Moving, especially long distances, can be a large expense for most homeowners. It is common to be concerned about getting the best price for a move and budgeting appropriately. However, one thing many homeowners fail to consider when thinking about moving finances is the logistics of paying for their move. Below are some things to keep in mind when paying for your move to make the process go smoothly.
If Asked to Pay a Deposit, You Should Pay with a Credit Card
Deposits to hold the date of a move are becoming more common in the moving industry, especially if you are moving a long distance or are in a busy area. Most deposits are either between $200–$500, or 20%–30% of the total cost of your move. If you are asked to pay a moving deposit, you should pay with a credit card if possible. This makes your moving deposit easy to trace and refund if you cancel your move within the allotted amount of time. It also prevents you from losing your money to scam moving companies that may ask for a deposit and then not show up on moving day.
When Receiving Your Belongings, Be Prepared to Pay with Cash, Cashiers Check, or Money Order
While some moving companies are beginning to adopt portable credit-card readers, most still only accept cash, cashier's check, or money orders when your belongings arrive at your new home. Your moving company should call you the day before your belongings arrive with the exact total cost of your move, and you will be expected to pay that much before your belongings are released. Sometimes, there will be an unforeseen expense on the delivery day, such as a shuttling fee or extra-stairs fee. Most moving companies will bill you for these things and allow you to pay the charges at a later date, but it is a good idea to have a couple extra hundred dollars on hand to cover these fees if necessary.
If You Want to Pay By Credit Card, Arrange the Payment Ahead of Time
If you feel more comfortable paying with credit card, you should arrange a credit-card payment over the phone or online when the company releases your delivery invoice. This way, the driver will know you have already paid for and will release your belongings to you without additional hassle. This also applies if your company is paying for your move. You should make arrangements ahead of time to prevent any delay in the unloading of your belongings.
Make Sure You Get a Full Invoice and Receipt for Your Payment
When you pay your final bill, the driver should give you a full invoice for your move. It is important that you receive this invoice and keep it in case you have any issues with your belongings. The invoice can also be used for tax purposes if you will be receiving a tax credit for your move and for reimbursement from your company if your company is paying for your moving expenses.
Tips Should Be Given in Cash
If you decide to tip your movers, you should do so in cash as opposed to adding an additional amount to a cashier's check or money order. This allows tips to be split appropriately between all of the movers and for the movers to receive their tips immediately instead of waiting several days for a tip to be released from the moving company. Common tipping amounts are around 5% of the total of the move or $20 per mover and should be given to each mover directly as opposed to the moving foreman.
Being prepared with appropriate payment methods can help speed up your moving process and make it less stressful.