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Everyone likes to save money or get the best deal. Here are a good few tips to maximize your wallet's potential!
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to make sure you have the information you need to protect yourself from moving fraud. More than 40 million Americans move each year for a variety of reasons. It can be stressful, even under the best circumstances and you don’t want to add fraud to the list. Read below to learn how to protect yourself from dishonest, “rogue” movers.
Here are the “red flags” to look out for:
The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the telephone or internet - sight -unseen. These estimates often sound too good to be true and they usually are.
The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move.
The mover doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.
The company’s Web site has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance.
The mover claims all goods are 100% covered by their insurance.
When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving Company” rather than the company’s name.
Offices and warehouse are in poor condition or nonexistent.
On moving day, a rental truck arrives, rather than a company-marked truck.
Here is an important “to do” list to help you select the right mover:
Get a written estimate from several movers.
Make sure the mover is registered with the proper authority and is insured.
Check the mover’s complaint history with your local Better Business Bureau.
Remember your priorities when choosing a mover. The cheapest price may not provide you with the protection of your valuables that you want.
Do your homework. Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When you Move.” You can also access the booklet online at www.ProtectYourMove.gov.
eBay and Craigslist are great for resale. Also try Swap.com to trade in CDs and books for 50 cents to one dollar a piece. To sell old books, visit Cash4Books.net, BlueRocketBooks.com or BookScouter.com. You can donate books to your local libraries, churches, homeless shelters, or to: Reading-Tree.com, BooksForSoldiers.com, BooksforAmerica.org, or BooksforAfrica.org.
In these difficult economic times, almost all of us could benefit from some tips on how to be smarter with our spending. Here are a few resources that could help in your efforts to save a few dollars.
For Restaurant Discounts
If you are looking to find coupons and special discounts for your favorite restaurants, try www.Restaurant.com. We recommend you sign up for their email alerts and wait until the coupons are at least 50% to 80% off their regular price, which occurs about every 6 weeks.
The coupons never expire, and they just had an 80% off sale last month. If you would like to make online reservations, read restaurant reviews from diners, and earn points towards free meals, try www.OpenTable.com; membership is free.
For Clothing Discounts
Would you like to try it on in the store before buying? DSW, Filene’s Basement, Nordstrom Rack and Burlington Coat Factory all carry discounted name brand merchandise and have stores in the DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland areas.
For Book/Movie Discounts
For a selection of books and movies sold at less than retail price, try www.Amazon.com, www.eBay.com or www.Half.com. If you would like to browse discounted or gently used books at a local bookstore, we think you will really enjoy browsing through these sites: www.CapitolHillBooks-DC.com, www.SecondStoryBooks.com, www.AbeBooks.com, www.Alibris.com, and of course www.eBay.com and www.Amazon.com.
For Printable Coupons
For General Discounts
For School Discounts
To find tips on back to school discounts, take a look at WTOP's New Year New Deal article
There are many organizations devoted to helping veterans. One such organization is USACares; visit their website here to learn more about their housing assistance and other valuable programs.