Angie's List is a popular business directory and review portal for those who are looking for more information than simple contact details, and/or don't trust anonymous reviews on free directory websites. All business reviews on Angie's List are written by paid website subscribers or verified third parties who have actually hired those companies before. These reviews also include, among other details, comprehensive ratings across five key service categories. Some companies on Angie's List can even be hired right through the website, and sometimes even at a discount (through the "Big Deals" section).
The main downsides to Angie's List are that it's very difficult to use if you live outside of the United States, and that you have to pay to use the website in the first place (though they may change that soon). And the basic-tier services on Angie's List, though cheap, are quite limited when compared to those of expensive plus-tier and premium-tier accounts.
If you're looking for sites like Angie's List that make help-hiring more personal (and free), then try Thumbtack.com or Porch.com. HomeAdvisor.com and Houzz.com are good if you need someone to help with home renovation. Or, if you're looking for more objective business reviews, check out Consumer's Checkbook.
Here are five Angie's List competitors to try if you're looking for a different place to look for hired help.
Houzz is an alternative to Angie's List that specializes in helping you find professionals to spruce up your home and surrounding property. It has tools to help you design areas of your home, and discover and hire the right professionals to get the job done. You can also buy certain home furnishings through Houzz, and view advice on home care and decoration from users in the community. Houzz is free to use for both customers and professionals, and services countries besides the United States, too!
HomeAdvisor joins Houzz.com as another of the alternatives to Angie's List that focuses on home property work. Free to use for customers (as it's paid for by advertising fees from professionals who list their businesses on the website), it has numerous tools for helping with home renovation. These include a guided process for finding the right contractor for the work you need done, general information and reviews of local home improvement businesses in your neighbourhood, a guide to figure out your budget for the type of home renovation that you need done, and a design aid for helping envision what you want your project to look like by the end. HomeAdvisor is mostly only available in American territories.
Thumbtack is an Angie's List alternative that works on a more personal level. Basically, you answer a few questions on Thumbtack about what type of work you need done. Then, professionals on Thumbtack who are available to take the job will send you custom quotes with estimated prices, business information, reviews from previous customers, and often a personal message. From there, decide which company you think will do the best job, and hire them on the spot. Opposite to Angie's List, Thumbtack is free to use for customers, but costs money to use for businesses. However, like Angie's List, Thumbtack is only available in the United States.
Porch is another of the companies like Angie's List that specializes in home renovation and repair, alongside Houzz.com and HomeAdvisor.com. It works similarly to Thumbtack.com: first, you enter your project details into Porch, including photos of the area of your home that you want work done on, a description of the work that you want done, and an estimated budget. Then, Porch will connect you with professionals who have signed up with the website and are interested in taking on the job. They will send you text messages and emails about the job, and you can check their work history, licensing, company details, previous customer reviews, and so on (in addition to messaging them back). Then, you choose who you want to hire. Porch is free to use for both customers and pros, but is also only available in the United States.
Consumer's Checkbook stands out among Angie's List alternatives because it is a project of an independent non-profit consumer advocacy group, the Centre for the Study of Services. It surveys inhabitants of various high-population areas of the United States (such as Boston, Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco) and gets their ratings of local businesses, from car repair to health care and personal finance to home renovation. Like Angie's List, though, you have to buy a subscription to see more than just general advice.
Have you tried any of these websites that are similar to Angie's List? Did they assist you in hiring good help that got done right what you needed to be done? Or were they a total wreck in finding you reliable local businesses? Are there any others that aren't on this list that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our social media pages.
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