fbpx Skip to main content

Comparison sites have become the norm for everyday items such as insurance, mortgages and personal finance, travel and mobile phone plans. When they work well, they help you make better-informed decisions while saving a bit of money at the same time. This is typically for straightforward products or services that you can browse and pay for online.

However, the experience in using comparison sites for removal services is very different. While the convenience of a comparison site enables users to quickly source quotes and then a provider, there are challenges that add costs, delays and even no-shows for those needing a removalist.

Common issues with removal comparison sites

In order for you to be able to compare like-for-like, a comparison site needs to understand your requirements. Whether you are booking flights or searching for a new mortgage; the quality and relevancy of the results are determined by what you enter.

In order for you to be able to compare like-for-like, a comparison site needs to understand your requirements. Whether you are booking flights or searching for a new mortgage; the quality and relevancy of the results are determined by what you enter.

Quote accuracy

The first challenge you may experience with online removal quotes is that they only ask for the most basic information. The quotes you get are therefore, indiscriminate of whether you have a house packed to the rafters with antiques or a minimalist lifestyle. If your requirements are not completely documented, then the initial quotes are likely to be inaccurate, leading to future price hikes as the process unfolds.

Quotes are non-binding

The quotes you will receive from an online removal comparison site are generally non-binding, which means they are basically an estimate that’s not a confirmed bid or contract. Typically, when the removalist investigates your requirements, the costs indicated in this estimate will increase.

Once you have moved from the comfort of the comparison site to dealing with the removalist directly, you may find that some of their pricing changes.

Inclusions and exclusions are difficult to find

Unlike insurance comparison sites where you can quickly determine the inclusions, exclusions and excess fees for each provider, the online removal equivalents do not provide the same level of transparency.

When the parameters of their initial quote (estimate) are hidden or difficult to find, it then leaves the door open for the vendor to increase the price from their original submission.

Trained and equipped suppliers

The barriers to registering as a removalist on removal comparison sites are relatively few and far between. This means some suppliers are literally a couple of people with a van. This makes it hard for most people to be able to confidently tell the difference between a professionally trained removalist with the right equipment and a company with little experience.

When you’re looking for Cairns removalist quotes, ask for a capability statement or references so that you can build a better picture of that supplier’s capacity.

Booking cancellations

If you have a set moving date and your removalist bails on you at the last minute, it can make things very difficult for you to exit the property. We often receive calls from people who have been let down by the removalist they had initially booked and need help. Often, in these scenarios, the removalist was found and booked through a comparison site.

We’re sure that’s not always the case, but it is worth asking the removalist to provide a contract with a specific date for the move included.

What to expect from a professional removal company.

To help make it easier to find a professional removalist either through an online comparison site or in general, here are some key things you should consider.

Are they reputable and reliable?

The great thing about the digital age is that almost every company has some form of online reviews. To check that removalists are reputable and reliable, take some time to read their reviews to see what their customers are saying about them.

AFRA members

The Australian Furniture Removals Association (or AFRA for short) supports and regulates our industry through compliance, education and training.

When you are choosing a provider, ensure they are a valid member of AFRA and that will help you quickly determine whether they are trained and equipped to do the job for you.

Do they complete a home survey before the move?

A home survey is necessary in order to ensure all your belongings are documented. This not only helps with quoting but also means that they will turn up on the day with the right team and equipment.

If they can’t complete a home survey, this usually means the provider is out of town and, therefore, should be avoided.

A fully itemised quote

You should always be given a fully itemised quote. This provides you with confidence that not only is the quote the final fee, but also that the removalist understands your requirements.

Even if the removalist persuades you that a vague quote “covers everything”, you should always get a formal quote in writing.

Insured provider

An important aspect of any move is insurance. Firstly, it is essential that a removalist has their own insurance. However, this doesn’t cover your possessions while in transit or in storage. It is, therefore, important to arrange an insurance policy that covers your belongings should anything happen during the move.

This will help avoid any nasty surprises or additional costs should something happen to your furniture or other household items during the move.

Comparison can be challenging

While we are becoming more comfortable with comparison sites in our everyday lives, we are increasingly using these platforms to help us complete a purchase. However, with removal comparison sites, due to the complexities of the service, it makes it hard for customers to be confident that they got the most cost-effective deal. Therefore, we recommend that if you are using them, they should be done so carefully, and even when you’ve found a provider, ask more questions and complete more research.

If you’d like a comprehensive, fully itemised quote, please click here.

Terry Homes

Author Terry Homes

More posts by Terry Homes