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Placing a deposit on your shipment may be required to get qualified quotes from the best individual providers that you can find. Unlike shipping chains, individual providers or small business shipping companies need to keep every scheduled shipment on their route to ensure that they make a profit out of the trip. If you cancel your shipment at the last minute, it could hurt the company. For this reason, many will not take shipments that do not include deposits.
If you let providers know that you are willing to make a deposit, this will help you to receive better quotes from qualified and experienced shipping companies. Otherwise, you may be limited to quotes from new providers with no feedback or those who have less-than-perfect feedback, which can both be risky. If you know that you will definitely ship your item, then your safest choice is to offer a small deposit.