? Does that moving company offer the same services the others do?

A red chair in the street.
How a company handles your furniture can be a great red flag.

If a bid is significantly lower than the others, then you are probably working with fraudulent movers. There are countless ways that they can trick you into paying them more money. It is not unheard of for movers to “kidnap” someone’s furniture until they pay much, much more than what they thought they would. This is why you should take a closer look at the contract you sign with the moving company.

You should also pay closer attention to the type of estimate a moving company gives you. Non-binding estimates are one of the most common red flags when looking for a mover. With them, the movers will usually give you a certain bid, but then they can change the price when the moving day arrives. This way, you will end up paying three or four (or more) times than the estimate. That’s why it’s important to go with movers like Amplemoving.com, who will give you a binding or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. When you have these, you know that the moving cost will not exceed the number you got from the estimator.

Pay attention to the reviews

A woman googling business companies.
Look for online reviews of the moving company.

The final way to figure out if there are any red flags when looking for a mover is to look at their online presence. First, go through the review websites. There are many places on the internet where you can read about moving companies. Find those about the company you are looking into and take a deep dive in them. There are two things you should look out for.

First, take notice if the company has overwhelmingly good reviews. Any professional moving company that has worked for a couple of years is bound to have at least one or two unsatisfied customers. This comes with the job and it’s natural. But, if a company only has positive, five-star reviews, then you might need to question just how honest and real these are.

When it comes to the negative reviews, however, they should not frighten you if there is only a handful of them. If there are overwhelmingly negative reviews, you should, of course, evade the moving company. Otherwise, pay attention to what the reviews are saying. Notice if there is a trend happening in them. Not only can you use those as red flags when looking for a mover, but you can also add them to your moving checklist so you can talk to the moving company about them. By addressing the problems before the move, you can solve them. This will, in turn, ensure your move goes smoothly and as stressless as possible.

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