Regardless of whether you are moving home or business, locally or long-distance, it’s very important to get a moving quote. This is the offer that the moving company provides. It includes their services, a moving plan, and estimated cost. A moving estimate can be a non-binding and binding estimate. It’s important to understand the difference between these two offers so that you can choose the one that suits you better. Make sure to provide as many details as possible regarding your move to the estimator. Many factors influence the moving costs – distance and date of your move, the weight of your belongings, seasonality. The more information you provide, the more accurate your estimate will be.

The difference between a binding and non-binding estimate

A non-binding estimate is more common of the two and is usually popular when it comes to long-distance moves. You can get this estimate online quickly and easily but remember that this might not be the actual total cost. A non-binding estimate can change on the day of your move. It depends on:

  • the final weight of your items;
  • time needed for relocation;
  • distance of the move;
  • the number of workers.

Your movers will not give you the exact estimate of the entire move but rather a general idea of the cost. The actual charges may be higher or lower than estimated. It’s always a good idea to compare moving companies and get several estimates. If you want to set a fixed price of your move, you will need a binding estimate. This means that the price quoted in the estimate will not change on the day of your move. Unlike a non-binding moving estimate, the company might charge you for a binding estimate.

Request binding estimate
Request a binding estimate to avoid additional charges

Advantages and disadvantages of a binding estimate

A binding estimate is a specific figure that you pay on the day of your move. Movers guarantee that this price will not change, regardless of the circumstances that occur during the move. This means that you are obliged to pay the original cost, even if the shipment weights less than the estimated amount. However, if you request some additional services or there are new items to be transported on the day of your move, the binding estimate will be revised. In that case, you will incur additional charges. This is a good option for people who have a limited budget. If you know how much money you need in advance, you can make a plan and move stress and hassle-free.

Binding not-to-exceed estimate

The third, and probably the most favorable option, is a binding not-to-exceed estimate. This means that if the actual weight of your items is more than the original estimate, you will still pay the amount that the company quoted. However, if the weight is less than the estimate, your price will be lower. In this way, you either pay the binding estimate or the actual cost, whichever is lower.

The binding not-to-exceed estimate can get lower, but it cannot be higher than the original written estimate. Movers give the quote based on the weight or volume of your possessions. However, any changes that you make afterward – special services, packing needs, items that will be transported, they charge additionally.

weight of items affects binding estimate
The estimate will depend on the weight and volume of your items

Which moving estimate should I choose?

The moving estimate you should request depends on the type of your move and particular demands. If you want to know the exact cost so that you can set up your moving budget and keep things under control – choose the binding estimate. Although movers will usually charge for this estimate, this will ensure your peace of mind. Having the idea of a moving price allows you to budget around your moving costs.

On the other hand, non-binding moving estimates are issued free of charge and interstate movers are not allowed to collect more than 110% of the original estimate. You can try to calculate the cost yourself if you make a full inventory list of everything they’ll move. This will help you choose the type of estimate that suits you best.

How to make an inventory list?

When dealing with moving estimates, it’s important and beneficial to create a moving inventory list. Include everything, from furniture and clothes to cutlery and electronics. It is recommendable to work on one room at a time. Start with larger items such as furniture pieces and household appliances. If you create a detailed list of all your possessions, you will have a better idea of the binding estimate before your hire movers. This will help you calculate your expenses and make a budget plan, but also avoid additional charges. In addition to that, it will facilitate the packing and unpacking process.

Make inventory list
An inventory list is helpful when choosing between a non-binding and binding estimate

Beware of fraudulent movers

When searching for a reliable moving company, it’s important to do thorough research. Many fraudulent moving companies offer lower prices to attract customers. One of the best ways to discover them, and the biggest red flags when looking for a mover, is to ask for a binding estimate. Scamming companies will try to avoid it because it requires a lot of paperwork. Instead, they will offer you a verbal agreement so that they can change the price during the move. Always do the background check of a moving company and search the Internet for reviews. With unlicensed companies, you risk unexpected additional charges, unsafe transport, potential damage or theft.

It’s time to move

Now that you have found your new home and researched reliable and experienced movers it’s time to relocate. Calculate your budget, decide on the type of estimate, start packing on time, and arrange the date of the move. Also, make sure that your inventory list includes all the possessions that you will move. In this way, you will avoid unplanned charges for additional items or services. With licensed movers, you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Good luck and happy moving!

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