When it’s time to choose a moving service, there’s certainly no shortage of options out there! If you start your search on the internet, you’ll have hundreds, even thousands, of listings literally at your fingertips in seconds flat. Between the huge nationwide chains, moving brokers, and local companies, how do you even start differentiating among them and narrowing down your choices? It’s precisely because the process can get so time-consuming and overwhelming that many people just take the easy route and let a broker handle the entire transaction for them.
Well, we’re here to tell you that the easiest way isn’t always the best way. Consumers can and have encountered BIG problems when enlisting the services of a broker, so you’ll want to weigh your options carefully based on some important considerations.
What’s a Broker?
A broker is a company that arranges for the transport of your goods rather than transporting them itself. Basically, the broker plays the middleman between you and the company that will eventually serve as your carrier.
Brokers are not movers, brokers are not authorized to transport, brokers do not own trucks, and brokers do not employ professional moving people. Instead, brokers will make an estimate on your move from the information you provide when you contact them, then they act as “matchmaker” to try to find you the best deal among their network of for-hire carriers. And sometimes they do find you the right deal—the date you want in the timeframe you want at the price you want. But that’s not always the case …
Disadvantages of Brokers
- Most moving brokers operate from call centers located virtually anywhere, so you don’t interact with them face-to-face and they’re never directly involved with your home, your belongings, or the actual move itself.
- Brokers are more of a sales team than an actual service provider, meaning they “sell” your move to bidders. In turn, they are not responsible for any follow-through after the connection has been made.
- As such, brokers take no accountability for your cargo and assume no liability for the actions of the moving company they commission.
- For interstate moves, brokers are required to use only movers that are registered with the FMCSA. In a perfect world, this would always occur … but it’s not a perfect world, as we all know, and there have been documented instances of unlicensed movers being commissioned for jobs.
- When it comes to estimates, brokers don’t always hit the nail on the head. This can lead to carriers refusing to take the job when the actual calculations don’t match the approximation. Worst-case scenario, you could end up with no mover on moving day; best-case scenario, you can end up paying significantly more than you planned.
- Similarly, consumers can sometimes be surprised by hidden fees incorporated in the broker process. “Extras” can start showing up above and beyond the straight carrier fee.
- Sometimes a broker will have difficulty placing a job for various reasons, like a too-low estimate the carriers won’t consider, no availability for the requested moving schedule, or limited resources to properly complete the job. Bottom line: you don’t want to get stuck without a mover on moving day because of a broker issue with supply and demand.
Advantages of Local Movers
Given all the things that can go wrong when you use a go-between, why not go directly to the source to ensure the proper resources for your move? With a local mover, you get:
- Personalized customer service: A local mover comes to your home, meets you in person, and takes a physical inventory of your goods to provide a firm quote and go over all the requisite paperwork.
- Elimination of a middleman: You work directly with your own company representative so that all expectations, fees, regulations, and job parameters are addressed and negotiated one-on-one.
- Honesty and transparency: Everything is laid out in black-and-white in writing—what you see is what you get.
- Accountability: The local mover’s name and reputation are on the line with each and every customer they serve. They work harder for you because, to be frank, they have more to lose than a massive corporate chain or a regional franchise of that chain.
- Streamlined personnel and continuity of service: Smaller companies have smaller staffs—that means you’ll be dealing with the same representative from start to finish; and just in case something goes wrong, you won’t be dialing a generic 800 number and you won’t be left on your own to resolve any issues.
- Established history of trust: When you hire in your own community, the feedback and reviews on the company that you can research are from your own neighbors.
- And don’t forget the satisfaction and goodwill of supporting local business in your area!
BB&D Moving Services is a local business specifically for consumers in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. Rest assured that we take care of our community members because we are a community member. When you want things to go right, GO LOCAL! Contact us today to speak directly to a BB&D team member about your upcoming move.
BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD) | 571-375-2826 (VA) | 786-409-4799 (FL) | bbdmoving.com/