Find a Low-Cost Mover without Getting Scammed


This article is the third part in a series about moving:
Part 1 |
14 Tips for Finding the Best Neighborhood
Part 2 |
How to Find a Quality House to Rent
Part 4 | How to Plan, Purge, and Pack for Your Next Move
Part 5 |
The Ultimate Moving Checklist for Families

The problem with trying to save money on relocating is that you could fall into the hands of a cheap but unethical mover.  Ever since the moving industry was de-regulated in 1995, and federal oversight was reduced, it’s been easier for fly-by-night companies to get into the business and sometimes round up customers in sketchy ways.

For example, one tactic is to quote you a temptingly low price.  Once the movers get your stuff onto the truck and weighed at an off-site center, they tell you that the move is actually going to cost much more.  When I was moving from apartment to apartment in New York City one time, I ended up paying three times as much as the lady on the phone told me the move would cost.

I didn’t put up much of a fight, but they say that if you don’t agree to pay, the movers might refuse to deliver your things or threaten to sell them to make up for the loss in income.

One way to begin finding a trustworthy mover is to ask friends, online email groups, or a local real estate agent for recommendations.  I’ll talk more about red flags for scams later, but first here is a break-down of various ways to approach your move.

Large Moving Companies

The plus side of franchised moving companies like United, Allied, and Mayflower are that they are established, have a reputable organization to back them up, and are not likely to spring any surprises on you.  On the minus side, the costs will be higher than alternative or smaller movers.

Unless you have a huge house with tons of furniture, another disadvantage of large companies is that they will need to combine your stuff with others to fill the kind of tractor-trailer trucks that make up their fleet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with sharing.  The problem is that, because they have to load and unload several other houses, large companies can usually only give you an estimated delivery window of 2 days to 2 weeks!

If you don’t have a comfortable place to stay while you are waiting, this situation could be a logistical nightmare. It’s the reason I have not gone with a large company since I’ve had a family (thus less flexibility and more people to get settled).


The cheapest method — as with all things in life — is self-serve.  I have rented many a U-Haul in my day, and we even leased a bucket of bolts for our first move as a family.

The reason was partly financial, but also because of immediacy of delivery.  It’s just not so easy anymore to couch surf while your stuff is moseying across the country (as you will often have to do if you go with a large company).

The most well-known do-it-yourself moving companies are U-Haul, Budget and Penske.  (Penske gets the highest ratings of the three on

Loading and Unloading Help

Don’t have any brawny friends you can ply with pizza and beer?  A still very economical solution is to rent and drive the truck yourself, but hire someone to do the heavy lifting.

To move our stuff from storage to the Budget truck we rented for our first family move, we called a locally owned moving company and asked how much they’d charge to simply load up our truck.

It worked out fine, but we were much happier with the professional service on the other end, when we hired unloading help through  The guys arrived on time, did their job extremely carefully, and there were no hidden charges. provides a whole online database of moving helpers with tons of consumer ratings to help you find safe and reliable help.  Quotes appear instantly online, including the number of workers and the estimated time to complete the job. can also find people to help you pack and unpack, clean, or drive.

You Load, They Drive

Driving a run-down truck full of heavy furniture across the country can be harrowing.  Just ask my dad.  Another budget-friendly option is to hire someone to do the driving part.

Perhaps the most well-known company in this category is ABF U-Pack Moving.  In this scenario, the moving company drops off a storage pod or trailer in front of your house or in your driveway.  You pack it up, and then they deliver it for you.  Watchdog website also endorses United Mayflower Container Services.  Check the MovingScam website for discounts on some of these movers.

Small- to Mid-Size Moving Companies


This is the road we took with our move from Arlington, Virginia to New York City.  We found a New York-based company by consulting the moving watchdog website,  The company, All Star Moving, was only one of three companies endorsed by at the time (now the website has a longer list of small- to mid-sized companies).

All Star received only positive ratings from people on that website, and I found similarly glowing reports in other review sites.  Perhaps most importantly, the company had small trucks available, one of which would be dedicated to our stuff only, which meant delivery the next day.

The cherry on top was that they came in much lower in price than anyone else.  (And the fee was not an estimate, but a guarantee — there were absolutely no extra charges added on at the last minute).

Watch Out for These Warning Signs

Years after my sketchy high-priced New York move, I was back in the city, this time with my family, and my friend Elizabeth was shopping around for movers to Pittsburgh.  She called several small companies who never made a home visit to give an estimate.  Elizabeth explained:

They’d stay on the phone with you, do an inventory from your memory of your things, then ‘take off for this’ and ‘deduct for that,’ reaching a price that was ‘in your price range.’  That was their first question.

I don’t mind getting a bargain, but it started to feel like these companies were a bit desperate (which did make me feel bad, I really like to help people out).  But this uneasy feeling, coupled with a few web searches for user reviews and the Better Business Bureau website ratings, showed that these companies — while small, cheap, and very keen for our business — were not the most reliable to deal with.

Elizabeth and her family ended up choosing a company called Flat Rate, which gave them an up-front all-inclusive price — not an estimate.  Even though the price was $1000 over the lowest quote, they liked the fact that the company guaranteed the price and they felt they could trust them to deliver on time (a common complaint about fly-by-night companies).

The extra money goes “a long way in the peace of mind category,” says Elizabeth.  And that’s saying a lot for a mother of two little kids in a new city, who will have to deal with it all if it goes awry.”

To avoid getting cheated, follow these tips for finding a reputable mover:

  • Try to get an all-inclusive price, not an estimate, that will be free of hidden charges and last-minute fees
  • Beware of companies that ask your budget straight off and tailor their estimate accordingly
  • Do not rely on telephone quotes:  an estimator should come to your house and evaluate your stuff
  • A mover should get mainly positive consumer ratings at places like or
  • Go with a company that has been around for many years
  • Make sure there are no complaints lodged against the company at the Better Business Bureau

For more tips, see How to Find a Reputable Mover.

Get Estimates

Once you have identified a few companies that fit your bill, it’s time to ask them to come to your house, take a look at your stuff, and give you a cost estimate.

In Who Will You Trust To Drive Off With Everything You Own?, advises negotiating.  Companies will often have different corporate and personal rates, so make sure you tell them if you are paying for the move yourself.  Ask if they have any discounts or specials running at the time. epinions advises,

Line up at least 3 companies to come to your house for a quote (free). Save your favorite company for last because they will usually price-match or match weight. Leave the previous estimator’s paperwork where they will see it. When they ask you about it ask them why their service is better. Estimators expect you to check out other services. You will also have a chance to negotiate when they call to see what you have decided.

Ask when you need to give them a definite answer.  Even if you are moving in high season (summer), often six weeks of lead time is all you need to reserve a mover.

Budget-Friendly Boxes and Moving Supplies


The cheapest and least wasteful way to find sturdy moving boxes is to check Craigslist or Freecycle for people getting rid of theirs.  If you don’t see any offers, put in your own request for moving boxes.  People are usually happy to see their old boxes get some good use again.

For regular boxes, which might not be as strong but will probably do the job, you can stalk the neighborhood on recycling day or go dumpster diving at the county recycling center (guilty!).

Here are nine more places to find free boxes (a post I wrote for Parentables).

Of course do-it-yourself companies like U-Haul and Budget sell moving supplies (that cost less than office stores), but to save more and have them delivered to your house, try UBoxes, endorsed by, or, recommended by Real Simple magazine.

The next and final installment in this moving series is a moving checklist that will help you tie up loose ends and keep your life chugging along smoothly, even while relocating your family and everything you own.

This article is the third part in a series about moving:
Part 1 |
14 Tips for Finding the Best Neighborhood
Part 2 |
How to Find a Quality House to Rent
Part 4 | How to Plan, Purge, and Pack for Your Next Move
Part 5 |
The Ultimate Moving Checklist for Families

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  • Anthony November 30, 2016, 6:19 am


  • Kendall Ryder August 2, 2016, 11:05 am

    I would like to find a company that would actually help me load and unload everything. That is the reason I will be hiring them. I don’t want to get a moving company that doesn’t load anything or unload anything for me!

  • Sun March 16, 2016, 11:33 pm

    Hi Des K,

    I love the Vero beach area from childhood and young adult visits and am very very curious about why you are leaving to go to Myrtle Beach! It has kind of been a fantasy of mine to move to YOUR beach area. I have also been to Myrtle Beach many times and prefer FL, but now I wonder is it simply sweet childhood memories there. I imagine Myrtle Beach is more affordable. If you have time to share your comparisons having lived in Vero, please share, and I am very appreciative of your thoughts!

  • Susan February 28, 2016, 11:32 pm

    Yes you have to be very careful. Even though I did my research I still got scammed by a company who was holding my goods hostage unless I paid the higher price. BTW this is illegal. Even though they had a great web site, said they were long distance movers, they were not and were not even insured. It was so bad, I ended up on Good Morning America and the FBI went after them.

    I did not pick the most expensive or the least expensive. I asked all the right questions, gave them eight weeks notice but these scammers are experts at what they do and I didn’t realize until it was too late. Needless to say I look at every van line/moving company as if they are going to cheat me.

    As an aside since my ex husband was a career Marine, I have moved a lot and across the country. The biggest complaint is that they lose things and break far too much. Make sure you get some type of insurance because the last move I made, the men moving my items broke an expensive item and the mover told me to stick it. This was from a company that advertised on television they teach their people in a house they built in their warehouse to show them how to handle a customers items . yeah right.

  • Scott J. February 16, 2016, 6:33 am

    This is a great article you have given us here. I appreciate what you say about an all inclusive price and how you share you pal’s experiences. But currently I feel many moving companies have gained a different edge. I live in Utah and I have quite changed places a lot in the past few years but I never do my packing alone. Actually DIY can be hectic when you’ve got a lot of stuff to pack and move. I feel that if anyone can get a reputable company with a great track record then they should allow them to pack up the stuff and only counter check their personal inventory.

  • Claudia Garbin December 21, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I would like to learn about your truck needs for 2016 and see how we can help you. If you are not sure now, may I contact you later in the year? If that is the case, please let me know who to contact, with a phone number & e mail address. Thank you. Happy holidays.
    Claudia Garbin

  • Marilyn Dodd September 23, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Dear Amy,
    I enjoy your insightful information and refreshing ideas, Your post on finding a low cost mover without getting scammed intrigued me. I spent many years in the moving industry, including overseeing the daily operations of the company while the owner was out of the country. I recently started my own company as a moving coach to assist those who are considering hiring a moving company. The work I do now allows me the peace of mind of knowing that I can save an individual or family from hundreds or even thousands in unexpected charges. One of the greatest perks, I am able to offer pro bono services twice monthly. With that being said, It never hurts to ask if a company has a pro bono program.

  • Sarah September 7, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Great Article but there are a few errors:
    1. Mayflower, Allied, United and Atlas are not franchises or franchised companies – they are van lines. These van lines take a commission of all moves that movers book for themselves or if the corporate office books a move. Generally, I suggest staying away from van lines as the movers in their network vary drastically and there is no regulation on who will actually be moving your items.
    2. There are a few moving franchises – Monster Movers, Two Men and a Truck that operate small, family owned moving companies with signed franchise documents ensuring all moves are handled, priced and guaranteed and are door-to-door which means no waiting the previously normal 1-2 weeks.
    3. I cannot find a date on here but recently as in 2015 Penske, Budget, etc raised all rates for one-way, out-of-state trucks over 30% making moving by yourself less cost effective than hiring movers.

  • Des K August 18, 2015, 5:52 am

    Hi Everyone!
    Very informative information from many of you, as well as this site.
    I am looking to move from Vero Beach Florida to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
    Can anyone advise a moving company they’ve dealt with? ? I will also check out the diff recommendations for sites to compare.

  • Judith July 24, 2015, 8:04 am

    Very helpful and detailed article, thank you so much! I’m moving the end of next month, so this is just what I needed!

  • jed March 5, 2015, 12:23 pm

    You make a good point about getting an all-inclusive price. I think it might be a best practice to eliminate any prices that aren’t all-inclusive, and then choose between the remaining. This will help you stay on

  • sean February 19, 2015, 12:38 pm

    I like your reference to your friends move. Interesting that she decided to go with a higher price quote. It was probably a smart decision though as it helped secure a much more reliable company.

  • Monica February 12, 2015, 9:07 am

    Great post. On our last move we decided to go with the DIY method and it wasn’t much fun (especially for my son and husband!)
    I will definitely be using professionals next time.

  • Jamie December 21, 2014, 5:48 pm

    It is also very important to read reviews and testimonials of the company. If people are dissatisfied with the service, they will make it known online. Rising Star Moving Co. is built off of customer referrals. In our first few years in business, we hardly advertised or did any marketing and we have tons of repeat customers and referrals. Check out the reviews first!

  • lowcostmovers September 16, 2014, 7:05 am

    Very thorough article….what about shipping a car? Transporting an automobile can be a very big part of moving, any chance we can get you to touch up on that?

  • Redman Van & Storage Company June 4, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Great tips on getting a low cost movers. It’s surprising how we can get scammed, but it does happen. Thanks for these good ideas.

  • Valerie February 9, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Looking for a reputable company to move 4 rooms of furniture from a storage unit in Illinois to Massachusetts my current home. They need to have insurance and be reliable and a honest company. Anyone know of such a company?

  • Joy C. August 20, 2013, 5:08 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Wish I read this before I moved! got a million calls from movers and emails (this account I just opened for moving quotes- and it’s flooded). I didn’t know about the size of the company being important and weight vs feet, I just went with the one’s who were nicest to me and explained EVERYTHING. Atlanta Vanlines (or do you spell it Van Lines?) was the one I ended up choosing, and I did have a very small move but everything went OK. I would recommend them to any of you all moving from GA, but I guess I was lucky cause I heard some scary things here. Thanks for all the info!

  • Redman Van May 14, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Some fantastic tips! The moving process is so overwhelming but finding a good company to help can add even more stress. Doing research and finding what is manageable to do on your own is the best way to avoid the most headache.

  • Fort Worth Movers March 15, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Nice tips, saving is not easy this days

  • Marc David March 2, 2013, 3:17 pm

    I’ve been a relocation professional for over 14 years. While I agree with some of this their are some holes. Using Internet based moving companies is NEVER a good idea. They are simply brokers and you have no idea who you are working with. I can service a client anywhere in the country, with guaranteed pricing, and free high quality reused moving boxes. Pricing is based on weight and distance, it is in the best interest of a reputable company to get this accurate. A rep should come to your house give you an estimate for free. Just like a painter, roofer, or mechanic. Ask your rep how many moves they service a year, how many drivers they have(not their vanline), how many offices they have. If you need help and answers email me and I will send a rep out and give you the name of two top quality competitors to call as well. If my competition is the better choice then I’m glad I was able to help.

    • Vim K December 11, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Looking for very careful full service mover; we will need one 53′ and a 26/28′ full trucks. Large home contents, shed, basement.
      Moving from 08053 to 98230 4/30-5/10 next year.

    • RoxAnne January 6, 2015, 10:28 am

      I would love to enlist your help because I, too, have been flooded with phone calls and emails. Basically, I want a rep (such as yourself) to do this work for me: finding the right/cheapest moving company. I will be packing and unloading myself. It’s a one-way move from Dallas, Tx to N Fort Myers, Fl. My pickup date is pretty firm (around January 13th), but my delivery date is flexible. Basically, I’m moving clothing, household goods, and one couch. Can you please offer any assistance?
      Thank you!

  • delilahhen3 February 22, 2013, 10:42 pm

    These are great tips! My sister is moving down to Arizona from Chicago. And she wants to hire movers to be moved out faster. She’s just waiting for her lease to be up. I’m definitely going to pass this a long to her. Thanks!

  • Jerry Zaf February 22, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Good info, here some more tips to help you from my blog:
    Weight or Volume?
    Anyone that has ever experienced a long distance move out of state knows that a moving company will calculate the cost of you move either by weight (pounds) or volume (cubic feet).
    Just to give you some background information, about 10 + years ago, the only way to moving companies calculated the cost of a long distance move was based on the total volume loaded or cubic feet. Many customers were taken advantage of by moving companies who basically “stole” extra space on the truck and charged the customer more by making their load seem a lot bigger than what it really was. Moving companies preyed on the customer’s trust by either poorly stacking the job or in some extreme cases added a lot empty boxes to the load to make it appear larger. Unfortunately some companies still operate this way and these unethical practices can cost the customer thousands of dollars.
    In order to make the calculation process more honest, the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) came up with the idea of calcuating the moving cost based on weight. The idea is simple: weigh the truck empty, load the customer’s belongings, weigh the truck after and voila the actual weight is calculated. Or so you think! Moving companies found a way to beat the system here too by again taking advantage of the customer’s trust. They would often come to the customer’s house with almost empty fuel tanks and then before going to the final weighing, would fuel up the tanks. Full fuel tanks can add 200-300 pounds. Sometimes they would even have all the movers stay on the truck at the final weighing adding again more weight to the truck and more weight to the customer’s bill.
    So, what is the best way to go: weight or volume???
    I’m afraid to report that neither one is better than the other. But you can avoid being scammed by being involved in the process every step of the way. If you go by cubic feet, don’t be afraid to watch the movers loading the truck, check it out, watch how they stack it. If they see that you are keeping a watchful eye, they will less likely look to pull a fast one one you. If going by weight, make sure you go to the weigh station before and after. Ask questions, let them know that you know what you’re talking about!
    And as always, do your research! Check out DOT information and BBB information on these companies!
    My next post will touch upon why some companies feel the need to cheat to make it.

    • Alan June 11, 2014, 12:11 pm

      If you receive a binding not to exceed quote (which most larger companies offer) you wouldn’t have to worry about a driver trying to produce more weight for an increase in cost. Also I think the comments on the van lines (larger companies) are far from the truth. With longer distance moves it’s more cost effective to go with a larger company. For example new york to California, with a larger company they have the ability to haul your goods to California then also fill their truck to come back to the east coast. A smaller one location mover doesn’t have that option so they need to drive all the way back with an empty truck and eat all that fuel cost (or build it in your estimste) also the larger companies have all the proper licensing, heavily regulated by the DOT and their employees are all drug tested and CORI background checked. The smaller guys are not required to do the checks and sometimes do not actually have interstate jurisdiction.

  • Trent L January 29, 2013, 5:34 am

    Hi, Amy :)

    I love how you have segregated services according to the size of the moving company. I also think that such a connection exists and one should be as careful as possible when hiring movers. Scams are very common nowadays and all manner of people try to cheat you out of your money. DIY seems to be the way to go, but it is so much hard work to deal with, while keeping in mind that there are people who should, in theory, be specializing in that sort of work, and instead of hiring said people, you are wasting your time and effort on packing, loading and transportation, all of this while having to deal with stressful stuff like paperwork, utilities and whatnot. It is a multitasking challenge. By the way, if after all, you consider hiring movers, make sure you read at least one moving testimonial on MyMovingReviews or other sites like Yelp and what was the name of the other one, moving scam or something like that. Cover your bases before you hire and consult with people who have used the company and you should be just fine imo.

    Good luck to all who are about to move! :)

  • Steven September 22, 2012, 4:26 am


    Thanks for recommendation,but Flatrate movers prices was way to high,I was thinking about All start,they have been in the industry for some time. Since I was moving from LA I asked my pried what they have used. Got great recommendation about I havent heard from them much,but thats how they operate,they dont advertise on internet,they rely on their work experience and people share information with others.

    Thanks :)

    • Dallas Movers March 15, 2013, 4:32 pm

      If you move in Dallas Texas and need to save we can defiantly give you low rates!

  • Convert old slides to DVD September 16, 2012, 2:02 pm

    My relatives all the time say that I am wasting my time here at net, but I know I am
    getting familiarity daily by reading thes nice articles
    or reviews.

  • Liz March 5, 2012, 7:08 pm

    My late mother was a hoarder, and I was charged with cleaning out her apartment after she died. The tips to avoid moving scams also work to avoid trash hauling scams. I won’t name the company I used, but they frequently appear on the TV show “Hoarders” (which is why I hired them). It also helps to be present on site; I wasn’t, but my spouse was. Unfortunately, that only made matters worse.

    Liquor stores are a great source for boxes. Liquor stores in my area stack empty boxes by the door.

    • Amy March 5, 2012, 7:40 pm

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for the heads up about trash hauling companies, and the possibilities for fraud. I can imagine how that might add insult to injury, when you were mourning the passing of your mother.

      And thank you for the tip about finding sturdy boxes at liquor stores. I bet they would be strong, as well as free of food contamination.

      Take care,

  • AVTransfer December 30, 2011, 3:26 pm

    We are a small local moving company that works hard to stay in business and satisfy our customers. The story above helps other realize the benefits to our services as well as other companies that operate a legal and trust worthy operation. Now a days with so many people using scams to get business and make money and rip off our public. It is nice to find stories like yours. I just wish there were other ways to raise awareness for these and other issues in all industries. Keep up the good work.

  • M Syed October 8, 2011, 11:11 pm

    WE are moving from Northridge CA to Chicago area. Only one bedroom set, and family and living furniture with office desk and book shelf closet. and misc kitchen etc.

  • dan July 13, 2011, 7:50 pm

    for the last few years we publish over 200 articles about the moving process. take your time to read the relevant for your move and save yourself lots of problems. moving can be stress full but if you do it in the right way it can also save yourself lots of money. i would like to share with you the website;
    and you can send me question via email thru the site.

  • Labor Lumpers January 17, 2011, 1:51 pm

    In the past few years we’ve helped with more rental trucks then ever, in the years before that, we helped out with the major moving companies with semi loads of furniture, allied, graebel, bekins, wheaton, united, an many more, alot are somewhat even being bought out by others, not yet a monopoly, but atleast people are still moving an finding low cost ways an still get the same great help. We are planning on getting as many used boxes, for now we mostly load or unload, but will considered good used boxes in the areas we cover to help keep cost down. Are #1 crew is in Central illinois, called the Smooth Move Crew, even setting up a link for them at we do offer help for nationwide, just call an we can help move you too.

  • Angelina November 17, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Thank-you so much for the article. it is amazing what we have learned! At first we were giong to do a POD, then we decided that we have too many things and decided yesterday to hire a mover. While my husband and I were on the phone something just didn’t “fit” so I did a search for movers web boards and I found THANK-GOD!! We decided on Atlas but I am in trouble because we have to move on Nov. 29 and it is now turning into that headache of trying to get someone here. I’m packed and rearing to go now what?

    • Amy November 18, 2010, 2:04 pm

      Hi Angelina Marie,

      It’s sounds like you’ve been through the wringer! I’m glad you’ve settled on a reputable mover. Last minute moving is no fun — in fact, all moving is no fun! I hope Atlas can get there in time.

      Thanks for stopping by and best of luck!

  • Nick Brieger October 27, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Hi Amy,

    This is a very informative article which will help many that haven’t moved recently or been taught how to protect themselves. There are a couple of things that I, being a mover for 25 years would like to clarify;

    In the Large Moving Companies paragraph you stated that moving companies with major van line affiliations don’t change the price and care about satisfaction, so true, a recent industry report said; 6 out of 10 unhappy customers will likely post, but only 1 out of 10 happy customers will. You mentioned United and Mayflower, we are both, making us an award winning “Dual Agency”, this means we have the full authority of both van lines.

    You questioned the costs being higher with these agencies, normally true, but about 3 years ago we started our Alternative Services Division, the web address is . We provide nationwide alternatives for customers which include small shipment moving, portable storage containers provided by United, Mayflower or PODS with packing, loading or unloading, U-Haul truck rental and moving labor to load or unload, we drive trailer space and any labor needs, overseas international containers with forwarding and labor services, auto transportation, plus many other options. We use the entire booking commission to lower the costs of the labor services for the customer. Our United Van Lines service now offers a very small delivery window, customers no longer have sit around waiting for the shipment to arrive.

    The Loading and Unloading Help suggests emove for helpers called casual laborers, also available on Craigslist, you need to be extremely carful and let the readers know the risks when hiring these guys. The reason why they are so cheap is because you are assuming the liability in case they break or damage items, if they break and hide items at loading or don’t wrap and protect the furniture correctly you will have plenty of damage when you go to unload. I have heard many horror stories over the years, including a theft from the un-loaders coming back to house when the customer wasn’t home knowing there wasn’t a burglar alarm, don’t ever write on the outside of the box things like – Playstation, jewelry, stamp or coin collection or guns. I spoke to a person that was being sued because a big piece of glass broke and the worker had to get a bunch of stitches on his leg, the customer had to foot the bill because she was the employer and this emove service never requires workers comp insurance. I don’t understand why they recommend and don’t warn customers that there’s no drug testing, no insurance for worker’s comp or general liability nor any type of background checks to see if you will be safe. When you do file a police report they ask for the crew’s full names, addresses, dates of birth and S.S. numbers which emove and you do not have. I spoke with a emove laborer once, he was so proud of the fact that he had his friends give him great reviews to help get him work. You think you’re hiring professionals and there’s a possibility that this guy you hired to move and drive a rental truck can get into an accident and possibility kill someone and the customer is responsible because the worker may not have a driver’s license, could be on drugs and a wanted man. I’m not saying you should never use this option, but you should be aware of the dangers and protect yourself at all times, you get what you pay for.

    You had mentioned the idea of a salesperson coming out to the house, this means they will need to be paid a commission which is between $200 and $500 dollars, this gets blended in with the labor fees, at times this is a waste of the customer’s time and money, the way efficient movers calculate now takes into consideration for items that use to be missed, but the customer needs to either prepare a written inventory which is incorporated into the flat rate pricing guarantee or they need a cordless phone to go through each room. If a customer wants to confirm accuracy they can have one major van line sales person come out and provide a survey which will list materials with special instructions, if the shipment is billed by weight and mileage, the survey provides a space or weight amount to use or if it is hourly, it provides a time estimate. When you contact other moving companies for a price quote give them the survey results and they will be able to give you a quote that is based on the same information, a comparison is the first salesperson say you need to ship 3 apples and the cost is $0.90, another one says 4 apples for $1.00 and another says 5 apples for $1.05, the highest price in the cheapest rate. A onsite survey is usually only required when a customer has an extremely large home, 4 bedroom plus or if they have a bunch of items needing special preparation like antiques, pool tables, pianos, German shrunk or full packing services.
    Boxes can provided by military approved moving companies like us, we bring back boxes that are not reusable on another military shipment. We give these boxes to our COD customers totally free, we also offer the option to buy new materials direct from the wholesaler, at a price that is lower than what moving companies usually pay, we have combined buying power of all our alternative services providers which are located in over 350 metro areas across the U.S.

    Let me know if I can ever help, I have been trained in sales, claims, operations, legal liability, marketing, van foreman, packing, crating and 3rd party services.

    Nick Brieger G.M. for Alternative Services
    Website Email Phone(877)696-6831
    Darren Holloway United Van Lines (800)722-6683
    Pam Mueller Mayflower (888) 327-0108

    • Don kay September 29, 2011, 10:44 am

      The best way to get competitive, apples-to-apples quotes from movers is to provide each moving company with the same detailed list of furniture in your home. Once you have your price quotes you can invite your selected company / companies to send a salesperson to your home to confirm services. Furniture inventories can be easily and quickly created with web sites like This site also lists local AMSA Promovers listed in order of distance from your residence.

  • End of tenancy cleaning August 20, 2010, 10:05 am

    I always check companies before use their services. some movers are not very careful and may brake some of your stuff or loose it in the moving chaos. I think some movers provide insurance. If their break something they pay it.

    • Fort Worth Movers April 27, 2013, 11:57 am

      great tips, moving can be hard and knowledge like that is helpful.

  • jane August 6, 2010, 8:06 am

    Finish reading your article .I don’t know how to choose . . this one , My friend recommond to me.But I want to know more people who have used this before . Could you provide me some info for this company? Thanks

  • superman July 19, 2010, 11:48 am

    I was reading this article and was shocked by the shear information that I didn’t know that was posted, I really liked reading this post. So guys I’m moving this weekend and I chose this company Dallas Texas Moving Company and I was wondering if you guys could check them out and tell me what you think, thank you guys!!!!

  • London removals June 21, 2010, 9:31 am

    I got to know about you, and the services offered by you. I will share this information with others also, because many people will be benefitted from this information.

  • Amy June 16, 2010, 2:32 pm

    Hi Tatiana,

    Thanks for writing in.

    How about Moovers in No. California or STS Movers in So. California

    They are some of the few recommended by the watchdog site Moving Scam.

    Otherwise, have you tried networking with other families in your area about who they have used? Email loops are great for this, but lacking that, try asking around, everywhere you go.

    It might make you feel more at ease if you can talk to someone who’s had a good experience with a certain company.

    Hope this helps!


  • Tatiana Roitman June 16, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Hi Amy,

    So at the moment I am trying to plan a long-distance move. As soon as I have contacted various movers on-line, I received MANY phone calls returning my ELECTRONIC message (which was rather overwhelming). The most resonable phone call, was from Omega Movers. Their website looks very professional and helpful, and they have a good Better Business Bureau rating (A-). I was thinking of going with them, but now I saw some concerning reviews from customers on I am getting really confused. I’d like to stick with a local (Ca) company, whose location I know of, and who is not a broker; but these negative reviews sound night-marish – something I’d like to avoid….

    If you have any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance,

  • Tina @ Life Without Pink May 26, 2010, 9:04 pm

    Wow great information! I have to say though I started to get anxiety reading this. We just moved about 7 months ago and I never realized how hard it was! Of course we didn’t have movers and did it all ourselves…never again!

    • Amy May 27, 2010, 11:53 am

      Hi Tina,

      Yes, moving is definitely anxiety-producing! I’m impressed that you did your move all by yourself. What a huge undertaking! I feel way too old to do that anymore.

      Thanks for writing in!

  • Ghi May 22, 2010, 6:20 pm

    Great info Amy… Jr and I were always ‘warned’ about movers, so we always went with the most reputable company even if it cost more. Thankfully we have never had any problems. We’re hoping this upcoming move will be our last for a LONG time!

    • Amy May 24, 2010, 9:24 am

      Hi Ghi: There is definitely a lot to be said for peace of mind. You are, after all, trusting someone with everything you own!