Why Comparing your Furniture Removals Quote with Others Won’t Work

Are you, or someone you know, asking on social media for recommendations for “good removalists”?

Or are you reading about removalists taking too long to deliver goods or asking for extra payments?

After many years of moving people to Australia, I have seen and heard all the stories. Some are frustrating, some sad, but some are just because the person did not understand what they were buying in the first place.  

In this blog, I hope to enlighten you and show you what to look out for. For example, if you were going out to buy a mattress, there are many options to choose from: a foam, a coil, a remote adjustable – each has a different price tag. It is precisely the same with removalists, except one person is not standing on a showroom floor to help you.  Let me try to be that person and explain the difference between the services.

First, you must understand that there are different levels of removalists, and it’s very different to just a freight forwarding company. Whilst using a freight forwarding company is cheap, it has its risks and a lot more input from yourself – hence the price.  Many companies dressed up as “International Relocation” are only freight forward service, and it is not door-to-door.   

There are removalist companies who classify themselves as “International Specialists”, but they are not accredited. 

So what is accreditation, and why should we look out for it?

Accredited removalists will cost you more because they offer an extra level of service and, most of all, security.  Never try to compare the quotes of an accredited removalist with the price of an unaccredited removalist.

An accredited removalist is audited every couple of years.  The following are standard accreditation checks, and there for your peace of mind, 

  • Company activities, processes,  and paperwork meets regulation 
  • Staff training
  • Insurance 
  • Storage facilities
  • Truck fleet and operations 

Many of the cries I see on social media are people feeling stuck with no one “higher” to complain to. An accredited removalist means you have that “higher” authority. You can file a complaint with the accreditation body, which will investigate and provide a dispute resolution. If you are considering a removalist, I would recommend that you check if their accreditation is still valid.  All the accreditation regulatory bodies have a directory of accredited removalists on their websites.

Obviously, if you are reading this, you are most likely about to embark on an international move, so you want a removalist with international accreditation.  These are

I highly recommend working with an Australian removalist, so it is easier once you are here to process any claims or chase the arrival of your goods.  There is actually more interaction with the removalists on arrival than on departure, so it makes sense.  If you contact an Australian company, they will usually contact out the packing to another removalist in the country you currently reside in. Always check them too! 


An international move will provide TRAINED professional removalists who can pack properly to protect furniture with a range of wrapping techniques and materials such as:

  • Specialized moving boxes and crates for TVs, bicycles and artwork
  • Shock–resistant poly bubble wrap
  • Plastic protection bags for soft furnishings and delicates that will absorb moisture.
  • Made to measure creates for art, antiques and musical instruments.
  • Mattresses protection covers
  • Wide range of carton sizes for household items.
  • Preparation of white goods for packing
  • Draining water from washers and fridges
  • Secure the inner table in the microwave.
  • Insert stabilizing legs for the washing machine drum
  • TV packing – and correct marking of which side the screen is facing
  • Fragile kitchenware and bone china. Sharp cutlery. Paper and bubble wrapping items
  • Wine glasses, vases with stems. Photo frames and fine art
  • Not overload boxes with heavy items such as books
  • Use Wardrobe boxes to hang and protect clothing.

Household packing is not loaded onto pallets that can be restrained in a truck or container. Each individual item is hand loaded, placed and secured. The packing of the container has to be completed by well-experienced and caring packers to ensure minimal movement at sea, correct weight distribution amongst the items and securing each item, so it does not get damaged or damage items around it.

Comparing quotes to others

No two moves are the same, there are many reasons why a quote can be higher or lower than someone else in your neighbourhood.

There are unavoidable costs that influence the price, it is not just about the distance to move the goods. The following key points can further impact the quote:

  • Loading and access to the container
  • Types of transportation required
  • Labour

Loading & Access:

Can the sea container and/or large truck be driven right up to the house?

If overhanging trees, parking restrictions or high walls exist, the container must be parked away from the house.

Is the move from an apartment where a lift is required?

Perhaps items in the apartment won’t fit in a lift, and an external cherry picker is required.

This operation will require a relay service between the house/apartment and the container in either of these situations. In these circumstances, the following will be required:

  • Additional staff to relay between the container and the home
  • Security to keep a watch on the container (South Africa)

Standard removals quotes include collection and delivery to the ground or first floor only.  If the packers have to use stairs, there are usually additional costs involved, primarily because of the slower operation may require additional labour.


Combining different methods can influence the price and are unavoidable.  Not everyone lives near the port of their departure.  This can vary from country to country as to whether the container travels by road or rail to the port of departure – and again when it arrives in the destination country. An example is Johannesburg, a 7–hour road/rail trip to Durban Harbour.

In many cities, parking permits are required. These can be anything from $400.00 to $800.00, depending on how long the truck needs to be parked.

Many housing complexes require a security deposit for any possible damage that may be caused.


The key to a successful move is carried out professionally and with no breakages.  This job falls directly into the hands of the packers.

  • The amount of furniture being moved will affect the labour costs in the following way:
  • The amount of furniture to disassemble – bed frames, bed legs, TV Cabinets etc
  • The dimensions and weight of the furniture
  • The distance to cover during packing (house size, stairs, driveway length)
  • The amount of specialist packing (fine china, custom-made art crates etc)

An example would be a piano, this will need special packing and wrapping, as well as 4-6 men to move the piano and secure it in the right position inside the container.

Labour costs will be influenced by the labour rates in the region and the seasonal influences in the region – British summer, for example, is a higher cost than moving in winter because there is more demand for moving in summer.

Each furniture item is wrapped and boxed.  Then hand-placed and secured inside the container.

Navigating the removals process should be done with trusted alliances.  These are your personal and often sentimental goods. It is important to only use tried and trusted removalists.

When we manage the furniture removals on behalf of clients, we are repeat business to the removalists, so they give our clients a much higher level of service, which we are incredibly proud and grateful for.  But did you know that even if we are not managing this on your behalf, you can engage us to at least compare your quotes and help you? 

Plan4Australia simplifies the process of relocation to make it comfortable and hassle-free at an affordable price. With excellent care and the right guidance, Plan4Australia can help your employees make the right start in Australia.

We understand that every relocation is different and each one has different goals. To contribute to your employees’ settling in Australia, we have alliances with experts such as relocation mentors, life coaches, cross-culture trainers, baby equipment hire, business communication specialists, local and international furniture removals, interior designers, decluttering, unpacking and setting up trades services who can help with specific needs.

It is not unusual for Plan4Australia to handle the full suite of relocation needs, all from just one call.


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