"How much does it cost to move?" This question is one of the most widely used questions that moving companies hear on a daily basis. For years, customers have had dreadful moving experiences that made their move horrific, none of it directly associated with the actual move.

From terrible customer service, unprofessional movers, and the biggest; the actual price quoted prior to moving day. We will discuss the different type of estimates you may encounter during the moving process.

There are three types of estimates that you should be aware of before moving:

  1. Non-binding estimates - are based on the actual weight of your items rather than a speculation of your weight. If you are provided a non-binding estimate, you are not required to pay more than the cost provided by the mover at the time of delivery. By law, movers are required to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above the price of an estimate. In most cases, non-binding estimates are preferred over binding estimates because the price usually tends to be lower. However, there is no guarantee that the non-binding estimate you received will be the final cost.
  2. Binding estimates - are estimates that you are obligated to pay set forth in the initial agreement regardless if your move weighs less or more. A mover has the right to change a binding estimate if additional services are needed or if items are added to the existing shipment.
  3. Not-To-Exceed Estimates - are estimates that include guaranteed pricing. This option does offer price protection but still has similar options like binding estimates. This estimate also needs to be provided to you in writing and binded by the carrier. Not-to exceed estimates differs when you are quoted on the maximum amount. At the time of move, if your actual weight is less, you will pay the lesser of the two amounts.

In conclusion, movers will offer estimates based on the weight of your shipment, the distance of your move, and any other additional services that you may need. To avoid miscommunication between the different types of estimates that you are receiving, ask each moving company to provide clear estimates. Never forget to ask if they are part of the Better Business Bureau to ensure the legitimacy of the moving company that you have selected.