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Why Movers Require A Deposit For Long Distance Moves

Online Payment: Paying long distance movers a deposit

Got a quote from a long-distance mover and surprised to see that they require a deposit? Don't worry—it's perfectly normal. But it's smart to be cautious.

After reading this blog, you will find that paying a deposit is not usually the problem. In fact, a lack of research often results in horrible moving experiences. So, did you vet your movers?

Here's why movers take deposits, how to spot red flags, and what to know to protect your money:

Long Distance & Interstate Movers Can Take A Deposit

Several interstate and long distance moving companies ask for a deposit; here is why:

  • Commit: Several moving companies do not consider a job "booked" unless you sign the contract and pay the deposit. Otherwise, the mover might question your seriousness about your upcoming move.

  • Expenses: Large national moving companies might not ask for a deposit because they have a lot of capital. However, smaller long distance movers require a deposit to cover upfront move expenses like fuel, materials, and labor.

  • Cancel: Customers inform their movers if they need to cancel after putting down a deposit for their long distance move. A deposit reassures long distance movers if you need to cancel or postpone your move.

Deposits To Movers Are Normal

Major moving companies advertise their no-deposit policy to attract customers, but some movers may still request a deposit. This does not mean they are shady or a scam, as long as everything about the business checks out.

Not All Movers Require A Deposit

Big-name long distance moving companies do not ask for a deposit on your long distance move. They can afford to take the risk. However, affordable and reputable smaller movers often ask for a deposit payment. Don't let this scare you away!

Deposits: Red Flags To Watch Out For

Do's and Don'ts when paying movers a deposit

Should you be wary of movers who require a deposit? Only sometimes:

Large Deposit

Reputable long distance movers ask for around 20-35% of the estimated costs. If your movers want a deposit of 50% or more, be wary.

Cash Only

Avoid deposit payments in cash, Zelle, or Wire Transfer. Legitimate moving companies will ask you to pay your deposit using a Credit Card.

No Refund

Shady moving companies ask for a deposit, which is not refundable. Why? They aim to keep your money after they attempt to double your costs on move day.

Very Cheap Quote

Did your long distance movers quote a cost that sounds too good to be true? Then, did they ask for a HUGE deposit without a reasonable balance? If yes, do your research to ensure your movers are legitimate.


Avoid paying a deposit to long distance moving companies with several negative reviews or limited online feedback.

Deposits: Green Flags to Look For

Trustworthy movers might still ask for a deposit, here is how to know they are legit:

  • A+ Rated with the Better Business Bureau.

  • There are several reviews, good and bad.

  • More than five years in business.

  • Professional website with informative content and photos.

  • Lenient cancellation policy with a full refund for any deposit made.

If your long distance moving company has the features mentioned above, pay your deposit with confidence. 

Can You Get Your Deposit Back From Movers?

Read your contract; if the contract suggests a non-refundable deposit upon cancellation, do not agree. This is a red flag, here is why:

  • A deposit with a no-refund policy opens the doors for any potential bait-and-switch moving scam.

  • With a non-refundable deposit, how do you know if the long distance movers will even arrive?

  • Dishonest moving company owners often have a no-refund policy on deposits, and their bad online reviews will explain why.

Are you not sure if you can trust your moving company? Contact American National Movers. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. For long-distance moves, we require a deposit that we can fully refund if you cancel the moving services.

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