Merit Moving Systems has been doing honest business with commercial and residential clients since 1958. Unfortunately, many California moving companies choose to abuse their customers’ trust, which reflects negatively on the moving industry as a whole.

At Merit Moving Systems, our goal is provide customers with exceptional service and outstanding support. We also aim to steer soon-to-be-movers in the right direction – whether you do business with us or not.

Below are 5 precautions you can take to help avoid a moving scam (and the overwhelming stress that go with it):

1. Consult your real estate professional

Referrals are a great way to acquire new business. When your work makes someone’s life better and easier, they will talk about you. Conversely, if you make your clients’ life miserable – you better believe they’ll drop your name in the worst way possible.

Therefore, before you move, talk to your real estate pro – he or she is likely to have had good experiences with a number of movers in and around your area. Seeing as how they want your home-buying experience to be as smooth and streamlined as possible, you can certainly trust their advice.

2. Get several estimates

Be sure to price shop for 3 or 4 moving quotes. If one of the quotes is significantly lower than the others, it’s likely that company is up to no good.

3. Ask for a contract You’ll want to get everything in writing to avoid being hit with any hidden fees at the end of the day. This is important.

Think of it this way: The simpler your initial meeting is the more likely extra fees will be incurred. Dishonest movers will give you a low-ball price and then start charging for padding and packing materials. Some companies even apply a “driver’s” fee and demand a 20% gratuity before they even complete the job.

All you need to do to avoid this headache is ask for a contract. If they refuse to give it to you, move on to someone who will.

4. Request a home visit

Legitimate moving companies will almost always send a Move Coordinator, or another qualified representative, to inspect your home or apartment before the transition. This process helps movers plan the transition better – giving them a good idea of the materials and resources they have to bring in order to get the job done safely and efficiently. Movers who don’t visit you first likely don’t have your best interest in mind.

5. Pay little or no money upfront

Unlike other service providers, movers have an incredible piece of leverage at their disposal: All your stuff. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to put too much money down – especially not 20-25 percent! Be wary of companies that ask for a large down payment. And if you do put money down, make sure it’s refundable.

Call Merit Moving Systems today for more information about protecting yourself during a move. As a premier Southern California moving company, we’re proud to make your transition as easy and safe as possible!