Three Important Tips to Avoid a Scam

There is a lot that goes into moving, whether it is across country or simply from one side of town to another.  Enlisting the help of an auto shipping company can be a daunting and intimidating task for someone who has no experience in the field.  There are, however, some basic guidelines you can refer to in order to avoid becoming a victim of a scam or a shoddy auto transport company.

1. Check Reviews and References

Make sure to do your research by viewing online reviews and cross-referencing the company with the Better Business Bureau.  Keep in mind that people who write online reviews are most often driven to do so by a bad experience.  However, a high percentage of negative reviews with common complaints should be something to be wary of.  Of course, do not base your conclusions on volume alone.  If a company has 100 bad reviews, but ships over 100,000 vehicles a year, the percentage of people with issues is still very low.  Remember that no auto transport company is perfect, but you can weed out some of the consistently bad ones by viewing reviews online and looking for patterns.  If you feel more comfortable dealing with the company, ask them to supply you with some past references.  It is even okay to request a reference from someone who had a negative experience.  Often, the true indicator of a company’s accountability will be in their ability to turn a bad situation into a good one.

2.  Beware the “Too Good to Be True” Quote

When shopping for an auto transport company, the old adage definitely rings true.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  By comparing quotes across a multitude of companies, you will be able to get a general idea of what you can expect to pay.  So when you receive a quote that undercuts the others by a long shot, you should definitely be on your guard if you choose to contact that company.  There are great deals available, but any transport company still has to cover gas, storage, insurance, and overhead.  You may find that the quote doesn’t include something you require, such as door-to-door shipping or a closed container option.   Always make sure to read through a contract carefully before agreeing to it, as you never know what additional charges above and beyond the original quote may be hidden in the fine print.

3.  Broker vs. Shipper

A shipper is the one who actually moves your vehicle, while a broker is in charge of finding the best deal out of a large number of shippers.  Although, a broker may be cheaper, they will often find the lowest priced company in order to receive the highest possible mark-up for themselves.  This could lead them to negotiate a deal with a less than reputable company, that you may otherwise want to avoid.  When you deal directly with a shipper, you can expect the process to be quicker, and to feel secure in knowing that the company you contact will be the company that moves your vehicle.

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