How to Choose a Reputable Moving Company in 8 Steps (+ Bonus Tips)
Choosing a reputable moving company is an important task because you will be entrusting all of your possessions to them, so you want to be confident you’ve made the right choice. These 8 steps (and bonus tips!) will ensure your search is thorough so you’ll have peace of mind and a great move.
Choosing a Reputable Moving Company in 8 Steps
Step 1: Get moving referrals from friends and family
One of the first places to start in your moving company search is to ask trusted friends and family members for a referral. Here are some basic questions to ask:
- Have you used movers in the past?
- What company did you use and why?
- Would you recommend others to use them?
- Why or why not? What did you like or dislike?
Step 2: Carefully review moving company websites
You can and should also search for companies online. Your search will likely start on Google using terms like “movers near me,” “local moving companies,” “movers in Minnesota,” or maybe even “local moving quotes.”
Review the results that pop up and visit the sites of a few of the companies. While exploring the site, look for signs that it is a legitimate site (and red flags that it isn’t):
- check for the padlock symbol before the url (this indicates a secure connection)
- make sure the beginning of the url is “https” (not just “http”) — another security indicator
- watch out for incorrect grammar, excessive typos, misspellings, and awkward phrasing
- look out for invasive advertising such as excessive pop ups and explicit or suggestive ads
Step 3: Verify each moving company’s address
While on each website look for a business address. The contact page is usually where you can find this information. Confirm online or in a phone book that the address is listed under the company name. If the address is listed under a residential name rather than a business name, that could be cause for suspicion.
Step 4: Make sure the moving companies are licensed and insured
Legitimate interstate moving companies are licensed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and assigned a DOT number by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In most U.S. states, including Minnesota, there are also local DOT requirements.
A moving company being insured is not the same as them offering liability insurance (also called valuation coverage). Valuation coverage is provided to you by the moving company as an option to protect your items against breakage. Moving company insurance is their personal insurance policy to protect them as a business.
Step 5: Read customer reviews for each moving company
Customer reviews are one of the best ways to find out whether a company is trustworthy, and if it provides good service. Read reviews and complaints from customers to see what others are saying about their experience.
Step 6: Check each moving company with the BBB
Check to see if the company is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and what their rating is. If the company has no accreditation but does have a (positive) rating, you may still consider using them. If they have no accreditation or rating, move on to a different company.
Step 7: Look for certifications or accreditations
Trade associations use rigorous standards to evaluate companies before granting them membership or allowing them to use their logo or seal. That makes these certifications or accreditations a very reliable indication that a moving company provides quality service.
Seeing the ProMover logo on a moving company’s website means that company has received the ProMover certification from the American Moving and Storage Association. You can also search for approved companies directly on the American Moving and Storage Association’s site.
Step 8: Get an in-home estimate
Once you have narrowed your search to a few companies, contact each one for a moving quote or estimate. Make sure to get your quote in writing, and ask any clarifying questions you need to, such as whether the quote is binding or non-binding and if any additional services you may want are included.
Compare your quotes and make your final selection!
3 Bonus Tips to Find a Quality Moving Company
1) Hire a local mover
A local moving company will be much easier to vet than one you can only view online. You could potentially even visit the brick and mortar location to see the people and equipment in person.
2) Always review and get quotes from several companies
You should get a written quote/estimate from at least three different companies and compare them. One moving quote gives you nothing to compare it to, so it’s difficult to tell if you’re overpaying (or if the price is too good to be true).
3) Watch out for scams
Keep an eye out for any red flags in each step of your search to avoid scams and rogue movers. This post will help you identify moving scams before it’s too late.
BONUS, bonus: 3 things not to do when hiring movers
Trust Your Move to Minnesota’s #1 Mover
AAA Movers has 50 years of experience doing local and long-distance moves in Minnesota and across the country. Give us a call today to start planning your move!