1. Always verify the mover's license
Different regulations apply for local or long distance moving. here's what you need to know:
Local Moving within NJ is called intrastate; check a public mover's license here: The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Website; click on the 'Profession' field, then scroll to 'Public Movers', then enter the exact company name; Check the license expiration date.
NOTE: a US DOT or ICC number is not valid for local moving;
Long distance: If you are moving from one state to another (interstate), Check the name of the van lines, not just the local mover. Check if their US DOT and MC authority is current, click here; The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Bureau ;
You can also check with American Moving & Storage Association if they are a ProMover with AMSA
2. Make sure the place of business really does exists
Visiting the business may tell you something about the mover; you can confirm they have an office, or, if legitimately working from a residential address, they must have a sign with name, contact phone number and hours of operation. Don't just Google the address. The important thing is that they actually are located there and not using a fictitious address or drop box to make you think they are close to you.
3. Beware of low prices; request an in-person estimate
You should decide whom to invite into your home based on research or references, not on prices given on the Internet or over the phone; watch out for an enticement to get you to agree to waive an in person estimate. Tell them you want a someone to come to your home to give you an estimate. If they say you don't need one, find another company. Movers are required to come to your house to give the estimate in writing.
4. Check that the estimate is accurate
When you get the estimate, check to be sure all your furniture and boxes are listed on the back of the estimate; make sure you understand the charges, ask about the cost of packing large mirrors or glass items, and cost of additional insurance.
Check reviews, but beware if all of them sound like a canned sales pitch for the mover, they may be false. Ask for references from recent customers, and call them if possible. Check if the company is on the Better Business Bureau website at; http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/ but don't just rely on the letter grade, look at the number of complaints. Any movers can have a few, but too many complaints compared to other movers is a red flag. Also, a quality firm doesn't knock the competition or post false reviews to make themselves look good.
GOOD ADVICE: There are some decisions in life that are more important than money. Trusting everything you own to anyone you do not know are one of those decisions.
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