Household Goods Moving #1 - Cost comparisons

Household Goods Moving #1 - Cost comparisons

“Why are you so expensive? It’s just packing boxes!”

“We always take the cheapest quote”

How many times do you remind a supplier that’s your policy? But are you really comparing like for like?

Surprisingly, less than you’d expect really understand whether they’re comparing apples with apples… and, of course, there are always some apples that taste better than others! In a series of articles, we’ll explain each component that makes up a quotation. Here are our first few top tips for comparing Household Goods Moving quotations:


Try not to look at the price first. It’s natural to we know, but once you’ve seen the price, that’s all that’s in your mind as you read the rest of the information. If it’s a figure you don’t like the initial look of, it’s much harder to be swayed by the technical information that makes up that price.

Did a nice man in a suit visit and drink all your tea?

Has the mover sent a surveyor to assess the move? We are seeing more and more quotations being accepted from movers that have quoted from a list provided by the assignee. Whilst this is fine for a small move around the corner, it’s not acceptable for anything moving overseas except literally a handful of cartons. Essentially, that list is what the mover will collect - no more. Are you 100% sure your assignee knows exactly how many boxes are going to be needed in the kitchen? The additional cost of just one carton on an airfreight shipment can make quite a difference.

Most movers will be accommodating (especially for a corporate), with appointments available before or after work and sometimes on a Saturday morning. It is important that everyone quoting on the move sees exactly what’s involved and has the opportunity to understand what’s important to the individual and their spouse/family during the physical move. It’s also important to address any concerns and talk through the practicalities of the moving process - timescales and customs restrictions to name a few.

This pre-move survey is the most important step to a hassle free and successful move. Each mover will pack and wrap slightly differently, use different size boxes and a varying range of packing materials. Their crews will pack at different speeds and the operational culture of each mover will vary - some prefer to take slightly longer over the packing with slightly less men. Others prefer to use more men in less time. If the goods are being stored and the assignee has say 1000 cubic feet, this would require 4 storage containers - but if that 1000 cubic feet is made up of mostly furniture with very few cartons, it’s unlikely that it will fit into 4 containers and therefore will require a 5th = more cost. These are just some of the factors that can affect the quotation and highlight why it is important a professional surveyor visits and assess the move so that you are not billed for any surprise additionals.

Big box or little box?

Compare volume - Obviously. Every surveyor is different but almost all have been trained at the same place and volumes should be within around 10% of each other. Apps and survey tools have been developed to assist but they’re only as good as the individual using it - a survey still relies on the mark one human eye ball.

Always ask for an inventory to accompany any quotation so should you be in a situation where the volumes vary hugely, you can easily see what has been included and what hasn’t.

On an international move, the volume can make huge differences in cost. It may well be that everyone is quoting on a 40ft container and you’d think that would be a flat rate whether it’s full or not - afraid it doesn’t work like that. The volume inside that container dictates the packing and wrapping times and man power at both origin and destination. The only element that should be the same (or very close) would be the ‘Freight’ costs - this is essentially getting the container from A-B and will include charges such as haulage to and from the port, Terminal Handling Charges at origin and destination etc. These should be standard on each route.

Next - I want it delivered in New York tomorrow; That man is smoking in my conservatory; Where is your office in the Congo!?

For further information please contact: Andy Hawtin on +44 (0)20 8574 1285 or Alternatively, find us on Twitter @gbliners

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