Do your homework
Call the Department of Transportation and other Consumer Organizations. Make sure the company you're dealing with is legitimate and does not have a history of complaints. Do an on line search see that the company has a track record. A company with lots of bad reviews or a company with hardly any reviews at all is the one to avoid.
Get it in writing
Insist that your estimator put their quote in writing. Ask for an accurate estimate and not an open-ended deal. Read the paperwork carefully; make sure there are no hidden costs and check that the inventory list of items to be moved is correct.
Make sure the moving company is not a fly by night
Find out how many years the company has been in business. Fly-by-nights usually change their company name frequently. If you have the time, visit the place of business. You can learn a lot by seeing the office for yourself and getting a sense of what kind of an organization you're dealing with.
What about insurance?
Make sure that the moving company has general liability and worker compensation insurance. All licensed companies are required to carry this coverage. A company without this coverage is not only breaking the law, but is also putting you and their employees in jeopardy. Make sure that you understand the different insurance options available for your household contents and choose the one that suits your needs best. The free basic liability coverage in many cases is not enough.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Be wary of coupons mailed to you and high-pressure telemarketing representatives. Promises like 50% off your moving cost and low hourly rates are often traps that end up costing you a lot more in the end. Don't believe stories - check it for yourself.
Remember your priorities when choosing a mover
If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. Having a safe move with no damage or being pleased that the crew is taking care of your belongings is well worth it.