What kind of fraud can happen when shipping motorcycles? You'd be surprised! Here are some of the most common caveats to watch out for:
Some scammers pretend to be motorcycle transport carriers by using a business name or website domain that looks a lot like that of a real motorcycle transport carrier. This makes potential customers think they are legit. In reality, these "companies" will provide you with a false quotation, request and take your deposit, and then never contact you again.
Using a licensed transport broker not only makes it easier to get your motorcycle where it needs to go, but it also gives you more peace of mind. You'll feel better knowing that real professionals are making sure your valuable motorcycle gets where it needs to go. So, definitely check that company’s license before getting down on business with them.
One of the most common scams is when a customer is quoted one price, usually a very low one, but once the motorcycle is in transit, the company claims there is a problem and the owner needs to pay more to fix it. Often, charges or fees that aren't clear are added to the final bill.
Lead aggregators are websites that will ask you to enter your criteria (type of motorcycle, shipping date, pick-up and delivery location, etc.). Instead of giving you an instant quote, the company will sell your information to several brokers or carriers. Then, these companies will try to get your shipment by contacting you by email or phone. Even though not every lead aggregator is sketchy, you should still be wary and do your own research.
The good news is that you can avoid becoming a victim of a scam if you know what to look out for.
First of all, if an offer or quote from a company sounds too good to be true, it presumably is. If you use the same search terms, one quote may be much lower than the others. Even though this sounds good, you should take it as a warning sign.
You should also be wary if a firm claims to be able to pick up your motorbike the same day you want it. Pickups are set up so that they line up with the routes that carriers use to ship things. Your motorcycle is part of a larger, planned shipment. If your pick-up location isn't near a main route that most carriers use, it's very unlikely that you'll be able to schedule it for the same day.
Next, be careful if a motorcycle shipping company wants you to pay with a wire transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union, or if they want you to pay for everything up front. Even though companies need to protect themselves from unethical customers and might ask for a safe transaction for both sides, no reputable company will ask for a payment through MoneyGram or Western Union. Most payments are made with credit cards.
Knowing what to look out for and being aware of possible tricks is the first step in avoiding scams. Here are some other ways to make sure you choose a reliable motorcycle transport partner who will keep you and your bike safe.
Companies that are legit should have a lot of information available on their website or when you ask for it. Ask for proof that they are insured and a list of people you can talk to about their experience. Read online reviews to find out how the company works from the point of view of other customers. Undoubtedly, you should stay away from ones that have a lot of bad reviews.
Can't seem to locate any reviews? Take it as a warning sign and proceed with caution.
We don't think you should go on with the first quote you receive from a company. Instead, get a few quotes to figure out what kind of price range is reasonable for your needs. As we've already said, a business with a much lower price is likely to have a catch (and not a good one).
You should have a written contract that explains how your motorcycle will be shipped and how much it will cost. Before you sign, read the fine print and the terms and conditions, and ask for a copy signed by both parties (you and the company).
Don't ignore any doubts you have. After all, you're giving someone a valuable item that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars or even be irreplaceable to you. Make sure the company has a good website, shares information about their licenses, and gives you a way to reach them, like a U.S. phone number and a professional email address like ABC@companyname.com.
Working with a reputable broker service is the best way to avoid falling for a motorcycle shipping scam. Trustworthy transportation brokers offer a network of carriers with various shipping alternatives and can guide you in the best way for your demands and budget.
Are you ready to start? US Star Trucking is here to assist you throughout the whole process. We will help you find a reliable carrier for your motorcycle shipment, plan the details of your transport, and make sure everything goes smoothly. Learn more about our motorcycle transport solutions.
Call us today at 865-730-4992 and we'll be glad to help you.
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