If you haven’t already hired a mover, you will be comparing estimates from several moving companies. Some of these estimates will feature improbably low offers, ones that are tempting to bite into, but you shouldn’t.
Why Should You Avoid a Lowball Moving Estimate?
A lowball estimate is an estimate from a moving company with a too-good-to-be-true price. People who are unfamiliar with the costs that go into a typical moving service would find such low prices attractive and accept such offers.
However, this is actually one of the most common types of moving scams. The low price tag lures unsuspecting customers into paying a deposit. Some unscrupulous movers would then disappear with the money or add extra charges at the end. As the customer had already signed the contract, they would end up paying an exorbitant price – sometimes paying more than twice the original estimate.
How to Spot a Lowball Moving Estimate
While a low price is certainly a red flag, you might be missing out on genuinely good movers if price is your only criteria. The following are some other red flags that you should keep in mind:
They didn’t ask for details about your move — Movers do not offer flat rates for moving because of variables like fuel costs, moving a piano or disassembling furniture. If a mover came up with an estimate without asking you anything, it’s probably a scam.
They didn’t survey the items that will be moved — A prospective mover needs to inspect the items that will be moved in order to prepare an accurate estimate.
They won’t provide a written binding estimate — A non-binding estimate would have language that would basically allow the contractor to change the quoted price by the end of your move. Look for clauses or terms like “if the weight of the belongings exceed the original estimate” or “unforeseen circumstances and/or difficulties” – most of these can be avoided with an inspection. Also, keep an eye out for estimates that do not include a breakdown of the costs, particularly the mover’s rates and services like packing and hoisting.
Around Town Movers is the trusted moving company serving customers in Arlington and Sterling, VA, as well as the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (703) 682-5922. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.