Author Topic: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?  (Read 3067 times)

RidetheRain

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Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« on: October 18, 2017, 03:09:28 PM »
I'm in the early stages of planning a move from California to Texas. I'm trying to price out moving a little so I can figure out what kind of relocation bonus would be helpful - if I get one. I won't drive through the mountains with a trailer so I need another option. I'm getting some preliminary quotes for moving containers figuring that would be the best price, but that seems to hover around $2000 which is pretty expensive. I'm planning on selling most of the big stuff (couch, mattress, desk chairs, etc), but I've had trouble selling in my area previously and I don't want to sell at a loss then end up buying things for more on the other end. Especially if just moving it would save me the time and money.

Are moving containers the deal they seem like they should be? Or are moving companies cheaper than they appear? I figure there is more competition for traditional movers or even just drivers.

therethere

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 03:18:23 PM »
I've had good luck with PODS and movers in the to/from cities. It's fairly expensive, I think 2k total or 2k a POD. We only needed 2. But if you're getting reimbursed anyway I'd say that's the way to go. We packed everything ourselves. Then hired movers to pack the PODS (find one that is experienced in filling them to capacity!). If we had some stuff that wasn't ready it wasn't a big deal because the PODS are onsite for a few days so you can add to them. The PODS got delivered to street side parking and stayed for a few days to allow us unpack. We got mover's again at the end.

I've done a full service move before. It was super easy they packed everything. But there was an insane amount of waste from packing. Depending on when you need your stuff I think it takes longer too. I imagine its way more expensive than PODS but it was fully covered by my employer and I never saw an invoice.

sokoloff

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 03:19:22 PM »
Are you willing to drive a high-cube truck in the mountains? You can price out a one-way rental of a moving truck, avoiding the hassles/minor danger of towing a loaded trailer with your regular vehicle in the mountains.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 03:29:34 PM »
How much stuff do you have?  In the early 2000s I used ABF Upack for less than a truckload shipping and it was by far the best deal.  They do cubes for small loads but I’m seeing $1200 for door to door from LA to Dallas and $2000 from SF to Dallas. (I don’t know where you’re actually moving to/from).  You can do terminal to terminal for $800/$1350 but you’d need to get your stuff to the terminal.

Moving costs money, unfortunately.  Even a Uhaul from LA to Dallas is $1800 plus gas, so the pods are a pretty good deal.  Full service moves are much, much more.

I moved a studio worth of stuff, no furniture, by USPS in 2008 for $800 from Arizona to Michigan.  That was the cheapest option I could possibly find at the time.

Goldielocks

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 03:40:54 PM »
How much stuff do you have?  In the early 2000s I used ABF Upack for less than a truckload shipping and it was by far the best deal.  They do cubes for small loads but Iím seeing $1200 for door to door from LA to Dallas and $2000 from SF to Dallas. (I donít know where youíre actually moving to/from).  You can do terminal to terminal for $800/$1350 but youíd need to get your stuff to the terminal.

Moving costs money, unfortunately.  Even a Uhaul from LA to Dallas is $1800 plus gas, so the pods are a pretty good deal.  Full service moves are much, much more.

I moved a studio worth of stuff, no furniture, by USPS in 2008 for $800 from Arizona to Michigan.  That was the cheapest option I could possibly find at the time.

I used ABF in 2008 for a long distance move.  At the time it was just under $1000.  It worked pretty well.. 3 bedroom home, not too much stored stuff. 

The only cheaper way would have been to sign on with a moving company that does part loads to fill up their truck, but then you are on their schedule which is +/- 4 days for pickup and delivery, and that only works if you have less than 1/3 truckload.   (We moved a dresser and a piano over the mountains this way).

If you just have a few large boxes, Greyhound parcel service works.

RidetheRain

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 04:14:50 PM »
Thanks for the advice! For additional info, I'll be moving from LA to Houston with a 2-BR apartment full of stuff. I plan to sell things like the couch, mattress, etc. But, it will still be a heavy load. We have lots of musical instruments that can be bulky and plenty of hobby stuff (sewing machines, computers, exercise equipment) in addition to furniture we'd like to keep (mostly painted stuff that wouldn't fetch a decent price). My hatchback will be mostly filled with delicates (electronics and heirlooms and people) so I'd expect to fill more than a 1/3 of a truck. It'll depend on what I manage to sell though.

I did a comparison between Uhaul truck vs Uhaul container and got about a $100 difference in favor of the truck. With gas, the container would be better. SO and I can handle the heavy lifting luckily so full service seems a little extreme.

Are there other moving options I'm not considering? The last time I moved I had basically nothing and just drove my car.

GizmoTX

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 04:28:22 PM »
Check to make sure your destination can handle a POD. Some apartments canít, especially downtown. DS needed to move his 1br apt worth of stuff from his Dallas apt to a downtown Austin mid rise, plus store it for 2 months in between while he traveled. In this case, a full service mover (Bekins) turned out to be the most economical AND they did all the heavy lifting.

Sibley

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 09:03:59 AM »
I've moved long distance twice now. You're trying to move too much stuff.

Ditch the exercise equipment. Buy it used when you get to the other end, as you need it. In the meantime, your exercise is moving, running and walking. Trust me, you'll get plenty.

Also really go through everything and declutter. Hobby stuff, clothing, books, kitchen, etc.  If you don't use it now, you don't need it. If you're thinking you need to replace it due to age/wear/not working/whatever, then don't move it. Don't move food or cleaning supplies - use up what you can and give the rest away. Plenty of shelters, food bank, etc could use that stuff.

You don't say, but if you have kids, then you can probably purge a TON of outgrown stuff or plain junk. Don't move that stuff. If you have pets, really go through whatever stuff you have for them - I didn't move most of the cat furniture and went through the toys & beds. Tossed a bunch of junk.

My last long distance move, I took a full car load of food, cleaning supplies, misc stuff to a friend's house. She was older and lived in a retirement community. There were a number of people there on a fixed income, and she'd agreed to help distribute that stuff to whomever needed it. Food banks won't take opened food, but since she was involved and could tell people it came from a clean house, people were willing and happy to use it up. Sold or donated 60% of my books (I still moved 2 full bookcases). Purged clothes I wasn't wearing anyway. Anything that came from IKEA was disposed of in someway, either sold or donated.

To give you some sense of how much is possible: my last move, I sold or donated 80% of my furniture and 50% of the rest. You're worried about "losing money" - its a sunk cost. You're just going to throw more money into moving something that has very little resale value already.  Realistically, it's cheaper in almost all cases to buy new stuff on the other end of a long distance move.

Once you've done the purge or at least figured it out, then you'll know roughly how much you need to move. I used less than a third of a moving van, so could use one of the partial fill services. The less you have, the cheaper it is to move and the more options you have.

Also, when you're packing stuff, clean it first. It'll be much easier on the other end if you don't need to worry about cleaning anything before you put it away!

FLBiker

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 09:40:29 AM »
I like the idea of a POD, but I haven't used one.  I've only moved intracity, and I've always done UHaul.  However, we are now in a house (previously it was all apartments) so we've got a bunch more stuff.  When we move, I'd definitely be in favor of getting rid of almost everything and rebuying it at the destination (it's all secondhand / IKEA furniture, etc.).  I *think* my wife will be on board for the most part, but she'll want to keep more than me for sure.  I like the advice of purging first, though.

I really spoiled myself in this regard.  I moved from the US to London, back to the US, to Taiwan, to the US, to China, to the US in my adult life.  Once I shipped four small boxes, but other than that it's always been with two suitcases.  Thus, I'm not at all sentimental about "stuff".

RidetheRain

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 10:04:13 AM »
You're trying to move too much stuff.

This made me really mad and I started to justify every single thing on my list. So you must be right :)

And you are. I'm already planning on ditching the couch and kitchen table that's all scratched up and papered over. I should probably give up the mattress that is nearly due for replacement. Musical instruments are the sticking point. They're big and expensive and well used. My SO and I teach lessons on seven different instruments (including biggies like piano and cello) so they really do need to come with. You don't want to watch us spend hours in shops trying out one or two instruments only to decide they are substandard. SO spent four hours just on his bow - we're definitely audiophiles.

I almost feel like if I need to rent space to move I might as well not sell things that are in the "could be" sold category like my desk. I like my desk, but it could be sold without a problem and I would just buy a new one on the other end. But, if the container is rented anyway then I'd keep it for simplicity. I guess my thing is that once you have to rent something it doesn't seem to make a difference the size.

Goldielocks

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 01:01:49 PM »
Piano is really a bear in terms of cost to move versus price to buy at the other end. 
Definitely look into selling that one, and buying a second hand grand / upright grand at the other end.  You can even go up in quality.  I am amazed how many pianos go to the dump each year, which means the ones actually getting sold are fairly nice ones.  Replacement Cellos  that you like are harder to find!

Once the table, mattress and piano and desk are gone, (largest items) what does your move cost look like now?

Also try uship.com --- like a brokerage for part load / split load moving, so see if you are flexible with arrival dates, what price you can get?

RidetheRain

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 03:11:03 PM »
I can't seem to get below the (ridiculous) $2000 mark for online quotes. I looked into u-pack which will let you share a trailer with commercial goods, but the minimum square footage is still over $2000. Which is the same as U-Haul which would be more convenient. Most trailer share places want more exact information than I have at the moment (exact measurements of everything I'm taking) so I'll need to do some more planning in order to get a quote.

I'm starting to think this is just going to be expensive. Greyhound parcel might be the way to go, but I'd have to split it into several orders based on their rules which isn't desirable considering how confusing it can be to move without having your stuff come in separate loads. It also gets pretty close to $2000 that it would almost be worth an extra couple bucks for the convenience.

Sibley

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 12:52:57 PM »
You're trying to move too much stuff.

This made me really mad and I started to justify every single thing on my list. So you must be right :)

And you are. I'm already planning on ditching the couch and kitchen table that's all scratched up and papered over. I should probably give up the mattress that is nearly due for replacement. Musical instruments are the sticking point. They're big and expensive and well used. My SO and I teach lessons on seven different instruments (including biggies like piano and cello) so they really do need to come with. You don't want to watch us spend hours in shops trying out one or two instruments only to decide they are substandard. SO spent four hours just on his bow - we're definitely audiophiles.

I almost feel like if I need to rent space to move I might as well not sell things that are in the "could be" sold category like my desk. I like my desk, but it could be sold without a problem and I would just buy a new one on the other end. But, if the container is rented anyway then I'd keep it for simplicity. I guess my thing is that once you have to rent something it doesn't seem to make a difference the size.

Keep the instruments, you're right, they're hard to replace. Get rid of the rest that is easy to replace.

The point is to rent the minimum amount of space. The more you purge, the cheaper and easier it'll be.

Sibley

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 12:53:54 PM »
I can't seem to get below the (ridiculous) $2000 mark for online quotes. I looked into u-pack which will let you share a trailer with commercial goods, but the minimum square footage is still over $2000. Which is the same as U-Haul which would be more convenient. Most trailer share places want more exact information than I have at the moment (exact measurements of everything I'm taking) so I'll need to do some more planning in order to get a quote.

I'm starting to think this is just going to be expensive. Greyhound parcel might be the way to go, but I'd have to split it into several orders based on their rules which isn't desirable considering how confusing it can be to move without having your stuff come in separate loads. It also gets pretty close to $2000 that it would almost be worth an extra couple bucks for the convenience.

Yes, it'll be expensive. $2k is probably the best you can do unless you just move everything in your car.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 01:23:57 PM »
When we moved from Houston to Chicago 6 years ago, we rented a 26-ft Penske truck.  It ended up costing about @2,000 total including gas.  We moved out of a 3/2/2 house, and we filled the truck to the brim, even though we didn't bring any bookshelves or sofas.  We *did* bring all the appliances, beds, and large wood furniture, however.  And we had 4 kids, so all that stuff added up as well.

You're looking at a move that's 50% longer, but at the same time, you're probably taking less stuff.

There's a strategy that might be helpful:  figure out how much each cubic foot of space in the moving truck or PODS or whatever will cost.  In our example, the 26-foot truck ended up costing about $1/cubic foot of stuff.  Then for each item, estimate how much money you'd get by selling it, and how much it would cost to purchase at the other end (if indeed you replace it).  If you lose less money selling in LA and buying in Houston than it costs you to move it, then sell it.

RidetheRain

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 10:02:33 AM »
This is all really good advice! Thanks for the help. I'm going through re-pricing everything based on sqft of space instead of just by the number of rooms which appears to be industry standard (weird...)

The "best deal" has varied wildly as I go through this exercise. It's very frustrating! Particularly since after getting initial quotes I am now getting emails with discounts. Waiting a few days is definitely the way to go. PackRat was dead last (mandatory 16ft trailer for long distance moves) at $3k. But they have lowered the price twice since the initial quote to a still expensive, but cheap for the sqft, $2300. That is almost half the cost per sqft as Upack trailer sharing.


Daley

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 10:43:24 AM »
This site might be worth your while to research moving company and freight options as well, and potentially avoid some of the scummier companies out there: https://www.movingscam.com/

It's where we learned about ABF U-Pack a decade ago when we moved from Tennessee to Texas, and were quite pleased with the results and price.

Lake161

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Re: Moving: Hire a Driver, PODS, Full Service?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2017, 05:27:02 PM »
Try Unpakt.com

They give you quotes from a bunch of movers, but thatís not why Iím recommending them. Their online tool lets you inventory the items you want to move, and then you can see the price broken down by item. For example, we learned that our $40 ikea bookshelf would add $50 to the move price. Definitely a case of sell and replace.

Having a $ attached to each item makes it easy to see whatís making your move expensive.

We ended up using one of their movers, and were very satisfied.