How Do I Know If a Moving Company is Legit? Find Out Here

Published: 14 Apr, 2023

Last Updated: 19 Apr, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

When it comes to relocating, determining the legitimacy of a moving company is paramount. In this blog post, we will delve into various strategies for identifying legitimate moving companies and avoiding potential pitfalls.

We’ll explore key factors such as researching reviews and ratings, checking licensing and insurance requirements, understanding the difference between brokers and actual movers, as well as how to effectively prepare for your move with an established mover. Furthermore, we’ll provide valuable tips on choosing the right company that aligns with your budget and specific needs.

By following our comprehensive guide on “how do I know if a moving company is legit,” you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions when selecting a reliable mover for your upcoming relocation.

Table of Contents:

1. Identifying Legitimate Movers Among Reputable Moving Companies

Finding a legitimate moving company is essential for a smooth and stress-free move, especially when you have children and pets to consider. To ensure you’re working with a reputable mover, it’s important to research reviews and ratings, check licensing and insurance requirements, and contact the company directly.

a. What to Look For

When searching for a reliable moving company like SEKA Moving, there are several factors that can help you determine their legitimacy:

  • A professional website with clear information about services offered.
  • Positive customer reviews on platforms such as Google Reviews and Yelp.
  • Licensing details from DOT or applicable governing body should be readily available.
  • Evidence of proper insurance coverage for both liability and workers’ compensation.
  • A physical address listed on their website or business card. Avoid companies that only provide an email address or phone number without any other contact details – those could be scammers or fraudulent movers that are not licensed and insured.

b. Researching Reviews and Ratings

To get an idea of what past customers think about the moving company in question, read online reviews from various sources like Google Reviews, Yelp, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Angie’s List etc., which will give insight into how well they perform their services. Be sure to look out for patterns in feedback; if multiple people mention similar issues with communication or service quality then it may be best to steer clear of this particular mover. Also, make sure that the company of your choice addresses the official complaints by their customers.

c. Checking Licensing and Insurance Requirements

All established moving companies should possess valid licenses issued by either the DOT at federal level or respective state agencies depending on whether they operate within one state or across multiple states. To verify a company’s licensing status, you can use the FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. Make sure than the company names on your estimate and on FMCSA website match.

In addition to licensing, make sure the moving company has adequate insurance coverage for liability and workers’ compensation – this protects both you and their employees in case of any accidents during your move.

d. Contacting the Company Directly

After researching potential movers, contacting them directly to assess their professionalism and customer service skills is essential. This will give you an opportunity to gauge their professionalism and customer service skills firsthand. When speaking with representatives from different companies, ask about:

  • Their experience handling moves similar to yours.
  • Any additional fees that may apply (e.g., stairs, long carry distances).
  • Potential discounts for booking during non-peak times or bundling services like packing/unpacking assistance.

It is essential to invest energy and time in investigating a moving organization before consenting to any agreements. Before signing any contracts, confirm that you are engaging with a reliable business who can deliver excellent service for your move. Next, we’ll look at understanding brokers vs relocation companies so that you know what type of services each offers.

Key Takeaway: To ensure a stress-free move, it’s crucial to identify legitimate relocation companies by researching reviews and ratings, checking licensing and insurance requirements, and contacting the company directly. Look for professional websites with positive customer reviews, valid licenses issued by DOT or state agencies, adequate insurance coverage for liability and workers’ compensation, and clear communication about fees and services offered. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience handling moves similar to yours or potential discounts available.

2. Understanding Brokers vs Moving Companies

Comprehending the differences between brokers and moving companies is crucial to making a sound decision when planning a move. This section will aid you in comprehending the particulars of a broker, the pros and cons of utilizing one, the benefits of employing an established moving company, as well as how to sidestep rip-offs when engaging a mover.

a. What is a Broker?

A broker is an intermediary who connects customers with moving companies that can perform their desired services. They do not own a single moving truck or van or employ movers but instead, work as middlemen in facilitating moves for clients by providing quotes from multiple carriers.

b. Pros and Cons of Working with a Broker

  • Pros:
    • Easier comparison shopping: A broker can provide quotes from several different relocation companies quickly, making it easier for you to compare prices and services.
    • Potential cost savings: Since brokers have access to various carriers’ pricing structures, they may be able to negotiate better rates on your behalf.
    • Time-saving: By using a broker’s network of contacts within the industry, you could save time searching for reputable movers yourself.
  • Cons:
    • Lack of control over service quality: When working through a broker rather than directly with a mover, there might be less accountability if something goes wrong during your move since you’re not dealing directly with the company performing the service.
    • Possible hidden fees: Some brokers may not be transparent about additional costs, leading to surprise charges on your final bill. 
    • Risk of scams: Unscrupulous brokers could take advantage of customers by providing low quotes and then inflating the price after booking a mover or even disappearing with your deposit altogether. To avoid this risk, it’s crucial to research potential brokers thoroughly before hiring one.

c. Advantages of Working with a Reputable Moving Company

Working directly with an established moving company offers several benefits over using a broker:

  • Direct communication: You can discuss your specific needs and concerns directly with the movers who will handle your belongings, ensuring better coordination throughout the move.
  • Better accountability: When working directly with a moving company, there is no middleman involved in case something goes wrong during the move – you know exactly who is responsible for addressing any issues that arise.
  • No hidden fees or surprises: By dealing directly with a mover rather than through a broker, you’ll have greater transparency regarding pricing and services offered without worrying about undisclosed extra charges.
  • Recognizable moving truck: on the move day, your moving will arrive on a moving truck wrapped with your mover’s brand identity elements like logo and colors.

d. How to Avoid Scams When Hiring a Mover

To protect yourself from moving scams when hiring either brokers or moving companies, follow these tips:

  1. Verify licensing information: Ensure that both brokers and movers are registered under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations if they operate interstate moves; check local requirements for intrastate moves as well. If a company isn’t listed on FMCSA website, then you’re dealing with fraudulent movers.
  2. Read reviews online: Look up customer feedback on websites like Yelp or Better Business Bureau (BBB) to gauge the company’s reputation and performance.
  3. Get multiple quotes: By comparing estimates from several companies, you can spot unusually low or high prices that may indicate potential scams.
  4. Ask for references: Request contact information for past customers who can vouch for the quality of service provided by the broker or moving company in question.
  5. Search the company names: one of the most common moving scams is when scammers copy the websites of a well-known mover and act like them to steal people’s identity and credit card information.
  6. Ask for an on-site estimate: if you’re moving across states, you can ask for an on-site inspection, when a company representative will arrive at your place and visually see what needs to be moved. At the end of the inspection, the representative will be able to give you a quote on how much your interstate movers will cost.

By understanding brokers vs. relocation companies and taking precautions against scams, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when hiring a mover for your upcoming relocation.

It is important to understand the differences between brokers and established movers when selecting a mover for your next move. With this knowledge, you can now begin preparing for your move with an established moving company by gathering quotes from multiple companies, asking questions about services offered, getting everything in writing, and understanding your rights as a customer.

Key Takeaway: When selecting a mover, it’s critical to recognize the distinction between brokers and legitimate relocation companies. Brokers can provide quotes from multiple carriers but may lack accountability and transparency, while working directly with an established moving company offers better communication and no hidden fees. To avoid scams, verify licensing information, read reviews online, get multiple quotes, and ask for references.

3. Preparing for Your Move with an Established Moving Company

To ensure you’re making the right decision, do your research and find a reliable moving company that can provide quality services at an affordable price. To ensure you’re making the best choice, follow these steps when preparing for your move with an established moving company.

a. Gather Quotes from Multiple Companies

Start by obtaining quotes from several different reputable moving companies. This will give you a better understanding of the average cost and help you identify any outliers that may be too good to be true or excessively expensive. Remember not to base your decision solely on price-quality service is just as important.

b. Ask Questions About Services Offered

Each moving company may offer slightly different services, so make sure to ask questions about what they include in their quote. For example:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Moving supplies (e.g., boxes, packing materials)
  • Pet relocation assistance
  • Storage options during or after your move

Understanding which services are included will help you compare apples-to-apples among various companies. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if something isn’t clear.

c. Get Everything in Writing

Once you’ve chosen a moving company based on their quote and offered services, request all details in writing. Request a written document containing the cost, list of services and any potential extra charges (e.g., for bulky objects or restricted access) to guarantee protection against any future disagreements. Having everything in writing will help protect you in case there are disputes later on.

d. Understand Your Rights as a Customer

As a customer hiring a moving company, it is essential to be aware of your rights and duties throughout the relocation procedure. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides resources outlining these rights and responsibilities so that you can be better informed when working with an established moving company.

Thoroughly researching and planning ahead with a reliable moving firm is essential for guaranteeing an efficient move. To ensure a successful transition, it is essential to consider these tips when selecting the ideal moving company for you.

Key Takeaway: To ensure you work with a reputable moving company, gather quotes from multiple companies and ask questions about the services they offer. Get everything in writing, including the agreed-upon price and any additional fees that may apply. It’s also important to understand your rights as a customer during the moving process.

4. Tips for Choosing the Right Moving Company for You

Determining the right moving company for you may be challenging, but these tips and guidelines can help make sure your move is stress-free.

a. Consider Your Budget

The first step in choosing the right moving company is determining your budget. While it’s important not to compromise on quality or safety, you also need to find a mover that offers competitive pricing and fits within your financial constraints.

b. Check References

A reputable moving company should have no problem providing references from previous customers who can vouch for their services. Don’t hesitate to ask potential movers for contact information of past clients so you can hear firsthand about their experiences working with the company.

c. Read Reviews

In addition to checking references, take time to read online reviews from various sources such as Yelp, Google Maps, and even social media platforms like Facebook where people share their experiences with different companies. This will give you valuable insight into how well each prospective mover performs in terms of customer satisfaction and overall service quality.

  • Beware of fake reviews: Some disreputable companies may post false positive reviews in an attempt to boost their ratings; look out for patterns indicating this kind of behavior (e.g., multiple similar-sounding reviews posted around the same time).
  • Take negative reviews with a grain of salt: While it’s important to consider any potential red flags, remember that no company is perfect and even the best movers may have occasional hiccups. Unfortunately, there are some people who can never be pleased and satisfied with services.

d. Ask About Additional Fees

Before signing a contract with your chosen moving company, make sure you understand all potential fees involved in their services. Some companies charge extra for things like packing materials, long carry distances, or disassembling/reassembling furniture. Be sure to ask about these additional costs upfront so there are no surprises on the move day.

In summary, choosing the right moving company involves careful consideration of your budget, thorough research into references and reviews, and open communication regarding pricing and fees. By following these tips and guidelines while keeping an eye out for scams or shady practices along the way (see our sections on brokers vs moving companies), you’ll be well-equipped to find a mover that meets your needs and ensures a successful relocation experience.

Key Takeaway: To choose a reliable moving company, consider your budget and ask for references from previous clients. Read online reviews to gain insight into their service quality, but be wary of fake positive reviews and take negative ones with a grain of salt. Lastly, make sure you understand all potential fees involved in their services before signing a contract.

Frequently Asked Questions. How Do I Know if a Moving Company is Legit?

How do I know if my moving company is legitimate?

To ensure your moving company is legitimate, verify their licensing and insurance requirements, check online reviews and ratings on platforms like BBB, ask for references from past customers, and contact the company directly to gauge their professionalism.

How can I avoid being scammed by a moving company?

Avoid scams by gathering quotes from multiple companies, ensuring they provide in-home or video estimates rather than over-the-phone or online quotes. Remember, that on-site estimate, on-site inspection, and in-home estimate are the same thing – a company representative will arrive at your place to visually inspect what needs to be moved and give you a quote based on that. Get everything in writing including contracts and inventory lists. Familiarize yourself with your rights as a customer through resources like the FMCSA’s Protect Your Move website.

What should I look for in a professional moving company?

In a professional moving company, look for proper licensing and insurance coverage, positive reviews and ratings on reputable websites, transparent pricing without hidden charges, experienced staff members who handle items carefully during the move process, prompt communication when answering questions or addressing concerns.

How do I interview a moving company?

When interviewing potential movers: inquire about years of experience; request proof of licenses & insurance; ask about services offered (packing/unpacking); discuss any additional fees (e.g., stairs); clarify payment terms & cancellation policies; request references from recent clients; confirm availability on preferred dates.


Doing your research and asking the right questions are key when it comes to finding out if a moving company is legit. Gaining insight into the divergence between brokers and movers, getting ready for your move with a reliable firm, and picking the right one for you can help ensure that you don’t get duped by any shady operators or untrustworthy relocators. To guarantee a hassle-free move, research and ask the right questions when selecting a moving company.

Verify the legitimacy of your moving company by researching their credentials and customer reviews. Make sure you choose a reliable, trustworthy mover to ensure a smooth transition for your move.

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