The Move!

We have been giving this area lots of thought, not only because it requires much consideration in terms of how we are going to move our belongings which consist mostly of household items. We’re not taking furniture or cars, but we do want to bring our precious many objects such as books, clothes, many kitchen items,  since we plan to cook most of the time.

My first consideration was to go on the various Facebook groups for expats and ask for help. I received lots of well intended responses from people who’ve been through it and had success, as well as lots of testimonies of nightmare others have experienced due to unscrupulous vendors who took advantage of their lack of knowledge and who they trusted with their precious belongings.

After looking, posting, asking and reflecting, we decided to go with a company that would provide “door to door” service, meaning they would pack, load ship, unload and deliver our goods to our new home. The majority of the recommendations came from expats who had hired other expats who are in Costa Rica and do business there, however they all stated we had to do the packing and loading ourselves and they would take care of the rest. From those horror stories I mentioned earlier, I could tell that was not a good idea as customs “flags” when the owner has packed themselves and this presents a problem because there are lots of items that will not make it through such as cooking oil, liquor, wine, toiletry, wicker just to name a few.

And that’s when we decided to interview companies that were here locally yet had a national presence and specialized in international shipping. We had three close contenders similar pricing and services, we decided to pick the one with the most experience shipping to Costa Rica who also provided great reviews from past clients.

I will continue to write about our experience, as we are now in the process of working on an inventory of every single item we are shipping. Every single item. It’s going to be a long and tedious process, and hopefully at the end of it, we’ll have all that we need in our new home. Let’s hope!

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2 thoughts on “The Move!”

  • John Neil Bunting

    Sounds like you did it right, Martha!
    Just a comment: We do full door-to-door shipping, and we make it a strong suggestion that we do the packing and unpacking. It’s almost mandatory. As you have stated, inventory control is so important. We have seen shipments held up for weeks at Costa Rican customs due to something being included that wasn’t on the list, items that are prohibited, or something as simple as having 125 items in a crate when there are only 122 on the inventory list. We have our crew inspect every box when it arrives to confirm inventory.
    Shipping to Panama is usually easier than Costa Rica, as the laws are so stringent here.

    • Martha

      Thanks for that comment John! I do believe it’s terribly important to take your time and find ways to minimize room for error. Having the backing of a company with plenty of experience as well as one that provides you with all the answers is a good starting point.

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