In 2021, about 4.8 million Americans made a long-distance move to another state. Long-distance moving services can be pricey, and overall relocation costs are high, so many people look to get cheap movers for the job to save money.
There are many long-distance moving services out there, and there’s nothing wrong with looking for the best price. But it’s important to avoid a scam company. The deal sounds great, but the results are disappointing, to put it mildly, so it isn’t the way to save on relocation costs.
You’ll find that the cheapest option is not always the best when choosing between moving companies. There are often hidden costs, risks, additional fees, and other negatives to hiring cheap movers for your long-distance move.
The great news is that there are professional moving companies that have low prices and can offer an affordable option for your long-distance or interstate moves. Long-distance moves are stressful enough. It’s possible to save money and use professional movers.
Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, or moving to a new location for a job, you can save on costs and still have the advantages of a professional long-distance moving company for your upcoming move. Let’s look at the red flags you should look for when hiring an interstate mover before you ever cross state lines.
The many risks of working with cheap moving companies for your long-distance move
There’s nothing wrong with looking for a good deal, but you don’t want to make the moving process harder than it already is. Unfortunately, the moving industry is rife with shady movers who give legitimate moving companies a bad name and can totally ruin moving day for you.
They may have a legitimate-looking moving truck, but working with them can cost you, and not just in terms of money. Hiring these long-distance movers can be time-consuming. Your household goods may take forever to get to their destination, and then you’re sleeping on the floor of your new home in your new state.
Cheap movers mean big risks
It’s not worth the risk, and in reality, your most affordable option and the best bet for your upcoming cross-country move will be a professional long-distance moving service. Here’s why.
Hidden costs throughout the moving process
Maybe you got a remarkably low-cost moving quote for your long-distance move. This can be, and often is, a red flag. Your spidey senses should tingle. It’s likely there will be added fees.
And there’s nothing worse than having the truck show up only to find that not only will your household goods stay on the truck until you pay up, but your moving cost skyrockets.
Professional long-distance moving services don’t just do the loading, transport, and unloading. They also should provide the following with no additional charges.
You should always receive the following moving services, and if there are charges, they should be stated up front by the movers you hire. You should get:
- A free estimate
- Protection, such as floor coverings, for your new and current location
- Disposal of all packing materials
- An offer of insurance with options
- Free storage if your move is delayed by the movers
- Transparent fuel surcharges
- No additional fees for weekends and holidays
Really, the list of hidden charges can be endless. It’s important to ask a lot of questions, including:
- Who pays the cost of any parking tickets?
- Is there a long carry fee if the moving company can’t park in front of your home or building?
- Do you charge for furniture disassembly and assembly?
- Is there an additional charge for heavy items?
- They offer insurance, but is it minimal, or can you purchase extra coverage?
- Do they have the proper licenses?
They show up late or not at all
You paid a deposit, and your long-distance mover is due on a specific day. A shady mover may not be on-time or show up at all. Some will cancel your move without enough notice — sometimes even on the same day. This can create major issues.
Cheap movers don’t care about providing a quality service, and that can cost you. When assessing moving quotes, take that into consideration. What will you spend in terms of time, stress, and money to find another mover or move yourself across the country?
It’s also likely that when they drive off to get to your new city and state, they are late to deliver your household goods. A reliable, professional moving company will never leave you holding the bag.
The moving company damages your household goods, and items are missing
That low price may mean that you’ve hired inexperienced movers. It’s likely that they don’t have the expertise to handle your furniture, antiques, electronics, valuables, and fragile or heavy items. You should be aware that all of these items require different types of special care to make sure they get there in good shape.
It’s not just about your belongings, either. Most people who work for that cheap long-distance moving company don’t have the skills to avoid damage to your current place and cause scuffs, scrapes, or break things in your new destination.
And inexperienced moving services may not have a proper organizing system, so items may go missing during transit.
They don’t have insurance
Every state and the Department of Transportation requires moving companies to have the proper licensing. State laws cover in-state moves, but the federal government covers long-distance moving companies.
They aren’t properly licensed
Without the proper insurance, any damage they cause during long-distance moves ends up being your responsibility. Damage can occur when packing, during loading and unloading, and while in transit on the truck. You may feel you’re getting a good deal, but if your items are damaged or destroyed, you’ll find that you get what you pay for.
They provide low-quality service
Sometimes it’s pay now or pay later. Those low-price movers will end up costing more in the end because you’ll end up with damaged belongings. Cheap movers often just get people off the street with no experience. They don’t know how to load or unload your items properly, which means fragile items end up damaged.
They don’t offer what legitimate moving companies do
A cheap moving company doesn’t offer the same services as reputable movers, such as packing and unpacking. They load your belongings on a truck and take off. When your items reach their destination, they will likely be in less-than-pristine condition, which is a horrible way to move into your new home.
There are ways to economize on your move without hiring cheap movers. Here are some moving tips.
Tips to save money on long-distance moving services
You don’t have to hire cheap movers to have an affordable move. It’s best to work with a professional mover, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. There are cheap ways of moving for your long-distance move.
Reputable moving companies offer a variety of services, and you can pick and choose which ones you need or can afford, and they will work with you to make your move as stress-free as possible.
Here are tips you can use to save some cash, no matter if you are moving just one state over or across the country.
Rent a moving container
Moving containers, also known as moving pods, are dropped off at your home, you fill it, and then you can schedule a day and time for pickup, and it gets shipped to your destination. This method won’t work for really large moves, but it’s a great option for smaller moves.
The downside is that you have to pack everything yourself, you have to purchase container and content insurance, and there are special delivery requirements for a moving container.
Find used moving supplies
Some movers will have bubble wrap and extra boxes on offer that you can get at a cheap price. Ask your movers if they have anything available, and then scour neighborhood online bulletin boards to find more boxes and packing supplies free or low cost.
Ship some of your possessions
If you have lots of books, it can save you money to ship them separately. You can use USPS Media Mail and ship 40 lbs. of books for about $30!
The same goes for specialty items such as pianos. You may find that a piano shipping company can ship your baby grand less expensively than moving it with the rest of your possession.
You pack and unpack
Unlike fly-by-night moving companies, using reputable long-distance movers means you can have people pack and unpack your belongings. You can save money by doing that yourself, and the movers load the truck. It’s a great way to save on costs.
Hire a freight trailer
Using a freight trailer is similar to using a moving container. You’ll do all the packing and unpacking on your own, and everything will be shipped across the country on a freight trailer. These trailers are large, so this is a good option if you have a large home.
The downside of a freight trailer is that you have to load and unload even heavy objects yourself.
Use the collaborative option and choose only the services you need with a hybrid move
Reputable moving companies offer a variety of services, and you can choose which ones to use.
- You can pay less by packing and unpacking yourself
- You can hire movers just to pack and put them on a truck you will drive yourself. This can be a way to save and still have the confidence that your precious items are properly packed.
Across the country or across states, you can count on Delta for your long-distance move!
Hiring cheap movers is a recipe for disaster. With Delta Moving Systems, you get professional long-distance moving services at a great price. We have over 20 years of experience moving people just like you.
Our dedicated team undergoes background checks and extensive training to make sure your belonging arrive on time and in perfect condition. We’re committed to ensuring your peace of mind during the entire process. Call today for a free estimate at (800) 484-0085.