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Moving Brokers Review

Published by Chris Townsend

Moving Brokers Review

Reviews Of Moving Company Brokers

When it comes to hiring professional help to move your household or commercial belongings, you have two main options: enlisting the help of moving company or hiring a moving broker. While there are some companies that are licensed as both a carrier and a broker, it is generally not recommended to work with companies who are only licensed to broker moves. This is one of the best ways to avoid a moving scam. However, simply telling you this isn’t all that helpful. So, let’s take a look at what exactly moving brokers are, how a broker differ from an actual mover, their associated pros and cons, what their reviews say about them, and more.

What is a Moving Broker?

A moving broker is essentially a company that serves as the middleman between the actual moving company and the customer (you). Moving brokers operate as intermediaries. They are the go-between and the ones who handle the booking of your move and then hire a third-party moving company to execute it. Put simply, moving brokers are not moving companies.

Their only responsibility is to book the move and once it’s booked, they find a company to do the rest of the work. Moving brokers are not professional movers, nor are they authorized or licensed to transport household goods. As a result, brokers will not have trucks, moving equipment, movers, or packing materials.

All responsibility for the actual relocation falls on the moving company that is hired by the broker. If a mistake was made by the broker in the estimation process, the moving company must correct and, if necessary, renegotiate the price. Reputable brokers will work closely with the moving company to ensure that all fees and estimates are transparent and consistent.

However, it’s common to find moving brokers that omit important details in the written agreement or, in worst cases, quote you a low price by intentionally leaving details out of the estimate. This will often lead to unexpected price increases on moving day. There are also shady moving brokers who connive with rogue moving companies to take advantage of their clients, beware of such.

interstate movers for actual move not brokers

Moving Broker vs. Moving Company

Moving companies, on the other hand, are professional movers. They have their own fleet of moving trucks or at least (a moving truck), necessary equipment, packing supplies, and are appropriately licensed to execute your move. When you hire a moving company, they will handle every aspect of your move. You will also enjoy the benefit of communicating with your movers directly, rather than having to deal with a middleman. It is also only movers that will come to your house to do a physical survey before providing you with an estimate of the move.

Of course, both brokers and movers come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. And, when it comes to moving companies, one of the major risks is that they may not be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is a huge red flag, and one you should look out for prior to hiring a moving company. However, rest assured that most reputable moving companies have the FMCSA's license, especially when they ply long distance, interstate and cross country routes.

Pros of Hiring a Moving Broker

Although some experts recommend to avoid companies that are solely licensed to broker moves, quality moving brokers do exist and they come with the following benefits:

  • Lower pricing. When you hire a moving broker, they will solicit bids on your behalf from various moving companies to either locate or negotiate the best and most affordable deals.
  • Less likely to cancel. If there’s a delay or one of the moving company’s trucks break down, brokers can often tap into their network quickly to find you a replacement mover on short notice.
  • Negotiate for you. If you hate having to negotiate pricing, choosing a quality moving broker may be the way to go. If something goes awry during the negotiation process, your broker can threaten to stop working with a particular company which gives them leverage over the mover.
  • Ideal for more remote/ rural locations. For those who live in secluded areas, it can be difficult to find a moving company that services your region. Fortunately, brokers are notorious for having an extensive network, which makes it easier for them to cover remote moves and find moving trucks that have routes through less trafficked areas.

You can enjoy a range of benefits when you work with a quality moving broker. However, many of these advantages can become disadvantages when you work with a dishonest moving broker.

shipment perform

Cons of Hiring a Moving Broker

With that said, let’s take a look at how the aforementioned pros can actually become cons when you choose the wrong moving broker.

  • Estimating too low. It’s not uncommon for brokers to price your move too low, which forces your moving company to blindside you with an increased cost on moving day.
  • Cancellations are common. Since you’re going through a middleman, the moving company your broker hires have little to no allegiance to you or the low-quality broker you hired. As a result, moving companies will often cancel moves if a better job arises.
  • Negotiate on your behalf. If something does go awry, oftentimes the broker will blame the moving company and the moving company will blame the broker. Ultimately, no one ends up taking full responsibility for problems that come up.
  • They don’t handle the job themselves. This fact is often a deal breaker for most people. Moving brokers are not movers, it’s as simple as that.
  • Broker service fee. In addition to the general moving costs, you’re also required to pay a broker service fee – typically 20-40% of the total cost of the move. Therefore, if the move itself is going to be costly, your broker service fee will be high.
  • Servicing remote areas. This is actually factual, though moving companies will only decide to work with low-quality brokers if they have a truck that they need to fill up.

These disadvantages are exactly why it is absolutely crucial that you do everything in your power to avoid bad moving brokers.

How to Choose a Moving Broker

If, at this point, you’re still considering going with a moving broker you need to know how to find one that is reliable. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to find honest moving brokers nowadays, and you may be better off hiring a moving company. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to become a moving broker – all you need is a license, an office, and some sales representatives. With that said, here are some tips to help you weed through moving brokers and find one that is reputable for your next move:

  1. Perform a background check. Brokers are regulated by the FMCSA. You can use their online tools to check if the moving broker you want to hire is registered with them.
  2. Ask the broker for a list of the moving companies they work with. The most trusted moving brokers will provide a list of the companies in their network. That way, you can do more research on these companies and find out if they have the services that you need.
  3. Make sure they advertise themselves as a broker. An unreliable moving broker will lead you to believe that you are actually working with a moving company. So, proceed with caution.
  4. Find their physical address. A quality broker will list their physical business location on their website.
  5. Check moving brokers review. Although you may want to take online moving broker reviews with a grain of salt, they can be helpful to determine if the company is legitimate. Pay close attention to the 1-2-star reviews, as these are most often genuine and will give you a peak into what you can expect from the broker.

Planning an upcoming move, Three Movers can help! Call us today at (888) 202-0036 or fill out our convenient online form to find out how you could save up to 20% on your next move!

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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