Monthly Archives: July 2023

how to spot a moving scam

How to Spot a Moving Scam

With so many moving companies in the industry, customers have an abundance of choice as they decide which movers suit their needs.

However, despite the wide array of movers, customers will quickly realize that not every moving company can provide the same caliber of service. In fact, upon further inspection, plenty of seemingly trustworthy moving companies reveal themselves to be scammers.

When considering which moving company is right for your needs, you’re probably wondering, “How can I discern a moving scam from a genuine moving company?” Luckily, if you know the red flags to look out for, it can be easy to determine which companies are trustworthy. Keep reading to discover the warning signs!

Know the Warning Signs of Rogue Movers

If you’re worried about falling victim to rogue movers during your next move, never fear! Get to know our eight warning signs to look out for, and discover how to avoid moving scams…

  • Missing Necessary Licensing

To effectively operate, moving companies require several different licenses, certifications, and insurance. Without these important qualifications, it’s best to opt for another company.

Whether you’re moving locally or long distance, your movers should have a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which can usually be found on their site. Look out for the term “USDOT” when you search for this certification. Additionally, any moving company you work with should be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

It’s also advisable to ask about the company’s insurance policies and to check that it is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. All of these stipulations are great ways to verify that a company is legitimate and trustworthy.

  • Poor Online Reviews

A simple and convenient way to determine a company’s merit is to read its online reviews. Fortunately, many sites provide platforms for customers to provide their feedback and weigh in about their experiences with movers.

Although one negative review amid many positive ones may just be a fluke, it’s important to look out for trends in customer feedback. An overwhelming amount of poor reviews can be very telling of a company’s quality and customer service. It’s also helpful to check if they had previous complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and how they may have handled those issues.

In addition to online reviews, offline evaluations have plenty of merit. If any of your trusted friends, family, or neighbors have had prior experience with a moving company, be sure to ask them how their experience went. If the reviews aren’t so great, you might be better off continuing your search for a reliable moving company to help with your relocation. 

  • Does Not Complete Thorough In-Home Estimate

To accurately gauge how much your move will cost, moving companies will almost always complete an in-home assessment to determine several factors about your relocation. Alternatively, some companies have recently adopted technology that allows customers to complete a video survey to obtain an accurate estimate.

Either of these methods can provide a valid way to determine the cost of a moving company’s services, tailored to your individual needs. However, a lack of a thorough estimate is a major red flag. Whether the assessment is rushed or completely missing, this is a sign that the movers aren’t taking the necessary time to offer their customers the appropriate price.

  • Provides Suspiciously Low Quote

Of course, we all want to receive a fair, affordable price when we’re shopping around for movers. Despite this, it’s important to be discerning about what a fair price actually looks like. If a company is giving you a quote that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For this reason, it’s always best to request estimates from at least three companies so you can properly determine what a fair price for your move looks like. Oftentimes, when a low quote is provided, these rogue moving companies end up tacking on extra fees at the end.

  • Requires Large Deposit

On the other end of the spectrum, look out for moving companies that request a large deposit upfront. Most movers will ask for either a small percentage of your total cost or no payment at all prior to providing services. However, a common tactic employed by moving scammers is asking for a larger deposit upfront, which then results in providing subpar service or even no service at all.  

  • Missing a Physical Address

For any reputable moving company, it’s necessary to have a physical address to use as an office space and a home to the various supplies needed to function as movers.

Many scammers will not have a physical address listed on their website, and they may also be missing a local phone number. These are warning signs that everything is not as it seems. A physical address and a working phone number operated by an actual human (not a robot!) are two required characteristics for any trusted movers.

  • Various Name Changes

Another red flag to be on the lookout for as you search for a moving company is a history of name changes. If a company has gone by numerous monikers, it’s typically a sign that they are trying to avoid a negative reputation following them. This is seen by scammers as an easy way to prevent customers from finding out more about a poor history when they used different names.  

  • Incomplete Paperwork Provided

Finally, one of the most important things to be wary of is incomplete paperwork. It’s crucial to have all of the agreed-upon terms included in your contract with a moving company so you have something to refer back to.

These documents should always be thorough and precise in nature, providing an accurate depiction of what is expected from your movers. However, if they provide a blank or incomplete contract, this is a major warning sign to steer clear of this company. Professional, trustworthy movers will always give completed documents to their customers to ensure everything is in writing.

Find Sarasota Movers You Can Trust!

Spotting a moving scam doesn’t have to be a challenge. With the right know-how, you can spot it from a mile away! If you’re searching for a reliable moving company in the Florida Gulf Coast, AAA Flat Rate Moving & Storage has everything you need and more. We are Sarasota’s number-one moving company, and we have consistently delivered high-quality solutions to our customers for over 40 years. Request a free moving quote online today, and discover our comprehensive services at affordable prices!

Top 10 Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Moving is a part of life. In fact, the average American will complete nearly 12 moves in their lifetime. However, despite relocation being a common occurrence, most people end up committing various moving mistakes throughout the process, no matter how many times they’ve moved. Why? Moving is understandably an arduous task, and through its countless stressors, it’s easy to experience some blunders without the proper expertise.

Luckily, if you know what to avoid along the way, you can relocate like a pro. Interested in finding out which relocation mistakes you should steer clear of ahead of your move? Keep reading to discover our top ten!

Mistakes to Avoid While Moving

No move is perfect, but knowing what to expect and how to avoid certain pitfalls can make your move that much easier and stress-free. From putting in the right planning and scheduling to hiring the right moving company, there are lots you can do to ensure your move goes right.

  • Waiting Until the Last Minute

One extremely common mistake (that most of us have probably been guilty of at least once or twice) is waiting until the last minute to prepare for a move. Because a very effective way to manage a move is to start as soon as possible, this error is counterintuitive, typically resulting in stress and disorganization.

This can be detrimental to the process as a whole, which is why it is advisable to begin prepping for your relocation once you have officially determined that you will be moving. Being ahead of the game and handling the move in manageable steps allows you to decrease any anxiety and make the task infinitely easier. During such a busy time in your life, these are undoubtedly desired outcomes. 


  • Hiring an Untrustworthy Moving Company

If you’re opting to invest in the assistance of a professional moving company, be sure to complete thorough research before signing any contracts. Many people make the mistake of hiring movers who are untrustworthy, unreliable, or even scammers.

The best way to combat this issue is to seek as much information as you can prior to working with any moving companies. Check their licenses, confirm that they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, and read plenty of reviews to gauge the general opinion of a company’s services. You should also expect to receive a thorough in-home estimate and timely communication from any dependable professional movers. 


  • Choosing to DIY Despite Difficulties

It’s totally possible to complete a move without professional help, and doing it yourself isn’t inherently a bad thing. However, some moves really require the assistance of the experts, and opting out of this service can result in a stressful relocation.

If you have a lot of big, heavy furniture, specialty items, valuables, or fragile belongings, enlisting the help of professional movers can go a long way in making your move more manageable and easier to tackle. Be honest with yourself about the difficulties of your relocation before choosing to DIY.


  • Packing Without Decluttering First

Packing can be extremely time-consuming and overwhelming, which is why it’s crucial to declutter before you pack. Why? Decluttering not only results in a neater, tidier home, but it also greatly reduces the amount of items you need to pack and unpack.

You might think you can skip this step without any negative consequences, but you will most likely end up bringing belongings that you don’t even want or need anymore. This results in poor use of time and space, both of which are very valuable during a move.


  • Not Using the Proper Protection for Your Items

As you pack your belongings, it’s always important to err on the side of caution and opt to give your items the utmost protection in order to avoid damage.

This means packing your boxes strategically to prevent movement, using padding in the form of bubble wrap, packing paper, or other items such as blankets, and generally handling your boxes with care. If you need some extra assistance, many moving companies provide packing services, which can be especially helpful for more specialized items that require the most attention. 


  • Neglecting to Label Your Boxes

Organization is key, no matter if you’re moving locally or long distance. To stay organized during a move, you will need to label your boxes thoroughly.

This allows you to easily access the contents when you need them, resulting in a much easier and more efficient packing process. Although it may seem like a simple label of “kitchen” or “living room” will suffice, it’s advisable to provide as much detail as possible when you label. As you unpack in your new home, you’ll certainly be thankful that you added extra convenience in the form of detailed labels!


  • Failing to Measure Doorways and Furniture

One of the most frustrating aspects of moving furniture is discovering that your items don’t fit through the doorway. Many people fail to consider this ahead of time and end up dealing with the annoying difficulties of furniture that doesn’t quite fit.

Prior to moving day, take measurements of all the necessary doorways your furniture will go through, and measure your furniture as well. It’s also important to measure the clearance length, especially in tight spaces. This task can save you a lot of headaches on moving day.


  • Underestimating the Time Needed for Your Relocation

As you get ready for your move, be realistic about how much time you will need to properly prepare for the relocation. It’s a very common mistake for people to think they require much less time to pack their home, and this results in a lot of stress.

Try to realistically estimate how much time you will spend on packing and other tasks, and create a timeline that allows you to handle the job without rushing or spending long hours at a time packing boxes. You will complete your move most effectively when you can work on these various tasks in small does.


  • Moving Without a Budget

Finances are a huge part of any relocation, and moving certainly is not cheap. One of the best things you can do to prepare for your move is to create a budget right away.

This allows you to gain a better understanding of what to expect for the prices of various aspects of your move, as well as gauging how much money you can afford to spend in each category. A budget encourages you to spend more responsibly, and it can also help you to allot yourself an emergency fund for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. 


  • Forgetting an Essentials Bag

Last but certainly not least, remember to pack an essentials bag for moving day. This bag will contain the items you’ll need right away in your new home to prevent you from routing through boxes when you arrive.

Your essentials bag should contain items such as a change of clothes, any necessary medications, toiletries, and anything else you will need at your disposal right away. Having these necessities will be extremely helpful as you complete your move.


Move Like An Expert!

With these pointers, you can transform your move into a stress-free, straightforward experience. Ready to complete your easiest relocation yet? Just follow along with our top ten moving mistakes to avoid, and enlist the help of AAA Flat Rate Moving & Storage

For over 40 years, we have been moving Sarasota and beyond, providing our Florida Gulf Coast customers with the very best in moving, packing, and storage services. AAA Flat Rate is Sarasota’s #1 moving company, and we don’t take this title lightly.

Our team is constantly working hard to give our customers the most convenient moving solutions. Interested in working with us? Request a quote online today, and discover our affordable services!