How to Avoid Motorcycle Shipping Scams
Even so, motorcycle shipping scams are rare, but unfortunately, they are a part of the industry. Scams like this make even the most reputable auto transport companies look bad.
What is the scariest part of shipping your motorcycle? Damage during transportation, right? What if you never get your motorcycle even though you paid a so-called transporter?
In today’s world, scammers make elaborate schemes and are willing to reach any length to steal your money. It has caused people to be a little nervous about buying motorcycles or other vehicles online and second-guess shipping them.
Are you aware of how to recognize non-reputable businesses? Yes, we do. Here are tips for identifying motorcycle shipping scams and preventing them from occurring to you.
Common Types of Motorcycle Shipping Scams
What kinds of fraud are possible within motorcycle shipping? You’d be surprised! A few of the most common scams are listed below, but with a little understanding, you can easily avoid them all.
Lead Provider Websites
Any website that offers quotes from multiple shipping companies instead of providing their own is a lead provider. If you request a quote from this website, your information will be sold to other companies who will later spam you with calls and emails. Though not every lead aggregator uses shady tactics, you should be skeptical and still perform your own research.
In this type of scam, the scammers pose as freight forwarders on popular websites and offer their services at a lower price than the competition. When you have booked the shipment and packed your motorcycle, they will not release the Bill of Lading. You will then be told that there is some problem that requires double or triple your payment to resolve. In the end, you either have to pay a lot of money or don’t receive your motorcycle at all.
Scammers often pose as motorcycle shipping companies, using business names or websites that are very similar to those of the actual carriers, making potential customers believe they are legitimate.
These websites are set up to scam clients who can’t distinguish between a legit and a fake website. The moment you book a delivery, they will require an advance payment but never deliver your motorcycle.
Spotting a Motorcycle Shipping Scam
The good news is that some telltale signs can help you avoid being scammed.
- Pricing that seems too good to be true – Never accept an offer or quote from a company that seems too good to be true. As we noted earlier, carriers and brokers who undercut the competition by a wide margin will add on very large hidden fees after the transport has begun. If you refuse to pay, they might threaten to confiscate your bike.
- Pay attention to the payment method – Never deal with a seller who insists on receiving funds via MoneyGram or Western Union. They are the top choices for scammers.
- Same Day Pickup – If a company says they can pick up your motorcycle the same day you request it, you should be skeptical. Pickups are coordinated with carrier shipping routes when your motorcycle is part of a larger logistical shipment. Pickups scheduled on the same day are highly unlikely unless your pick-up location is convenient to the main delivery route.
How to Avoid Motorcycle Shipping Scams
The first step in preventing scams is to be aware of deceptive practices and know what to look out for. These are some more ways to make sure you choose a motorcycle transport partner that can protect your motorcycle.
1. Gather information
Legitimate companies should be able to provide plenty of information on their websites or upon your request. Request proof of insurance and references you can contact. You can read online reviews to learn how other customers feel about the company. It is obviously wiser to avoid those that have a high percentage of negative reviews.
No reviews found? Embrace it as a warning and move on.
2. Validate the seller
Call the seller to find out about their background and history. Almost anyone can create a website or list an item on a site like Craigslist, but if they refuse to communicate with you, that is a good indication they may be scamming you.
3. Request multiple quotes
It is not advisable to accept a quote from the first company you contact. Get a few quotes to see what price range is reasonable for your needs. An organization that offers a considerably lower cost (or a bad catch) is likely to be a fraud.
4. Ensure everything is in writing
Make sure that your motorcycle shipment details and your price estimate are included in a written contract. Make sure you read the terms and conditions and demands a copy signed by both of you (the company and you).
5. Do not pay in full in advance
A shipping company that requires full payment upfront should be avoided. Legitimate companies don’t require full payment before shipping your motorcycle.
6. Read Online Reviews
As a matter of fact, online reviews are now considered the new standard when assessing authenticity. A shipping company’s legitimacy can also be determined this way. Think twice if you find too many complaints and negative reviews.
7. Fake Pictures
The majority of fake online sellers only use stock images of motorcycles on their websites instead of actual pictures of the vehicles. You should avoid them.
8. Hire a motorcycle transport broker
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a motorcycle shipping scam is to work with a reputable broker service. Most reputable transport brokers have access to a variety of carriers and can guide you in the right direction depending on your needs and budget.
You Can Rely on Us for Motorcycle Transport
Our mission at AutoStar Transport Express is to help people get their motorcycles from point A to point B efficiently, inexpensively, and safely. We work with thousands of vetted and proven carriers. You can reach our customer service representatives at 888-802-8250 today.