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We all move house in our lives. Sadly, we usually don’t move often enough to get really good at it. This leaves us open to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous removal companies. Unless you know which mistakes to avoid. Here’s our list of the 5 most common slip-ups. Avoid these, and you’ll have a better chance of picking a mover who will carry out a professional move at a fair price.

1. Not checking multiple quotes
Too many people are tempted to choose the first removal company they find offering a low price. Don’t make this mistake. Compare more than one quote before you choose. That’s the only way to know what price you should expect. Then you can rule out anyone whose price seems too good to be true.A professional mover pays to train their staff, to maintain their vehicles, to be properly insured, and often to be members of industry bodies that promote best practice in the industry. A low price might mean you’ll get underpaid staff who don’t care about doing a good job. Or that they’re not properly insured. So, buyer beware – know what to expect before you make the wrong choice.

2.Underestimating how much stuff you’re moving

One common problem removal companies face is when customers underestimate – or even flat-out lie – about how much stuff they want to move. Don’t be tempted to do this. It could lead to the company bringing a vehicle that’s too small to fit all your belongings. If that happens, they’ll charge you extra for more than one trip – and you’ll end up paying more than if you’d been open and accurate in the first place.

3. Not asking for customer referrals

All good removal companies recommend this. Don’t just check the company’s website for testimonials, or Google for online reviews. Actually get the emails or phone numbers of a couple of happy recent customers and ask them what their move was like. That’ll give you a much better idea whether the removal firm will do a good job for you.

4. Packing your belongings yourself

Many people try to economise by packing their own belongings. This can make sense if money is tight. But just be aware that if you do this, you won’t be covered by your removal company’s insurance if there are any damages during the move.

5. Not asking for a discount

Removal companies have less-busy periods when they’re more likely to do you a deal on the price of your move. But make sure to ask them. Here are some guidelines on how far you can go:

Summer is busier than winter. The end of the month is busier than the first two weeks. Monday to Wednesday are slower than Thursday to Sunday. So you can push for more of a discount in winter, in the first two weeks of the month, and between Monday to Wednesday.

Why not ask if they’ll do a deal on packing for you as well? You may be surprised at how much you could save.

These tips are brought to you by buzzmove.com, a removals comparison website.