What are the different types of moving estimates

Moving is not a simple thing. After all, picking up one’s whole life and relocating it to a different place couldn’t be simple, right? Another thing that makes moving complicated for people is that we usually don’t move very often. Most people will move just a few times in their lifetime. That means that the average person is not so well familiar with the different intricacies of the moving process. However, to ensure a successful move and one that will not leave you with any regrets, it would be best know as many things regarding relocations as possible. One of the key points you should understand is what the different types of moving estimates are? That is what we are here to talk about today.

The importance of understanding different types of moving estimates

You may ask yourself, why is it important to understand the different types of moving estimates? Well, the moving estimate is a calculation of how much your move will cost, roughly. It helps the moving company determine how many works will they need and how much labor will they invest in your move. Depending on that they will give you a price estimate of your move. This estimate is basically an announcement of how much your move should cost.

As you will see below, different types of moving estimates have very different effects on the cost of your move. That is why professionals from expert moving companies NJ might stress to you that it’s essential to understand the differences between them. And how they will affect your bill after the move is done.

In-home moving estimates and over-the-phone moving estimates

Before we dive into the crux of the matter, we need to discuss two types of moving estimates that usually get overlooked when this topic is brought up. However, these two types of moving estimates must be understood before you even start thinking about signing a moving contract.

  1. With an in-home moving estimate, an agent of the moving company will visit your home and go through the list of items you want to move with you. In the end, they will offer you one of the moving estimates we will be talking about below.
  2. With an over-the-phone moving estimate, you need to guide an agent through all the items you want to move, over the phone. It is less of a hassle as you don’t have to prepare for a visit, but it is much less precise.
A man using his smartphone.
Today, you can get moving estimates by phone or even over the internet!

In recent years another way of getting moving quotes appeared thanks to the advent of the internet. Today it is easier than ever to get a moving quote online. New Jersey residents looking to move will probably be familiar with a web page allowing them to calculate moving costs NJ, for example. Online estimates are becoming more and more elaborate too. Some moving companies will feature on their website animations of storage space to help their customers with evaluating the move.

The three different types of moving estimates

Now that we have covered a few ways you could get a moving estimate, it is time for us to talk about the different types of moving estimates. Understanding these will be a significant factor in your move. Not only do they impact the pricing of the move itself, as previously mentioned, but they can also help you identify and avoid fraudulent moving companies. So, without further ado, here are the three types of moving estimates:

The Non-Binding Estimate

Starting off the list of different types of moving estimates is the least firm kind – the non-binding estimate. What do we mean by this? Well, this type of assessment is just an approximate one. The customer is given an estimated quote that might change depending on the actual weight of the items moved. In effect, it is just a guess of the moving company on how much the move should cost. That means that the actual price might be much higher. That makes the non-binding estimate a favorite amongst shady moving companies. The tactic is to give you a low-ball estimate that turns ends up being much higher when the move is done.

A calculator
Out of the different types of moving estimates, the non-binding estimates are the least firm.

However, the FMSCA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has made sure that the price of a non-binding moving estimate can only be 10% higher than the initially estimated quote. On top of that, you will have a month after the delivery to procure that 10%. Granted, as moves can cost thousands of dollars, the 10% difference is not insignificant. However, it is still better than having no limit to it at all. So, even if agreed to a non-binding moving estimate, you don’t have to descend into a panic attack.

A binding moving estimate

A binding moving estimate is a middle ground when it comes to the different types of moving estimates. It is also the most simple. The moving company provides you with a quote, and the price they specify will be the price of the move. Ensuring that you don’t add any items, of course. Adding items to a move will render the old binding estimate null and will require you to get a new one from the moving company.

Another downside here is that you don’t have a chance to be charged less if your items end up weightless. However, it is still great for relieving moving stress, as you will know exactly how much your move will cost.

A binding not-to-exceed moving estimate

There is a strong reason why a binding not-to-exceed moving estimate is the most popular with customers. It is similar to the binding moving estimate in that you get a quote from your movers. If the weight of your items exceeds that of the quote, you don’t pay anything extra. That is the not-to-exceed part in effect. However, what makes it so accessible is the situation where your items weigh less than quoted. In this case, you will actually end up paying less for your move than planned initially.

Woman signing a document.
Before signing to agree to any moving estimate, make sure you understand it well.

Finding the right fit for your move

Now that you are familiar with the different types of moving estimates, what remains is for you to decide upon one. Of course, most people would go for the binding not-to-exceed estimate. However, your case might be specific. You may not have movers that offer this kind of estimate in your area. Or you might find movers providing a lower binding estimate than you would get from a binding not-to-exceed estimate from a different company.

Whatever the case is, we are confident that after reading this article, you are well prepared to choose the right type of moving estimate for you.

Latest Posts

Get a Free Quote

Get Your Free Quote Now


Excellent service.We moved across town last week and these guys did a great job. Max, Qua, Rob and Tito were professional and courteous and above all very careful with all our belongings. Will happily recommend them to friends and family.

Clayton Love

Ready to Receive your Moving Quote?