MoversReviewed.com helps consumers find best moversBy Eric Anders • Jan 10th, 2012 • Category: Advertising, Blogroll, Consumer Protection, How to Find a Reputable Mover, WHAT'S NEW
Some RELO Roundtable subscribers and Linkedin connections might be aware of my personal penchant for using relevant moving industry indices and uniform quality metrics to search for and select the most qualified relocation product and service providers.
On January 1, 2012, MoversReviewed.com announced the beta launch of their new consumer oriented database of active moving companies licensed to help fulfill these performance requirements for both individual customers and corporate clients in North America.
If you're a professional involved in the local, long distance or international moving and storage industry, you really should as least take a look at what they've developed.
Why? Your company is probably already indexed!
You'll at least want to make sure the information being displayed is up-to-date and accurate!
(HINT: If you're cash-strapped small business owner or, perhaps, a new business development executive, young SEO strategist, overworked sales manager or CMO saddled with a small staff and even smaller budget, this might be about as close to nirvana as you're ever gonna get!)
If you're a potential customer, corporate HR specialist, returning (or retiring) expat, military or GSA service member using one the government's DITY or PPM programs; or just a super-supportive hiring manager helping the company's newest employee and her young family move for the first time, you'll also appreciate this new tool. Especially how easy it is to use the site's menu options and customer reviews to narrow down your field of qualified candidates. Relaaaaxxx and take it eeeeaaasssyyy!!!
Visitors contemplating any type of relocation can safely browse the new MoversReviewed website for as long as necessary without fear of having to surrender personal information, encountering annoying high pressure sales tactics, or obligating yourself for an ongoing (and potentially expensive) long-term commitment!
Using this new resource, shoppers don't have to worry about their business or cell phone ringing constantly with "rock-bottom" deals being touted by overly aggressive salespeople. Forget about having your email server or mailbox clogged by offers of "unbelievable" discounts or "one-time only" coupons promised by shady move brokers, fly-by-night “van lines”, or unregulated (and unrecognizable!) man-and-a-van local advertisers.
At MoversReviewed.com, consumers get to pick the company's they want to talk to based on their own unique vendor selection criteria. Pretty simple, huh? Like I said … eeeeaaasssyyy!!!
Unlike most of the find-a-mover competitors currently operating online, this free, easy-to-use new vertical delivers a highly relevant, unobtrusive, yet very individual shopping experience to each visitor.
The intuitive navigation tool invites guests to search on, sort through, and then personally select from a list of pre-qualified moving and storage company candidates or transportation service providers based on those that most closely match the scope of services required to complete their local, long distance, or international relocation.
The MoversReviewed.com website boasts that its extensive and well-researched database includes:
- 3,500 Moving Association Members
- 2,700 Interstate Van Line Agents
- 6,200 Active, Intrastate-Licensed Movers
- 5,600 Active, Interstate-Licensed Movers
- 160 Marine Vessel-Owning International Movers
Using nine criteria to sort their selection, users can choose from the culled database of moving product and service providers based on their:
- Operating license type
- Company size (registered trucks)
- State, national or international trade association membership
- National household goods carrier van line affiliation
- Website ownership,
- Customer review average; and ,
- Local leader score
Previously, inexperienced customers in large major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago or Dallas might have had to drill down and sort through 600 potential vendors from the yellow pages or lead aggregators listings when organizing a relocation.
At MoversReviewed.com relaaaaxxxed users (particularly those located in large ever-expanding but densely populated MSAs like NYC, L.A. or Chicagoland) automatically start their search for movers with perhaps hundreds of truly active and very reputable “bricks-'n-mortar' household goods carriers.
The number of potential candidates depends on each users individual search parameters. There are, for instance, 326 full-service movers displayed under New York, New York; 208 showing in Los Angeles, California, and 133 listed in the Windy City.
Using the site's proximity tool, there are 106 full service moving companies indexed within 25 miles of the easily recognizable (and very upscale) 90210 zip code. Lone Star State users will find 153 located within the shadow of the rapidly expanding zip of 75210. Meanwhile, relocating east coast residents in the densely populated 07094 metropolitan zip area have to sort through 415 locally listed vendors on both sides of the river to find their most qualified candidates!
What clearly differentiates MoversReviewed from other find-a-mover search verticals with better page rank is that each of the vendors indexed are established local companies which legitimately operate with a fully insured and properly licensed stable of trained drivers and equipment qualified by local, state or federal transportation regulatory agencies.
Based on their personal selection criteria, MoversReviewed.com users can easily narrow the returned results down to just a few the most relevant vendors in the market area being researched. Just like the results returned via search engines, sponsored advertisers in this niche vertical are listed at top of the page.
Ever since Congress deregulated the moving industry in 1980 to increase market competition, unsuspecting price-conscious customers have been preyed on by unlicensed household goods operators, rogue movers, unprincipled move brokers; and virtual relocation company wannabees when planning their move. Widespread use of the internet particularly among younger, more inexperienced consumers has only exacerbated the problem of shopping for a mover online.
Browsing through MoversReviewed.com the site I didn't see a single disqualified property carrier, disreputable move broker or unscrupulous craigslist scammer listed anywhere on the site.
I did, however, find several sponsored interstate carriers who failed to list their USDOT number(s) on their company website as required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and some state Department of Transportation (DOT), or public utility commission (PUC) regulations.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I always thought that individuals or companies that offered 'for-hire' loading, driving, unloading labor services to rental truck customers were supposed to be licensed as household goods or personal property motor carriers, not moving labor services.
If so, it appears that some industry trade associations and national van lines need to review the listings and advertising of their members and agents to ensure they meet local, state and federal compliance requirements. What's that saying about casting the first stone?
7500 candidates… and No crooks?
Using this new online resource, anyone contemplating any type of household goods or personal property relocation in either the United States or Canada can spend a lot less time qualifying the best candidates based on their own personal needs.
Indexed household goods movers, mobile/portable container operators, specialized motor carriers, or third proviso transport and handling specialists receive calls from customers that are more confident and sure about using their service.
To filter out movers with the wrong federal or state operating license type and to further help assist anxious consumers to avoid brokers/middlemen, unscrupulous fly-by-night operators, and unlicensed rogue movers, MoversReviewed:
- Lists the household goods licenses provided by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and 41 state regulatory compliance commissions
- Cross-references the membership directories of the 36 national and state trade associations of the moving industry
- Identifies moving and storage companies that are prime agents of an interstate van line operation.
The site categorizes movers into 12 specialties including piano, labor only, art & antique crating, auto/vehicle transport, small moves, portable containers, employee relocation services, commercial, industrial, SDDC military certified movers, or government/GSA approved movers.
While reviewing the site, it appears dozens of well-established moving and storage companies have already set up complete postings that include pictures and video links that feature their local and national brand logo, detail of their full service and self-service relocation options, optional rates, customer reviews, insurance verification, an overview of the company's history and particular area of expertise, and additional quote option requests for both potential customers and corporate clients.
This expanded product and service exposure costs the sponsored companies $200 for one year after receiving a two (2) month free trial. This is a particularly good value considering the very expensive but largely inefficient advertising costs incurred at other find-a-mover business aggregators which most consumers find so annoying.
Since the leads at MoversReviewed.com aren't 'sold' to multiple advertisers, there is not as much pressure on or preoccupation with price. In this type of more professional purchasing environment, conscientious sales consultants and trained move coordinators can focus more on each customer's or client's unique transportation service requirements and claim's liability needs when tailoring their relocation package.
Quality measured. Customer driven!
After nosing around a bit, I contacted Mark Greer, President and owner of MoversReviewed.com to pick his brain and determine his interest and experience in the moving industry.
According to Mark, it took a staff of three more than 10 months to develop the beta version of MoversReviewed. Instead of just acquiring a database and posting the results like so many of the other find-a-mover websites, the small group vetted each company individually and then tossed the bad apples before adding the qualified vendors to the sites potential candidate list.
Considering their relative inexperience in the household goods moving industry, most of the information regarding intrastate, interstate, international and specialty movers presented is accurate based on my cursory visits.
This attention to detail appears to have worked to their advantage. According to Greer, “The site received several thousand visitors in December which is especially encouraging considering we just began advertising in January”.
Prior to opening the doors at MoversReviewed, Greer spent the past eight years in the charter bus industry where there are thousands of independent companies, brokerage outfits and group travel operators aggressively compete for business.
Using his transportation and motor carrier compliance experience, he founded BusRates.com. This is also a free, searchable database of nearly all DOT registered bus companies.
Greer used his familiarity with the transportation industry to help inexperienced and uninformed consumers jump over some of the same selection hurdles when shopping for the safest, most well qualified bus vendors. Today that well-optimized site draws over 110,000 group travel planner visits each month who use the niche venue's convenient direct contact information to avoid expensive middle-man commissions and broker fees.
"There are many similarities between the two industries and a few things I didn't expect. I was confused by van line agency at first. There is nothing like this arrangement in the charter bus industry where there are 4,000 individual companies that bear no affiliation with each other. Even after one year of learning the moving industry, I feel like I have only touched the tip of the iceberg."
There's at least one executive at the American Moving and Storage Association who probably understands Greer's consternation, concern and care used when building this type of niche search engine better than anyone else in the industry. A majority stake in BusRates.com was recently sold to the United Motorcoach Association which, incidentally, is also based in Alexandria, Virginia. Hmmm…..
Try it, you'll like it!
Properly licensed and insured household goods motor carriers or relocation product and transportation service providers based in either the U.S. or Canada can add their company information to the directory as a full posting free for two (2) months as a test drive.
At the end of the free trial, qualified vendors satisfied with the additional page rank results and affordable advertising exposure can continue posting for $200 per year.
Companies that have multiple locations can target additional metro areas at a rate of $20/mo or $200 per year. Advertisers can also move up one tier in placement for $10/mo or $100/year. Rank is determined by "sign up date by tier".
A work in progress …
MoversReviewed.com isn't perfect! It's still a work-in-progress.
As the newest vertical on the find-a-mover block, Greer is still trying to find his way around the neighborhood. He freely admits that the paint's not yet dry on the design and business model. Like anything else, pricing is always subject to change.
A few pieces of the site's presentation format and content are still a little rough around the edges due to size of the project and the staff's relative inexperience. Some of the industry information needs to be edited or updated and a few of the vendors indexed should probably have their credentials reviewed closer or listings yanked.
Personally I think the cream will eventually rise to the top once the shaking stops.
Having said that, I still think the site deserves a least a cursory review – especially before things get too busy! Just based on the significant uptick in visitor traffic to RELORT in the last few months, it appears the industry is going to have another very challenging peak moving season in 2012!
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DISCLOSURE NOTICE: This article was completed in accordance with RELO Roundtable's Disclosure Policy. No compensation was offered for the professional opinions shared in this review.
A link to MoversReviewed.com has been added to the Blogroll in the right sidebar to show our support for the site's non-intrusive format, professional ethics and informational validity. In February, 2012, a MoversReviewed widget was added to his site. Read the Disclosure Statement below for details.
Disclosure Statement: Need a reputable mover? – RELO Roundtable
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