In New York City, there are thousands of moving companies to choose from. In this highly segmented market, people are often lost on how to narrow down their options. As someone who has worked in the industry for over a decade, I have seen companies rise and fall, and watched many people make the same mistakes. Below I put together the most important pieces of advice when narrowing down your search.
Make sure they are…a moving company!
This may seem obvious, but most people when looking for a mover will likely type “movers” into Google, click on one of the top results and blindly reach out. By this time it may already be too late. Unfortunately, most of the organic search results for the top keywords are not moving companies, but rather they are lead generators. These websites may look legitimate, and some even make themselves look like moving companies. Unfortunately, once you share your contact information, it is shared with 6-12 movers who pay for your phone number and email and will start bombarding you with contact requests.
This may not even seem like a problem (after all, you are looking for movers, right?). Unfortunately, lead providers do next to nothing to vet the movers they sell their leads to. They may have horrible reviews online and a bad rating on BBB, or they may be one of the companies that close every 6 months and re-open under a new name. Because they paid for your phone number, they still get their foot through the door you are at risk. You may get an offer that is really low, get a misleading estimate, or simply get very inexperience
d movers in your home. Because you found them through a lead provider, you may have no recourse to resolve your issues. Which brings us to my second point…
Check the movers’ reviews online from independent sources
One of the many reasons I believe strongly in Citymove is because of the verified review system. Each review is associated with a specific job posting that was accepted by the mover, and there are checks in place to compare IP addresses and login history to avoid gaming the system. You can read the users’ review, trust that it is legitimate, and even check out what kind of a move it was for. The most valuable reviews are those that are for a project similar to yours!
Whether you are using Citymove, Yelp, Google or another one of many sources of reviews out there, make sure you look up the company before booking with them. Check to ensure you are looking at the company by comparing the address from the paperwork they send over with the address in their listing. Moving is complicated and any mover in business for more than a year will at some point receive bad feedback online, but if it is the same story over and over again, it is probably safe to avoid. Refrain from using the company’s own website as a source of feedback as well. It is likely they curate what content and what reviews are posted there.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Sometimes friends and family ask me for a mover recommendation in cities far away from my network. I always urge them to look for company photos. Genuine photos of trucks and crews are an excellent sign that the company is a real business, an is there to stay. If you see the crew’s faces and their trucks bearing the company logo, they are likely a legitimate business ready to work hard to earn your referral. If they have nothing but stock photos, they may disappear next week and your complaints will be left unanswered.
I believe these three rules will steer you on the right path. Each move is different, you may need packing, or you may be moving cross country and different companies will excel at different things. By avoiding lead providers, checking out independent reviews, and making sure the company is not afraid to show their equipment and crew online, you are likely to avoid most of the dishonest movers and scams. Happy searching!
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