17 Jan

Agent vs. Broker

  • By: Ivan Catudan
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Local Move Agent vs. Move Broker

You need to move long distance cross country. You have a place to live or at least know the city to which you will be moving and you are now ready to start looking for a mover. You get on-line do a search on Google or Yahoo and 100s of site are there. What now? How do you decide who to contact, which to choose? One of the first things you need to do is make sure you are dealing with a legitimate legal mover and not a broker.

If your move takes you across state lines we recommend that you go with a major van line. There are a lot of independent trucking companies out along with all those brokers but they cannot offer you what a major van line can. The internet is good for getting information and finding a local agent that can come to your home and provide you with an estimate.

A local moving company or move agent is a local mover that is authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company. An agent for a national out of state carrier can and will put everything in writing for you and have the ability to back it up.

A broker is a sales agent, that’s it. They can make promises but they often do not have the ability to back it up. A move broker arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. A broker does not assume responsibility for the cargo and usually does not take possession of the cargo. They act as a booking agent.

Brokers are all over the net, they look good, they have web sites, and they have sales people answering the phone. Well, the moving industry is defiantly a place where the saying, you get what you pay for is true. You want to get the most bang for your buck but that doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest estimate. So why not a broker if they can save you money?

What brokers don’t have are trucks, drivers, or insurance. If so many brokers are out there, why do we recommend that you stay away. They bid your move out the the lowest company they can find to move you, then they collect a deposit up front and tell you to pay the balance on delivery. The problem is delivery can be very erratic, maybe it comes on time, maybe it doesn’t and maybe the amount they told you to pay is correct. More than likely the amount will be raised on delivery.

What happens if your broker is not able to sell the job for various reasons – low estimates, availability, resources and the list goes on – in this case you can get stuck without a mover on the day of your move. Many moving brokers operate from call centers located anywhere in the country. When you book your move make sure to ask the company to conduct the move whether they are an actual moving company or broker. DO NOT send any Broker a deposit, the national carrier DO NOT require a deposit. ONLY A BROKER will ask for a deposit.

An agent will relieve the stress of your move, not add to it. You can know that using an agent for a van line such as Wheaton, Bekins, United, etc, you not only have your local agent but a centralized customer service department that knows about you and your move.

A professional moving company is composed of people who will do the actual moving for you. They usually do everything from packing to transport, storage to unloading. Moving companies have a Motor Carrier Number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and a DOT Number issued by the Department of Transportation.

For more information visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website at http://www.protectyourmove.gov/

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