Moving home is one of the most stressful things that you’ll ever do. Whilst the stress will always be there to some extent, the cost of moving has dropped by a third over the last decade. This discount has been attributed to cost-comparison websites and one of the biggest – reallymoving.com has averaged out the cost (including stamp duty and conveyancing) of moving home at around £450. This is a cost that will seem generously low to most of us who have hired our own transport or instructed a dedicated removals company.
Now it is possible to cut the cost even more by using a delivery auction site. Here’s how it works; they advertise the details of your move (preferred date, journey length, load size etcetera) and the transport companies on their books bid against each other for your job. In a normal auction, the price goes up, but in this one, the price goes down as carriers undercut each other. If you’re suitably flexible on dates, this method could save up to 75% of your removal costs because transport companies will often have a half-full lorry in the right area that can be filled with your possessions at little extra cost.
It is a widely held belief that 25% of all vans on the road are empty and a further 50% are only carrying half their capacity and this is where the idea of the delivery auction site was born – the first one springing up in 2008 (shiply.com). Once a customer has accepted a quote, they arrange their move direct with the transporter and then feedback and complaints can be posted onto the site – rather like other auction sites such as ‘eBay’.
These delivery auction sites aren’t just for when you move home, they can be used to deliver anything from furniture to pets. One of the more unusual cargos carried by anyvan.com was ten bags of washing back to mum in Surrey for a student in Leeds, at a cost of £25.
Of course, just like other auction websites, these sites are prone to suffer from scam artists. Sites such as anyvan.com counter this by linking a courier to a fixed permanent address by sending out a welcome pack to businesses that register on the site. The pack contains a unique verification passkey and in this way, their status on the site will not change from ‘unverified’ to ‘verified’ until that pack has been completed and sent back.
Obviously, in a similar fashion to eBay, you know that you’re taking much less of a risk if you use a courier that has got a lot of good feedback, than one that is unverified and has no feedback. There are now a number of delivery auction sites out there but the main ones seem to be shiply.com, anyvan.com, freightfull.com, bidanddeliver.com and uship.com.