Saving $ On Long Distance Move? Help!!!

mare_wbpaMarch 21, 2006

Hi all. I'm new to posting, but have been lurking for years and have learned a lot from this site. I'll be making a 900 mile move in a few month and was wondering if anyone had some advice or tips about movers and moving. I made this move in reverse a little over 2 years ago and came this close to getting scammed by a mover I found on the internet. Needless to say, I won't be doing that again. I ended up renting a truck which was still very expensive. Any help from all of you money savers would really be appreciated.

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Someone I knew moved a distance and they sold all their appliances and heavy furniture before the move. They intended to buy new when they got to their new destination.

As much as you can lighten the load, do so! Fuel costs are thru the roof.

See about shipping via USPS or UPS as much as you can,too. When my uncle moved to Hawaii he mailed most of his personal things, cost a lot less than shipping.

Check with your local consumer rights division (most states have them) to see about any info on moving companies. They don't have such a good reputation, so do as much homework with agencies that deal with complaints to get some feedback.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 3:25PM
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We recently moved about 400 miles and really wanted to use the PODS system, but unfortunately they didn't cover our pick up area. I think this is the upcoming way to go, the prices seem even a little lower than renting a truck, exclusive of the traveling expenses associated with a truck (gas, etc.)

I certainly would recommend it, hearing from 2 other people who are familiar with it. They deliver it to your home and park it, you have 3-4 days to load it. They pick it up and deliver it to your new destination and you have about the same amount of time.

Unfortunately, I bit on the internet deal and got whammed, for lack of a better word to use here. I used a national company, Global. Won't bore you with details here, but it is a scam, because they come up with a very low bid, even with me itemizing everything in my home and providing measurements, then the final bill is outrageous, but my stuff was already on the truck and I had to be out of my house within 24 hours and we were exhausted, so we paid it.

Good luck on your move. Also, be sure and check your move packet from the Post Office, it has some really good coupons in it.

One last piece of advice, check your homeowner's insurance to see what is covered and where. We added a small policy while ours was in storage and it was worth the $52.00, as we had alot of damage, as the truck load "collapsed" twice during the unload process.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 1:35PM
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One great idea I saw somewhere was someone bought a used enclosed trailer, made the move and resold the trailer. Net cost would probably be very little, far less than a rental, and possibly even a profit.

Definitely try to lighten the load as much as possible. Really examine what you need to move. Dumpster, give away, recycle, donate, etc anything you can. A lot of little things can quickly add up to a lot. Could you buy new, used or check something like FreeCycle, Craig's List or something to get stuff?

I'm (though mostly pipe-) dreaming of moving. Sat down the one day and really thought hard about what I really would want to keep. Thought to myself "what would I be extremely upset about to lose if a tornado or something would hit?" The answer was very, very little. I'm not a materialistic person though and live a relatively simple life. Actually, considering a tragedy like that would be advantageous in certain ways since I would like to get new appliances, furniture and the like!

I've got some things saved on frugal moving. I'll try to find the sites and post them when I can.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 11:07PM
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I haven't made a move this long, so my advice might not be applicable to such a distance. On our last move, we hired movers that charged by the hour instead of by the pound/room/mileage, etc. It saved us lots of money because we packed everything ourselves, and then friends came over to help us "stage" all the moveable boxes and small furniture in our garage. When the movers arrived, the staged stuff went into the truck very quickly. We also helped them unload on the other end (they drop box in garage, we take box into home). All in all, it cost us about $1100 to move a 5-BR home.

Also consider getting a rental truck/PODS for the things you don't mind packing and moving yourself, and then only use the $$ movers for the big furniture.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 4:27PM
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cynic, as usual, as said it very well.

What is it about Minnesota that makes folks up there so smart?

Think it could be the air?

Water, maybe?

(Out of how many of those 10,000 lakes could one drink with impunity, do you think?).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 1:43PM
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We just moved from Boston to Houston last year.

We got rid of everything and bought new. It was about the same money and we got new furnishings that better matched.

Items from a 100 year old home in NW don't go so well in a new home in the SouthWest.

We are minimalists so we didn't have a ton of stuff to buy.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 7:00PM
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Boston ...

... is in the NorthWest?

Has there been a major hydrogen bomb explosion in your fair land that I have yet to hear about?

Have I been Rip Van 40 Winks-ling for a number of years?

Is my memory going, due to age?

Help! Someone - anyone ... Help!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 2:39PM
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No that was a typo I didn't catch until after I hit the submit button. I knew everyone here was smart enough to know where to find Boston.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 8:07PM
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Thanks all, for the helpful info. Keep 'em coming.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 9:41PM
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mare wbpa,

I rather like the idea of buying a trailer, for it could well be that you could sell it after arrival and lose less (if that much) than the cost of rental.

However, do you have a vehicle strong enough to pull it? A friend of mine bought an Airstream trailer (the kind like a silver bullet that are supposed to offer less wind resistance) and a car from the same dealer with the assurance that it would pull that trailer - no problem!

But ... when he had later trouble with the engine, diagnosed as a crankshaft with flattening on the surface which turns in the bearings, the first question that the mechanic asked ... was whether he'd been pulling a trailer with it.

Does the vehicle that you will use have a trailer hitch ... and sturdy enough to handle the weight of trailer that you would be pulling?

When you rent a trailer the rental company usually give/rent a detachable hitching system that fastens to your car to which you'll attach the trailer.

That was much easier back in the days - remember them? - when automobiles had steel bumpers, not the plastic jobs that are mainly for appearance that they sport, these days. Don't know of what use the modern days ones may be.

Just call me an old curmudgeon, I guess.

Also, if you're thinking of hauling quite a lot of stuff, you'll probably need a trailer that is fitted for electrically operated brakes - and many states will require that you have the control system in the automobile in order to put them into action when required.


Have a great weekend - what's left of it. Beautiful sunny, mild day here - I guess spring has finally sprung.

ole joyful

P.S. to prettyphysicslady,

I hope that my posting above didn't cause any detrimental effects on your prettiness on the outside - or your mental stability on the inside.

Just thought that part of the thread gave too good an opportunity for a bit of sport to pass up.

I hope that you are enjoying your weekend, as well - one of the great things about being retired is that every day is weekend.

And during the 20 years or so that I worked as a personal financial advisor, I suggested to many that if they learned how to invest more wisely, plus avoid some taxes along the way, they could probably retire early.

For example, if a kid age 15 invests $1.00 at 5%, s/he'll have $11.00+, 50 years later at age 65. But if s/he can find 10% - the value at age 65 becomes $117.00+. No allowance for the erosion of one's income by income tax or of the value of one's asset due to inflation, in either case.

o j

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 1:35PM
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Mare, I'm visiting from home decorating forum. And yes, this is the time to pare down drastically.

The best boxes are those the movers use - they are uniform sizes so they stack better in the truck, and they have special ones for wardrobes (rod to hang) and dishes etc. If you know someone who recently moved, you could ask for their boxes. Or if you are using a commercial company, you could ask for used boxes. Careful though - they could have bugs so inspect carefully. You could buy boxes from places like U-line from the web or u-haul, but they can get pricy.

To protect plates and fragile items, contact local newspaper printers for the ends of their rolls - some will give them away free, others charge a minimal amount. Besides wrapping fragile items, the paper can be scrunched to fill in spaces in a box of awkward items so that the box is Square. Remember to label the box for the room it will go into and some listing of what is inside.

Remember that the boxes will be stacked, that can add a lot of weight to the bottom boxes, so pack everything with care and thought so nothing gets broken.

Consider U-Haul rental of the truck - you pack and drive it to the new location. We've done that several times. I don't know about PODS, but that sounds like a neat moving experience too.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 2:20PM
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Maybe it was just our unlucky experience, but the U-Haul truck we had rented for a trip from Wisconsin to Oregon barely made it up the mountains once we got to the Rockies. We had hired people to pack and load on one end and another crew to unload at the destination. That part of the trip worked out very well. But I'd never drive a truck like that again. If I needed to save money, I'd use one of those PODS systems. My son used it for a local move and it worked out great for him.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 2:59PM
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Tell me about selling the trailer, would you? I recently tried to find a used trailer for sale and couldn't. What venue would one use to sell the practically new trailer?

who has not learned how to get top dollar for things, but is pretty good at bargaining for purchases.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 3:12PM
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Marie 26,
I know exactly what you mean about about the U haul. My Nephew drove one to where I am now, he said that the front end was bad and it was difficult to control. Also the air conditioning didn't work. Please tell me about your son's experience with the pod move. I have considered the pod but what little I know about that tells me it is a lot more expensive than the U Haul route. How did you locate people to load and unload your truck. The unload won't be a problem, but I'm alone in an area where I know few people, none of them able to lift and lug.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 6:22PM
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