U-Haul vs. uShip: What’s the Cheapest Way to Move Out of State?

It was Tuesday night about 10pm and things were looking bleak.  My uShip listing – a standard household move going 1100+ miles from Northern Arizona to Austin – had received ZERO bids and just a few sniffing questions from transporters.

With my must-move date just three days away on Friday, I began doubting I’d get my move done through uShip, something I’d been promoting as an employee since 2009. 

uHaul vs. uShipMy uHaul quote.  If a uShip booking didn’t come through, I knew I’d likely need to rent a uHaul truck, something considered sacrilegious at uShip.  All told, the truck rental (including base, fuel, mileage/taxes, driver, driver expenses and his return trip to Arizona) was going to run me about $2,800, twice my estimate of doing it on uShip.  Plus I’d have to load/offload my own items and hire a driver because I had to drive our family car.  But for me, uHaul was my absolute last ditch option.

Lookin’ up. Then Wednesday morning – 48 hours before ‘go’ time – the clouds parted like the beginning of a Simpson’s episode. Despite still having no bids, thing began looking up when a few transporters let me know their schedules had shifted for the better.  Their uShip profiles show solid service history, low cancellation rate, and strong experience.

Bid received! By Wednesday afternoon, I got a $1532 bid – half of my estimated uHaul cost – from a uShip power carrier who I’d been communicating with via uShip’s public Q&A section of the listing.  I was also exchanging Q&A with other carriers, including one who said in a Q&A discussion that he’d do it for $1100, but hadn’t placed an official bid.

Bid accepted. By 8 pm Wednesday night, I accepted the $1532 bid from Robert of Heavenlyhands Moving, a service provider registering on uShip since 2007.  After paying the deposit and getting Robert’s contact info, we agreed on a Thursday night pickup in Arizona.

But my story doesn’t end there.

Broken foot.  Robert called Thursday morning from the HOSPITAL with a broken foot and road rash following a motorcycle accident late Wednesday night.  Robert assured me it wouldn’t turn my plans upside-down.  He said he’d still do the move — though a little late.

As promised, by 8 am Friday morning, Robert and his helper arrived at our Arizona house.  With a casted foot and in immense pain, Robert got the job done, hobbled step by hobbled step.  He was an absolute trooper who refused my help along the way.

Heavenly Hands Feedback

Delivered. He communicated consistently while in transit and by Saturday night, our items were delivered to our Austin location safe and sound.

Considering uShip or alternatives to move your household, or anything else, for that matter?  Here are some time-tested tips and tricks for making the uShip marketplace work for you:

Post Early.  To be honest, I procrastinated.  Don’t follow my example.  Post your load as early as you can – weeks ahead if possible — and with as much detail as possible including your timing and flexibility.

Display Accurately.  People underestimate how much crap they have.  Don’t be that person.  Convey an accurate inventory on your uShip listing with pictures. Going light on your estimate will likely upset the mover and cost you more money in the end.

Respond Quickly.  Quickly get back to transporters’ questions to increase your chance of getting bids.  No response tells the transporter that you’re a deadbeat shipper, likely resulting in no bids.

Trust Patiently.  Short on bids and facing a deadline? Don’t panic. The system works. Also, be patient.  Your shipment isn’t the only load your transporter is dealing with.  He’s likely juggling multiple drop-offs/pickups and another load on his truck.  Still, keep them honest on what was promised but show a little compassion for their situation.

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