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  1. The 3 Essential Moving Estimates
  2. Non-Binding Estimates Offer Flexibility 
  3. Non-Binding Estimates: Communicate!
  4. Binding Price Estimate: A Concrete Cost
  5. Binding Not-To-Exceed Estimate: The Safest One?
  6. Be Informed When Getting Estimates


1. The 3 Essential Moving Estimates

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to take the leap and relocate your home, it is important to look into estimates from any moving companies of your choice. Obtaining multiple estimates is vital to your move, however, what many people don’t know is that there are different ways to receive estimates. Prior to gathering your estimates, you should know what kind of estimates are available in the moving industry and what the different estimates have to offer. This is one of the most fundamental components of your moving process as it set the tone for your budget outline etc. 

2. Non-Binding Estimates Offer Flexibility

A most common type of estimate is called a ‘non-binding’ estimate. In this case, they will assess the and evaluate all of your goods and belongings in order to provide you with an estimated cost of your move. Although the movers will give you their best possible assessment and estimation, the actual cost of your move cannot be determined just yet. Your finalized cost is determined once it has been weighed. At this point, the movers will make the appropriate adjustments to your original estimated price. A factor that makes many customers by surprise is that their original estimated cost may fluctuate, either above or below their quote,  although it is typically higher. This is why it is essential to understand what a non-binding estimate is and how it works.

3. Non-Binding Estimates: Communicate!

We’ve realized throughout the moving industry that communication between carriers and shippers can be rather strenuous. With so much to process at one time, it’s easy for a carrier to skim over these details and, without research, it’s easy for customers to be naive in this area. Both moving companies and customers can become frustrated with each other as a result of their lack of communication. For instance, if you are a moving company and your customer has extra items, you will need to increase the price. However, if you are a customer, you will most likely be angry or upset if there is an increase in your original estimate. Being informed about what kind of estimate you’re acquiring and understanding how to make sure your estimate is accurate are only two ways to avoid any outrageous surprises once you reach your new home.


As with many other components in the moving industry, there are some factors customers find that are advantageous and some that may not be as beneficial in regards to a non-binding estimate such as:

  • Con: Since a non-binding estimate is not an exact cost or set price, it may or may not change throughout your move. This can leave customers in a gray area of sorts to be taken advantage of. When in a vulnerable state such as this, it is easily conceivable that customers are easy targets for rogue movers or moving scams. Cases like these usually find themselves getting a great estimate, it’s low and affordable, however, this is only an attempt to attract customers. Unfortunately, after providing customers with low estimates, these types of moving companies will end up charging the customer an enormous amount of money that is not even close to their original estimate.
  • Pro: As the phrase infers, non-binding estimates are typically used in the moving industry because they are the most flexible and easy to work with. Although they aren’t an exact or fixed estimate, they are the most convenient for both moving companies as well as for their customers. This kind of estimate allows moving companies to provide a reasonable, but not precise, estimate via telephone or via their website. With estimates being so easily accessible, customers find non-binding estimates easy and user-friendly.
  • Pro: With the customer’s interest in mind, obtaining non-binding estimates this way is practical and convenient. For those who have extremely busy lives or people who need to move on a moment’s notice, it’s now become effortless. All that required is a quick phone call to speak with a mover over the phone or a quick web search and in no time at all, you find yourself with an estimate, no matter if it is non-binding or not.

4. Binding Price Estimate: A Concrete Cost

Since non-binding estimates do tend to leave a sense of doubt during the moving process, there is a second option to get an estimate that is much more concrete. When you receive a binding estimate, you can be assured that your price estimated will be the exact price you will pay at the time of delivery. Similar to non-binding, binding estimates will evaluate and appraise your belongings and give you a proper estimate for the move you would like to make. The ultimate difference is that with a binding estimate, your pricing is set in stone. This is even regardless of the weight of your shipment.


Like with non-binding estimates, there are also positive and negative points for binding estimates, including:

  • Pro: You can find some peace of mind in knowing that the cost of your move will not amplify, even despite the weight factor (which holds no ground here). However, another upside to this is that if you didn’t quite communicate each and every detail to the movers or you found yourself with more belongings than previously discussed, you actually won’t have to pay for any increase upon delivery.
  • Pro: Planning in advance is something that our Moving Authority Team constantly tries to encourage, especially to reduce stress. With a binding estimate, advanced planning and advanced planning and budgeting are made available at a very early stage in the moving process. Due to knowing what your exact price is in advance, you can begin creating your budget early, keeping track of your expenses, and will allow you to stay within your financial means so you can afford to pay the moving company on move-in day. As discussed earlier, with a binding estimate you no longer need to be concerned with surprises such as an increase of price upon arrival.
  • Con: So far, a binding estimate sounds as though it can only be beneficial. However, as with many things, that isn’t the case. One problem or situation you might find yourself in is that the weight of your goods is much lighter than anticipated in the estimate. Since a binding estimate does not take weight into consideration, you might find yourself in a tough spot because regardless of what you have, you still must legally pay the movers the full binding estimated price. This is the biggest downfall of this type of estimate because many people don’t generally have as many belongings as they had originally thought, or maybe they had even gotten rid of some items like large furniture to lighten the load. It is best to be overly aware of what you will be bringing on your move and to be sure of what you will be taking with you, this way you can avoid any type of overestimation. Unfortunately, if you’ve overestimated, you still have to pay the agreed price.

5. Binding Not-To-Exceed Estimate: The Safest One?

Accumulating multiple estimates is clearly a fundamental step in the moving process but it is also essential to be informed of the types of estimates you can receive. After reviewing non-binding and binding estimates, there is one last categorical estimate for customers. The point of a binding not-to-exceed estimate is primarily to ensure that estimated price you’ve been given for your move will never surpass that original estimate. Although, if the weight of the goods you are shipping is indeed lower than the estimated cost, your price will actually be lowered.

Binding not-to-exceed estimates are characteristically viewed as the best type of estimate to obtain since the price of a move can and will only be lowered. When contacting professional moving companies, it’s important to ask if they provide this type of estimate as an option. In essence, this estimate will maintain or even save you money on your move, depending on each unique situation.

Binding not-to-exceed estimates transcend the above-stated estimates, being advantageous in more than one way with little to no drawbacks:

  • An estimate of this magnitude shouldn’t be seen as an average or moderate estimate. They provide room for adaptability during your move while also sanctioning any adjustment in regards to cost. Typically, the price will be slight, if not more, lower than the original estimated price.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to have some assurance knowing that you can depend on your initial quoted price? With binding not-to-exceed estimates, you might feel this way. By knowing that your estimate will either be lower, but not go beyond a certain price can be an enormous relief for many people. This is especially true if you need to stick to a strict budget. Simply knowing that your original estimate is the highest cost and that there is potential to lower that cost can provide customers with the stress alleviation they need.
  • As stated above, the ability to base your budget off of this is a great way for customers to stay on track. Once you’ve gone through all of the trouble of researching, finding, getting estimates from moving companies, and deciding on the one you will definitely want to start outlining your budget. A binding not-to-exceed estimate is a perfect opportunity to relax some areas of the moving process while allowing you to focus on other features of your move.

6. Be Informed When Getting Estimates 

With these three different types of estimates, you should now be able to tell which one would be right for you. All three kinds of estimates are available and are used every day, however, by reading this, you are educating and informing yourself of what estimate is best for you. It is incredibly important to understand details such as estimates so that you can plan and perform a successful move for both you and the movers.

At Moving Authority we provide many resources, including lists reputable and licensed companies throughout all 50 United States. We also provide estimates online if you visit our main page! Take advantage of these resources to get in touch with professional moving companies so you can inquire about the different types of estimates they may or may not provide. Ultimately, it will all come down to the customer, their knowledge, and what the moving company has to offer. Remember, at Moving Authority, we’re always here to help both carriers and shippers alike.

**Don't forget to get your auto quotes here!**

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