Skip to Content

Should You Pay Movers Before They Unload?

Asking if you should pay movers before or after they are done with moving is a valid question. It is only prudent that you know what is appropriate so you can plan accordingly.

So, should you pay movers before they unload? No, you should not.

Any reputable mover will not request any form of payment before they unload. When you pay before they unload, you have no control over the state of your belongings. However, if you decide to pay before unloading, use a credit card to help you track any fraudulent activity. 

movers handing an invoice for client's signature

In the rest of this post, we discuss paying movers, negotiating with them, how movers charge, and much more.

Should You Pay Movers Before They Unload?

As we already mentioned, you should not pay movers before they unload. One reason for not paying before they unload is to avoid any scams by moving companies. 

For most moving companies, the movers receive payment once they have finished unloading your belongings. It is the standard for all moving companies.

The only reason movers may require deposits is if the move is deemed labor-intensive or if your move is long distance.

Even in such cases, paying with a credit card is the best option so you have recourse in the case of fraudulent activity.

Do Movers Charge By Weight or Volume?

Different moving companies have various methods for calculating costs. Hence, it is necessary to ensure you are selecting the right moving company.

Most movers do not charge exclusively by volume or weight, except the move involves freight shipping. In this case, both volume and weight are used to determine cost. 

In some cases, movers will assess the necessary labor and amount of time required to complete a move. With this assessment, movers can determine the cost to quote to the customer.

Customers tend to seek multiple moving quotes from companies over the phone. Unfortunately, accurately assessing the cost of a move over the phone is almost impossible. Quotes giving at the moving site are usually more accurate. 

Be wary of movers that do not give free on-site quotes. With these companies, you end up paying hidden charges making you pay more than you should.

negotiation with movers

Can You Negotiate With Movers?

Yes, you can negotiate with movers. One of the best ways to do this is to get multiple quotes from at least 3 moving companies. 

Each quote must contain the same set of items you wish to move and any other service you require. You can then pick your preferred company and make them beat the best price. 

Matching prices is one way to negotiate, but there are several other ways. To get the best price, you should understand the mover’s flexibility, pricing models, and timing.

How Do I Get the Best Deal On Movers?

Hiring movers is the best way to move, but the cost of hiring them can be hard on your tight budget. Here are some tips to help you get the best deals on movers. 

Do Not Get Scammed

Trying to save money while moving does not happen without issues. If you hire movers based on the low price they quoted, they might turn out to be frauds. This results in you losing your property and a lot of money. 

Although not going over your budget is your main objective, the following steps should help you hire professional movers and avoid scams:

  • Ensure your chosen mover is adequately insured and licensed.
  • If the quoted price does not sit right with you, do not go for it.
  • Ensure the movers do an in-house estimate to know how much they charge and see how professional they are. Most movers will not give an accurate estimate without one. 
  • Check online for reviews or ask family and friends for referrals. 
comparing companies

Compare Companies

Once you have a list of movers that will not scam you, go through their quotes.

Any price variation you may notice is due to the extra services they can offer. Request an itemized quote and pick out any service you might not need.

Also, find out if the companies will lower their price if you exclude any extra service. 


While some movers charge by materials and time, others charge a flat moving fee. By reducing the number of items to be moved, you could get a better deal from movers.

Things you do not need should go to charity, and you can take smaller items like dishes, clothing, and bedding in your vehicle.

Be Aware Of Extra Costs

Movers tend to charge more when moving specialty or huge items. It is a good idea to have some friends come over to help move your jet ski rather than pay movers extra to do it. 

Some movers may also charge you extra for moving and packing appliances.

If your new place already has appliances, and the old ones will be in storage, you can sell them before moving. It gives you some extra cash for your relocation and prevents from paying any additional moving cost.

Pack It Yourself

You can avoid any packing fee by packing your belongings yourself.

Self-packing reduces any moving fee you are to pay drastically. Packing yourself also means you know everything is safe and nothing will go missing.  


woman shaking hands with movers

Negotiating with movers is always a good idea. Movers know they are in constant competition with other companies for customers and will try to lower their quotes to beat or match their competition.

Negotiation can be pretty helpful if you have a preferred moving company, but you cannot afford its fees. 

Keep in mind though, the cheapest isn’t always the best. Good moving companies know their value and may be booked up and unwilling to discount their prices.

Book Early

Some movers usually charge customers for last-minute bookings. For you to save money, you should schedule ahead of your move. Call the moving company to find out the best time to book. 

Some movers lower their quotes if you can compromise on the time and day they can move your belongings. 

You should also ensure your belongings can be moved into your new place immediately the movers arrive.

If the movers are made to wait, they may charge you double for the inconvenience. Ensure you complete every necessary preparation to avoid any issues on moving day.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Movers?

If you do not pay movers when your shipment is delivered, the mover has every right not to produce your items. The mover may put your contents in storage at your expense, pending when you pay the moving charges.

Do Movers Pack For You?

Yes, some moving companies can pack for you at some extra costs. You can hire a professional full-service mover whose task is to handle everything concerning your move while you sit back and relax. 

This option is ideal for those who cannot solely handle the difficult task of moving. Although this option is not cheap, the convenience guaranteed by full-service movers is usually worth it. 

Full-service movers have trained packers that will help you pack your entire house. The packers will get your belongings boxed up safely in half the time it will take you to do it.

They are also able to pack any valuable and fragile items like paintings and glass securely and expertly.


Are Movers Worth It?

Yes, movers are worth it. Any type of move, cross-country or across town, involves money, time, and stress. You can cut down on the time and stress if you get a mover.

You have a lot to consider before you decide on how you will complete your move. So, when it comes to hiring a professional mover, there is no wrong or right. Any decision taken depends on your circumstances. 

You can save some money if you have the energy and time required for a do-it-yourself move. But if you cannot handle the stress and have enough in your budget, you can research the moving companies around you.

Hiring a mover can be the difference between a smooth and stressful move.

Final Take

You are not required to pay movers before they unload, even if they give you a quote before your move.

In some instances, the mover may request a deposit before unloading. However, the general procedure is to pay after unloading. This way, you can avoid being scammed.