Mar 14, 2011

Moving to Australia : What to ship

I recently had a discussion with a friend on this topic, so I thought I'd write this down before I forget. To put everything in context, we had a strict budget.

If shipping costs RM20,000, and you are moving a whole house, and your stuff are of good quality, it makes sense to ship. On the flip side, if you aren't moving that much, and happy enough to go IKEA for shopping, you can opt to buy here. (Check out the half a container option though, as that may be a worthy middle ground)

Buying over here means you get new items, ie, it's opportunity cost, instead of "spending" RM20,000 on old items, you could spend "RM20,000" to get new ones, with new warranty periods and such. Of course, there is the added fun (or stress, depending on how you look at it) of shopping. The only way to decide is to make a list of the stuff you'd need to buy, go online, 'window shop' and tabulate the total costs. Online catalogues to check out : Target, The Good Guys, K-Mart.

Alternatively, if shipping is paid for, ship, ship, ship!

But the other factor is the place to stay. Unless you already have accomodation, you won't know what you may already have. Many places have built-in cupboards, kitchen cabinets, oven, microwaves and dryers. Bring stuff you may not need, and you will need to find a place to store it. Lucky you if you have an extra room or a garage. Otherwise this means storage costs.

On appliances :
The good news is the voltage is the same and the heads are cheap to replace - about A$2. A cheaper solution is to bring along those three or four-plug extensions, connect your Malaysian appliances which are grouped together, and just change one head.
Appliances are pretty cheap, though still more expensive when converted (everything is, except strangely enough, ice cream). I also find you can get very good stuff, or very cheap stuff and it's hard to get the in-betweens. We've bought a $10 stand fan. If you blow at the stand fan, it probably won't be left standing, but it serves its purpose. I saw some fans priced at A$150, and those prices nearly knocked me down.
In general, I've found similar appliances to be "half" the price, dollar to dollar. You can get very good prices on sale, but you'd have to wait.

Furniture :
Generally quite expensive. I'd apply a dollar to dollar conversion in prices, unless it's IKEA, which is then about half to one third. (I know, I know, c'mon, IKEA? Hey, it's cheap and convenient)

Books, clothes, toys : About half to one third.

Consumables, odds and ends : 1 to 1

Note on TV: The TVs need to be digital ready as Australia is moving to digital broadcasting. I found out our LCD TV wasn't, and we had to get an extra thingamagick (which costs about A$100) to get all the channels.

Your appliances should be a relatively new model (say, within two or three years old), so they are as eco-friendly and energy-consumption efficient as possible. For the former, as I read that some older models of fridges may not get pass customs, and for the latter, to keep your energy bill down. If you plan on renting an apartment, your fridge should also be small enough to fit in the built-in space.

1 comment:

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