Common moving estimate terms and their meaning

The moving industry has its basic keywords. Essentially, it is a moving vocabulary that companies and their agents often use in discussions with clients. Moreover, relocation requires knowledge of common moving estimate terms and their meaning. This prevents confusion while making deals with a moving company. It will also make the whole experience a lot easier. Master Moving Guide will provide you with all of the necessary information that you need to know before making this step.

What is an estimate?

Before diving deep into the topic, you need to ask the very first question – what is an estimate? The estimate is an overall calculation of everything you plan to move with you and the fees that come with the service. Look at it as a large bill for everything that you requested for relocation. Generally speaking, the estimate should include:

  • Your old and new address
  • The address of your mover
  • Weight of your belongings
  • Transportation distance and transportation fee
  • Possible discounts
  • Pricing for additional services. This might include unloading boxes, packing, unpacking, and so on.

The list goes on but these are some essentials. Keep in mind that every moving company has its moving quotes and this is what it may be calculated. Another thing that is of vital importance is the bill of lading. The bill of lading is a written copy of all services and personal items that should be transported with you. It’s a warrant that you should sign before the whole process. Always carry the bill of lading with you! This way you will avoid scams and unplanned changes. Both you and your moving company should have a copy of the bill of lading.

man and woman discussing moving estimate with an agent
Discuss moving estimate terms in detail with your moving company

Introducing moving estimates terms: binding, non-binding estimate, and not-to-exceed binding estimate

Now that we cleared up the basics, let’s continue talking about common estimate terms further. There are three types of estimate you should know: binding, non-binding moving estimate, and not-to-exceed binding estimate. You should know how these estimates function and which one you should use based on different factors. This is very important to discuss when you hire a mover.

Basic moving estimate terms: A binding estimate

The first in the line of common moving estimate terms is a binding estimate. What is a binding estimate, how does it work and why do people choose it? The binding estimate is a pre-made estimate which shows prices in advance based on services. This estimate guarantees that you will not pay any more than the price that has been already said with a moving company. The binding estimate is an excellent choice if you have a fixed moving budget and already prepared belongings for relocating.

You should mention the exact number of items you want to carry for the relocation. You won’t be able to add more boxes for moving. The estimate is pre-made and you ought to follow the number of boxes you’ve already assigned. Read the instructions that have been given by the movers! Some moving companies do not offer a binding estimate; therefore, do proper research and pick carefully.

person packing an item
Be mindful of everything you want to carry with you

What is a non-binding estimate?

Many moving companies prefer a non-binding estimate to a binding estimate and here’s why. A non-binding estimate is an estimate that is based on the approximate weight of the items. Consequently, the more items you want to carry, the cost will be larger. You should choose the non-binding estimate if your budget is more flexible, if your moving distance is shorter, and if you don’t have many things to carry. Additionally, you should choose the non-binding estimate if your boxes are smaller. Be mindful of services we have already mentioned that packing/unpacking items, other transportation fees, and so on. It would be a good idea to make a moving costs checklist. Essentially, this checklist should include:

  • Your budget
  • Personal valuables and their estimated weights
  • Distance to your new destination

These are crucial if you’ve decided to choose a non-binding estimate. Even with a flexible moving budget, you don’t want to pay more than it’s necessary. Pick this estimate if you are relocating “off-season”; therefore, you won’t get any unexpected charges for traffic fees. 

What is a not-to-exceed estimate?

Another thing that is often mentioned in relocation terminology is a not-to-exceed estimate. This is our third and final estimate. Here is why you should consider picking it. The not-to-exceed estimate is a type of estimate that is based on the approximate weight of your items. However, it is not similar to a non-binding estimate. Not-to-exceed estimate does not mean that you will be charged extra if the actual weight is larger than the approximate weight. Moreover, if the items weigh less than the approximate weight, you will pay less than the original price.

people signing a contract
Read papers thoroughly before signing to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

The not-to-exceed estimate is an excellent choice if you are unsure of how many things you want to carry. It is also suitable for families with children, knowing how many children’s stuff there can be. Start by listing your items. This way you will get an understanding of possible weight and how much it will cost. Choose the non-to-exceed estimate if you are moving within your country or long distance. This way additional fees won’t be a problem if the price is smaller than the original.

The most important part is to choose reliable movers that suit your needs the best

We have taken a look at basic moving estimate terms. We have touched upon three essential estimates and which of those three you should use. To have a complete picture, let us summarize it. A binding estimate is a fixed estimate, you pay what you have assigned prior. A non-binding estimate is charged based on the weight of the boxes you want to move. For a non-to-exceed estimate, you will play more or less based on the actual weight of the boxes. Choose the mover that suits your needs the best. We wish you a happy and successful move!

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