If you’re moving to a new home or apartment you’ve probably asked yourself the following questions…
When do you normally pay movers?
Can you pay with cash at the time of delivery?
The quick answers are –
- You typically pay movers at or near the end of your move
- Most movers will take cash at delivery
However there are exceptions, so it’s vital to know what your payment options are early in the screening process, long before signing a contract.
Before continuing on, take a few moments to check out these helpful pre-move resources.
- Best interstate movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews is imperative
- Moving cost calculator – Talk about a great budgeting tool. Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your move, and the magic algorithms will do the rest
- Best moving container companies – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks.
Cash or credit?
Most movers accept cash or credit on local, intrastate, and interstate relocations.
It’s important to note, however, that some (especially long-distance movers) only accept payment via credit card.
If you’re moving locally and your estimated charges are less than $1,000, paying with cash may be the way to go.
However, on long-distance interstate moves where costs often run into the thousands, credit cards are usually a better option.
Carrying around lots of cash is dangerous, and most credit card companies have programs designed to help customers who are the victims of fraud.
If you’d rather use cash to avoid paying interest, consider using a credit card and paying the balance off the following month.
Give us your cash…or else!
Frustrating (and terrifying) demands like these are usually only made by shady movers and brokers.
Thankfully avoiding moving scams isn’t particularly difficult, and paying movers doesn’t need to be stressful or contentious.
In fact, it doesn’t have to be any different than paying for any other service, as long as you’ve addressed it on the front end.
While screening movers and getting estimates, ask –
- What payment options are available
- When you’ll be expected to pay
- If a deposit is required
It’s important to jot down what you’re told, but get it in writing too.
Remember, all relevant payment information should be printed on the Estimate/Order for Service, so make sure you read and understand it before signing on the dotted line.
If prospective movers are wishy-washy about payment or make statements like “we’ll worry about it at delivery,” politely cross them off your list.
Payment options on interstate moves
It’s a common myth that you pay movers after they deliver your household goods on long-distance state-to-state moves.
The truth is that most van lines require customers to pay when the truck arrives at their new residence – before the crew begins unloading.
At this point, they’ll know –
- How much does your shipment weigh
- What services they’ve provided
- Your total move charges
Most van operators won’t even unlock the trailer or get the walk boards out until payment has been settled, because that’s what they’re instructed to do.
Though it may sound fishy, it’s perfectly legit.
It goes without saying that customers can get scammed by rogue movers, but moving companies can and do get taken to the cleaners by nefarious customers too.
Once a moving company unloads everything, they have absolutely no leverage (short of filing a lawsuit) if the customer decides not to pay.
Payment options on local moves
On local moves, payment is generally made when the crew is nearly or completely finished unloading and setting everything up.
Cash and credit cards are usually OK, as long as you’ve agreed on a payment method beforehand.
Just keep in mind that many companies “hold” a few items on the truck until they’ve been paid in full.
Again, this gives them a measure of protection against customers who can’t or won’t pay.
The low-down on moving deposits
Most movers don’t require deposits, but if one of the companies you’re considering does it’s not necessarily a red flag.
After all, lots of customers cancel their moves at the 9th hour, and as a result crews and trucks can go unused.
This lost revenue and idle equipment costs move companies dearly, and some require pre-move deposits to hedge their bets.
If you’ve thoroughly vetted your movers and have hired a reputable and experienced company, a 10% deposit may be reasonable.
On the other hand, if a prospective mover informs you that they require a 25% or 50% deposit or the full amount upfront, it should definitely be a deal-breaker.
As a rule of thumb, shady movers and internet brokers are much more likely to require deposits than legitimate moving companies.
Frequently asked questions (faqs)
When do you normally pay movers?
Movers generally expect to be paid at or near the end of your move if you’re moving locally, and before the crew begins unloading on long-distance relocations.
Should I pay the whole amount up front?
Never. In fact, if a moving company requires a deposit greater than 10% you probably shouldn’t do business with them.
Can you pay movers cash at delivery?
Yes, most movers will gladly accept cash at delivery. On the flip side, movers should never demand payment in cash, especially if you’ve already agreed on another payment method.
Can you pay movers by credit card at delivery?
Yes, most reputable movers prefer that you pay via credit card at the time of delivery.
Will movers carry change?
Paying with hundred dollar bills isn’t usually a problem, but it’s important to have plenty of ones, fives, tens, and twenties on hand as well. Depending on your move cost, the driver may not have enough cash to make a change.
Is it a scam if a mover asks for more cash at delivery?
If you’ve been given a non-binding estimate, there’s no guarantee that your actual move charges won’t be more than the estimate. However, on interstate moves, you’re protected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 110% Rule.
Can I withhold payment until my claims are resolved?
No, you can’t legally withhold payment just because you’ve experienced damage on your move.
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