How to negotiate the relocation fees from US to HK?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Wink How to negotiate the relocation fees from US to HK?

    I read some of the postings here about the relocation fee/pkg, looks like many people are getting paid a lum sum. Is that the standard practice for most of the international companies located in HK?

    So, how did the company or the employee come up with the lum sum number?

    For example, if I am moving from West Coast US to HK, single, no plan to ship the furnitures, what should I consider, besides the following items that I can think of on the top of my head:

    1. car disposition
    2. disposition of other items that I am not shipping to HK such as furnitures, electronics, etc (this will definitely results in a loss of value)
    3. shipping expenses for items that go to HK: books, clothing, personal items, etc.
    4. plan/contract early cancellation/termination fees: cable, DSL, cell, apt, insurances, etc
    5. flight ticket
    6. temporary/short term housing in HK, assuming 1-2 months before settle down (depending on the company arrangement)

    Have I misssed anything?
    What else should be included in the list?
    Signing bonus?

    How do people come up with the lum sum "magic number"?
    Say, maybe US$30,000?

    I would think that the lum sum arrangement is much better than the actual reimbursement arrangement, right? You have the flexibility to make your own moving plan, as long as the lum sum covers everything, maybe you can even save some $$?

    For those who had made the move, how did you negotiate the relocation pkg? I would appreciate that you can share some of your experience. Any tips?

    Thanks a lot and have a good weekend!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    LA Guy,

    Disposition or storage / maintenance can be negotiated.

    When I moved over (over 12 years ago) I was also given a lumpsum to pay for stuff like drivers licenses etc. If I had owned property in the US, they company would have paid estate agent costs to rent or sell it.

    Depending on the company, lumpsums are getting hard to come by. Corporations would rather hand over the move to a contractor they have pre-negotiated rates with (assuming they move several people a year).

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Thanks, KnowItAll, I haven't gotten to that detailed negotiation point yet, but definitely need to do some research and get ready. The headhunter told me "Don't worry, the company will pay ALL the moving", but I am not sure what exactly the "ALL Moving" covers. I would rather ask for just a lum sum number, then go from there.

    Will try to dig more from the old postings in this forum.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    I just moved over recently and as KnowItAll says companies are not keen on discussing individual items and would rather just pay a lump sum to cover everything.

    Here's how most companies (the bigger ones at least !) calculate things:

    1. pay for a standard shipping which includes some air shipment. If you don't take the shipping they should offer you the cash instead. Something in the region of USD6,000.

    2. They pay for the loss on sale of a car against the "blue book" value. Usually capped at USD5,000.

    3. Pay for a relocaton lumpsum which is to cover for incidentals like household goods e.g. TV, DVD player, other white goods etc. which you would not be able to bring because of voltage differences or different standard (NCST Vs PAL), curtains, DSL etc.. This is also to cover meals etc until you find a permanent place to live. Usually around USD15,000.

    4. annual lump sums of about USD5,000 which would cover anything else like mail forwarding, bank fees etc.

    5. A one month temp accomodation in a corporate apt.

    6. A relocation agent to help find you the permanent accomodation. The company should pick up the fees.

    Typically, most large comapnies will use an external benchmark to calculate the above. I know a lot of bank's use Hewitts which is a company that calculates cost of living differentials, relo amounts, housing costs etc.

    Assuming you are on a 2-3 year contract you would also get an annual travel allowance to go back home - typically USD2,000 per person in the family.

    I have moved around a lot and find that the allowances to cover almost everything and as long as you shop around for things like curtains, TV's etc. you should be better off with the allowances.

    Shipping is a personal thing - if you have a lot then you are better off shipping everything over.

    Hope this helps.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wow, Katanga, thanks a lot for the detailed posting!

    Now I see where the "magic number" comes from