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This Old House Reviews Team Moving Methodology

This guide on our rating methodology breaks down how we conduct research and analyze our findings to determine the best moving companies.

Author Icon By Shane Sentelle Updated 01/09/2024

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. We have conducted extensive research on moving companies to establish a baseline for the best industry practices and to see how companies compare on key metrics.


Moving Company Research Process

We began the process for evaluating the best moving companies by establishing which categories would compose our rating system.  

Our research methods included the following:

Provider Analysis

For each provider, we analyzed features such as the services offered, additional benefits, and scheduling options. We looked for any inconsistencies in the company’s marketing language and compared business models among providers to better understand the existing industry standards.

Brand Reputation

Customer satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with brand reputation, and our team sought to learn more about each moving company’s relationship with its customers. To this end, we evaluated a provider’s responsiveness to complaints and the initiative taken to resolve reported issues.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has served as a key resource for brand reputation research.

Secret Shopping

Our team anonymously contacted each moving provider to request estimates for moving services. This allowed us to learn more about the services offered and the company’s contents coverage options. We also analyzed any fine print included with the moving quotes we received. 

Expert Interviews

We have conducted interviews with industry experts, gaining insights about the best practices in the moving industry, current trends, and the common pitfalls customers face.


Factors Evaluated To Compare Moving Companies

To rate each moving company, we analyzed the data from our research and created review standards based on our findings. We established a 100-point scale for our scoring system, rating providers based on factors that are most important to customers booking a move.

These are the categories for which we assign a point value to each provider:

Basic Moving Services

The distance that a moving company can cover is the first factor we considered. A provider may offer one or more of these services:

  • Local moves: A local move is generally considered to be a short-distance move within the same state.
  • Long-distance moves: A long-distance move covers 100 or more miles and requires a carrier to have authority to transport household goods over state lines. 
  • International moves: Providers that offer international moves can ship household goods to or from countries overseas directly, as a freight forwarder, or by outsourcing services

Moving companies that offer all three basic service options earned the most points on our scale due to their versatility.

Additional Services

Many moving companies offer additional services to help customers enjoy a more hands-off moving experience. A provider may offer one or more of the following:   

  • Packing
  • Unpacking
  • Loading
  • Unloading 
  • Vehicle shipping
  • Custom crating 
  • Piano moving

Companies that offer a full selection of additional services received more points for this category. Moving companies that provide assistance for non-DIY moving tasks such as vehicle shipping received more points than those that only offer basic loading, unloading, and packing services.

Contents Coverage Options

There are substantial risks involved with moving household goods, and moving companies are required by law to offer basic contents coverage. Some providers offer additional insurance to keep customers financially protected, and some moving companies offer as many as three or more coverage plans. We gave more points to companies with a greater number of contents coverage options.

Scheduling Options

Some movers make it easier than others to get an estimate and book moving services. We gave an additional point value to providers that allow customers to start the quote process both online and over the phone.

Additional Benefits

What often sets a professional moving company apart from competitors are the additional benefits it provides to enhance the customer experience. We awarded extra points to companies for each benefit offered from this list:

  • Financing
  • Moving calculator
  • Moving checklist
  • GPS tracking
  • Packing materials for purchase
  • Storage options
  • Truck or DIY container rental options

Customer Service

Moving companies and other service-based businesses heavily rely on customer feedback to earn business. Given the subjective nature and volatility of some customer review platforms, we aim to rate our top providers on more objective criteria. We evaluated companies based on their complaint response rates on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the percentage of trucks in service as listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

The FMCSA lists the average percentage of trucks out of service as 22.26%. Movers with an out-of-service percentage of less than 22.26% received full points for this rating category. Movers with a BBB complaint response rate ranging from 90% to 100% received full points in this category.


Factor Weights for Rating Moving Companies

The sum for the categories above will total 100 points for a model company that meets or exceeds every criteria. This is how we weigh each category in the final score:

Review CategoryPercent of Score

Basic Moving Services

30%

Additional Services

29%

Contents Coverage Options

8%

Scheduling Options

8%

Additional Benefits

13%

Reputation

12%

How To Choose the Best Moving Company for You

We aim for our moving company review methodology to provide homeowners and renters with comprehensive guides to the top professional movers nationwide. In our moving guides, we outline our top picks for the best movers in the industry based on our research into and subsequent rating of each company we include.

As you plan your next move, we intend for these guides to provide you with an informed sense of what to expect from your moving experience with each of the companies listed. Beyond our rating system, we note services you may find helpful for your particular relocation, including furniture disassembly and reassembly, custom crating for fragile items such as electronics and fine art, and more.

We also review each company so you can learn more about their services, costs, and customer satisfaction before making a decision. We then compare the top providers on key metrics so you can see how each one measures up to its competitors.

The right moving company for you ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. We always recommend that consumers request moving quotes from at least three professional moving companies before making their decision.

To help you get started, check out some of our moving guides below:


About the This Old House Reviews Team

The This Old House Reviews Team is an independent editorial team of subject matter experts who champion the categories and home services we recommend. From the beginning stages of research to the published review articles, our team works diligently to center your interests by identifying common pain points, connecting with people with firsthand knowledge and experience, and crafting content that meets the needs of our audience. We aim to help first-time homebuyers, potential sellers, budget-conscious homeowners, and others from all walks of life streamline their decision-making process for selecting their home services.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.