How to spot a lowball moving estimate
If you want your move to be smooth, you need to learn how to recognize and avoid a moving scam. You need to make this your top priority. One of the ways to do so is by recognizing the biggest red flag of them all. The lowball estimate. You really need to be able to spot a lowball moving estimate and this small guide will give you all the knowledge to do so.
How to spot a lowball moving estimate -Identifying it
Start by asking your self some questions. Are your apartment movers Fort Worth giving you a higher price than the others? It may be because they are not actually trying to scam you. But I digress, let’s start.
There are multiple ways to figure out if your estimate is a lowball one or not. Here is a handy list of more common ways:
- Failure to account for your items
- Non-binding estimates
- No standard fees and costs
Not accounting for your items
The greatest red flag of them all is if your movers give you an estimate without even looking at your things. You see, the way that moving companies form an estimate is by weight and size of your items. So, if a moving company is not showing any interest in weighing and accounting for your items, something is “fishy”. While some movers in Rockwall TX might agree to provide you with an estimate over the phone, they will do so reluctantly. They will also ask to inspect your items in person, at your earliest convenience.
Of course, the moving companies do know that you may be dealing with several at once, so they will accept to provide you with an estimate based on what you tell them. However, even while doing so, they will ask for photos of your belongings, the more accurate the better.
If your moving company is not showing any interest in the photos or your specific situation, such as parking spot availability, flights of stairs, elevator access, and all those things that actually form an estimate, you can safely assume that they are out to get you and your money.
Estimating a relocation cost is not a task that can be undertaken lightly. That is why a home visit is absolutely the best. However, this is not the only red flag that you need to look for. Smart and enterprising scammers are figuring out what people are looking for. So they play the game and act out surveying your belongings. That is why you need to also:
Watch out for non-binding estimates
After all the inspection work is complete, you will get an estimate from your moving company. If this estimate is a non-binding one and you had someone inside your house weighing and counting your items, you can safely consider it a scam. Why is that? Well, there is no reason for the estimate to be non-binding in that case. A common method to scam you out of your money is to give you a lowball estimate which will entice you into signing it and then inflating it wildly at the end. Also, the lowball estimate is only one out of many moving scams out there. The best thing to do is to learn how to spot them ahead of time! That can save you a lot of money. Don’t be lazy, do your research!
Anyway, you need only accept estimates that are either binding or not-to-exceed estimates. The binding estimates are set in stone and will guarantee that your moving costs will not go higher than that. Even better than a binding estimate is a binding not-to-exceed estimate. This particular variant will protect you by providing you with a price roof that cannot be exceeded, while also providing you with a possibility of paying less.
And that is why moving companies are extremely careful and meticulous with their moving estimates. It can actually cost them money if they botch the process. You can do some research on moving companies if you want to know more. Also, you can see much from the way that a moving company approaches its estimate process. A scamming company usually does not use up as much energy on estimates as a reputable one. They also:
Leave out standard costs and fees
In a moving quote, there are always some services and fees that are standard (and expected), such as fuel, taxes, labor, and so on. What dishonest moving companies do is to simply omit these costs in their quotes. This lowers the price substantially and again entices you into signing the contract.
It is imperative that you always carefully read every single document that you receive from the moving company. You can start by checking out the 5 things to know about estimates. The best thing to do is to have several quotes from various sources and compare them. Some of the costs will be present on most, if not all of them. These costs represent standard expenditures and influence the price quite substantially.
Also, if you are using any additional services, make sure that they are included in the document, as well. Don’t simply look at the total numbers, look what form those numbers. We all wish to save some money whenever we can, and are looking for bargains but there is a thin line between a bargain and a scam.
In fact, the best scams resemble good bargains so closely that it is almost impossible to tell them apart. You need to look through the “fine print” so to speak. Only in this case you are looking for things that are not there.
Spot a lowball moving estimate – obtain as many estimates as possible
The best way to spot a lowball estimate is to acquire many estimates for your move. By doing so, you will be able to clearly identify which estimates are standing out. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. That is not to say that you should not investigate those low quotes. In some (very rare) cases, a moving company wishes to get its name out as fast as possible and are offering incredible deals on their services.
More often than not they are simply trying to scam you. Do not fall victim to these companies, spot a lowball moving estimate!