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Do You Pay Movers Before or After? | Three Movers Guide

Published by Chris Townsend

Do You Pay Movers Before or After? | Three Movers Guide

Do You Pay Moving Companies In Advance?

Do You Pay Movers Upfront?

Is requiring payment upfront for moving services illegal? Am I supposed to pay movers before or after the move is completed? These are very common questions posed in the moving industry and a topic that should be discussed. Generally speaking, it is perfectly legal for a moving company to ask for a deposit. However, it is incredibly rare.

You should always pay the movers after the completion of the move. Any reputable trustworthy company would only ask for payment after the completion of the job. A company that asks for money upfront is considered a red flag.

While requesting a deposit is legal, this should serve as a red flag to you as the customer. Whereas, if a mover asks you for full payment upfront, this is a potential scam that deceitful companies do to unsuspecting victims. When you pay for your move upfront, you relinquish all control over when (or if) you’ll see your belongings again.

Pay Movers Upfront

Why shouldn't you pay movers upfront?

According to the industry tradition, paying upfront for your move is not necessary. You can pay at any time during the move or, better: after the move. It is the best idea to pay after the move. Reputable companies only ask for payment after the entire movement is complete. However, the moving company may request a little upfront deposit to confirm your booking during the busy season. But you are suggested to pay after the delivery to avoid certain scams.

You may not receive the quality of service for the amount you paid for.

Sometimes, the moving company may not deliver the quality of service that you expected from them. In this case, you may want a refund or some discount on your fees. But since you'd have already paid, it won't be easy to ask for a refund.

You may have paid higher than you should have.

You may have blindly trusted the moving company and paid them whatever amount they asked for. And after researching, you may have found that they charged you more compared to other movers. You'd definitely want a refund in that case. So, it's better to hold your payment until after the moving process after thorough research.

Late (or No) Delivery

The moving company may show up late or may not even show up at all. After they are paid, they could delay your work and look for other customers. Or worse, they may not even show up, you will lose your valuable time, and it will be very difficult for you to get your money out of them.


A fraudulent moving company could just abandon your things in the middle of the road. So make sure to choose a reputable moving company to do your moving. Many cases have been rising of such fraudulent companies. These fraudulent companies receive the money and then abandon your things.

Home Movers

Why Do Movers Ask for Deposits?

For starters, it’s important to note that moving deposits are not common in the industry. When a mover does ask you to supply a deposit, you should ask them why they require upfront funds. If your move occurs in the summer, some moving companies may ask for a deposit as a way to secure your booking. They simply don’t want to miss out on their busiest season, which they will if they have customers canceling on them last minute.

You may also have to pay a deposit if you go through a moving broker. While many assume that hiring movers through a broker is easier, it typically means that you’ll be working with an unknown moving company. This makes it difficult to verify for yourself whether or not your movers are reliable. With that said, it’s recommended to avoid using a moving broker.

It’s not uncommon for rogue movers to ask for down payments or deposits. So, if your moving company is asking for a deposit, make sure that you do your research and verify that they are reputable. Check the company’s history before you pay movers or give them any money or sign any documents or contracts.

Reputable, Reliable Moving Company

How Much Should You Pay Movers Before Moving?

If you’ve discovered that the moving company you plan to hire has an excellent record but they ask for a deposit, it’s beneficial to be aware of what is a reasonable amount to pay. Some moving companies will determine the amount based on a percentage of the total cost of your move. Therefore, if you’re moving long-distance, the reasonable moving deposit may be slightly compared to when you were moving locally.

The moving company deposit may also be based on the specific day of your move. Moves that occur on weekends will usually require a higher down payment, while weekdays are typically much lower. Overall, reasonable moving deposits can range from as low as $100 to as high as $500. Anything more can be considered excessive and a possible red flag.

Use Your Credit Card To Pay Your Movers

One of the best ways you can do to avoid getting scammed by rogue movers is to pay movers by using a payment method that cannot be traced. Quick Tip: Be especially wary of any moving company that asks for a cash deposit!

A reputable, reliable moving company will let you pay for the deposit however you want to. Using a credit card to pay for the deposit will provide you with proof that you paid them and let you cancel the payment if they happen to disappear on you. If you contact your card provider despite the charge, they’ll usually issue you a chargeback. This cannot happen if you pay movers cash. Or, if you’d prefer to pay with a check, you can request a stop payment on checks that haven’t been cashed yet or post-date the check for after your move is completed.

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Paying The Movers Upfront: What If I Need To Cancel?

If a moving company asks for a reasonable deposit, they should still give you a reasonable window of time to cancel the move and get your deposit back. In most cases, cancellations must be done a minimum of two weeks before the date of the move. Though, during slow seasons, some movers may let you cancel a week prior without any penalty. Make sure you know what the penalty is before you sign anything. That way, you don’t risk losing your whole deposit if you need to cancel your move or shift the date.

Tipping movers after the move

It is not at all customary to tip the movers after the completion of the job. It is totally up to you whether or not you want to tip the movers. You can decide whether they deserve a tip or not based on the quality of their work and service. If they have done a good enough job in good time, they deserve some extra money. In that case, you may reward them with some money for the good job they've done. If you think your movers did a satisfying job, you could tip them around $3-$5/hour per mover. For a full day of moving, approximately 8-10 hours, you could tip each mover about $40-$45. This is considered a standard tipping practice in the industry.

Payment Plans Moving Company

When To Pay Movers

It’s best to pay movers right after the move unless you have agreed upon a different kind of arrangement with the movers. First, look around and see if the move has been completed properly without any mistakes and then pay your movers. You should make the payment that you have agreed upon and tip movers at the same time. If you decide to wait a few days to pay movers after the job is complete, the movers can keep your stuff hostage. You may also have to pay storage charges during that period.

You can pay movers with credit cards, personal checks as well as cash. But, we suggest you either pay with a credit card or a personal check. This will leave proof of the payment.

At Three Movers, we are dedicated to providing effortless local and long-distance relocations and reasonable prices. The highly-trained, experienced, and committed movers at Three Movers are available for all your moving and storage needs. Contact us today to schedule your free, in-home moving estimate and get your next move off on the right foot.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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