Like most people starting the moving process, you’ll probably turn to Google to help you find a mover. And while filling out inquiries will pretty easily turn into a number of moving quotes from companies fighting for your business, it isn’t always that simple. What you may think is a reputable moving company may actually be a moving broker. (a what?) Knowing the difference between the two can save you a ton of hassle and added costs in the moving process. So here’s how you can spot the difference between moving brokers and moving companies while you start your search.
What is a Moving Broker?
A broker is a company that works as a middleman between you and the actual moving company. They do not own moving trucks or equipment, and they don’t have a professional moving staff. They simply help consumers find a moving company and help moving companies by acting as their sales team. And while it may sound nice to have someone getting quotes on your behalf, they won’t always have all the facts to make the best decision for you. Here’s what we mean.
What Could Go Wrong with a Broker:
- They could hire an uninsured or unlicensed mover for the job.
- There may be added fees if information about the move isn’t properly relayed to the moving company.
- They may lack the actual experience and knowledge to answer your questions.
- They could provide a low estimate only to have the moving company charge you something higher or not show up on moving day.
- They may have trouble finding a mover, and not tell you, letting you believe you have a mover booked.
- They’ll search within their network of movers, possibly omitting better moving options/solutions for your needs.
A moving company is the actual firm that performs the move. They own trucks, equipment and a professional staff. By speaking with them directly, you’ll likely get a more accurate estimate than from a broker simply because they have experience with varying move distances and how the weight/amount of items involved will be factored into the overall costs. Unlike a broker, the moving company is held liable for anything that goes wrong with your move, so they’re also more inclined to handle things the right way from start to finish.
How Do I Avoid Broker Issues?
First and foremost, whenever speaking with a moving company, ask them if they’re a mover or a broker. For additional confirmation, you can follow up by asking if they have their own crew, equipment or trucks to perform the move. If they say “yes,” that’s a good sign that they are in fact a moving company. If you do decide to use a moving broker, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a number of ways to protect yourself from possible issues, including making sure the broker is registered with the FMSCA, that they provide you a list of moving companies they work with- all of which are also registered with FMSCA- and that the mover they choose does an in-home survey of your belongings to help guarantee a more accurate estimate.
When it comes to ensuring the safety and accuracy of your move, it’s best to talk directly with the company who is going to be handling it. Our moving experts in Philadelphia have over 30 years of experience to not only give you the hassle-free moving experience you expect, but the confidence you deserve. Contact us to learn more about our team or get an accurate quote for your move.