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The essential tool to move out of the country without a headache 

Following our previous article on accommodation and utilities, we continue our “leaving the UAE” series talking about the dilemma of selling or shipping your belongings and how to organize an international shipment. 

We hope it’ll help you plan the next steps of your international move and answer some of your questions – and for the unanswered ones, you just need to contact us!

Looking at your belongings: selling, shipping or both?

An important step at the moment of planning your move, it’s deciding on the belongings (mainly furniture and white goods) that you would like to take with you abroad. Your first thought might be to take everything, however, a lot of times, this is not realistic, both logistically and economically.  

Around three months before your expected departure date, it’s the best time to start checking all the things at home which might need to be transported. A good idea is to create an inventory (you can use a simple notebook or, if you are more digital-savvy, an Excel document or a to-do list app)  

Once you have the inventory, it’s the moment to decide what it’s the best to do with each item. 

Basically, you have three options:

- Shipping your belongings

- Selling them in the second-hand market

- Donate them for free to friends in the UAE or a charity

 

Before deciding, a few things to take into account:

- Consider the cost of shipping versus the cost of buying again the product and versus how much you could get if you sell it second hand 

- The second-hand market is quite overflowed in the UAE. Thus, expect to receive little, if you are planning to sell any product.  

 

Second-hand sale 

As there are a lot of incoming and outgoing expats in the UAE, a lot of items are sold at the second-hand market, especially, around June, at the end of the school year. This sinks prices and floods the second-hand market with tons of similar items (sofas, fridges, beds…). 

Before taking any decision, it might be a wise idea to have a look at online classified sites, to have an estimation about how much you can get and comparing it with the cost of shipping that item and with the cost of rebuying the item after the move. 

If you finally decide for a second-hand sale, be ready for receiving plenty of calls, from potential buyers to less interested ones. If you want to avoid part of this hassle, a good idea is to be another SIM card – so you don’t have problems mixing personal calls with the sales calls.  

International shipment 

For a bigger or a lower amount of goods, highly likely you will need to arrange an international shipment to your new country. Try to get quotes with as much notice as possible, to ensure that your belongings can be shipped on the desired dates. 

At the moment of comparing quotes, it’s important that, apart from price, you focus on:

- What it’s included and what it’s not included (extra charges, export-import documents, etc.). Sometimes, just booking a shipment without any type of handling support might mean a lot of paperwork and headache from your side. 

- Who has to pack the goods? An international shipment can take some time, therefore, it’s important that the goods are well-protected during all the journey. 

- Can you have an insurance? Despite all the protections, there is always room for the unexpected. Try to book an insurance for your belongings during the shipment. 

- Storage options. Check if the provider has storage facilities, either in the UAE or at your destination, in case, your home isn’t ready to move in immediately. 

Donating 

If you don’t need some of your belongings or you don’t think it’s necessary to ship them, then you can give them to friends who might need them or to a charity. Better to reuse them than to throw them – the environment will appreciate it! 

 

Have you found this article useful? Then stay tuned, as next month we will continue our checklist talking about work and finance preparations to do before your move.

Leaving the UAE checklist

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