Motorcycle shipping scams are an unfortunate part of the auto transport industry. From attractive luxury vehicle advertisements online to fake transporting businesses, there are many schemes designed to part victims from their money.
Nowadays, scammers are making elaborate plans and willing to go to any lengths to get your cash. As a result, it’s made people wary of buying motorcycles and other vehicles online and have second thoughts about shipping them.
It’s important to learn to identify these frauds and how to avoid them. With this post we hope to raise awareness about typical scams to save you from becoming a victim.
Common Types of Motorcycle Shipping Scams and How to Avoid Them
What is the scariest thing about shipping your motorcycle? Getting it damaged in transit, right? How about not getting your motorcycle at all even though you’ve already made a payment to the so-called transporter? Here are some tips to avoid this scam and others.
Common Types of Motorcycle Shipping Scams
Lead Provider Websites
Any website that promises quotes from multiple shipping companies instead of providing one of their own is a lead provider. When you get a quote from this website, they take your information and sell it to other companies who will later spam you with calls and emails.
With this type of online scam, the scammers pose as a freight forwarder on popular websites where they offer their services at a price way lower than competitors. Once the shipment is booked and your motorcycle packed, they will deny the release of the Bill of Lading. Or they will inform you that there’s some sort of problem which you will have to pay double or triple to resolve. You end up paying a lot of money or don’t receive your motorcycle at all.
Making a fake website with a name similar to a legitimate shipping company is a common scam. These websites are designed to steal money from clients who can’t distinguish between the legit and fake website. As soon as you book a shipment, they will demand you submit an advance payment but never deliver your motorcycle.
Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Shipping Scams
1) Gather All Information
When you come across a freight forwarding company or online motorcycle seller that promises to ship to you, make sure you do your research. Call the company or seller to get background information. If they make excuses not to speak with you, that is a good indicator of a possible scam.
2) Don’t Believe Offers That Are Too Good to Be True
Many motorcycle shipping companies try to attract customers looking for services at rates lower than what others are offering. But a quote that is too good to be true is usually just that. They may initially undercut the competition by a wide margin but will eventually add hidden fees after your shipment is booked.
3) Avoid Paying In Full In Advance
If the shipping company asks for full payment upfront, this is a red flag. Generally, legitimate companies don’t ask for full payment before your motorcycle is shipped.
4) Read Online Reviews
Reading online reviews has become the new normal when it comes to evaluating the authenticity of a product or service. The same applies to finding out whether a shipping company is legitimate or not. Read testimonials on the company’s website and customer reviews on Google and Yelp. If you come across too many complaints and negative reviews, then think twice.
5) Get Pictures
Most fake online sellers only use stock images of motorcycles on their websites instead of actual pictures of vehicles showing their licence plate number. Avoid them.
6) Get Multiple Quotes to Learn the Real Exact Cost of the Shipment
Your best bet to avoid bait-and-switch pricing is to get quotes from several shippers. This will help you determine the actual cost of your shipment so you’ll be less attracted by low or discounted offers that are potentially fraudulent.
7) Go Through the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help you find trustworthy motorcycle shipping companies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. If the company promising to sell you a motorcycle at an unbelievable price isn’t listed with the BBB, you’ll know it’s bogus. Additionally, you can file a complaint with the BBB or report a scam if you’ve been victimized.
If you decide to hire a new motorcycle shipping company or buy a vehicle from an online seller you haven’t dealt with before, proceed with caution. Verify information, read online reviews, never pay in advance, and do research until you get everything you need to trust them. If you’re not satisfied, don’t proceed and save yourself from a possible scam. We hope this blog will help you identify fake companies and find a reputable motorcycle shipper in Canada. If you’re looking for one right now, contact us for a free quote.