Moving estimates: A visit can save you money

Moving your household items internationally can typically range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands depending on what you want to relocate and where.  There is a lot that goes into the price of relocation services: considerations like volume or weight, packing requirements, distance or shipping lane, port charges, destination costs, access and insurance. You need expert advice from professionals who have the experience to handle every last detail.

Often, your first step is to call or check a company online to do some research. Rather than offer to send a consultant to your home to discuss your needs, timing, special requirements and to view your items, there are some companies who will offer an estimate over the phone or online. So much easier, right? Beware of phone or online estimates, though. You’ll find that some companies, either on the phone or online, will offer you the lowest cost – sight unseen – just to get you in the door, or worse, to sign on the dotted line.

If you’re a receiving bids from companies who have not been to your home, please read the small print on the estimate to see if it answers the following:

  • What are the extra charges if volume or weight exceeds estimate?
  • Does the estimate include port charges?
  • Is it a room-to-room service?
  • Do they assist with customs clearance?
  • Does the estimate include normal customs fees?
  • Does the company manage their own insurance?
  • Do they have their own office in the destination country?
  • Are they using an agent? If so, make sure you research them as well.

While it may be convenient to get a quote on the phone or online, it can end up costing you more, sometimes as much as twice or three times the offer that was signed.  And your goods will be held hostage until the bill is paid. No matter who you relocate with, if your shipment is over the size of the contents of one bedroom, you should have a consultant visit you in-person in your home. And even then you should read the fine print and ask questions if anything is unclear. If there is a big price difference between companies, then there usually is a reason for it. 

Like most things, you get what you pay for. Interested in knowing more? Our local Crown office will be happy to answer any questions. 
Kerry Daniels
Sales Trainer

Kerry joined Crown in 1994 in Dubai and has held sales positions with Crown on several continents. She is currently the regional sales trainer based out of Houston and also manages North America’s Internet leads division.