How To Find A Mover
In the two decades I’ve been in the moving industry, the biggest change is in the way people now have to find movers. It used to be relatively easy. All a person had to do was pick up their local Yellow Pages. If a moving company had a listing, or better yet had taken out an ad, it was a pretty sure sign that if nothing else, the company had been around for at least a little while.
Things have absolutely changed. You might find a few movers in the Yellow Pages, but most have taken their advertising dollars to the web and there’s a good chance you haven’t cracked open a Yellow Pages in years either.
The problem with finding a mover (or anyone) on the internet is that advertising on the internet is cheap and instantaneous. That means that any fly-by-night company can appear right next to a very reputable company, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to tell.
Let me start with a very basic primer on how search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo work. They have two kinds of listings. One are paid listings, which are ads. Those are at the very tops and the sides of your search results. You’ll also see ads related to previous searches during your web browsing.
The second kind are called “organic” listings. Organic listings are the ones that are in the body of the search engine and are most similar to Yellow Pages listings. Companies don’t pay for them.
Advertising on search engines can be expensive, depending on the search terms used, so that sort of rules out the fly-by-night companies right there, but it takes a while to show up on organic searches, so companies have to at least put a little time in the business.
There’s a third type of listing on search engines and those are their business listings. If a company is registered with the search engine, they will appear in the middle of the first page of results, with the ability to map the company. You might also see reviews.
Truth be told, though, finding a moving company through a search engine is only half the picture. Google (with the exception of Google business listings’ reviews) can’t tell you a whole lot about a company, except for what the company wants you to know.
You still need to do a little legwork, which can also be done online. If business listings have reviews, read them. Look on Yelp and Angie’s List. The Better Business Bureau is a little antiquated these days, but as one source of information they are fine.
It’s also a great idea to check with people like your real estate agent.
Ask your final choices for their licensing information and run that through SafeSys.org.
Finally, and this is very important, have the company give you an in-person estimate and make them guarantee their price.