Pros and cons of working with moving brokers

There are two ways of hiring a moving company for your upcoming relocation. You can either contact the moving company directly or go through a moving broker. Each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Working with moving brokers will allow for a more streamlined relocation experience but hiring one of the top rated moving companies is also a very good choice. The former will usually result in lower moving costs, while the other will usually provide you with a “better” moving experience. But those are only some of the advantages of hiring either. In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information about moving brokers and why it may (or may not) be a good choice to hire them.

An overview of working with moving brokers

a moving broker
Hiring a moving broker might be the best thing to do, under certain circumstances.

Traditionally, you needed to research all the moving companies in your area, compare prices, and go with the company that offers a better deal. However, since moving brokers entered the industry, this process became much less complicated. Moving brokers will research and compare moving companies for you, so to speak, and provide you with a moving company that best matches your needs. But what exactly is a moving broker and should you choose to hire them over a moving company?

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What is a moving broker?

You can consider moving brokers to be similar to real estate agents. They do not do any “actual” work, all they do is connect you to a moving company that will conduct your relocation. However, moving brokers do provide their clients with moving estimates of their own, before brokering the job to a moving company. Moving brokers are usually hiring moving companies based on reviews, and they tend to have a large list of available moving companies in each given area. Moving companies choose to work with moving brokers because they bring in additional jobs. There’s also a difference between a moving information site and a moving broker. Both will provide you with information about moving companies but only the latter will give you an estimate.

For example, you can find all the information about top moving companies in the country right here, at Consumer Opinion Guide, but we are not a moving broker. What we do is simply provide you with the information necessary for your research.

Moving brokers, on the other hand, may offer similar information but they also sometimes present themselves as an actual moving company. Needless to say, you should stay clear of those whenever you see them. Presenting themselves as a mover when, in fact, they are not one, is indicating a lack of honesty with their customers. And that says a lot about their business practices.

Should you choose a moving broker over a moving company?

The short answer to this question is – It depends. If you are looking to hire a mover ASAP and do not have any time to conduct proper research, going with a moving broker is a good idea. Another reason why you may want to hire a moving broker is if you want to keep the relocation costs at a minimum without spending time researching all the available deals.

person putting a coin into a piggybank
You can save some money by hiring a moving broker.

Let’s say that you are about to be planning your long distance moving process. You want a reliable mover but you also want a cheap one and you don’t have the time necessary to figure out which moving company has the ideal combination. This is when you contact a reliable moving broker. You tell them what you need and they find a suitable moving company for you.

But if you have the time required to find an ideal mover, it is usually a better option to contact the moving company directly. That being said, there are several inherent advantages and disadvantages of hiring a moving broker. Let’s see what they are, starting with the pros.

Pros of working with moving brokers

  • Less chance of a moving scam
  • A faster and more convenient way to relocate
  • A simple choice
  • Lower relocation cost

As you can see, there is a lot to be gained from working with one of the moving brokers. Let’s examine these benefits in a bit more detail.

Working with moving brokers reduces the chances of getting scammed

person reading a document
Moving brokers will protect you from moving scams.

People are being scammed out of their relocation money each and every day. What usually happens is that they pay a deposit (which can be substantial) and the moving company never contacts them again and “run away” with the money. Or they might even hold your items hostage and demand additional funds to deliver them to your new home or office. Some of the most common moving scams also include lowballed estimates, blank contracts, and false references. While working with a moving broker will not completely eliminate the chance of a scam, it is a lot less likely. And if the scam happens, you will have someone that can answer for it.

Broker’s responsibility

That being said, responsibility is kind of “iffy” when it comes to moving brokers. They are not responsible for any of the work that a moving company does, as they are simply brokering the job to the moving company. That is why you should always check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration before you hire a moving broker. Properly licensed and accredited brokers will offer more protection to their customers. With all that being said, hiring a moving broker is much safer than hiring a moving company that you haven’t researched.

A faster and more convenient way to relocate

If you are looking to spend as little time as possible on your relocation, hiring a moving broker is ideal. You can simply get a free estimate from them and they will find you an appropriate moving company and arrange everything for you. This level of convenience is simply not possible unless you contact the first moving company you see and hire them for your relocation. But if you do opt for the latter, recognizing fraudulent long distance movers will be all but impossible. If you want good protection, decent service quality, and low prices without spending any time on research, you definitely want to hire a moving broker. You simply can’t get that level of convenience and expediency elsewhere.

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Hiring a moving broker makes your decision-making process much simpler

person working with moving brokers over a laptop
Working with moving brokers is much more convenient.

There are so many moving companies to choose from that your head might spin from all the choices. This is the main reason why we keep repeating that researching moving companies takes a lot of time. But when you hire a moving broker, all those choices do not matter anymore. Or, well, they do but you are not going to be the one that is going to make them. That being said, your choice still matters. There might be fewer options when it comes to moving brokers but there are not all the same, either. You need to make sure that you are taking your business to the best possible broker.

Your relocation will also cost less

Lastly, we come to the main reason why most people choose to work with a moving broker. The fact of the matter is that working with a broker usually results in lower relocation costs. But how does this happen, exactly?

Moving brokers usually provide lower estimates than most moving companies and then “bid” the job to any mover that will take it. And, most of the time, there is a moving company that will accept the job even if it means working at a lower than their standard rate. Of course, this highly depends on the time of your relocation, as movers are most busy in the summer and least busy in the winter. Moving in the winter is, therefore, one of the most important money-saving tips when hiring movers and moving brokers alike. But even if you do move in the summer, you can expect somewhat lower costs when hiring a broker, as that is their primary “selling point”.

But moving brokers are not all “sunshine and roses”. There are significant disadvantages to hiring them. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Cons of working with moving brokers

  • Brokers do not do the work themselves
  • You don’t get to choose the exact moving company
  • Unreliable at times
  • Cheap relocation is not always in your best interest

The presence of these cons is the reason why we said that the choice between a moving company and a moving broker is not a clear-cut one. Let’s examine exactly why that is the case.

Moving brokers are middlemen that use third-party carriers

mover in front of a van
Moving brokers are not moving companies.

One of the main disadvantages of working with a moving broker is that they are not the ones that will be conducting your relocation. This means that you can’t talk to them about the specifics of your relocation and how they may impact the moving process. Most of the time, you will get a simple estimate and that’s it. Furthermore, once a moving broker has sold the job to a moving company, they will have nothing to do with your move. This basically means that you will need to “renegotiate” the terms of your relocation all over again but with a real moving company this time. And you don’t get to choose who you negotiate with, either.

You don’t get to choose who handles your relocation

When working with a moving broker, you are practically giving away any choice you have in the matter of who relocates your stuff. You might get a local moving company or you might get a moving company without any prior experience. Basically, you are getting a mover who accepted the price that the moving broker set. And you can’t check their credentials beforehand as you don’t know who is going to be conducting your relocation. And when you do find out, it is too late to do anything about it. Needless to say, this creates a lot of uncertainties, which is the next major disadvantage.

Working with moving brokers can be unreliable at times

The very fact that moving brokers usually provide a better price for the customers means that the moving companies might simply refuse the job if a better opportunity presents itself. Even if they already accepted the job. And if that happens, you are left without any moving assistance on a moving day. That being said, moving brokers can usually find a replacement moving company in short order. But the fact remains that this is usually not enough. Granted, this does not happen as often but it does happen frequently enough for you to be worried about it. The only way you can all but guarantee the reliability of your move is if you take your time to research and compare all the available moving companies and choose one that has a proven track record for reliability.

A cheap relocation can often lead to lower quality of service

The last reason why you may not want to go with a moving broker is the fact that the quality of moving services will usually suffer from it. When you stop and think about it, it is perfectly logical. Relocation services are somewhat standardized, after all, and there are good reasons why they cost as much as they do. By accepting a lower price for the relocation, the moving company has to cut a corner here and there. Of course, there are times when a mover will simply lower their prices for that particular job but those times are few and far between. Most of the time you will get sub-par service quality instead.

Working with moving brokers presents customers with a quick alternative to finding a good moving company. Most reputable moving brokers also provide their customers with reliable and quality moving companies, negating many of the disadvantages inherent in hiring a moving broker. But you need to do a bit of work to find the best moving broker for you.

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You can find all the information about the top moving companies and moving brokers right here, at Consumer Opinion Guide. We will provide you with everything you need to hire the best moving assistance available to you!

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