From time to time, I like to let others guest post if I think their service or product is of value to my readers. Adam Vagley fits the bill to a “T!” I hope you enjoy hearing about his odyssey, and eventual solution, for dealing with how to ship your belongings to another country. If any of you can help him out with a review, I encourage you to do so.
My wife and I always knew we wanted to live in another country, so when the opportunity to move to Australia came we thought about it for a couple days and decided it was too good to pass up. While it can initially be overwhelming, living abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience – and whether you stay temporarily or permanently, I think it really helps broaden your perspective on the world.
Unfortunately, living abroad requires moving abroad, and all the logistical challenges that entails: visas, healthcare, taxes, housing, and – let’s not forget – movers. Many people pack up what they own into some suitcases, hop on a flight, and go from there. But many others, my wife and me included, decide it’s more cost effective to ship our possessions to our new destination. This can easily be one of the most expensive parts of moving abroad. Given the cost, this is something you want to get right – the internet is littered with horror stories of moves gone wrong. How much justice can you get from an entirely different country? Not much, in many cases.
Because of the stakes involved, it boggles the mind that you can find more about the track record of a restaurant, where a meal might cost you $30, than you can for an international mover, whose service might cost you thousands of dollars.
To make sure we didn’t get scammed I spent hours doing research and eventually hired a company that made me feel comfortable. The price ended up being the same as the quote, there wasn’t any damage to our stuff, and the customer service was responsive and helpful. On the downside, our shipment arrived 4 weeks late. We’d signed a lease for an unfurnished apartment based on the date it was scheduled to arrive, so we spent a long month living with only an air mattress and some cheap dishware.
Based on our own struggle finding a reputable company, we started GoodMigrations, which is like the Yelp of international movers. People can search for international movers in their area and read customer reviews of how the mover performed. These reviews focus on three metrics: Cost, Time, and Condition. Ultimately, I believe people care about three things: did the move cost what it was supposed to, did my stuff arrive when it was supposed to, and was it damage free. The site also has a moving guide so people can learn what to look for and how to protect themselves.
The biggest challenge for us has been spreading the word and building up customer reviews. After all, it’s hard to get a clear picture of a company from just one review. So we need your help: if you used an international mover to relocate to Belize (or anywhere, really) and could take just a minute to rate the company’s service on GoodMigrations, it would go a long way towards helping everyone following in your footsteps to make an informed decision about who to hire.
Adam Vagley is co-founder of GoodMigrations (http://GoodMigrationsHelps.com), where anyone moving abroad can find international movers, read customer reviews, and get tips from the comprehensive moving guide. Adam and his wife were inspired to launch GoodMigrations after their experience moving from New York City to Sydney, Australia. They can be reached on Twitter @GoodMigrations.Their personal expat blog ishttp://theviewdownunder.blogspot.com.