1. Verify his license
If you are moving within NJ (called intrastate moving) Make sure the mover you are considering is licensed by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, as required by law for local moving; be sure that his license number is current.
You call call 973-504-6512 or 6442 to speak to the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs if you can get through: Remember that A responsible mover might have a few complaints lodged against him but should not have any unresolved complaints. A DOT or ICC number does not mean he is licensed for NJ moving; all movers are required to have them for interstate moving (out of NJ).
If you are moving from one state to another (Called interstate moving) you can check the size of the company and their DOT number at the FMCSA website; see if it is current and check the company name and address is correct; When you are find the mover, click on the name of the company and look at the number of trucks registered to see if they really are a large mover, or they just say they are.
2. Make sure his place of business really does exists
Paying a visit tells you something about the mover's integrity and professionalism, you can confirm that his place of business is really there. Some movers operate legitimately from a residential address. The important thing is that he actually is located there and not using a fictitious address to make you think he is.
3. Be wary of low price tactics from telemarketers
This could be a ploy simply to get a sales person into your home to give you an estimate. If they tell you you don't need an estimator, find another company. Be careful, do research and you decide whom to invite into your home, based on references, not low prices given on the phone or internet before they even see what work needs to be done.
4. Only accept a Mover that Provides an in person estimate
Movers are required to come to your house to give the estimate in writing; check to be sure all your furniture is listed on the back of the estimate. A quality firm doesn't need to knock the competition, or to criticize other moving firms in an attempt to make themselves look better.
5. Was the company listed in last year's Yellow Pages?
If not, it could be a legitimate new company. But it could also mean the mover's license was revoked and he's trying to operate under a new name or the name of another licensed mover. Be sure he advertises his address.
6. You should be able to talk to the owner or manager
Ask if you can talk to the owner or general manager of the business, even if only by phone, you will be able to develop a feeling of confidence that he is experienced. Ask a few questions like how long in business and then check the answer to public information like the Better Business Bureau. Be sure you understand the liability coverage since basic insurance does not assure coverage for replacement of normal or high value items.
7. It's a good idea to get a recommendation
A satisfied customer is the best sales pitch for a mover. Remember, even a mover with a big franchised name is still a local business who is only as good as his local reputation. Ask for references from recent customers, and call them if possible. Check the company's complaints on the Better Business Bureau website. Too many complaints compared to other movers can be a red flag.
8. Be sure the company is a member of NJWMA
Make sure they are listed on NJMovers.com; NJWMA was established in 1969 to separate licensed movers from the scam artist in New Jersey's moving industry. They check a mover's license, and Workers' Compensation insurance coverage and reputation before accepting him as a member. Not every mover can join. They do not sell leads or customer's information.