Before moving to Mexico, Linda and I both drove cars with limited storage capacity. That means that if we wanted to buy something bulky at the store – like a new chair or supplies for a new home improvement project – we had to make some arrangements with a friend who had a truck to go with us.
I always felt bad asking my friends to give up their free time to drive my new stuff around. Of course, I always compensated them with a few bucks for gas and a perhaps a couple of beers on a future date.
When we arrived in Mexico, we didn’t know anyone at all – much less anyone with a truck – so I had some concerns about transporting larger purchases to the condo. At first we used the delivery service through the stores; however, I hated this option because it meant that I would have to wait a week or so to get it. I was eager to get things done!
That’s when we discovered a much better alternative that is relatively inexpensive: private delivery services.
For the non-Spanish speakers, when you see a truck that has the word fletes or mudanzas on it (see the picture above), that’s one of these delivery services. Once you start looking for them, you realize that they are literally all over the place. There is usually one or more parked in the parking lot of businesses that carry larger items like City Club or Home Depot.
This service checked all the boxes for me: 1) they delivered immediately, 2) they carried the bulky items inside, and 3) they were relatively inexpensive (if negotiated correctly).
For those of you who are new to Mexico, here are some tips to using these services:
Check with the business to see if they can recommend a particular delivery service
It’s always a good idea to use a service that is well known to the business. This makes it less likely that you will have any issues.
Negotiate the price
Negotiating is difficult for Americans because it is usually limited to home and vehicles sales in the U.S. However, negotiating is a very important skill to have in Mexico to avoid paying too much for goods and services.
Get a cell phone number and confirm it works before leaving
This will be useful if you get separated in traffic or if there is some other issue that comes up while in transit.
Take a picture of the truck, including the tag number
This one may sound a bit over the top to some of the readers, but 25 years as a cop has taught me to take a few extra precautions – just in case.
If I didn’t do that and something went wrong, just think how that conversation with the police would go:
Me: Some guys loaded all of my new furniture into a truck and told me they would deliver it to my house but they never showed up.
Cop: Who were they?
Me: I dunno.
Cop: Did you get a tag number?
Cop: So basically you’re telling me that you gave all of your new things to a group of strangers and didn’t even bother to write down any information about them.
Me: Yep, that’s basically what happened.
Let’s Wrap This Up
In case you are wondering what this type of service costs, it really depends on what you are transporting, how far you are going and how well you negotiate. We have paid between $500-$800 MXN ($25-$40 USD) to have large items transported about 30 minutes from the store.