Not all moving entities are created equal. When it comes time to move, you will want to know exactly what you’re getting into and who it is you are trusting with your belongings. Just searching the internet for movers may be a confusing jungle to navigate. One important tip is to understand the jargon used in the moving industry. For example, a moving company differs from a moving broker. What exactly is the difference? Let us help you understand.
A moving company is what people think of when they hear movers. This is a self-serving business that you work directly with to move you. They provide the truck, the people, and often times the materials. They are responsible for your belongings and are liable for any damage that could occur. When you speak to someone over the phone or via email, they may not be the person physically moving your items, but they are a member of that company. These agents as they are sometimes called, often work to set up your move and get you a bid. While they might not be a member of the crew who will move you, they speak on behalf of the moving company and its crew.
Moving brokers are different in that they act as a middleman between you and a moving company. They will take your information and contract your move out to a company. The broker does not own the moving truck, nor does he or she employ the crew who will be doing the actual move. In fact, the broker may not even be located near you or the company it is hiring on your behalf. There are benefits to brokers. Instead of doing the searching yourself, you have someone else find a company to move you. This can be nice, but it can also be risky. A broker may offer you a quote that is far too low. This may lead to them being unable to contract a moving company for your move date or may leave you surprised when the moving company requires you to pay significantly more than the quote. Using a broker ultimately leaves you in the dark for much of the process of selecting a moving company. You may not even know what moving company has been hired to move you. If you do not know what company is showing up on moving day, how can you research them and their reviews?
Typically, people are cautioned against using moving brokers. While there are some reputable brokers in the moving industry, the advent of the internet has allowed many people to advertise their services in order to scam unsuspecting customers. You can protect yourself though. You should always check if you are working with a moving company or company’s agent or if you are working with a moving broker. In addition to asking them, it is also a good idea to verify with the FMCSA who you are dealing with. Reputable brokers must be registered with the FMCSA and most moving companies are as well. You are also able to see reviews and complaint histories on this site, allowing you to further research who you are hiring. This is also helpful when hiring a moving company on your own. While most moving companies are reputable, local and national agencies are aware of unscrupulous companies known as rogue movers. You should always verify that the moving company or broker you hire is licensed and has good reviews.