What to Look for in a Moving Company

What to Look for in a Moving Company

When you’re planning on hiring a moving company, it’s important to figure out when you will be available and get the right supplies. Follow this guide on how to choose a moving company to find reliable help for your next move.


When you hire a mover, you entrust them with your family’s possessions. Be sure you’re choosing someone worthy of that trust rather than a rogue operator.

A rogue operator is any person or entity that passes as a legitimate moving company while lacking the appropriate qualifications, equipment, insurance and registration. They tend to advertise extremely cheap rates and may have very attractive and professional-looking websites with fake reviews and sometimes even a revoked federal license number.

One of the most popular moving scams is to offer a low quote and then claim extra charges once the truck is loaded. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs of a moving scam so that you can avoid them. Protect yourself by taking these steps:

Why Is Licensing Important for a Moving Company?

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is responsible for ensuring your moving company conducts good business practices. They regulate movers by monitoring operations and penalizing any who violate NJ public movers regulations. Without licensing, a company’s methods could be unethical and the owners could be more concerned with making money quickly than doing good work.

Movers in New Jersey must:

  • Go to your home for a written estimate, which is more in-depth and accurate than a verbal estimate over the phone.
  • Display the company’s name and location on their moving trucks.
  • Register with the State of New Jersey and receive a license from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Meet the minimum insurance requirement.

Why Should I Avoid Hiring Unlicensed Movers?

Hiring unlicensed movers can be a costly gamble. When you hire movers who aren’t licensed to work in your state, you risk:

  • Unexpected damages: Unlicensed movers frequently used untrained temporary employees, increasing the likelihood of damaged items. The mover may also lack insurance, leaving them unable to cover damages to the locations or your belongings.
  • Inaccessible possessions: If an unlicensed mover is reported, they may have their truck towed to an impound yard with your possessions still inside.
  • Moving fraud: When you work with an unlicensed company, you may pay more than the quoted amount or become the victim of theft.
  • Lack of transparency: Without logged rates, you will be unable to verify their prices.
  • Lawsuits: Because unlicensed movers usually lack insurance, they work without workers’ compensation. If a worker sustains an injury on your property, they may sue you for damages.


Knowing how to hire a moving company that’s honest, hardworking and dependable can make your move a much more pleasant experience. We’ve compiled these tips for hiring movers to help.

1. Check the Reviews

A moving company with a good reputation will have positive reviews in multiple online locations. New businesses and businesses with years of experience should have a good reputation and a history of success.

You may even have friends or family who have worked with them before. If you’re unsure how to select a moving company with a good track record, try talking to people you know in your local community.

Pay attention to what the reviewers say about things like showing up to appointments on time, presenting a fair rate and keeping track of your possessions on moving day.

2. Use a Licensed and Insured Company

What to Look for in a Moving Company

A moving company that lacks a license or insurance could damage or lose your property on the job or behave unprofessionally.

As for what to look for in a long-distance moving company, the FMCSA Moving Checklist says that your mover needs a U.S. Department of Transportation registration and a USDOT number if your move involves interstate travel. Without this registration, movers can only legally transport your items across town.

Each state has slightly different regulations with additional licensing requirements.

3. Check the Rates

Once you contact a moving company, they should give you a rate based on the team labor and hours required. This base rate may exclude fees for extra packing materials or to move heavy objects. Rather than a set estimate, a moving company will typically provide a general range for how much you could spend for the service.

The question of how to hire movers is often a matter of finding the most realistically affordable price. Make sure you ask about additional fees that could come up during the move. The company should be willing to provide this information as part of a pricing transparency policy.

4. Find a Good Fit

You want to find movers equipped to work with your possessions and able to transport the items into and out of certain environments. For example, if you own a piano, make sure you work with movers who can safely transport the instrument, especially if you are moving it up and down flights of stairs.

Develop questions for the movers based on your needs. For example:

  • Does the company have a large enough moving truck to accommodate all your furniture and boxes?
  • Does the company provide additional packing materials such as bubble wrap, extra boxes and moving blankets?
  • Is the company available when you will be ready to move based on your schedule?
  • Can the company guarantee the dates and times of pickup and delivery?


When you work with a moving company, they should make sure you understand all the details of the move. Be sure to ask questions if you’re unsure about something as you go over the following documentation:

  • The cost estimate: You should receive a signed and dated estimate describing the service charges in writing. While you may also ask for a verbal estimate before you choose to use the moving company, you should only accept an estimate in writing.
  • The order for service: An order for service is a dated list of the moving services. You can check yours to see when the mover will pick up or deliver your possessions.
  • The bill of lading: The contract you sign with your moving company is called the bill of lading and should include a receipt. Your mover may offer you a partial copy before they leave the starting location.
  • The inventory list: An inventory list is a receipt that shows each item and its condition and is especially important if your shipment will cross state lines. Make sure you get a copy of your inventory list after all of your possessions are loaded. Check the descriptions and conditions listed for each item to ensure the list’s accuracy.

What to Look for in a Moving Company


Work with a licensed company that values professionalism and respects your property. Contact Transtar Moving Systems to get started or get a quote online.

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