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Sterling Van Lines

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LAST UPDATED: March 22nd, 2021

Based in Los Angeles, Sterling Van Lines has been providing expert moving services for over 30 years. It strives to build a reputation of quality service and has helped thousands of families in the 48 continental states with their moves. Sterling Van Lines specializes in local and/or long distance small moves of 2,000 pounds or less.

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The Good

  • Specialty Moving
  • Small Moving
  • Residential Moving
  • Long Distance Moves
  • Packing Services
  • Storage Services

Specialty Moving

Do you own anything that you consider to be of great worth? Often, the pieces that we treasure most are those that end up getting damaged during the moving process. These might include your great grandmother’s piano, old family heirlooms, etc. To help protect these pieces during your move, Sterling Van Lines teams are specially trained to pack and move these items in ways that they will not be damaged.

Small Moving

What is a small move? According to Sterling Van Lines, a small move is any move that has a total overall weight of 2,000 pounds or less. There is only a 400 pound minimum for its services (which is much lower than the majority of other moving companies). Here are a number of advantages of using the small moving service provided by Sterling Van Lines:

  • Save money — Unlike many of its competitors, Sterling Van Lines does not charge you for more than the weight of your items. Some moving companies will charge you for 2,000 pounds even if you are only moving 500 pounds. This is typically a generic fee for any small moves. Sterling Van Lines will only charge you for the exact poundage that you are moving.
  • Protect your furniture — Since small moves are a specialty of Sterling Van Lines, it works hard to keep your things protected. Each of your pieces of furniture will be packed and wrapped in blankets and tape to ensure that they are transported safely. Once they arrive at your new residence, they will be unloaded into the exact place that you would like.

To get a better idea of what a small move might entail, here is a list of possibilities:

  • College student dormitory
  • Estate distribution from an estate sale
  • A piano being transported across the country
  • A dining set being relocated across the country
  • A small two-room apartment move

Residential Moving

If you are going to be moving a short distance away and need the job done quickly and efficiently, this service may be of use to you. Sterling Van Lines claims to be efficient, experienced, reliable, safe, and money conscious when it comes to residential moves. If you decide to hire this moving service you will avoid stress, lifting numerous boxes, and worrying about how you should pack all of your things. All of this will be taken care of by the professional moving team that will be provided by Sterling Van Lines.

Long Distance Moves

Moving to another state or even across the country can be an overwhelming task. One of the most common complaints about these moves is the hidden fees that appear during your move. To ensure that customers are happy with their experience, Sterling Van Lines offers guaranteed pricing for specific items in order to give more accurate moving quotes.

Another perk offered by Sterling Van Lines to those moving long distance is custom moving plans. As you prepare to move, all of your belongings will be professionally packed and prepared for the trip. Sterling Van Lines movers have been trained to ensure that they move all of your things without damaging them.

Packing Services

Packing is one of the most important parts of any move. There are a number of tips and tricks that can help you pack your things in a way that they won’t break, but hiring professionals will save you a lot of time and worry. Sterling Van Lines specially packs all of your fragile items to make sure that they will be protected during your move. If you want to save some money, you can pack all of your clothes and non-breakable items and leave the rest to the movers.

Storage Services

If you are unable to move into your new residence for a short time after you move out, Sterling Van Lines offers storage services where you can store all of your belongings. You can either deliver them to the storage facility yourself, or have a team come and pick them up.

Another option for storage is Storage Containers on Wheels. This is a subsidiary of Sterling Van Lines and offers portable storage containers that can be delivered to your residence. You can store furniture, documents, and more in these containers until you are ready to move them into your new residence. These storage containers are steel-framed and waterproofed to safely protect your belongings from any elements during the time that they are being stored.


The Bad

  • Customer Service
  • Timeliness
  • Damaged Goods
  • Inaccurate Estimates
  • Third-Party Movers

Customer Service

Recent customer reviews have talked about difficult experiences working with customer service representatives. Though this is not indicative of every interaction that customers have had with customer service, you should be aware that it is possible that you may run into challenges with customer service if anything goes amiss with your move.


Sterling Van Lines customer reviews have mentioned that movers have been late on occasion and have even had to reschedule to a different day.

Moving is stressful as it is, but being canceled on is the nail in the coffin. If you are on a tight schedule, it would be advised that you schedule your move a day or two before you absolutely have to move so that you can make sure that if there are delays, you will still be able to move in time.

Damaged Goods

There is nothing worse than having your movers bring your furniture in and finding out that it has been broken during the moving process. Unfortunately this happens far more often than anyone would like. Sterling Van Lines claims to offer expert packing services to avoid this, but customer reviews still mention that furniture, pictures, mirrors, etc. have been damaged and/or broken during a move.

If you are wanting to make sure that any damages are covered by the mover, you will want to read through the contract thoroughly, take before pictures, and get consent from the mover to have this put on your file. If your things are damaged, it may be difficult to get this covered.

Inaccurate Estimates

Moving quotes will vary from mover to mover, but they should not vary within a company. Customer reviews talk about moving quotes being significantly lower than the final cost of their moves. To make sure that you avoid being charged an excessive amount to move your things, you may want to get in touch with two different representatives of the company to see how close the estimates they give you are.

Third-Party Movers

If you are looking to have a mover do the job from start to finish, but do not live in LA, you may want to look elsewhere. Sterling Van Lines will hire out third-party movers to bring your things to LA and then will have its teams complete the rest of the move. To make sure that you are only working with one company, make sure that you get all of the details before signing any contracts.


The Bottom Line

Sterling Van Lines specialized in small moves. It offers a number of special moving features to ensure that your move is stress-free. We feel that its pricing is comparable with other moving services, and would recommend getting a quote if you feel that your move is rather small. If you have a lot of possessions, or if you have more than two bedrooms, you may want to look for a different moving service.

If you do end up signing a contract, make sure that you know exactly what it says and work with the company representatives diligently to ensure that you are given the service that has been guaranteed.

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Sally Westminster, CA

We hired Sterling to move my elderly parents from San Diego to Los Angeles. One of my mother's prized pieces of folk art was loosely wrapped and thrown in with a box of lamps and was damaged beyond repair. When she saw it she was very upset and when I asked Sergio (the head packer) about it, he tried to blame my mother. While they were moving furniture in, they also damaged freshly painted casing banging something into it. We decided not to pursue anything until an entire box of my father's good clothing, collectible hats and some of his personal belongings including an apple TV had not been delivered. That was when we decided to file a claim and were offered only $18 from Sterling. I consulted an attorney who reviewed the documents and told us that we were victims of poor regulations and oversight that allows these companies to get away with this with horrible "insurance" choices that are not explained properly. Besides posting reviews, I plan to contact my state and federal representatives to encourage them to review the business practices of these companies and put in place better protections for consumers. WANT TO ALSO ADD THAT THEY ADVERTISE MILITARY DISCOUNTS BUT WE DIDN'T GET THAT EITHER EVEN THOUGH WE QUALIFY.

2 years ago Edited September 14, 2021