With all the stress of planning and packing, it may be tempting to cut corners when moving. One such deviation from the standard is to reach out to movers through Craigslist. If you’re thinking of taking this route, it’s imperative to carefully research the options and ask the right questions such as, “Is hiring movers on Craigslist safe?” That way, you could best meet the specific demands of your upcoming move without making any compromises.
To help get you started, below is a look into the risks of Craigslist and how to avoid them.
Important Points of Consideration When Hiring Movers on Craigslist
Anyone can do it
Using movers found on Craigslist can be unpredictable, since anyone is able to place an advertisement for moving services. These listings could be posted by licensed companies with professional crews, bored student athletes looking for a quick buck or an individual with no experience or competence at all. It may even be someone posting anonymously who has disreputable intentions.
To reduce the risk of relying on someone with insufficient know-how or running into a wrongdoer, check for an online presence beforehand. For instance, you could look up reviews from previous customers, public criminal records and other online sources of information. If your research does not provide any reliable background on who the movers are, move on to another listing.
Unlicensed and uninsured
Similarly, amateur movers usually won’t have any licensing or insurance. If you have fragile or expensive items, this could be a major problem, as the cost of replacement or repair is on you. Along the same lines, uninsured workers may have grounds to sue you if they are injured while working for you or on your property. These risks and potential expenses could make the upfront savings not worth it in the end.
You could avoid this by opting for professional moving services or by getting everything in writing well before moving day. If you take the time to lay out the conditions of the move and confirm the other party’s policies, it could save you big in the end. Be sure to sign an agreement specifying these terms to help ensure the arrangement is on the up and up.
Risk of scammers
There is also the possibility of coming across a scam listing. The con artists in these scenarios may never show up, drive away with your belongings or simply take the money and leave. If this happens, finding recourse may be quite the challenge or even impossible, because Craigslist doesn’t take responsibility for the advertiser’s actions. It could also be dangerous if an altercation breaks out.
Before contacting a service provider, check Craigslist’s scam reports for the listing or the person who posted it. Also, keep an eye out for anything suspicious. It could be vagueness in the post, boasting about unrealistic results and other details that seem questionable. It also helps to avoid really low offers, big deposit requirements or 100% prepayment, as these are typical red flags of a scam.
No standard equipment
Another important point to keep in mind is that Craigslist movers might use defective equipment or may not have suitable gear to protect your items. It could range from a lack of tie-downs and moving blankets to using worn-down or cheap packing supplies that could fall apart. Without the essential moving paraphernalia to rely on, there is a higher probability of something breaking or someone getting injured.
To avoid the issue of substandard equipment or rental services that cost way more than expected — such as truck rental — it’s recommended to opt for professional services. The right moving company will offer up-front pricing without hidden or unexpected fees when it comes time to pay. Furthermore, these outfits typically utilize the best equipment to ensure their team members are safe and their customers are satisfied.
All these risky variables add up to unreliable outcomes. What’s more, because Craigslist doesn’t have a consumer protection policy, the responsibility of avoiding fraud or adverse results is completely on you. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you’re willing to risk on the unknown to save money, time or effort.
Go With Your Gut
Every situation is different. You could end up having a great experience or a not-so-great experience with help from Craigslist movers. The key is to prepare for the possibilities, stay alert, seek advice from others and trust your instincts.
If you prefer to go the safer route, the professionals at Big League Movers & Storage are here to take care of all the ins and outs of your upcoming move. Check out our local moving services or reach out to us today for a free quote!