Choosing a company to move you is never an easy choice. Bottom line, it’s about choosing who touches your things.
In the moving industry, there are two types of licenses to sell under: Either a license to be a broker, or an ACTUAL mover. It’s very important to distinct between the two.
A Moving Broker
Many companies have a license to be brokers, meaning they sell you the service, and they sell the move to an actual mover. They choose the mover for you, and although you sign the papers with the broker at first, you will only know the terms and conditions of your actual mover only on the day of the pickup.
Some brokers are great, and it’s completely legal and legit, but know that the only thing they are responsible for is the price. Things like insurance, delivery time and other conditions, all depend on the actual mover. At the end of the day, you won’t know who’s moving you and will have possession of your belongings; that is something you will find out on move day or a few days beforehand.
If you have any problems with your items or the move process, the broker will not be there. You would have to deal with a moving company which you didn’t choose. Basically your information is sold for a commission, and you do not know where it might end up.
How to distinguish them from an actual moving company? A broker will normally take a deposit that’s between 10%-25% of the total of the move, and that’s usually their commission for the move.
A Moving Company
With an actual moving company, you can read the terms and conditions before you even pay them a cent. The terms of the move are clear and there is almost no room for mistakes.
When you book with a moving company, the people who took your info are direct employees of the company that will move you and know the people who will actually execute the move. Sometimes it’s even the same people. Sometimes not. But you will know exactly who is taking care of you belongings. Not to mention that they own the storage where they hold your things between pickup and delivery.
It’s true that moving companies work on commissions as well, indeed. But if anything happens, those who sold you the move are the ones who will take care of your problems. They get paid for your move to go as smoothly as possible, they have the incentive to do the best work they can.
Usually, the movers take a deposit of $100-$300 depending of the size of the move, as a show-of-faith from the customer. If the moving company is a decent one, it would be refundable and deducted from the total of the move, so it’s important to ask your company that.
How to choose?
That’s up to you.
We recommend that you ask your mover if he is a broker or a mover. If it’s a mover, great. Read the terms and conditions and you’re all set.
If it’s a broker, ask who is responsible for the terms and conditions of the contract, and make sure you understand your rights.
** Disclosure: MAP Moving and Storage is an actual moving company. We really do believe there are amazing brokers out there, but we still think we’re better 😉