How to Keep Your Phone Number When Moving Abroad

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

*Originally published on September 15, 2017 but has since been updated to reflect new information.

A decision many expats must make is how to stay connected with family and friends back home after they move overseas. For individuals moving within the EU, the dilemma of keeping a phone number when moving to a new country is not as great and sometimes not present at all. If you live anywhere in Europe and are planning on moving elsewhere in Europe, Africa or Asia (with the exceptions of Japan and Korea), your phone will work. If you are moving to the Americas, make sure your phone has the 1900 and 850 MHz bands. For those of us trying to keep our USA phone number when moving abroad though, it’s a time of frustration and lots of research.

 How to stay connected overseas Read more…

Building Credit in the United States – An Expats Guide

Michael Boateng @GoodMigrations

What’s all this talk about Credit?

There are so many things to think about when getting ready to move to the United States:  where to live, how to get there, making friends and what you’ll need to buy. Have you thought about how you will get a local cell phone or open up a U.S. bank account? These are just a couple of things that require you to have credit.

When moving to the US, learning about the credit system can eat away at the excitement of your amazing journey. We get it: it’s a boring and confusing topic. While learning how to get credit, you may experience the following side effects: anger, fear, hope, and calm. If it makes you feel better, even many individuals born in the States are still confused about their own system.
wallet with credit cards for GoodMigrations

What is Credit?

Your Credit Score is a statistical tool to predict the likelihood of you defaulting on your credit obligation. There are a dozen different Credit Scores built with algorithms to predict the likelihood of default on a particular type of credit (credit card, car loan, car lease, etcetera). The Credit Score is a tool to allow increased retail consumption.

It allows you to rent an apartment, get credit cards, and purchase a mobile phone by showing that you’ve borrowed before and paid it back consistently. Read more…

Moving Quotes: Binding vs Non-Binding

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Getting ready to move? Whether its an inter-state, domestic or overseas move, you will want to request quotes from a few moving companies. Getting moving estimates is an important part of the process. Read our 6 Steps in Hiring an International Mover before you begin this process. One of the biggest misconceptions that customers make during the quoting process is thinking that their quote is “binding.” In other words, the price estimate you get before the move is the amount you will pay after the move. This is not true! Why? You may ask? Because some quotes are binding but most, like 90%, are non-binding.

It’s important we understand these terms and understand how they can help or hurt us during our moving process and avoid extra costs on moving day.

BINDING QUOTES

This type of quote is not very common, especially with overseas moves, but it is simple and straight forward. A Binding moving estimate states that the price you are quoted will be the amount you pay on delivery. Regardless if weight or volume increase or decrease. Another good name for this is “fixed priced.” This agreement works out to be the most “fair” agreement if all parties are honest.

A few things to note if you do come across a binding quote.

  • The quote must accurately detail what will be shipped, and the services offered. If you need “extra” services that aren’t included, then you must be billed separately for these.  Long carry charges and shuttle fees are usually not included in a binding quote.
  • For an estimate to be binding a copy of the quote must be provided to the customer prior to the move and it must state it is binding.
  • A copy of your binding agreement must be included with your bill of landing.
  • Ensure everything you want to ship is clearly listed on your inventory sheet. Avoid adding additional items after the agreement has been set. If on moving day, the mover feels you have added items not included then they can refuse service. Typically, a mover won’t make a stink over something small but that is not a guarantee.
    Moving Estimate Image

Read more…

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your International Moving Company

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

It pays to hire the right international mover. A bad mover can cost you hundreds of dollars more than you planned for – there are plenty of horror stories out there of people who got low quotes and then had to shell out more money once their stuff was picked up, or of shipments getting moldy because they weren’t packed properly.

We’ve already talked about why you shouldn’t find an international mover using any of the popular review sites. But once you’ve done your research and found a handful of good movers, what questions should you ask to vet them?

In this post, we’ll share the top ten questions you need to ask any potential mover during the different phases of choosing who to hire. With the help from our international moving partners, we’ve compiled the best advice. 

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your International Mover
Read more…

Anatomy of an International Moving Quote

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

how to understand a moving quote - anatomy of an international moving quote

It would be much easier for consumers if every moving company used the same template for their international moving quotes. Unfortunately, every company has their own version and — to make things even more complicated — each one uses different terminology. This makes it very difficult to compare quotes from different moving companies and determine how much it will cost to move to another country.

Still, there are some basic things that should be included on every quote and it’s important you understand them. We’ll walk through the major items to look out for in this post so you’ll be in expert in no time.

Note: All of the images below are from actual moving quotes that expats have asked us for help with. Movers in our network use our standardized template to make it easy to see what’s included in the quote and compare quotes, but we still help out expats who haven’t used GoodMigrations to find a mover.
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1. MOVING COST
This is what everyone cares about the most, right? At the end of the day, you want to know what the move abroad will cost you. Some quotes just have one price displayed while others have multiple prices shown. We’ll walk through a few examples. Read more…

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