Moving company or moving brokers? Most people don’t understand the difference or know that there is a difference. All that you are looking for is someone whom you can trust to help you move your belongs safely from one location to the next for a reasonable price.
With the online business community now being flooded with new moving brokers, it behooves the public to understand what a broker does and how it differs from the traditional moving company.
What Is a Moving Broker?
The term broker means an agent or dealer. They are a go-between for two parties of a transaction. In the instance of a moving broker, their business is to connect consumers with moving companies or independent movers.
Lior Rachmany, owner of Dumbo Moving and Storage in Brooklyn, NY has worked in the moving industry for over a decade. He offers this explanation – “Moving brokers don’t usually own their own trucks. You contact them, and they hire another company to actually do the work.”
With the convenience of shopping for and scheduling services online, the moving broker business is booming. On an initial visit to a website advertising moving services, it may not be easy to distinguish whether the company is a broker or a moving company. “Van Lines” in the title of the company, for instance, doesn’t guarantee that the company has its own trucks or moving personnel. Several moving brokers include van lines in their company name.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Moving Broker
Hiring a broker to find a moving company for you may save you the time of getting quotes from different movers yourself, but you will be paying the moving broker a fee for those services. It is also important to keep in mind that a broker is a salesperson, not an experienced mover. They may or may not be able to answer specific questions about your move.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established policies to help provide additional protection for consumers hiring moving brokers. They recommend asking a company if they are broker or not. They are required to tell you, if they are. Then ask for the following:
- A list of the moving companies they use.
- The “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet and the “Ready to Move” brochure that are published by the FMCSA.
- Prove of their registration with the FMCSA.
- Request that the mover perform a physical survey of your goods before moving.
The FMCSA also catalogues complaints related to moving companies and moving brokers. You can search their database of complaints on their website by the name of the company.
It is also important to note that some moving companies are not available through moving brokers. Dumbo Moving and Storage, for instance, never contracts through moving brokers. They can only be hired directly through their office or website.
Whether you contract with a broker or directly with a moving company, be sure to exercise due diligence in examining their business record and reputation. Check to make sure that they are registered with the FMCSA, check for complaints on that website and with the Better Business Bureau. Read the contracts you sign and be sure you understand your rights as a consumer when entrusting your household to any transport company.
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