Of course, you want your move to run as easy as possible, but for that, you will need to hire a moving company. Unfortunately, relocation to New York City a quite an expensive process, so there is nothing wrong with trying to cut down on expenses by choosing an offer that is much more affordable. However, keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true then it actually is.
Some moving companies will try to hook you on by offering you unrealistic low-moving quotes. To avoid being scammed, in this post I will be talking about how to recognize a lowball estimate from movers.
What Is A Lowball Estimate?
A lowball estimate is an unrealistic low price offer for your relocation, provided by the company’s estimator. In case you encounter this situation there can be only two reasons.
The first one is that the moving company is trying to scam you and lure you to sign the contract, due to a very low price deal. This is the most common type of scam in the moving industry. After you sign the contract they will pick up your belongings and hold them, until you pay some extra fees which can add hundreds and thousands of dollars to your final bill.
The second reason is that you are probably dealing with an inexperienced and incompetent moving company. Be very careful since these companies may not be properly licensed or insured. Usually, they don’t have quality moving equipment and will not offer specialized moving services. Since they do not employ trained professionals your belongings are at risk of being mishandled and damaged.
How To Recognize A Lowball Estimate From Movers?
To protect your belongings and your bank account, you need to learn how to recognize a lowball estimate. Here are the things you need to pay attention to.
Phone or online estimation
This is a major red flag! If a moving company does not send an estimator to your address to take a look at your house and belongings in person then you are dealing with a bad moving company.
Fair and realistic estimation can’t be given over the video call or by sending a video via email. All you will get this way is an inaccurate estimation quote and a double or triple final bill at the end.
Indifferent estimator who doesn’t ask questions
If your estimator quickly runs through your house without asking specific questions and does not show interest in the amount and weight of your belongings, then he isn’t doing his job. Keep in mind that real professional movers will need to inspect all the small details like stairs, elevators, parking rules, and other concerns that will shape the final price.
Carefully inspect the estimation you received and see if its includes any extra fees like:
- fees for gas and transportation;
- labor costs;
- packing and unpacking services;
- additional insurance;
- storage services;
- the cost of packing materials.
If there isn’t any extra fee included, chances are high that this is a lowball estimation.
If they do not provide a written binding estimates
If you are given a non-binding estimate, or if there is no written document about the estimation, then they can easily change the final price a few times. The mover can claim that there were some unforeseen circumstances, unexpected complications, and the extra weight of your belongings.
To make sure you don’t get scammed, always request a binding estimate, or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. This will put you in a favorable position since you will know the maximum amount of money you might be needing to pay for your move, so there won’t be unpleasant financial surprises.
What Should You Do When Given A Lowball Estimate?
Whenever you are in search of a good and reliable moving company, make sure you request estimation from several different companies. This way you will get an idea of the approximate amount of money you’ll need to spend.
Do a thorough background research about any moving company you encounter, and try to hire the one that someone close to you recommended. In the end, if the estimation is suspicious to you, but you like the moving company, ask the questions. Insist on that they need to explain to you so you can comprehend better.
If they refuse, change the moving company, and report them to Better Business Bureau.
The Bottom Line
Remember a pricier estimate by a licensed, insured, and trustworthy moving company can save you a lot of nerves, time, and money in the end. Don’t rush and give yourself time to choose smartly and protect your belongings.
If you are still in search of a moving company email us and schedule an in-person estimation.