If you are considering using a moving company, then you need to think about how you want to go about obtaining estimates. In fact, there are three main types of estimates that a moving company is likely to offer; knowing their differences and similarities will also give you a great idea of what to expect and how to budget for your move.
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Nonbinding Moving Estimate.
Just like it says, a nonbinding estimate is one which can change. Basically, the moving company will look at your items and what they will be moving and then tell you how much they think it will cost.
In order to give you a real cost or price, the moving company will need to weigh all your items. The estimate actually offers a guess as to this weight, upon which the price is based. If your stuff ends up weighing more, you will ultimately pay more. Obviously, if your possession weigh less, you will pay less. However, there are some things to consider which such estimates:
- Vulnerable to possible scams. Since your price can change...and since you won't know this until during the move...be careful for those companies that intentionally offer an excessively low estimate only to raise the price very high in the end.
- Most common type. This estimate is easy and can even be given over the phone. Anything this easy should be only used after careful consideration.
- Better for those with less stuff. And for people not looking to move items that are overly heavy. It is also probably a decent ideas for folks who might be a little pressed for time and want a quick estimate.
Binding Moving Estimate.
A binding estimate will not change once it is given. There is no uncertainty here and this can be a great option for those looking to have an accurate estimate and budget all the costs of the move as closely as possible. Consider the following:
- No extra charges. If the weight of your items is more than was thought or the actual shipment was underestimated in the first place, you will not face any additional fees or charges.
- Makes planning and budgeting easy. Since you know exactly what your charges will be, this makes for easy planning and budgeting.
- No refunds. If you end up having a shipment weight lower than your actual estimate, you are still going to pay the quoted fee. No refunds.
Binding Not To Exceed Moving Estimate.
This type of estimate might give you the best of both worlds. The moving company cannot raise your price above the quoted estimate. However, they can actually lower your price if the shipment weight comes in lower than what was estimated.
Of course, always research your moving company. Ask if they have a binding not to exceed estimate. Also, check them out on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.