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Mijin

How much to relocate out of China?

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Mijin

The time has come for me to finally move back to the UK, at least for a while.

 

I have some items that cannot be posted back and I would like to keep, like a computer, TV set, keyboard etc. So I got a couple quotes from moving companies.

One quoted me 20,000 RMB for 4 cubic metres but included sending my e-bike back too (I know they are currently illegal in the UK though)

Another quoted me 30,000 RMB for 4 cubic metres. So I went with the first company.

 

However, the move is happening in a couple days time, and I'm getting cold feet. It's a lot of money to spend, and I have the feeling I could possibly arrange to just send a few things separately and send my clothes just by China post. I think these moving companies charge a premium partly for the whole packing and unpacking thing...which is great if you're a family with lots of furniture, but I'm mostly sending stuff that will already be boxed or bagged up anyway. 

 

Thoughts? Anyone been through this (including importing *into* China)?

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xinoxanu

Been there, so I went with the "sell-all-my-junk" option.

 

I managed to get rid of 100% of the important stuff and about 90% of actual junk that wasn't worth that much anyway. Had to rush some sales and I undersold a couple stuff because nobody was willing to pay what I was asking for it... but somehow I also turned a profit for other items (I was asking for market value - originally bought it at much less). Overall I'd say I broke even considering 4 years of usage and went back to Europe with 2 big-ass suitcases.

 

Paying +2000 quid for a computer, TV set, keyboard etc. + a potentially illegal e-bike doesn't really sound like a good deal. Couldn't you buy that same stuff, new or second hand, back in the UK for less than that? If so, simply do as I did - even if it's last minute you'll find interested parties on Wechat groups. Regardless, if time is actually ticking and you are getting cold feet, perhaps is good to cut your losses and take whatever you can onboard. A big 32kg suitcase will cost you an extra 50$ to take on a plane and you can fit there your Desktop PC and whatnot. 

 

You can always leave your stuff with a friend in China, ask them to sell it for you for a cut and transfer the rest back to you.

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Shelley

I would concentrate on the things that are irreplaceable, photos, diplomas, and other memorabilia. Things money can't buy.

 

30,000 rmb is about £3,500, you could buy a nice shiny new computer and TV for that, e-bikes are not illegal here but are expensive brand new. 

 

I moved 3 times across the atlantic, money did not allow for anything more than what would fit in a large suitcase, I left clothes behind in favour of books and other important things to me.

 

Think of it as a good opportunity to clear out the old and embrace the new. 

 

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matteo

been through that as well (although not in/from China) and agree that the best strategy is to get rid of everything that doesn't fit in your suitcase. 

In my case that involved giving away a bunch of stuff pretty much for free to family and friends...two days is not a lot of time but maybe ask yourself whether the stuff is worth the money and the hassle...probably not!

what about those cheap storage units in which people store stuff to rot? you could park everything there and later on sell it or ship it but at least not in a rush!

 

Good luck with the move!

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PerpetualChange

I gave away quite a few things when I left Hong Kong, but I did ship back hundreds of dollars worth of books that I had bought over there. 

The books arrived at my parent's home 3 months after I did. They arrived in a different box than the one I had sent them in. Half my books were in there, and the other half were... someone else's entirely. 

 

Anyway, I guess that's not too reassuring, but that's my story...

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mungouk

I sold or gave away anything that wouldn't fit in my luggage when I left Singapore, apart from a box of bits and pieces I sent to the UK through the post.  I've done similar things when transferring other countries as well.

 

If you have an employer who's paying for shipping and relocation costs then it's maybe a different story. But I don't think it's worth it as a personal expense, for things that you can easily buy again anywhere.

 

Trying to sell, or even give away, stuff when you only have a couple of days sounds like a hellish load of stress though.  I would normally start doing it 3 months before.

 

 

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Mijin

Thanks all for advice. I decided to cancel moving the stuff.

Incidentally, I didn't mention but I am not actually moving myself in two days. The plan was I send all my stuff now, minus one suitcase worth of clothes, and stay an additional month or so while I sell or give away some things. Flights are not too hard to book right now (going China -> out, anyway). 

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歐博思

Probably was the best call TBH. 

 

About your computer, I stripped my computer down to parts and bought a new case on the other end last time I moved, but I was moving among other things an expensive GPU during crypto-mining mania, which would've cost double the initial price to repurchase. If you don't have really high end parts, it might be better later to also just sell everything but the hard drive when the time times.

 

Also, don't you guys have a pretty good second-hand motorcycle market in the U.K.? 帶什麽非法、破爛的ebike咯😏

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roddy

Those kind of shipping services are usually aimed at ex-pats who are charging it to a company, I struggle to see the value except for very pricey or very irreplaceable items. Sell goods in China, save Y20k on shipping, buy shiny new things with all that money. Plus, Black Friday coming up!

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edelweis
13 hours ago, PerpetualChange said:

the other half were... someone else's entirely

were they at least interesting books? books in Chinese?

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Mijin

Update on update.

I found another company able to do the whole shebang for 6600 RMB, so at the point where it is cheaper than rebuying all the stuff, let alone with the hassle that would cause.

So arranged to go with them.

 

Meanwhile, the original company says I owe them 2000 RMB for cancelling. So this is going to be some stress over next few days...I have no intention of paying that, and I never actually signed anything. I might try to "haggle" some token sum as we have had a decent amount of correspondence, it's probably fair I pay something. But not 2k.

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889

You want to avoid disputes with a moving company. They're the kind of business that usually has links with local toughs.

 

And just for background, under Western legal rules at least, there are many ways in which you can be legally bound even though you've never taken out a pen and inscribed your name on a contract. "I never actually signed anything" ergo "I'm not bound" can be an expensive misconception.

 

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xinoxanu
2 hours ago, Mijin said:

Meanwhile, the original company says I owe them 2000 RMB for cancelling. So this is going to be some stress over next few days...I have no intention of paying that, and I never actually signed anything.

 

Oh, do be careful with that. 

 

Been in a similar situation and ended up paying the money they asked for in damages. The alternative wouldn't have been pretty because, when it comes to money and China, the stuff you see in movies is not that far-fetched. Here you never know who knows who and what can they do to you to retaliate if you piss off someone.

 

In China, never antagonise someone, always turn the other cheek and always run if you have the option. Western values, law and common sense don't apply here and you will always be at a disadvantage to start with.

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roddy

10% cancellation fee only a few days in advance of the actual move doesn't seem too unreasonable, to be honest. It's easy to imagine they've scheduled vans, drivers, space...

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Lu

I made such a move and brought everything: bike, big heavy bookcase, clothes, everything. But that was paid for by the organisation I was working for at the time. If it was just me, I'd sell, give away or throw out anything that can be replaced (tv, radio), ship things that are bulky and light (clothes of the other season) or that I just won't need for a while (books), and travel with two suitcases.

 

When you have a lot of luggage: bring two suitcases and pay for an extra suitcase. It's a LOT cheaper than paying for one overweight suitcase.

 

As to the bike: not sure what kind of e-bike you have and if this will work for you, but many airlines let you bring a bike as check-in luggage. When my brother moved countries and brought his bike, he made the bike his check-in luggage and his suitcase extra luggage, somehow that was cheaper than the other way around.

 

I have shipped books and clothes through the mail a few times and have only good experiences. It takes months and then it arrives. Pack it very securely though, so the package can handle being banged around a lot. Clothes on the outside, less flexible things wrapped inside in more clothes, then lots of tape on the package itself, around the corners etc.

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PerpetualChange
On 11/15/2020 at 6:22 AM, edelweis said:

were they at least interesting books? books in Chinese?

They were books in Chinese, but not interesting ones. Thankfully my most interesting and useful books were saved, but I do have a few collections that are awkwardly short of a ban. 

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Flickserve

Can’t find it now but I remember reading a few days ago in the news about people moving out of California, demand and charges for moving companies going up and a lot of scam companies getting in on the act. 
 

In general, just be careful if it’s a really cheap deal.

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Dawei3
On 11/15/2020 at 3:48 PM, 889 said:

You want to avoid disputes with a moving company. They're the kind of business that usually has links with local toughs.

 

On 11/15/2020 at 4:38 PM, xinoxanu said:

Been in a similar situation and ended up paying the money they asked for in damages. The alternative wouldn't have been pretty because, when it comes to money and China, the stuff you see in movies is not that far-fetched.

To see both of you write this is sobering.  Hearing these stories is interesting as well, so I'll offer one about being careful.

 

Earlier this year, a Chinese friend went on a date with a Russian guy.  On their very first date, the guy's ex-girlfriend came up and started screaming at him in Chinese (he didn't speak Chinese).  A few days later, he called my friend for help from the police station.  He had been arrested because of charges his ex-girlfriend had filed.  After ~1 day of questioning and help from his brother's girlfriend (a Chinese woman), he was able to leave the police station. 

 

It was another example of the need to be careful.

 

(As an aside:   I thought it was really strange that after 1 year in China, the only person in China he could call for help was my friend, someone he had known for just a few days.  This despite being in graduate school where he could meet lots of other people.  I asked her "Chinese are extremely warm to foreigners.  How can he be in China for 1 yr and make zero friends?  Why has he learned no Chinese?  Why did he go to China?"  This coupled with his ex-girlfriend's extreme behavior suggested something was missing.  She decided not to date him again, which I felt was a good decision.)    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mijin

Based on what you guys have said, I will pay the first company the 2000 RMB.

Well, they have to nag me for it first, I am pretty busy right now and doing something painful and non urgent is not at the top of the list. But if I get a second message about it, I'll pay up.

 

 

 

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