Best tips for How to understand Your Moving Company Estimate

How to Understand Moving Company Estimate

Often consumers looking for a moving company don’t realize there are types of moving company estimates available other than what they are receiving from their moving companies. There are three types of estimates that are common in the moving industry that every consumer looking for a moving company should be aware of.

  • Non-Binding Moving Estimate
  • Binding Moving Estimate
  • Binding-not-to-Exceed Moving Estimate

However, understanding the ins and outs of your moving estimate is crucial to a successful move. For this reason, we never recommend blindly agreeing to a moving quote without researching the type of estimate offered first including its pros and cons.

How to Understand Moving Company Estimate

So, before we explain to you about the 3 different types of estimates, we would like to inform you, that below is the list of moving estimates companies usually include some or all of the following:

  • The estimated weight of your household goods
  • The approximate number of items to be moved (includes boxes, furniture, and everything in between)
  • Your origin and destination addresses, and the distance between them
  • Crew size, number of trucks, and hourly rate multiplied by the estimated total move time
  • Your move date and delivery date (or delivery window if you’re moving out of state)
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • Travel time
  • Packing materials and labor (if the company will be doing some or all of the packing for you)
  • If you’ll be packing yourself but want boxes delivered, there will be box charges and maybe even a delivery fee
  • Optional services like packing and unpacking, appliance servicing, and items that require special handlings like pianos, pool tables, and home entertainment systems
  • Short or long-term storage
  • Insurance
  • Acceptable methods of payment
  • Payment terms

Three Types of Moving Company Estimates

1. Non-Binding Estimates

A non-moving binding estimate is a calculated guess of the moving cost. You should approach non-binding moving estimates with caution or avoid them altogether because this estimate is not set and will most likely change be depending on the actual weight of the move.

Altogether, we don’t recommend hiring a moving company that provides only and only non-binding estimates because this might include many additional hidden charges like packing supplies, long carry fees, labor, moving insurance, etc. And in the end, you could end up paying more for your move.


  • If you are lucky, the final moving cost may be lower. Although the chances are often rare.


  • There are usually additional hidden charges. Hence, the final cost may be higher.
  • Too good to be true. But there are red flags.
  • The moving company can increase the price.

2. Binding Estimate:

A binding moving estimate is a moving quote that holds the moving company to the quoted estimate, in other words, we would call it a “Fixed price estimate”, a quote that is based on the appropriate weight of the customer belongings.

However, if the customer agrees to a binding estimate, then they will have to pay exactly what they were originally quoted, even if your belongings weigh less than the estimated weight.

Also, adding items onto the moving truck isn’t allowed, and if you end up needing to add more items to the moving truck, you’ll need to negotiate ahead of time with your moving company to accept the new items for no additional fee or negotiate a new binding quote.


  • A fixed cost is guaranteed.
  • The moving company cannot increase the price or overcharge you at the last minute.
  • You don’t need to worry about paying high prices.
  • You can budget and plan for your move accordingly.


  • You have to pay the fixed cost, even if your belongings weigh less than the original estimated weight.

3. Binding not-to-exceed:

The binding a not-to-exceed moving estimate is the most popular among the customers making an interstate or long-distance move. This moving estimate is consumer-friendly and easy to explain.

If your shipment is heavier than what the company originally quoted, they won’t charge anything extra. However, if your shipment weights are less than originally quoted you’ll only pay for the actual cost, which leads to saving your money.


  • This moving estimate is consumer-friendly and easy to explain.
  • You won’t pay any overcharges.
  • You may pay less than what was originally quoted.

Once you have received estimates from various moving companies you have approached, go through each estimate thoroughly, confirm with the moving company about any additional charges, if the quote they provided is not accurate, ask them to provide you with a well-detailed and accurate quote. With this, you can avoid additional hidden charges.

We the Sunstars Movers offers well detailed, reliable, and highly professional services. Contact us today to get an accurate free quote for your move. We guarantee you high quality and excellent services that will give you complete satisfaction.

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