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Tips to Pick the Best Moving Company

By May 20, 2024No Comments
Tips to pick the Best Moving Company

Six Solid Tips (and Some Random Advice) to Pick the Best Moving Company

Tips to Pick the Best Moving CompanyNobody ever said choosing a moving company was easy. And there’s a good reason for that—it isn’t!

Separating the very best moving companies from all the others is a bit of a challenge, and much of that challenge stems from the nature of the Internet and social media, which, as we all know, is a wonderful source of accurate information, and–of course–a repository of some truly mind-blowing misinformation and exaggeration that can really ruin your day if you’re not careful.

moving quote

Despite the challenge, however, taking some time to research options before hiring movers is incredibly important, because bad movers have been known to lose or damage customers’ personal property, charge for unworked hours, arrive late and fail to stick to their estimates (despite pledging to do so). So identifying those companies and doing everything you can to avoid them is absolutely essential to ensuring a good moving experience.

Read Here: Who are the Top Movers in America


Moving day is stressful enough without having to worry about your personal possessions arriving damaged—with a surprise bill attached to them, or, even worse, getting a message that your stuff has arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia as you pull into the driveway of your new home in Halifax, Massachusetts.

Screening moving companies is definitely a bit of a pain, so we’ve put together a useful list of tips to help you navigate this slightly unpleasant aspect of the moving process. We can’t promise to make the moving process “fun,” but we do promise to leave you a bit more confident and a bit more informed.

Finally, this list assumes you’ve already decided to go with a professional moving company. It is possible—obviously—to handle virtually every aspect of your move yourself and leave professional movers out of the mix entirely, but it’s not recommended. Moving is an overwhelming experience. Give the pros a chance to do what they do best.

So here we go with six proven approaches to picking the very best moving company available…

1. Get LOTS of Quotes, Estimates and Referrals

moving estimatesMost moving companies are more than willing to provide you with a free moving quote, so take advantage of their eagerness to make you a customer. Contact them directly by phone or online.

Don’t stop there though. Since almost everybody has moved at some point in their life, don’t hesitate to ask friends, family members, and colleagues at work if they can suggest a high-quality moving company. It’s amazing the stuff people will tell you in person that never makes it into online reviews. And remember, if you happen to be working with a real estate agent, ask that agent for a referral.

Customers who are on the ball also ask a prospective moving company for a few referrals. Don’t be afraid to do this. Jot down the names and contact information of a few customers who can give you insight into how the company operates.

Read Here: How to Understand Moving Quotes

In addition, be sure you get several in-person estimates so you can compare moving companies’ prices. Never jump at the first one, and watch out for estimates that seem too good to be true. It’s just a statement of fact that professional movers need to conduct an actual in-person inspection to develop an accurate estimate, so be sure to meet with a company’s representatives face-to-face so that you can judge the numbers they’re giving you. Also, obtain an estimate in writing; this can help resolve any disputes that arise between you and the moving company later on.

Click here for some info on different types of moving quotes and estimates and what they mean.

And when you meet company reps in person, be sure to show them everything you want moved. They need to be able to calculate weight and volume down to the last pound or square inch. If you’re leaving certain items behind, be sure to let them know.

Be mindful of potential add-on charges. More unscrupulous moving companies have a habit of tacking on unwanted fees that weren’t discussed prior to the move and weren’t part of the estimate. Movers have been known to add fees based on everything from “too many stairs and elevators” to the challenge of working in a high-traffic area and on streets too narrow for their moving trucks. Such charges are not a problem if they’re broached beforehand, but the problem is, that they’re often concealed by movers who want to give customers the most attractive estimate possible. Be sure to ask direct questions about pricing and fees.

2. Be Mindful of Potential Red Flags

save money on movingKeep your eyes peeled for signs of trouble–from any direction. Moving scams are increasingly common. If a mover seems keen to get as much money upfront as possible, that can be a red flag. Be wary and ask questions. If a mover asks for a relatively large deposit, and all other indicators are positive, there’s probably not much to worry about. But again, be vigilant.

Also, during the estimate, take heed of whether the movers are behaving in a professional manner. If they fail to show up to your meeting on time, seem uncertain, or are unable to answer key questions without difficulty, think seriously about going with a different company.

Know More: The Top 5 Moving Scams

This may seem obvious, but if your movers show up for the estimate in a rented moving truck, tell them “Thanks but no thanks.” Professional movers don’t rent equipment from third parties. Always hire a moving company that uses its own equipment and other resources and infrastructure.

If and when you’ve got the time, also read the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet. The booklet contains tons of useful information about moving. It’s definitely time well spent.

3. Confirm that the Moving Company Is Fully-Licensed and Insured

moving insuranceEvery reputable and licensed interstate moving company in the United States is issued a DOT number by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If you’re moving across state lines, confirm the moving company’s license at the FMCSA’s official site ( Also, record the mover’s number on your phone or a piece of paper. You’ll likely need it later if—worst-case scenario—you have to file a claim against the moving company. If you’re not moving out of state, and you’re relying on a local mover, your local consumer affairs agency is likely to have information on both well-reviewed and poorly-reviewed movers working at the local level. Also, give the FMCSA search tool database a try.

4. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

moving company ratingsDefinitely take the time you need to fully research your moving company’s background and its history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can do this for free, and it’s a service that’s definitely worth taking advantage of. It’s advisable to work with a moving company that’s fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau or, at a minimum, has a solid BBB rating. While it’s true that a lot of reliable moving companies aren’t listed with the BBB at all, the best way to minimize risk–given the number of stories out there about fly-by-night moving companies and lost or stolen personal property–is to stick with a BBB-accredited moving company. Save yourself a ton of potential worry and hassle.

5. Take a Hard Look a Moving Company’s Professional Accreditation


pro mover logo

Trade associations are usually careful about the companies they grant membership to, so when it comes to researching moving companies, always be on the lookout for those that feature a prominently displayed logo of the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The ATA recently absorbed the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), which originated ProMover certification. The database at offers a wealth of useful information if you want to confirm that a mover is properly accredited. It may seem like a small thing, but this sort of research—which only takes a couple of minutes—really pays off in the end.

6. Trust But Verify!

understanding moving quotesThis may sound silly, but following this bit of advice is extremely wise. It’s an unfortunate reality that rogue moving companies engage in all sorts of shenanigans and make a habit of taking payment for long-distance moves that they never complete. Instead, they contract unqualified third-party movers to handle the move, but at a far lower price, after which they pocket the difference between what they charge the customer and what they charge the other moving company (typically a significant sum). And, of course, they do all this without ever informing the person or persons who booked the move to begin with.

So always confirm the address of the mover that shows up at your door to collect your personal possessions. Watch out for seemingly unusual name changes. Ask questions, check business cards, make calls, and check the moving company’s website to confirm the company name and address. Be cautious of residential addresses or anything that suggests one or more individuals operating independently without the resources and infrastructure that reputable moving companies rely on. Do everything you can to confirm that you’re working with a reliable moving company.

What Else Should I Know?

things to know before movingHere are a few general tips to keep you on the right track as you go through the moving process:

  • Ask friends and family for help (and don’t worry, they’ll get you back when they move).
  • Consider going with a cheaper moving date, which is typically a weekday between the months of October and April.
  • Keep in mind that moving companies offer discounts to seniors and members of the military, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Make a detailed moving checklist and get started early by decluttering and selling and donating what you can. Begin the planning process several months out at least.
  • Take advantage of free boxes and moving supplies.
  • Pay the moving company with a credit card–and be wary of movers that demand cash. Using a credit card gives you automatic protection against fraudulent activity. Remember too that you generally don’t pay reputable movers all or most of your bill until the move itself is complete. This is standard practice and few companies diverge from it.
  • Inquire about the potential cost difference between packing yourself and having the moving company pack everything for you. In many instances, it’s a great way to save money.
Read Here: How much do I need to Save Before Moving
  • Never sign a blank moving contract. Make sure you get all the terms in writing, and read everything thoroughly before signing. Confirm that everything you need moved is listed on the inventory.
  • If you encounter problems with your mover, don’t wait to report those problems. You have nine months to report any issues and to file a moving complaint. Your mover then has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. The upshot is that you should take all the time you need to inspect your household goods carefully. If anything is missing or damaged, report that fact immediately.
  • For extensive information about moving insurance and valuation protection, click here. Insurance coverage is an important subject. Don’t be shy about raising the issue with prospective movers.
  • Ask about the mover’s cancellation policy.
  • Ask about sub-contracting, but keep in mind that even highly reputable moving companies often work with third parties during the last stage of a move.
Also, Keep in Mind That…

Reputable full-service movers will manage everything associated with your move. After all, that’s what you’re paying for. The mover will typically handle packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, truck loading and unloading, item transport, and the positioning of items in your new home (though remember, they’re not home decorators!). They’ll also supply all packing materials if they’re doing a full-service move. The best-moving companies also get rid of waste paper, plastic, wood, and all of the other detritus of a move.

Notably, some of the best moving companies offer different types of storage, depending on your needs. Be sure to ask about this if you think it could help you.

The Bottom Line

Hiring a reputable moving company is more expensive than moving yourself, but it’s a price well worth paying for the simple reason that it brings reassurance and peace of mind. For most people, the stresses involved in moving are tremendous–particularly if they’ve decided to do it without the help of a professional mover. Getting professionals involved typically alleviates all or most of that worry.

Read Here: Top 10 Questions to ask before hiring a moving company

Ultimately, the issue of how many questions you should ask and how much information you need–and how much you should leave to the professionals and how much you should do yourself–comes down to your particular circumstances. What, for example, is your budget? How far are you moving? What’s your age—and what’s your health like? How complicated is your move and how many items are you moving? The answers to these sorts of questions, and others, can go a long way in letting you know what to ask prospective movers and, eventually, what to ask the moving company you actually decide to use.  

Know More Here: How to Move on a Budget

By following the best practices, tips, and recommendations outlined above, you’re chances of experiencing a completely seamless and worry-free moving experience are very high indeed. Remember: always get into the weeds of a company’s background and reputation and the details of the actual moving agreement. The more you know, the better off you’ll be—guaranteed.

International Van Lines: The World’s Premier Local, Long-Distance, and International Moving Service

IVL TruckInternational Van Lines is the world’s premier domestic and international moving company. No one else even comes close. (And to be honest, no one’s been close for quite some time).

Based in Coral Springs, Florida, but now serving more than 180 countries worldwide, IVL’s reputation for excellence continues to grow. Over the past 25 years, we’ve mastered every aspect of full-service, door-to-door relocation, whether you’re moving within the same city, from the West Coast to the East Coast, or from one continent to another. There’s nothing we haven’t seen and no challenge we haven’t overcome.

IVL CEO Check out our rankings in publications like Forbes, USA Today, US News, and Consumer Affairs to get a sense of how IVL operates and what IVL can do for you. These are rankings we’re incredibly proud of and that we work tirelessly to maintain.

Click here for a free moving quote today!

Why IVL?

A simple question with a simple answer. IVL treats your personal possessions as if they were our own. That’s first. IVL has the knowledge, experience, personnel, and infrastructure that no other domestic or international moving company can match. That’s second. And finally, IVL has access and reach that none of our competitors can come close to equaling. IVL goes everywhere (except North Korea — I’m pretty sure that North Korea is “out”).

IVL makes use of both air freight and ocean freight when we move your personal possessions between continents and across international borders. In the case of both Canada and Mexico–and interstate moves within the United States–we rely mainly on our enormous fleet of high-end moving vans. But whatever means of transport we rely on to get your things to their destination, we treat our cargo (your cargo) with enormous care at all times.

Read Here: All About Relocation With a Company Like IVL

Wherever you may be headed, we know that destination inside and out. As full-service movers, we know every potential obstacle. We know the peculiarities of every highway, port, and airport. We know all the logistics. From clearing customs quickly to choosing the quickest and safest route to your new home, it’s something we’ve been through many, many times before.

In the end, it’s our size, versatility, and expertise that makes us the best moving company on planet Earth. Whatever the task, we can do it better and faster than our competitors. And though moving is immensely stressful at the best of times, IVL is constantly working to make things easier for our customers.

Click here for a free moving quote today!

How Much Does Moving Cost?

The cost of moving obviously varies, depending on your destination and the difficulty of getting to that destination. As you might expect, moving to Perth, Australia is a bit pricier than a move from LA to San Diego or from Orlando to Miami.

So check out our moving cost calculator to get a feel for what your move might cost. There’s no doubt that moving costs ebb and flow in response to many different variables—fuel costs in particular. But whatever the cost might be, we’re fully transparent with our customers about all fees and charges. When IVL sends a final bill for its moving services, that bill is never a surprise.

Click the link for a free moving quote or contact IVL directly at (877) 647-1336. We’d love to hear from you.

What Specific Moving Services Does IVL Offer?

Whatever your destination, remember: IVL’s international moving services are comprehensive and door-to-door. Below we offer a brief overview of what IVL delivers to customers, but contact us directly for additional details and service options:

  • Full packing and unpacking services.
  • Furniture assembly and furniture disassembly.
  • Specialized services for high-value items (art, antiques, etc.).
  • Comprehensive ocean and/or air freight services, combined with IVL’s fleet of moving vans.
  • Junk removal.
  • Vehicle transport (domestic or international).
  • Short-, medium-, and long-term storage options, including climate-controlled storage space.
  • Full customs clearance management.
  • Liability protection including full value protection.
  • Full corporate relocation and military relocation services.
  • Live chat and customer service 24/7.
  • Easy shipment tracking.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Deposits and Payments

To promote the speed and efficiency of the move, IVL occasionally partners with providers of local moving services. There is a 25 percent deposit to reserve a moving date. The balance is then split into two separate payments: 50 percent on moving day, and the remainder upon delivery. The deposit can be made using a credit card, check, or ACH.


Cancellations submitted less than 48 hours before the scheduled moving date are not refundable. Given the complex logistical arrangements that overseas moves require, deposits received for international relocations are non-refundable.

Is International Van Lines Licensed?

Yes. IVL is licensed by DOT, FMC and AMSA (the latter having been recently absorbed by ATA).

What Do IVL’s Customers Think?

Customer reviews of IVL at Trustpilot average 4.8/5 stars. Even so, contact us any time for more personalized references. We’re happy to supply as many as you like.

Contact IVL Today. For Your Free Moving Quote Click Here!

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