Given the soft commercial real estate market, you might be considering a move. Upgrade to a bigger, better office for the same price as your current lease, or pick a smaller, cheaper space to weather economic conditions. Either way, you've got to get your hardware to the new office, and the cheapest mover might end up costing more in the long term. Here's how to find a good company.
Learn the basics. Visit the Protect Your Move website for an overview on what to do and avoid. Especially navigate to the state page; depending on where you live, you might find a link to a regional website with specific state rules.
Check the license. Armed with those details and phone numbers, verify that a mover is currently licensed. If you're trying to make the move with a cheap connection on Craigslist or a brokering site, such as CityMove, be sure the company is licensed. If not, you're more likely to fall into scams where it'll be surprisingly cheap for the company to load gear into the truck, but it'll cost extra if you want them to deliver it to the new office.
Get a couple quotes. Estimate the amount of hardware you need to transport, and contact a few local companies. If one company is surprisingly cheap, that could be a red flag for hidden--illegal--costs they'll make up later.
Look up peer reviews. With those quotes in-hand, delve into online sites that provide feedback. Try Moving Scam, Yelp, Angie's List (subscription required), and even a Google search. And after you complete the move, post back to one of those sites to leave your thoughts.
Moving can be hectic, but with a little background digging, you can keep costs down and connect with a trustworthy company.
Zack Stern is building a new business from San Francisco, where he frequently contributes to PC World.