How to Avoid Issues With Your Auto Transport Broker
Shipping a car is not always an easy process. But it’s a lot easier if you use an auto transport broker to help you get it done.
If you’ve ever shipped a car, chances are you know how brokers work and what they do. You’ve likely seen reviews of their services, both good and bad, and that may have skewed your perception of brokers and what they do for you.
We’re going to try to dispel that in this post today. An auto transport broker is an essential part of your car shipping experience and one that should not be overlooked. You stand to save both time and money by booking your shipment with a broker instead of a carrier.
Let’s talk about why.
Understand what an auto transport broker is
The first thing that many people need to understand is just what a broker actually does. They have an important job, albeit perhaps not as crucial as the actual carrier.
What brokers do is they find carriers for customers, and they find customers for carriers. This is a crucial step that saves everyone a lot of time and money (for the most part).
In the United States, businesses have a lot of rules and regulations they have to follow. They’re different for every industry; for instance, housing companies have different sets of rules than car shippers. That’s no surprise, of course.
But the rules that car transporters have to follow can be pretty strict. And while they’re designed to ensure the safety and security of everyone (and everything) involved in the shipment, it can also be time-consuming to follow those rules.
This is where brokers come in. Brokers do a lot that carriers can’t do, like fielding phone calls, giving quotes, and finding new customers. Carriers have to drive and they have to be on the lookout for new freight. Brokers help them in this by making it easy to find freight. This helps customers because their vehicles get moved more quickly. As such, auto transport brokers present a win-win-win scenario.
Don’t confuse the broker and the carrier
The auto shipping industry has a lot of moving parts and a lot of different players in it. From brokers to customers to carriers to dealers, everyone involved has a different role to play, and it’s important to understand who is responsible for what.
This is why it’s important for you not to confuse the carrier company with your auto transport broker. Brokers find carriers for customers; carriers actually ship the vehicle themselves. This may not seem like much, but they are separate entities with different goals and agendas and responsibilities.
Brokers have no control over when the driver actually shows up to load your vehicle, for instance. A lot of customers get upset at brokers when the carrier is late for pickup or delivery. But most of the time it’s not the broker’s fault; they only have as much information as you do, usually, when it comes to pickup and delivery windows.
This comes into play mostly with reviews. Customers give brokers bad reviews for things the carrier company did, which can hurt a broker’s reputation. Online reviews are crucial to the success of auto shippers mostly because the industry is primarily online. You can find most brokers online, as well as reviews of their services. If customers are reading reviews about how the broker is bad, when whatever went wrong wasn’t their fault, it’s not really fair.
There are plenty of things that brokers can do to cause bad reviews, but it should never be because the carrier wasn’t good. Don’t confuse the broker and the carrier, and you’ll have a much better shipping experience as a result.
Your auto transport broker is there to help you
Simply put, your broker is there to make your shipment easier, not harder.
Sometimes, when you ship a car, things are just difficult. But it’s rarely your broker’s fault, though a lot of people want it to be. The times where it is your broker’s fault? Usually, that comes when vehicles don’t move because they are not priced correctly. And that definitely happens. Brokers have to constantly adjust the prices that they give customers in order to stay competitive. Not only that, but prices on every route fluctuate almost daily. It can be difficult to keep up with that, so there’s always a few routes that are priced too low.
You could argue that this is the broker’s fault, and it kind of is. But, at the same time, those prices change so quickly that many of the less-popular routes only brokers adjusting their prices when they have to give a quote for it. This means that, sometimes, prices are too low. And that’s up to you to determine, which is why it’s important to compare prices and services.
But other than that, it’s a broker’s job to help you as best they can. This means they’re the go-to contact for questions and concerns or order changes. You should strive to be polite to them just as they strive to be polite to you. Doing this can lead to a lot of benefits – if only in the quality of conversation you have with them!
Know your obligations
As customers, it can be easy for us to wash our hands of our responsibilities when it comes to working with a business. It’s a shame, though, because customers do have obligations when it comes to customer service.
For instance, if you’re ordering fast food, you have an obligation to know what you want (within a reasonable amount of time) and you have an obligation to pay for it. In the era of the pandemic, customers have the obligation to wear a mask, lest the business refuses to serve them.
You have obligations when you ship a vehicle as well. For instance, you are obligated to properly represent your vehicle. This means that we need to know if it’s running or not, and we need accurate pickup and delivery addresses.
While you are not obligated to be at pickup or delivery, someone is, and that falls on you to arrange. Additionally, you are obligated to make payment both to the broker as well as the carrier. Another major obligation is disclosing any personal items that may be in the vehicle at time of shipment. While some personal items may be allowed, weight restrictions actually restrict what you can put in your vehicle, so be sure to speak to your representative and represent the items in the vehicle accordingly.
Know how you’re going to pay
One of the last ways you can make life easier for both yourself and your auto transport broker is to have payment ready to go.
As we mentioned earlier in the post, you have two different companies to pay: the broker, and the carrier. Most times, the payments are split in two: one to the broker, one to the carrier. Of the two, the broker’s payment will be substantially lower than the carrier’s, as the carrier is the one physically moving the vehicle. But the broker does a lot of work to ensure your vehicle gets shipped safely as well, so they earn their cut too.
Almost every auto transport broker accepts different payment methods, with the preferred being credit/debit. The carrier, however, requires certified funds at delivery. Some can do certified funds at pickup, but the vast majority do certified funds at delivery.
Known as “COD,” or “cash on delivery,” the funds just need to be as good as cash – and can even be cash, if that is preferable for you. Carriers don’t take personal checks and most don’t have the ability to take payment via card. Cash, cashier’s check, or money order – preferably cash or money order. Make sure to speak to your representative and your driver if you have questions about the best method of payment.
Let American Auto Shipping help you ship your next vehicle
If you’re looking for someone to help you ship your vehicle, look no further than American Auto Shipping. With over 20 years of experience under our belts, we know what it takes to get cars shipped across the country.
We work with only top-rated carriers, so you know you’ll be in good hands from start to finish. We take numerous different payment methods as well as debit or credit card, so paying is easy. Our shipments are always cash on delivery, though you can also pay for the entire shipment up front and let us handle the rest.
No matter what you’re looking for, get the right price the right way the first time with American Auto Shipping. Our reviews on Google, Transport Reviews, and the BBB speak to our dedication to customer service and our ability to get cars moved on time and on budget.
So give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to a representative. They can give you a quote, answer questions, book your shipment, and much more. You can also get a quote online via our online quote form and you can even book your shipment right here on our website.
So what are you waiting for? Give us a call or get a quote and see how American Auto Shipping can make your auto transportation experience better.