Movers vs. Brokers – Know the Difference

Hooray, you’re moving! You’re upsizing! You’re downsizing! You just bought a house, relocated for a new job, or simply found a place you want to live in more than your current home. Now, the next big decision; what moving company should you hire and how should you find them? The first step for most is to sit down and discuss it with your best friend —- GOOGLE. We all know that Google is super smart. You’re excitement about your new place to live is about to give-way to the stresses that come with MOVING. You stare at your computer, or phone and give Google some general information – Best Movers in “Your City” – and Google responds with a list.

The list will include a variety of algorithmically selected companies. Some will be direct contacts to local moving companies, others will be contacts to brokers. You need to know the difference. Brokers can range from companies that arrange for your move directly with local movers or freight companies to brokers that sell your information to local moving companies. Check out this article from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The information is valuable in helping you make a well-informed decision on which type of moving company to choose.

Here are just a few things you may want to consider:

  • Make 100% sure the company you select is licensed and insured. Ask them for their license number and check that it is valid. “Pirate” or unlicensed moving companies are a significant problem in the moving industry.
  • Check with your State’s Government Agency, or your State’s Moving and Storage Association to make sure the company you are selecting is licensed. In California, go to The California Moving and Storage Association, or Bureau of Household Goods and Services. Every State has similar agencies.
  • Confirm they have Workers Compensation insurance. If they don’t, you may possibly be responsible to provide it while the workers are in your home.
  • Read YELP and GOOGLE reviews. While not the “gospel,” they are helpful.
  • Try and get a referral from a friend, real estate agent, property manager, etc. They often are great resources for moving companies.

A little advance work in selecting your moving company will pay great dividends on Moving Day. Remember, moving is stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not the moving company is legitimate. Part of the job of a great moving company is to reduce your stress and make your moving experience a positive one. ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME.