Quick Summary

  1. Get recommendations from local real estate agents and friends who have recently relocated.
  2. Consider only licensed, bonded, and insured movers.
  3. Before hiring movers, check out the US Department of Transportation, the Better Business Bureau, and MovingScam.com.
  4. Evaluate at least three movers based on in-home estimates of moving goods.
  5. Price is not the only consideration; extremely low bids indicate a desperate seller.
  6. Request in writing “Binding Not-To-Exceed” estimates.
  7. Avoid “rogue movers”—trust your instincts if you feel uneasy!

The Particulars

If you hire professional movers, you will face a significant decision: how do you locate reputable movers or moving companies? The good news is that spending a little time researching potential movers can help ensure a stress-free move. These steps are outlined in this article.  To find out about Packers and Movers in Yelahanka, click here

Starting: Referrals

Obtaining referrals is the best way to begin your investigation of potential moving companies. While the Yellow Pages (for those who can still find our phone books!) and web searches can be helpful too, referrals can provide the most relevant leads. Inquire about the experiences of your friends, coworkers, and new neighbors. Look for people who have moved within the last year, as company quality varies. Inquire about specifics such as the names of people they worked with, what went well, and what to avoid. Even information about failed moves can be beneficial.

Try to get referrals from industry professionals in addition to friends and coworkers. For example, consult your leasing or real estate agent about their clients’ experiences; they can be helpful information. If you work for a large corporation, check with the Human Resources department to see if they have someone who works with relocation (even if you aren’t receiving relocation assistance- they may still be willing to pass on helpful information). These referrals will get your research off to a good start.


Federal, state, and local laws govern movers. A moving company that transports goods across state lines (interstate) must be licensed by the Department of Transportation (the DOT does not regulate local movers). State laws vary greatly; several states (Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont) do not require movers to have a separate license. Check that the charges are up to date for those who do. We also recommend that your movers be bonded and insured as proof of legitimacy and financial stability if case something goes wrong and you need to file a claim.

Examine Potential Movers

Once you’ve learned the fundamentals about your potential moving companies, it’s time to learn about other people’s experiences. You want to get opinions from objective, third-party sources based on dozens or hundreds of consumer evaluations. While almost every moving company has received complaints, having objective resources is essential. Fortunately, there are a few excellent free resources available. The US Department of Transportation’s “Protect Your Move” program has its website. There is a link there that allows you to look up individual moving companies. You can also visit MovingScam.com, ProtectYourMove.gov, and the Better Business Bureau’s websites. It’s a good idea to check all three to ensure you’re getting a complete picture. Again, almost any mover who has been in business for a while will have received a complaint from someone; you’re looking for patterns of problems and how the movers attempted to resolve them.

Estimates at Home

Many businesses offer ways for customers to get an estimate over the phone or online. This provides enormous convenience for the consumer. However, estimates won’t be reliable until a moving company representative takes a physical inventory. You should also be concerned if a moving company isn’t interested in your business enough to request an in-home visit. It can also be tempting to get only one or two moving estimates. This raises two issues. The first issue is that it is tough to evaluate an estimate without a few others to compare it to. The second issue is that you miss valuable opportunities to evaluate a mover’s personnel because you have never met them. Getting these estimates in person is time well spent.


Price is a significant consideration when choosing a moving company. It is, however, not the only factor. We believe that quality, safety, and dependability are equally important. When you consider that you will be entrusting all of your most valuable possessions to strangers, pricing takes on new meaning. Furthermore, it would be best to investigate why you see an estimate more than a third lower than the next lowest estimate. An extremely low estimate is frequently a sign of inexperienced or desperate movers. And neither of those reasons should be encouraging!

Estimates with a “Bind Not to Exceed” clause

Moving estimates are classified into two types: binding and non-binding. Estimates are not contracts and give those moving only limited rights. Binding estimates are contracts that bind you and the moving company. Estimates with a “Binding Not to Exceed” clause set a firm limit on the amount you can be charged if you don’t request additional services or add items to be moved. Moving companies are cautious when creating such estimates, and many do not provide them. However, try to persuade your potential movers to make one for you if possible.

“Rogue Transporters”

The Department of Transportation issues specific warnings about “rogue movers” or scam artists. These organizations provide a very low estimate for an upcoming move. However, once your goods are loaded onto their truck, they demand exorbitant fees to release them. The DOT has identified the following warning signs:

  • The mover does not offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your belongings and provides an estimate over the phone or the Internet without seeing them. These estimates frequently appear to be too good to be true. They are almost always.
  • Before the move, the moving company requires cash or a large deposit.
  • The mover does not give you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet that movers must provide to their customers during the planning stages of interstate moves.
  • The company’s website lacks a physical address and information on licensing and insurance.
  • The mover claims that their insurance covers all goods.
  • When you call the mover, the phone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company” rather than the company’s name.
  • Offices and warehouses are in disrepair or non-existent.
  • On a moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned and marked fleet truck.

A Final Thought

While choosing a moving company can be difficult, it’s important to remember that moves with reputable companies usually go smoothly. Following the simple steps outlined in this article can help ensure the success of your activity.