There are millions of movers in Dubai every year, and it's a small miracle that most of them go smoothly, without any problems. Hiring quality movers is, of course, essential.

But The Move me even with so many smooth moves, scams or unfair practices happen. It's in your best interest to be informed about every step of the process.

Here are 11 ways to hire the right team for your move:

Inventory when moving

A self-respecting moving company will take an inventory of all your belongings and determine the volume and weight of your move, either in person or through a virtual survey. The estimator should be thorough and check all your storage areas such as cupboards, drawers, garages and bookcases. A large part of the mover's price depends on the weight of your belongings and the space they take up in the truck. Make sure you understand this estimate and that it is as accurate as possible.

Do a thorough inspection
An appraiser who does a cursory inspection without paying attention to what you plan to move will be wrong. A good appraiser will ask questions about what you plan to take with you from your current home to the next. So be prepared to tell the appraiser what items you don't want to carry in the truck - those you plan to give away, donate to charity, sell at a yard sale or leave to new owners.

Don't pay a big security deposit
Reliable movers will not ask for cash or a large deposit before the move. You only have to pay once the shipment has been delivered. If you pay in advance, you have no control over when you will see your belongings again. Use a credit card when paying to protect yourself from possible fraudulent activity.

Avoid moving companies with a different name
Some companies avoid being assessed by the Better Business Bureau by doing business under different names. Make sure the company has a local address and licensing and insurance information. Their staff should answer the phone by giving the company's full name. Find out if the company has other names under which they "do business" and state and federal licence numbers. Search the internet to see if there are any complaints about the company. 

Get references about movers
If your friends and family don't have references, get a list of reliable movers from associations such as the American Moving and Storage Association and state movers associations. Ask any movers you talk to for recommendations. Tell them that you need a list of three customers from your area who have moved within the last three months. Call these customers and ask direct questions about their experiences.

Avoid packing costs
If you pack your own belongings, the moving company is usually not responsible for damage to your belongings. However, if you outsource the packing to a mover, you may pay an inflated price for the boxes and packing materials, not to mention the time and labour involved. If you decide to have movers do the packing, ask about their experience. Most packers work neatly, but you want to avoid the likelihood of getting someone who throws everything they can into a box and then seals it up without regard for the breakage.

Beware of extra charges
Do you live in a two-storey house or are you moving to a single-storey? Are you moving into or out of a flat on the 10th floor? If so, you will probably be charged extra for the movers to have to overcome stairs and lifts. Do you have a narrow street that won't accommodate a moving van? Expect a surcharge for transferring your belongings to a smaller truck for delivery. Be sure to ask the movers about any additional charges that may apply to your situation.

Avoid blank moving contracts
Never sign a blank contract. Get absolutely everything in writing. The contract should include an estimate and additional charges, as well as pick-up and delivery dates. Read the contract and make sure it lists all your items. If your laptop is not marked on the inventory you sign before the driver leaves, you can't count on it being in the box when it arrives. You cannot make a claim for something that is not in the inventory.

Don't settle for a "guaranteed" price
There are three types of moving contracts:

A non-binding estimate in your contract means that the company cannot charge more than 10% above the original estimate. Any excess must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
A contract with a non-binding excess estimate ensures that you do not have to pay for any excesses over the original estimate. The estimate is the maximum you will have to pay for any