How Do Auto Transport Lead Providers Work?
When a customer searches on the Internet for an auto transport company, it is sometimes hard to tell which sites are in that business from the pretenders who are merely lead generation sites. The multiple auto shipping quotes web sites disguise themselves as real companies, capturing personal information and the particulars of an auto transport shipment, and then turn around and sell that information to nearly 10 brokers. What happens next is often chaos and confusion for the customer. There are probably about ten former auto transport brokers who for whatever reason decided to give up shipping vehicles and now dominate the multiple quote lead business. The broker business is hyper competitive and takes a toll on most owners, so off they go. The lead providers usually own several sites that they optimize for certain major keywords. Many lead generation sites employ people whose only job is to find ways to push their auto transport web sites higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo. The customer has a hard time discerning the real from the sudo-real companies, and may unwittingly submit his or her personal information that is within seconds sold for $1.00 to $2.00 per lead to several actual brokers. The average total value of a typical multiple quote lead is therefore roughly $10 to the web site owner. If the auto shipping lead generation site has natural or organic web position, then the $10 collected per lead is pure profit. However, if the site used advertising companies such as Google Adwords to generate the multiple quote lead, then usually that advertising service will get the lion’s share of the $10. Ouch. So most lead providers use a mixture of both methods. It’s all numbers, and some lead providers are simply sharper than some of their lead providing competitors.
Who Buys The Multiple Quote Car Shipping Leads?
Usually, but not always, very aggressive auto transport brokers buy the leads. They have to be aggressive or somebody else will eat their lunch. Think about it. That broker knows that the lead they just received was also sent to as many as 9 other companies at precisely the same time. On average it cost each broker $1.00 to get that lead. Let’s say he buys 100 leads every day, so that’s $100 regardless of whether he books an order. The auto transport broker sends an email to the prospective customer just as soon as he can figure out the quote. But by the time he does that, the customer may have already received 9 other emailed quotes. If that broker’s quote is too high, he is likely to be eliminated from consideration, even though he knows that the order is unlikely to ship anytime soon for less than his quote. For our part, we are oblivious to competitor quotes. We know what it will take to actually ship an order within one week and will not deviate our approach. For that reason, we only occasionally participate in the lead buying business. ALSO CHECKOUT THE COMPANY YOU ARE GETTING A QUOTE FROM MOST OF THESE ARE FLY BY NIGHT COMPANIES AND WILL ONLY BE AROUND IN A YEAR OR 2. AMERICAN TRANSPORT HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS.
There are several reason to use a terminal. Mostly for snowbird customers going to and from Florida from New England. Newenglandtoflorida.com website for American Transport has 9 terminals in Florida and 1 terminal in Massachusetts home base.
City in Massachusetts – Worcester
The cities I have in Florida:
West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples, Ft Myers, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Tampa and Orlando.
Why are terminals important for snowbirds usually they have two cars. They drop one off at my terminal in Worcester, Mass a week or 2 before they are flying down. The car is shipped down to the terminal that you choose. When you get off the airplane you can take a taxi to the location, have a friend pick you up or I can arrange to have you picked up.
The same can be done coming back.
Transporting vehicles takes time and there are several delays that can happen. Trucks do not leave empty must be filled to make money, truck breaks down, overweight must fix load at weight station, have other stops along the way, traffic on I 95 can be crazy so you can see there is a lot. Remember this is 1500 miles not going right around the corner, so a lot IS involved with this transport.
Auto shipping companies are not insured for household goods. The law specifically forbids automobile movers from transporting anything except your vehicle. The vehicle shipping transport truck is inspected by the Department of Transportation agents and police at every state line and can be fined up to $10,000, if found to be carrying household items. Under no circumstances may a vehicle carry firearms, illegal substances, contraband, or hazardous materials. The vehicle may be subject to impoundment, and in such an event, all fines and expenses will be passed on the owner of the vehicle. Newenglandtoflorida/American Transport lets you put less then 100 pound sin the trunk. Remember transport companies are not moving companies. In addition, please do not have anything in the front/back seat over the windows.
If you book your car with a broker(middleman) they will usually post it on a Transport load board as cheap as possible and the first real trucking company that comes along gets it. This is bad for you and the trucking company. It’s bad for you, the customer, because you are over paying the broker to Carriers your car, so that he can pay himself and the Transport company. Its also bad when you call the broker to find out where your car is and he can’t give you an answer. He has to call the Transport to find out anything about your car, this makes it more frustrating for everyone. It’s bad for the Transport because he is being under paid for the work he is doing. What happens when a Transport is underpaid? First thing is the quality of service goes down. Second, is the Transport has to get cheaper insurance to be able to afford to keep his business afloat. This effects you because the insurance coverage of your vehicle is not as good.
The way we solve this problem is putting you in direct contact with the Transport company. By going direct, you are paying the Transport more than if you go through a broker and you, the customer, are paying less because there is no middle man. There are some good brokers in the industry, but this industry has had so many fly by night brokerages go in and out of this industry, that its given the brokers a really bad name. Several of the large brokers charge the customer and never pay the trucking company. Then the trucking company holds the customers car until they get paid. In so many cases the customer ends up paying twice. AMERICAN TRANSPORT IS BOTH A BROKER/CARRIER WHICH MEANS WE DO BOTH. SORRY I DO NOT LOW BALL AS I KNOW HOW MUCH IT COST TO BE A CARRIER.
Pros and Cons of Auto Transport Carriers and Auto Transport Brokers
The benefit of using a broker for Auto Transport is selection. A broker has ties with individual pre-approved Auto Transport or know where to post the vehicle online for any Transport to select. When using a carrier instead of a broker, you would be responsible for contacting the Auto Transport individually for Car Shipping.
Beware the Auto Transport Quote Rip-off
Here are a few things to look out for when shipping your car:
1. Beware the ultra low quote and things that sound to good to be true. Dishonest companies will do anything to get their hands on your credit card numbers and you could face big problems. Ask yourself…would I haul somebody’s car for .25 cents a mile? Not unless you are desperate! Good transports don’t need to work for low pay but poor quality transports will take almost anything they can get their hands on and if you go with ultra low quotes THAT is who will be carrying your car. BAD BAD news…
2. Giving a deposit before a truck is assigned to your vehicle is a big NO-NO. Booking your car weeks in advance is another. Some dishonest trucking companies will gladly take your money upfront and then ignore your car. It happens EVERYDAY somewhere in the USA. Loads get cancelled and delayed constantly in this industry and the further out you book the more likely it is that your car will sit and you won’t get it picked up or delivered when you expected. It’s as simple as that.
3. So you call for a quote and the price is just soooo low and you’re liking it and eager to book your car at that price and then comes the CONTRACT. Yes, the dreaded contract MUST be signed, so they say. Yes, they do need it signed and returned but not for the reasons you think. Many of those auto shipping companies use contracts to protect themselves, not you OR your car. Take a very very close look at the terms you are agreeing to. Often times the contracts are written in a way for the dishonest transport to keep your credit card deposit. Their car shipping quote suddenly needs “priority” upgrading or other nonsense which forces you to spend more money. Or you cancel with them and they get to keep your deposit. Then you decide to hire a lawyer to get some fair treatment and the lawyer informs you all disputes must be held in their local court system forcing you to travel. These are just a few tricks they use to get your money. They can’t wait for you to just go away and not bother them about moving your car. Many people actually do. They give up. Some even go to the next company and cross their fingers it doesn’t happen again. One way to find honest brokers and dispatchers is to visit the Better Business Bureau. Avoid the online transport reviews websites. Most are surviving by accepting advertising money from transport companies. Does that tell you anything? The information they offer is custom tailored and often tainted to hurt the transport companies that DON’T give them ad dollars.
Plainly put, car shipping is a big deal. Placing your valuable vehicle in the hands of perfect strangers can be a bit nerve racking by itself. Most often, however, there is also some other event taking place when an auto transport company is hired. When you’re focused on relocating due to a new job, buying that new car, retiring to the city of your dreams or finally buying that classic car you’ve drooled over since high school, you want to know for sure your car will be moved with the highest level of care and at the best price. That’s why choosing between a broker and a carrier can be extremely important.
Core Differences in Auto Transport Companies
The basics are the same regardless of which type of auto transport company you choose. Your car will get shipped from point A to point B. But that’s generally where the similarities end. From there you find a list of pros and cons that can help you make a decision on whether to use a broker or carrier.
Let’s define those terms to start with. In the car shipping industry, a broker is a company that resells your job. For instance, when you call a broker, they will charge you a fee for shipping your car. However, they will not actually perform the shipping themselves. They will call several carriers and sell your car shipping job to them. After the job is passed on to the carrier, the broker steps out of the picture.
A carrier, on the other hand, actually takes your car from destination A to destination B. Think of it as going straight to a wholesaler when you’re buying furniture or jewelry. Rather than going to a retail store when you buy these items, you cut out the middleman and buy them for a better price direct from the wholesaler. In the same way, rather than using a broker, you have the option of contacting carriers directly.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Either an Auto Transport Carrier or an Auto Transport Broker
The biggest benefit of using a broker for car shipping is selection. A broker may either have a pre-approved list of carriers or may post the vehicle online for any carrier to select. When using a carrier, you would be responsible or contacting each one individually which might take a bit of time. However, there are other factors at play when shipping a car.
Fees and Cancellations
Brokers attempt to source carriers at rates below what they have quoted in order to make a profit. That’s how they stay in business. You will be expected to pay a deposit, which is generally nonrefundable. The carrier will collect the balance of the transportation costs when the vehicle is delivered through cash or certified funds only. Many will also allow you to cancel your order at anytime prior to pick-up with a 100% refund. To be sure, always ask first!
Because brokers don’t have full control over every carrier they use, they can’t guarantee when your car will be picked up. When comparing transit time you need to be careful to make an apples-to-apples comparison. A brokered move may have a shorter transit time from pick up to delivery but it may take more days to get the vehicle picked up. Make sure that you include all of the days in any comparison.
Depending on the carrier, the size of their truck, or the entry into your neighborhood, you might be asked to meet the driver at a nearby shopping center or other landmark for delivery. This is due to their inability to take big equipment into an area that is difficult to maneuver. Unfortunately, brokers cannot always assess the carrier’s ability to take your vehicle directly to your door. Again, never assume. Ask the broker or auto transport carrier what their policies are to be sure.
As you can see, there are big differences between auto transport brokers and auto transport carriers that go beyond price. Before you sign any contracts or releases, make sure you are dealing with the type of company you prefer and, to ensure the safety of your car and a flawless transaction, check out each company thoroughly before making your decision.