Picking The Right Removal Company

by Rob Fenn - www.expatwomen.com, 08/07/2009

Moving abroad is undoubtedly an exciting experience, but one element people often do not enjoy is the planning stage of moving their belongings to their new home. Moving abroad has added complications and usually proves hard work and very time consuming. To feel relaxed when you arrive in your new abode, it is important to feel content that your belongings will arrive safely too. To ensure this happens, there are a few things you should do before picking a removal company for the job.
Choosing A Trustworthy Removal Company
Make sure when comparing removal companies that they are in fact true, registered companies. This gives them greater legal responsibilities than a one-man-band operating a ˜man with a van" type service. You can confirm a removal company's official existence by searching your country's company registry. This will also tell you how long the company has been running. Theoretically, the longer they have been running, the more stable they should be. The last thing you want is a removal company going out of business as you are due to move!
A tried and tested way of finding a reliable removal company is by asking for testimonials or checking their website for them. Ensure you check if they have genuine experience of moving families abroad too. Also try a Google search to see if there are any complaints listed on popular feedback websites.
Comparing Removal Companies
Do not be afraid to shop around and haggle with removal companies. They have margins they can negotiate - just like any other service provider. Although it is time consuming, it could pay off with a much cheaper removal quote. You can always use a comparison website to do the work for you.
Of course it is important to compare like-for-like. Try not to be lured into the mindset of "cheapest is best". Check for factors such as insurance: will the removal company cover anything that breaks on the journey? If so, to what value? And again, check for testimonials and/or referrals.If the removal company does not have suitable insurance, make sure you check your contents insurance covers your move.

With long distance moves, ask questions relating to "additional costs", such as transportation from the port city to your new home, highway toll costs, storage costs if your goods are held up by customs or if delivery is delayed for some reason, etc. What might seem like small additional costs can soon add up, so if you are not prepared, it could spoil what should be an enjoyable move experience.

Other factors such as packing and un-packing can sometimes be built in the cost, so when getting a quote, ask for a full price breakdown, so again, you are comparing like for like.
Plan Your Move Early
To save your sanity and increase your changes of a successful move, ensure you do not choose a removal company at the last minute! The majority of removal companies will be booked up months in advance, especially when it comes to school holidays and weekends. Try to start the process of finding a removal company at least two months before your move. It is also a good idea to ask about off-peak days, as peak days can be more expensive.

Reputable removal companies you get quotes from should have a thorough look at your current home and belongings in order to give an accurate quote. Some of the factors that will change the quote include the amount of stairs in the property and how easy it is to get large furniture outside.

You could save a proportion of the removal cost by packing/unpacking yourself, but be sure to factor this into your moving plan. Also, remember that doing it yourself can be incredibly time consuming and stressful if you are not experienced, you have limited time and/or you have children in the house when you try to pack/unpack. Would your time be better spent doing something else? There are many other tasks when moving abroad after all.
Before The Move
A few final tips:
It is always worthwhile to check a few days before you move that everything is in place with the removal company. Do not risk spoiling your move by getting caught out by an administrator error. Before your belongings are packed and taken away, be sure to make an inventory of everything you are taking with you. If something gets lost or broken in transit, you will have documentation verifying this if a removal company denies knowledge.  An electronic inventory is always better; to help speed up the move paperwork next time you need to move and also to keep electronic proof that you did submit a full inventory to your current removal company.

It is amazing what items people can sometimes forget. It is wise to have a nominated friend or family member on the day of the move available in case you have forgotten anything; you cannot come back for it if you are already half way around the world.
Packed And Ready To Go
Hopefully by following the above advice you will be able to reduce some stress associated with your move, allowing you to concentrate instead on you and your family during this exciting time. 

I wish you all the very best!

K4E Note: For a list of what you may need to bring with you to Korea (and what you can leave out), click here. If you're looking for information regarding bringing pets, motor vehicles, household goods, etc. into Korea, go to Moving to Korea on the menu bar above, then click on Before the Move.
For moving/removal companies with offices in Korea, click on our expat-recommended businesses and services Directory.

From the Expat Women's Newsletter of July 2009. To subscribe, go to www.expatwomen.com or write to admin@expatwomen.com.

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