Monday, April 16, 2012

How much thought do you put into your auto shipping?

Aren’t all auto shippers the same?
The short answer is NO. Auto shipping companies vary from very reputable to legalized scam artists. They may be any size from a 1 person operation to employing hundreds.
Why should i pay more for the same service?
Auto shipping is much like anything else in this world, you will get what you pay for. I like to compare it to getting your oil changed. If you don’t mind waiting all day at a chain store you can get a low price, but they will always try to up sell you( wipers, transmission fluid change, air filters, etc.). You go with the new guy and you are not sure he will be there if something goes wrong. You go to the dealer it cost twice the price and you are there all day. I like to use the local guy. He has been there a while and is established. I feel confident that I am getting what I pay for. And he has a reputation to protect.
When you transfer this to car shipping it helps to know what you are getting for your money. Large companies that employ many, pay their sales staff on commission. The more they sell you the more they make. Not a lot of personal investment in your shipping. If something goes wrong or you are not satisfied  it is unlikely to affect their paycheck. And they may not be there when you need them, Turn over is high in sales jobs.
The new guy maybe out to make himself a name or make himself a fast buck. It is a gamble. Many bad companies close their doors every year only to open anew with a new name and the same old scams.
A one man operation also falls into the gamble category. What happens if he gets sick? Exactly how many hours can 1 man work a week? Will you be able to reach him if needed?
Leaving you with the smaller company that may have a few employees, but is always watching out for their reputation. You will find them more responsive to your needs. Their employees are personally invested and they don’t have the high turnover rate.
Why do their prices differ so much?
After many years in business I am still amazed when I get the call from a customer saying they have a price quote a lot less than ours. We are all brokers. Even the largest company out there does not have enough trucks to cover all the routes in the US, not including the off route shipments. Your vehicle will be placed on the same load board but at a less than desirable rate. And the broker will still make his commission usually at the cost of your time and money.
  If their are 30 cars waiting to be moved and 25 of them are paying $100 – $200 more than yours whose vehicle will a reputable truck driver choose. This leaves you with the drivers who are consistently late or damage vehicles and can not get a load from reputable brokers. It is your car and your choice. Know how much the broker is making and know what is going to the truck. Ask what the average shipping price is on the load board and what other cars have shipped for on this route. It should only take a few extra minutes for him to look this info up on the load board. If need be you may call us and we would be happy to disclose this info for you as well as what price they posted your vehicle at.
Why am I getting so many phone calls?
If you went on line and filled out a form to get multiple price quotes on your auto shipping they will sell this info to us brokers. Brokers pay anywhere from $0.75 to $8 a lead depending on how many other brokers are getting your info. The more quotes you are promised the more calls you will get the cheaper your info is.
How do I know who is telling me the truth and who is just trying to sell me?
Salesman are all about the sale. They push to close the deal as quickly as possible. Their contracts will always have a cancellation fee even if you try to cancel 20 minutes after signing. They always seem to use the lines of we have a truck that is or will be in your area at the same time you are looking to move. They will always refer to trucks in a possessive manner as if it was owned buy their company. Some will bad mouth other companies. Others will price match any quote as long as you pay their fee up front. Most will want to be paid before they do any work to get your vehicle moved.
How do i protect myself from being scammed?
Be willing to do your due diligence. Check the companies out on  and Call the companies back and see how long it takes to get hold of some one during off hours. Remember that most carriers are picking up on your schedule, so they work more evenings than 9-5. READ YOUR CONTRACT!!! Reading your contract is one of the most important things you need to do. Know what their cancellation policy is. Know when they expect to be paid (on dispatch of a truck, On signing of contract, on loading of vehicle). Know who is getting paid what in how they expect payment( cash, cashiers check, credit card).