Everyone knows someone who’s had a horrible moving experience with cheap moving companies. Whether it’s your friend’s ex, your hairstylist’s mom, or your second cousin twice removed, the story never changes much. The poor soul Googled “cheap moving companies near me” and hired the first business that popped up. The quote sounded too good to be true, and wouldn’t you know — it was.

Unfortunately, shady moving companies are out there. In fact, since the government deregulated the moving industry in 1995, it’s become an easy way to make a dishonest buck. These businesses prey on uninformed individuals who are trying to save money.

Whether you need local movers or long distance movers, avoid your own moving horror story and arm yourself with the following knowledge.

How to Find Reliable Movers

Here are some great methods to find a reasonable, trustworthy moving company.

  1. Ask friends and coworkers who they have used in the past.
  2. Ask your realtor for a referral.
  3. Check online email groups or forums like Google+, Yelp, and Angie’s List.
  4. Look at MovingScam’s list of approved movers in your area.

Once you’ve compiled a list of reputable movers, call around for quotes and go from there. Take your time and do your homework.

How to Avoid a Mover Scam   

Many people find it hard to spot a dishonest moving company. Luckily, we have a few tips for you. Don’t trust a mover who:

  1. Quotes 20-30% lower than other companies.
  2. Seems too eager — or almost desperate — to get your business.
  3. Asks about your budget, then adjusts their estimate to fit.
  4. Has poor ratings with Epinions and MovingScam.
  5. Has several complaints or isn’t registered at the Better Business Bureau.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, understand that a reputable company should pass all of these tests. So if any of the cheap moving companies you find don’t, cross them off and move on.

Save Money Without Cheap Moving Companies

Finding cheap moving companies isn’t the only way to make your move affordable. Here are several options if you need creative ways to stay on budget.

  1. Skip the luxury of having your movers pack and unpack for you.
  2. Check Craigslist or Freecycle for free moving boxes.
  3. Get discounts on moving supplies with sites like U-Pack.
  4. Use newspaper instead of packing peanuts.
  5. Sell unwanted items to free up cash and save space on the truck.
  6. Check with the IRS to see if you can write off part of your move.
  7. Take advantage of free or discounted supplies your moving company may offer.

When it comes to hiring a moving company, cheaper usually isn’t better. Remember, you can never be too careful with your expensive belongings and cherished keepsakes. While you shouldn’t break the bank, plan to spend a little bit more to protect those irreplaceable possessions.

If you’re considering a move in the Greater Houston area, Ameritex is here to help. We are an experienced moving company that specializes in fair pricing and stress-free moves. Got any questions? Contact us for more information, or fill out the form on the right for a free quote.