Moving Experience: Yvonne’s Move with Bravo

Eager for a fresh start and a new career, Yvonne and her husband traded in their life in Los Angeles for the urban charm of Brooklyn, New York. It was Yvonne’s first cross-country move, and to say she was nervous would be an understatement.

Yvonne a Bravo Moving customer

Yvonne looked on in horror as her friends DIYed long-distance moves in the past, and she knew a full-service mover was the way to go. After consulting moveBuddha, she ultimately settled on Bravo Moving.

In exchange for a $500 moving stipend, Yvonne signed up for the moveBuddha Better Moves Project to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of working with Bravo for the 2,790-mile move.

Check out her honest review to see what Bravo did well and what Yvonne would change looking back at the process.

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Move day takeaways for Bravo customers

  • Communication: Yvonne loved how communicative Bravo’s team was. There were communication mishaps with delivery, but aside from that, Bravo’s team was clear, friendly, and helpful.
  • Pricing accuracy and transparency: Yvonne’s $3,665 quote ballooned to a final cost of $7,310, which is far from the norm. She didn’t feel blindsided since it was all explained in the contract, but that’s a big jump.
  • Professionalism: Bravo Moving was the picture of professionalism at all times.
  • Timeliness: Bravo showed up on time for loading, but they were nearly 12 hours late for delivery, leaving Yvonne alone in an empty apartment all day. New Jersey traffic was largely to blame, but Yvonne was understandably concerned.
  • Loss and damage: All of her items arrived safely and damage-free.
  • Would Yvonne use Bravo again? Yes! There were hiccups with delivery and her final estimate, but Yvonne is grateful that Bravo handled all the logistics for her, making the big move as stress-free as possible.

Yvonne needed help moving from Los Angeles to Brooklyn

U-Haul truck packed with home items

Excited for a fresh start on the East Coast, Yvonne and her husband spent a year planning their move from LA to NYC. The thing was, they needed to move on a budget without compromising quality.

Going into the process, Yvonne cared the most about finding a mover that would handle her items with care. She was especially nervous about disassembly and reassembly, worried the movers would misplace a pack of screws that would render her bed unusable.

She also worried about loss and damage, especially since she downsized so much and was only moving the bare necessities.

Yvonne’s move at a glance

Move date February 14, 2024
Moved from Los Angeles
Moved to Brooklyn
Distance 2,790 miles
Move size Two-bedroom, one-bath
Moving company Bravo Moving
Moving quote $3,665
Actual cost $7,310

Yvonne got quotes from four full-service movers

Yvonne kicked off her search the way most Better Moves Project participants do — with a Google search. She initially looked for the best cheap moving companies specializing in LA to NYC routes.

It wasn’t helpful. After consulting consumer review websites like Yelp, and Reddit, Yvonne could only find negative reviews that left her feeling more confused.

Fortunately, Yvonne stumbled upon moveBuddha early on in the process, which helped her quickly find a moving company. She signed up for the moveBuddha email newsletter, where she heard about Bravo Moving for the first time.

She requested quotes from four full-service movers, but Bravo immediately impressed her with their friendly service and prompt reply. It didn’t hurt that their quote was the lowest, too.

Company Estimated volume/weight Estimated cost
Bravo Moving 418 cubic feet (2,926 pounds) $3,665
Safeway Moving 418 cubic feet (2,926 pounds) $3,927
American Van Lines 418 cubic feet (2,926 pounds) $5,576
Mayzlin Relocation 418 cubic feet (2,926 pounds) $4,400

Yvonne chose Bravo for their affordability and friendliness

Man loading a Bravo Moving truck

Bravo got back to Yvonne quickly, and they set up a time to chat on the phone. She instantly felt at ease with the sales agent, who was incredibly patient as Yvonne asked for several estimate updates.

After shopping around, Yvonne quickly realized Bravo was the best deal. But she mostly chose them because the rep put her at ease. Yvonne trusted Bravo, and that’s what this anxious cross-country mover needed. Of course, the affordable quote was the cherry on top.

Bravo’s quote included:

  • Basic disassembly and assembly of furniture
  • Unlimited padding, blankets, and straps
  • 30 days of free storage
  • $75 flight of stairs charge

They did offer Yvonne their Premium Guaranteed Service — which guarantees delivery on a certain date — for $1,500, but she didn’t take them up on this, since she was on a budget.

The Bravo agent was incredibly helpful and answered all of Yvonne’s questions. They said her movers would come within a two-day time frame and to have her furniture and boxes ready before that window.

In anticipation of the move, Yvonne downsized and sold a lot of her stuff. Packing her boxes saved her the $300 Bravo would have charged, although it took a lot of time. She also paid a deposit to confirm her move date.

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At A Glance
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Moving day took just two hours

Bravo Moving employee packing a sofa

Bravo called Yvonne 24 hours before moving day to review the details and answer her questions. They told Yvonne how long the process would take and got directions on where to park.

They gave her an 8-10 a.m. window for the next day. On moving day, the movers called 30 minutes before arriving at 8:45 a.m.

The crew took great care to wrap her items, which she appreciated. They noticed a crack in part of the bed frame and alerted Yvonne before they moved it. While the crew worked, Yvonne stayed close by, making herself available to answer questions and provide direction.

The loading process took just two hours. Yvonne paid half her remaining balance with Zelle, with the second half due upon delivery.

Delivery was delayed

Bravo Moving worker unloading items

Bravo Moving picked up Yvonne’s belongings on February 15 and delivered them on March 5 — a 19-day turnaround, which is well within the industry average of 30 days for cross-country moves.

Unfortunately, delivery wasn’t seamless. Bravo’s large 18-wheeler wouldn’t fit on the crowded Brooklyn streets, so they had to rent a shuttle to bring Yvonne’s stuff into the city.

Problem was, Bravo brought the truck in from New Jersey and experienced horrible traffic. Yvonne expected them at 9 a.m., but the drivers didn’t arrive until nearly 12 hours later at 8 p.m.

Communication was spotty during this time, with the drivers promising they were only a few minutes away, only to delay by a few more hours. Understandably, this was Yvonne’s least favorite part of the move since it meant she waited in an empty apartment all day.

When they arrived, Bravo gave her a checklist to tick items off as they brought them into the home. Bravo arrived so late that they had to return the following day to complete the furniture reassembly. Fortunately, all of Yvonne’s belongings and furniture arrived safely.

Unfortunately, the final cost of the move was double her quote. The $3,665 quote wasn’t accurate, and Bravo actually charged Yvonne $7,310.

This happened for several reasons:

  • Yvonne had more furniture and boxes to transport than she estimated originally
  • Bravo didn’t include line items for disassembly and packing materials on the moving quote
  • Bravo provided an over-the-phone quote instead of a more accurate virtual or in-person quote

It’s common for move totals to exceed quotes by around 25%, but double the original estimate is far outside the norm. Yvonne wasn’t surprised because her contract with Bravo spelled out these potential costs, but she wishes they had included them in her estimate so she could have planned accordingly.

Our take on the move

Bravo Moving truck

Yvonne is ultimately happy Bravo pulled off the move without loss or damages, but there were certainly some issues with her move.

However, Yvonne did a lot right for her first cross-country move! We love that she requested updated quotes as she got a more accurate idea of what she needed to move. While her Bravo estimate ultimately was inaccurate, this was still a good move on Yvonne’s end.

Yvonne also made an effort to downsize before the move, which is a smart way to save money and simplify the entire moving process.

Paying your mover via Zelle or Venmo like Yvonne did might sound sketchy, but this is becoming increasingly common in the moving industry. Before move day, ask your moving coordinator what forms of payment they accept so you can download the right apps and link your payment information before the movers arrive.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room — the quote. Bravo charged Yvonne double what they quoted her, which is far from the norm. Moving estimates aren’t written in stone and you should expect them to change, but this difference is substantial.

It comes down to Yvonne adding more items, getting a phone quote instead of a virtual or in-person quote, and Bravo failing to add relevant charges to their estimate. Yvonne handled this well by reading the fine print in her contract, which we always recommend.

Bravo also arrived outside their delivery window. It’s notoriously difficult to pull off shuttle moves in big urban areas like NYC, especially coming from New Jersey, so that’s likely the reason for the delay. However, they should have done a better job of communicating and managing Yvonne’s expectations of their arrival time.

Bravo did a great job transporting Yvonne’s belongings in a timely manner cross-country, though. It took just 19 days to get her things from LA to NYC, which is well within the standard 30-day delivery window. Most customers don’t realize movers have up to 30 days to deliver your items, so plan accordingly.

The verdict

Yvonne’s move wasn’t perfect, but she’s still happy with the end result.

The quote accuracy was way off and she was not thrilled about the delayed delivery, but aside from those issues, she’s happy her items arrived in good condition. Looking back, she would still choose Bravo and recommend them to other customers.

Yvonne had never moved across the country prior to this and didn’t realize how stressful it would be! She does wish Bravo were more accurate in calculating her estimate so she could have budgeted more accurately for the move.

She also wishes she would have disassembled some furniture to save on square footage costs. Bubble wrapping and taping everything herself would also have lowered her moving costs.

If you’re planning a move, Yvonne recommends packing yourself. This saved her a lot of money, especially because she bought her own packing materials. We suggest also looking around for cheap or free moving boxes. Yvonne recommends carefully wrapping all items in bubble wrap and labeling box contents to simplify unpacking.

If you’re on the fence about hiring a full-service mover, Yvonne thinks Bravo was worth the money. It was a stressful experience, but she believes a full-service mover made the big move much less stressful.

Here’s how Yvonne rated Bravo’s performance on a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Communication: 5
  • Timeliness: 5
  • Quote accuracy: 4
  • Overall experience: 5

Do you have an upcoming move? Share your moving story with the Better Moves Project to earn a $500 stipend. Sign up now.

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