According to United States Census data, 35.1 million Americans moved between 2015 and 2016, many of whom used moving companies they found by searching the internet. But what many are not aware of is a large number of moving websites are run by moving brokers and not actual moving companies.
Moving brokers act as the “middlemen” between the customer trying to move and the moving company that actually moves your belongings. Brokers usually only give the customer a cost estimate and once an agreement is put together, then they hire a separate moving company to do the actual moving.
That process can be problematic in a number of ways.
1. The Blame Game
Many times if anything goes wrong with a move – such as items getting lost, broken, or stolen – the broker will blame the mover and the mover will blame the broker. It becomes a mess when trying to get someone to take responsibility for damaged goods because many brokers will try to avert accountability.
2. Inaccurate Estimates
When you hire a professional moving company directly, they will send a move consultant to your home to perform a visual inventory of all the items that will need to be relocated to your new home. Many of these consultants are well versed and certified and can give you an accurate estimate of how much your move will cost.
Most brokers will give you an estimate over the phone or via email only. They’ll ask you to walk through your home and describe the items that need to be moved. It’s hard for anyone who is not an expert in this field to properly determine how many moving boxes will be needed, the weight and size of your furniture, and the size of truck needed to transport those belongings.
Because of this, a broker’s estimate is often much lower than the price you’ll actually end up paying for the move. And if the broker decides to hire a less-than-reputable mover, they may hold your belongings hostage until you agree to pay the full amount for the move, even if it’s substantially higher than what was originally quoted to you.
3. Large Up-Front Deposits
Moving brokers will often ask for a large deposit in advance. This should be a red flag that you are working with a broker, rather than an actual moving company. Many times this money does not go toward the move; it is the broker’s “fee.”
Most reputable moving companies will only request a small deposit to reserve your move date.
4. Unknown Movers
One of the biggest issues with a moving broker is that the broker will pick the company that will be managing your move.
Wouldn’t you like to know who will be handling all of your precious belongings? Many times you won’t even know who your moving company will be until they arrive at your doorstep. This takes away your ability to research the reputation and reliability of your mover. You may get a “fly by night” company that is not properly licensed or insured, does not train or vetted its employees, does not respect your belongings, and so on.
JK Moving Services is one of the largest independent movers in North America. With more than 30 years of experience and over 500 full-time, trained moving professionals, we have one of the lowest claims ratios in the industry. We are the mover of choice of Fortune 500 companies, several federal agencies, and families just like yours. If you need to move your residence or your office, contact us today for a free quote.