Moving Brokers vs Moving Companies 

  1. Moving Brokers Can Save Time & Money
  2. What is a Moving Broker?
  3. How Do Moving Brokers Work and What Do They Provide?
  4. What Are Some of the Benefits of a Moving Broker?
  5. Qualities to Look For In A Professional Broker
  6. Misperceptions of Brokers in the Moving and Storage Industry
  7. FMCSA is Regulating Both Moving Broker and Moving Companies Alike

1.  Moving Brokers Can Save Time & Money

It's no secret that hiring professional moving companies, in addition to any extra services, is pricey when you are relocating. We have many, many pages with suggestions on saving, budgeting, calculating expenses, inventory lists etc., all with the intention to help customers avoid financial surprises and help those in need of moving with a tight budget or barely a budget at all, and even those in need of financial assistance in various situations. However, there is a second option when it comes to moving, by going through a 'moving broker'. Moving brokers are used every day throughout the U.S. as a way to save money and time when it comes to their move. For some people, this is a better option because they need to save money or they have such a busy schedule, that a moving broker can help them figure out a few things. 

2. What is a Moving Broker?

It is widely understood in the moving and storage industry that customers or clients (i.e. shippers) generally aren't the most experienced in this field. Consequently, they aren't familiar with moving brokers and how they fit into the process of moving. A mover broker is one option for people moving to choose. A simple definition of a moving broker is that they act as an agent connecting consumers/customers with a moving company suitable to their needs. They're essentially a middleman between those who need to move and moving companies. They communicate with the customer about details of their move and use them to obtain estimates which they then sell to moving companies

It's important to note that moving brokers are not actual movers. They typically don't have moving trucks, moving equipment, or any professional moving team or staff that they work with. Their purpose is to provide a service in which they find a moving company and are basically salesmen who 'sell' the move. It's quite common for people to become mixed up or confuse brokers with actual movers, however, most don't realize that until after they've already put money down.

3. How Do Moving Brokers Work and What Services Do They Provide?

Moving brokers can provide you with estimates for your move via phone or online, however, they do collect a fee from the person moving, which in most cases, if going through a moving company, they're generally free. Once they've given you some (at least three!) estimates for the entire job, brokers take that estimate and bid out the job to moving companies that meet the requirements of the job.

When a broker provides an estimate for you, it is critically significant to understand that the estimate is for the entire move. Additionally, it is important to prepare yourself for a less than ideal situation. It is also important to think about the accuracy of your estimates they have provided you with. This would generally include a situation where a broker isn't able to sell your move or 'the job' to any moving companies of a number of reasons. Some may include estimates being too low or lack of availability. In this case, you might be in a bit of a predicament because on moving day customers can be on their own.

4. What Are Some of the Benefits of a Moving Broker?

Brokers are an option that, if done appropriately, can be quite beneficial for both consumers and businesses alike. Some say that it is effective because it increases options while saving consumers and moving companies time and money in the process. If you're dealing with an honest and reliable broker, your most likely also gaining access to quality and dependable professional moving companies. Consequently, due to a broker's relationships many different moving companies, they might sometimes be offered a discounted rate, which would obviously benefit the consumer financially.

If you choose a broker that is trustworthy and seems to have the right connections with your moving requirements in mind, brokers truly can save you quite some time. Think about all of the things that you need to even research about moving companies, and that's even before you decide on some to get estimates. With a broker, they do all the work for you while keeping your estimate and budget in mind. This can be especially beneficial to those who have a heavy workload or a very busy schedule because once you've hired a broker, they pretty much handle a good part of the process of moving. However, it important to understand that a broker does not take any responsibility in regards to the household goods being moved and is never in possession of them.

The association that brokers have with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is another advantageous characteristic of moving brokers. It is very important to pick a professional broker for your move because they are required to register with the FMCSA organization and uphold the rules and regulations set by the FMCSA. In addition, you can always check their licensing, reviews, testimonials, BBB rating, and any other information you can find just to be safe. However, this type of association is highly regarded and likely means they have access to affordable and legally operating moving companies throughout the United States.

5. Qualities to Look For In A Professional Broker

Similar to researching and protecting yourself from rogue movers and scams, when you're looking for a broker it's important to make sure they're licensed and have a DOT number as well. If you make the official decision to process your move through a moving broker, a good broker will assist you in many ways, including the following:

First, you must be provided with FMCSA's " Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" document
A broker will be more likely to find you a better rate with a professional moving company since they are typically knowledgeable in areas such as competitive pricing. Good brokers will be very understanding of the services your move will require. By taking details specific to your move they will be able to give connections to the right kind of moving companies you will need.

Since brokers typically have good connections, relationships, and know how to use their skills, if one company is booked, they are likely to deal with bumps in the road such as this. Brokers should be able to provide a list of moving companies within your price range and that fit your criteria and should be able to:

  • A broker must provide you with a written estimate of the costs of your entire move
  • A broker must provide written agreements with the moving companies they work with
  • A broker will charge a fee from you for the moving services ordered.

6. Misperceptions of Brokers in the Moving and Storage Industry

When saving, many people don't even think about moving brokers as an option, and when they do they don't really know what to think. There are many misperceptions about moving brokers, what they actually do, what they don't do etc. Like with any moving company there are benefits that moving brokers offer you. However, there are decisive factors to evaluate before just choosing any broker. Scams are seen throughout the moving industry, and that includes brokers too. As always, it's incredibly important that you find established and reputable brokers to truly benefit by saving time and money.

7. FMCSA is Regulating Both Moving Broker and Moving Companies

It is just as common to be scammed by a broker as it is with a moving company, which is why the FMCSA has regulated both moving companies and moving brokers in the industry. Broker or moving company, either way, you need to do a little research on your own, but at least in this aspect, the federal government is continuing to try and eliminate rogue movers or brokers from the industry. To regulate moving brokers, the FMCSA requires that they only work with movers who are also registered with their organization. This is one more way to protect yourself from scams. Remember, it's always best to do a bit of your own investigating on both moving brokers and moving companies.

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