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About Millytod

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  1. Sorry I missed this one but I also don’t feel qualified at all to answer. I think it’s a matter of doing as much research as you can and writing down all the questions you have. In my experience they were very happy to answer questions and I felt they were actually answered and not just fobbed off. It feels like there is always an element of hoping for the best too
  2. Haha - you won’t be too stressed about fitting in the suit now you haven’t had to pay duties on it! I missed the last message you’d put on here - I think if it was me I’d write a pleading letter about the piano and value it very low for them. As an update, we went and checked our shipment which is being held at an Allied storage facility here in Melbourne. Had to pay $250 for access but had up to 4 hours and someone was there the whole time to help lift out the boxes and furniture items. Some of the boxes were slightly bashed but the only thing that we found broken was a lamp … it had been tucked in top of a bigger box and just not secure enough. All other fragile china/ glass fronted book case etc were intact and very well packed. Customs had seemed to have only opened and checked one box from what we could see from the evidence of resealing - the one that had a Christmas tree in it. And just some tiny slits in the furniture packing for a visual check. So would have to say we received excellent service from Solaris also.
  3. Have just reread your post - and yes, for the example like the suit you would only value it as something like $20 or even less. As far as I understand, don’t think they’re even really interested in things like that - it’s the bigger valuable imports and new items that they’re trying to catch.
  4. @DrDougsterIt ended up being pretty straightforward for us and we never heard anything from customs … just got the call from Allied to say they’d got clearance from customs with no issues or duties. I just wrote a very polite letter which the handlers forwarded with all the other paperwork - an appeal that explained that the shipment was our personal items and furniture that had all been owned and used for over x number of years and the 6 year delay was a combination of covid restrictions not allowing us to travel back and sort out the shipment/ time restraints in selling our property and also just needing some time to be sure about making a permanent move and selling a property that had been in the family for multiple generations etc. Asked if they would take these factors into consideration when making their decision. As far as valuations, I didn’t mention any values on the letter but did a separate list that I also sent in with the paperwork. Solaris advised me to just value things at what their value was and this is personal and subjective. So for example, a 20 year old sofa would only be valued at what you’d be happy to sell it for now on Facebook marketplace rather than what it would take to buy a new sofa. You provide your own values and apparently they will generally just look at those … unless of course it’s something clearly extremely valuable that has been undervalued. This is completely separate to insurance valuations (which Solaris confirmed customs don’t have access to) which are based on cost of replacing the item. Hope that was the information you were after.
  5. Hi LauraLee Just looking at the dates, our things were packed on the 10th of August and arrived in Australia approx 4/5 weeks ago. So much quicker than we had anticipated. Shipment was cleared from customs 2 weeks ago (again much quicker than expected as they had warned of some delays) and has been moved straight into an Allied storage facility this last week as we’re unable to take it where we are living at the moment. If we were having it delivered that would have happened promptly as they had contacted us to arrange a date for delivery straight after customs clearance. We haven’t arranged to go and check the shipment yet and have to pay Allied $260 to access since it’s being stored but will be doing that as soon as possible…. so unable to give any feedback yet as to any damage/loss etc. We did have a shared container as only 750 cubic feet in our shipment. I felt/feel nervous about that too and will pop an update on here after we’ve got in to have a look. Also as an aside, even though we moved 6 years ago and fell well out of the time limit for unaccompanied personal goods shipments being duty free, the shipment hasn’t been charged any duty. I wrote an accompanying letter explaining why it had taken so long and the shippers passed it onto customs. Pleasantly surprised at that outcome!
  6. Activity on this thread has reminded me to pop on a little update of our experience so far in case it’s of interest. Solaris passed everything over to Allied once the shipment had left the UK and contacted us all the details of the ship/estimated arrival times etc. The shipment left promptly and I was actually surprised by the arrival date being sooner than expected. Allied then got in touch with a designated named manager who has promptly replied so far with any queries I have had both by phone and email. We have received an updated arrival of 15th November and they have estimated a couple of weeks after that for customs clearance. Allied have sent an invoice for a further $500 charge for customs clearance etc which I had been warned about previously. As we’re unable to receive our belongings where we are living currently, we are going to require storage. Currently waiting for an Allied quote for storage at their warehouse and also there are possibly some fees for accessing the shipment to check for damage etc. Will do some comparisons with other storage units. As you say, while it has been smooth so far, the proof is in the pudding at the other end! One small oversight by Solaris as they hadn’t passed on our letter to Allied for customs regarding the length of time it has taken to ship unaccompanied goods but has been easily rectified … worth double checking that they have all the required paper work though.
  7. As far as import taxes, you can ship your belongings duty free under the unaccompanied goods allowances when you move to Aus as long as they fall within the guidelines of being used personal belongings and not less than 12 months old. If they don’t fall under guidelines, our shipping company said that they base the import tax calculation on the reasonable value that you give to your items…. which can be quite subjective in lots of cases. Pretty sure it was 5% rate. We moved to Australia 6 years ago and only able to ship our belongings now so it is unclear as to whether we will be required to pay duties. No departments seem to be able to give a clear answer on this. When I spoke to customs they said they allow 12 months generally for belongings to be brought in under the unaccompanied goods allowance, however there can be exceptions. BUT nobody is able to give clear guidance as to what exceptions will be considered. I was told to write an accompanying letter detailing the circumstances that have led to the shipment being delayed for so long after we moved, and the Australian Customs will then assess this when the shipment is being cleared. Was told there is no way to speak to anyone at Border Force to get a clearer idea of the likelihood of success.
  8. As a follow up on this thread - happy with the service we received so far from Solaris. Easily contactable for queries as we went along and the two man packing team arrived on time and as agreed - even in rural Cumbria. Everything went smoothly with packing and they were very accommodating and pleasant. We had an estimated volume which the packers also eyeballed and estimated once packed, and went ahead with the terms of paying for the estimated volume intially with the option of paying additional if the volume came in more once it had been measured at the warehouse. This want required and have now received communication from both Solaris and Allied Pickfords with the date of container arrival. Haven’t used the Allied Pickford contact yet so will see how we go on this next stage as we will require a change in the storage agreements due to sooner than anticipated container arrival.
  9. Absolutely- that’s why it’s so hard to choose. All I could do was speak to the case manager about Allied Pickfords and their experiences with using them - no way of knowing if they are being completely frank about any issues that arise and all I could go off was the feel of the conversations. Have to have eyes wide open as to possible issues that might come up.
  10. Feels like a bit of a minefield choosing shippers as so many mixed reviews from all of them so hopefully some real time experiences of whole the process might be of some value to someone else on here too! I went through the same ‘get multiple quotes’ process which was where I came across Solaris.
  11. We ended up deciding to go with Solaris as happy with their customer service/detailed answers to any questions and concerns that I had (and there were quite a lot). The quote came in just under some other well known shippers. Confirmed that the company packs the containers themselves in the UK and then contract Allied Pickfords at the other end in Oz. After paying the deposit we were assigned a case manager who made straight contact away and has been easily contactable by phone and email. I’m currently back in the UK sorting out our belongings and have dates booked for them packing in August. As we are only taking a part container they have allocated 2 days for packing boxes/wrapping furniture and then transport it to their hub where it is packed into a container. Happy to answer any other questions inc costs etc and will update our experience as we go along!
  12. Seems that they’re not well known by the response here. Very rapid and helpful responses in any communication with them, and so far are competitive with other shipping companies. Feeling inclined to go with them and give the benefit of the doubt … and then can follow up with feedback.
  13. Haha …. bad phrasing there, I agree
  14. Just wondering if anyone has had any experiences using Solaris Relocations? They seem to get great reviews on Google but aren’t a name that come up commonly when looking at international shippers. My initial contact/quotations have been very prompt and thorough, and interested in any others experiences with them - we are looking at the shared container option as furniture too large for a couple of Movecubes but not enough for a full container. There are some very sentimental pieces of furniture/china in the shipment which makes me nervous. Thank you in advance!