Are Pods Cheaper Than Moving Companies?
The prospect of saving money blinds many people to how hard it really is to do certain jobs right—which often means that, after investing considerably more money and time than anticipated, they give up and hire a professional to finish the job. Even jobs that are only part DIY can prove more expensive than anticipated. Case in point: portable moving containers, aka “pods” or “PODS.”
How Pods Work
The all-caps version of PODS is the trademarked name standing for Portable On Demand Storage, which has achieved generic-term status. “Pods” are steel box crates delivered to moving-out locations for customers to load themselves: then the pod is driven by the provider company to the new location, where the customer unloads it and the company subsequently retrieves the pod.
At first glance, pods are the ideal compromise between personally renting (and driving) a trailer, and budgeting for the full services of a moving company. However, there are reasons to question the assertion that “pods are the cheaper way.”
Are Pods Really Cheaper?
Pods may be the economical option if:
- You’re moving only a short distance.
- You can fit everything into one or two pods plus your regular car(s). (Don’t answer this before you actually measure the space!)
- You have room, in your current and your new location, to store the pod without getting in anyone’s way or violating neighborhood regulations. Or, you can afford to pay the pod company for storage as well as transportation.
- You know beyond reasonable doubt that you can actually handle the loading.
- You can finish the loading and unloading before extra costs accumulate.
Even if all the above apply to your situation, consider also the following points:
- With a pod, you assume the cost of renting or purchasing special equipment (e.g., dollies).
- Moving companies are likely to provide more accurate price and time estimates from the beginning.
- Moving companies are required by law to offer “moving insurance” against property damage and loss; pod companies are not.
Use a Moving Company, Save on Moving Costs
Of course, the above points assume a competent, honest moving company—and if you pick the cheapest option you can find, you may well learn the hard way about companies that slip in extra charges or handle breakable items carelessly. Always seek out a licensed company with a solid reputation and proven track record.
Also, there’s a lot you can do personally to keep costs down.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a lower price. (If you can schedule your move for a weekday in a season other than summer, you’ll have the best chance of bargain rates because those are buyer’s-market times for movers.)
- Declutter your old residence before moving, rather than waste effort and money transporting possessions you don’t use.
- Pack what you can yourself—and don’t buy extra tape and boxes until you’ve dug out the unused ones in your back closet, and checked whether any friends have unwanted boxes to give away.
- Have everything ready the night before moving day.
- If at all possible, arrive after your new place is empty and ready for you—but in case you do need storage as well as loading and hauling services, choose a moving company that offers all the above.
Finally, remember that a good moving company can pay for itself in peace of mind alone. The security of knowing everything is in good hands is priceless!
The Low-Cost Professional Approach
Don’t wait to learn the hard way just how costly “cheap” DIY pods-based moving can be! The right professional moving company can save you hundreds of dollars worth of stress, frustration, and possible property damage.
If your move will take you to the southeastern U.S., Fox Moving and Storage of Atlanta offers all the services you need—including storage, expert advice, and a proven track record—at the best prices. Contact us online or at 678-798-8611 for a consultation and quote.
- “Binding vs. Non-Binding Moving Estimates—The Difference?” (Moversville.com)
- “5 Money-Saving Tips From Professional Movers.” (USNews.com)
- “Moving Insurance—It Pays to Be Protected.” (Moving.com)
- “PODS vs Professional Moving Companies: Which Option Is Right For Your Move?” (MoveBuddha.com)
- “Which Moving Container Gives You the Most Bang For Your Buck?” (Moving.com)