The Market

3 high-tech ways to make moving easier and cheaper

By Marjorie Cohen  |
December 12, 2012 - 2:51PM

So far, no one has made the process of moving enjoyable. As far as we know, in fact, that's just not possible. Still, three local high-tech companies think they've figured out how to reduce the pain--and price--of hiring a mover.

When it comes to finding one you can trust and save time and money doing it, MovelineCitymove and Unpakt all think they've found the best way.

Launched in October, this mobile app is the newest kid on the block. Co-founder Kelly Eidson got the idea for Moveline after working at an ad agency that had moving companies as clients.  She learned what movers need in order to give an accurate quote, as well as how they think and work. 

The biggest stumbling block in giving a realistic quote is how difficult it is for customers to accurately report their inventory.

Her solution: Make a video of everything you want to take with you.

With Moveline, a designated company Move Captain helps you make a record of all your “stuff” via video or FaceTime on your Phone or iPad.  

“We can do a room-by-room tour, open cabinets and closets and drawers, see everything that's going to have to be moved," says Eidson.

Once the video is done, the folks at Moveline take a look, compile a detailed inventory list and send it back to you so that you can make changes to lighten the load or reduce the number of boxes: a maybe-I-won't- take-my-bio-textbooks-after-all kind of thing.  

Once the inventory is finalized, your Move Captain gets quotes for the move from a pre-screened network of movers under contract with Moveline.

“We get three bids, usually within 48 hours,” and once you make the choice of mover “we handle the rest,”  she says.

Phil Liu bought Citymove from two college grads who set it up after their own miserable moving experience. 

He describes the eight-year-old service as a matchmaker and a review site-- “an improved cross between CraigsList and Yelp.”  

Go to Citymove, enter information on where you're moving, what you're moving, what kind of pricing you want (hourly or flat rate), and whether you want a company with a certificate of insurance or not. The information goes out to the movers in Liu's data base—“we have about 50 movers all together and 15 of them are our most active.”

In about 15 minutes, you'll get an average of seven bids.

You won't be contacted by the movers directly--you'll get information by interfacing with the site.

Every person's move is reviewed after it happens and the site has its own ranking and review system. Importantly, a single bad review can end a steady stream of business, so movers have a huge incentive to behave themselves. 

The founder of, Sharone Ben Harosh, has been in the moving business since 1991 when he started Flat Rate Moving: “We've had a quarter million New York customers," he said.

Ben Harosh has taken the formula he uses to give his Flat Rate customers guaranteed quotes and has had it translated into software that will do the same for the 12 other movers registered with Unpakt in New York. The company went live in July and is now operating in 32 cities, has 60 movers registered and plans to expand.  

Ben Harosh says his movers have all been carefully vetted -- they are all fully-licensed and insured. Unpakt offers one-stop shopping with reviews, comparisons (they have their own letter grade system), service and price analysis all in one place.

Enter your move details including inventory you'll receive 12 instant bids.

“Unpakt walks you through the entire moving process—from the pre-planning stages to booking and finally until you're settled in your new home. We created a streamlined and easy process that simply had not existed before," says Ben Harosh.


Related posts:

How to negotiate with a NYC mover: 7 tips that may save you bigtime

Making your move (at least a little) less hellish

3 moving scams you should know about-- and 10 ways to avoid getting duped

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Marjorie Cohen

Contributing writer

Marjorie Cohen is a New York City-based freelance journalist, editor and author of over seven non-fiction books. Her real estate reporting has appeared in amNewYork, Investopedia, and The West Side Rag. Since moving to New York five decades ago for graduate school at the Teachers College of Columbia University, Marjorie has lived on the Upper West Side, with a brief detour to West 15th Street when she got six months free rent in a new building.

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