How to Verify a Real Specialty Vehicle Vendor: 6 Tips from Experts
Anyone with experience in the specialty vehicle industry will agree that it’s an industry teeming with down-to-earth, friendly and dependable folks. We all share a common goal and passion for helping people bring their vision for a mobile asset to life.
While the majority of the people and companies you’ll encounter in the industry are credible and trustworthy, every now and then you may cross paths with someone that doesn’t have the truest intentions. There is no need to have so many layers nor is there any reason to pay anyone to find a provider. Especially when each layer is charging you unnecessary fees.
Coming from a family-run company like ours, we strive to build lasting relationships and extend our family-like culture to all of our customers, employees, associates and just about anyone who connects with SPEVCO. For this reason, we hold all partners and vendors we work with to a high standard of honesty, integrity and transparency.
When it comes to working with a specialty vehicle vendor, it’s important to be sure they’re legitimate. After all, why would you pay someone else to find the right vendor for you when that vendor is most likely just a google search away? In our own experience, we recognize that doing so isn’t always easy. That’s why we put together this guide to help you distinguish between a vendor you can trust and one you’ll want to steer clear of…
6 Tips to Verifying a Specialty Vehicle Broker
Before you get too involved with a broker who claims to have access to an extensive gallery of mobile marketing or mobile medical vehicles when truthfully they do not, do yourself a favor and run through the following tips:
1. Check their website.
A legitimate vehicle broker will have a legitimate website that shows their inventory, partnerships, and testimonials clearly displayed to demonstrate their experience. Trusted brokers will provide their website to their clients upfront so that they can explore their catalogue of vehicles and the services they offer.
If a broker has a website with very limited information or doesn’t have a website at all, you should view this as a red flag. Not only does this lack of transparency raise some concerns around whether they’re a real vendor or not, it can also cause some delays in the process. A helpful website will allow you to see what the vendor offers, so you can cut out some of the back and forth.
2. Check their address.
The next item to look at is the broker’s address. Type their address into Google and see what comes up. If you can see that it is a warehouse or legitimate facility that looks like it is holding the lineup of vehicles they claim to have access to, it’s likely that they’re a trustworthy source.
If their address is just an office building, you might want to take a step back and reassess their authenticity. While it’s possible the vendor has another location at which they store their fleet of experiential marketing vehicles, it’s unlikely. It’s wise to ask some questions regarding their facility to gain some more insight into how they operate.
3. Check their social media.
Another indicator into a specialty vehicle broker’s legitimacy is their social media account. In today’s world, social media has become a useful tool in learning about a person or business. A company’s profile on Instagram or Facebook can be looked at as a portfolio of their work, while the comment section can provide some insightful customer reviews.
A vendor you can put your trust in will likely maintain an active presence on social media. If a vendor is lacking on social media, it could mean they’re also lacking in experience and/or reliability.
4. Look them up on LinkedIn.
In 2021, it’s hard to come across a working professional or company that doesn’t have a profile on LinkedIn. Just as you should check a vendor’s presence on the more “social” media platforms, you should also check to see if they have an active profile on LinkedIn.
A broker’s personal and/or business profile on LinkedIn will give you a clear idea on whether or not they have credibility and experience in the industry. By doing a little digging into their posts and connections, you should be able to tell pretty quickly if they’re someone you want to give your business to or not.
5. Check if they’re verified on Google.
When a business is verified on Google, it means they’ve taken the time to ensure that the information provided in connection with their website is accurate and true. This includes the business address, images, phone number, and other key info.
While being verified on Google is a great sign that a vendor is reputable, it isn’t a complete dealbreaker. We recommend using the other tips listed here before ruling out a vendor solely based on their Google verification status.
6. Gauge their behaviors.
You might be able to tell early on if a vendor is illegitimate just from chatting with them. However, most brokers, especially the sketchy ones, are talented conversationalists with an elaborate sales pitch. They may appear trustworthy and harmless from your early conversations.
Don’t be fooled by skillful banter. Look out for certain behaviors that could indicate their overly confident spiel is a scam.
Legitimate vendors will follow up promptly, respond to your questions with straightforward answers, and voluntarily share relevant information with you upfront. If you’ve been dealing with a vendor that is difficult to get a hold of or get a straight answer from, you could be dealing with a scam artist.
So before you find yourself in too deep and spending more money than is necessary with the wrong specialty vehicle vendor, be sure to do your due diligence to ensure that they are real, dependable and the right fit for your needs. It isn’t hard to find an honest specialty vehicle vendor in this industry!
At SPEVCO, our intention is to be a helpful resource for our customers, colleagues and other folks in the industry. We hope this guide offers some insight into choosing the right vendor that will help you find the right experiential marketing vehicle or mobile medical trailer for your needs.