Monday, May 30, 2005

Moving Out

Moving from one apartment to another in the same city or state (e.g. from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti to West Bloomfield in Michigan) was difficult enough. The good thing was all those places were within driving range (less than 45 minutes apart) so we could manage to have a little overlap between the end of one and start of another. That helped moving in the non-essential items on earlier days (several trips in a day or even a week). The bigger and more critical ones, e.g. sofa, TV, could be moved on the d-day with a U-Haul or Ryder trucks (Ryder trucks are much better, by the way).

Moving to out-of-state, e.g. from West Bloomfield, MI to Durham, NC, was way much more challenging. No more multiple trips to move the non-essential items. Another challenge was to drive both cars, plus the truck. So we decided to rent a service. But at least we knew exactly what, or where, we were getting into.

Moving out of the country was a mess. First of all, we didn't move directly to the final destination. The target was KL, a couple of months after when we had to move out. So we had to 'stopover' in Jakarta while looking for the new place in KL. Second of all, the electrical items were not compatible. It's 120/240v and 60Hz in the U.S., while Indonesia and Malaysia are using 110/220V and 50Hz. The options were to buy transformers - lots of them, or to sell or giveaway all the electrical items. And cars too!

Despite having taken the Pricing Strategy class, I failed to analyze the 'market'. Everything we offered was initially way under what the market valued. The responses were overwhelming. The only bargaining power I used was to hold the items until the last days. It definitely helped for things like TV, DVD player, or mattress.

Another complication was the booking of container, including the attempt to "maximize" it. Some friends would ask for shipping of their goods with container, of which we couldn't make money from :) This includes all the necessary documents from and to the Embassy.

As messy as the others was the packing as we decided to not use the professional service to pack. We used Two Men and a Truck to load the container. That was when we realized all the money we could've paid for the service would've been worth it every penny. These people rocks, and they just know what they do.