How your mover gives an estimate should be a key factor in selecting your moving company. You would be surprised how that simple quality tells how much a relocating service cares about you. A good estimate not only gives you the security of knowing how much you should budget, but gives the moving company a realistic picture of how many laborers to hire, what size truck to bring etc. When you ask a moving company what kind of estimate they offer, you will get one of three answers: : non-binding, binding, and binding not-to-exceed. As you read on, you’ll find your customer service experience owes a lot to how the company answers that question.
A non-binding estimate is, essentially, a ballpark number. When the moving estimator comes into your home to price your move, the goal should be to determine an accurate assessment of how much stuff you have, how much it weighs, and how much labor it will take to get you from point A to point B. A non-binding assessment is not designed to be an accurate number. The moving company is in no way obligated to move your goods for the price offered on this type of estimate: the price on the estimate is likely to be far different from the actual cost of the move. If a moving service offers you a non-binding estimate, pass on them and move on.
A binding estimate offers you a concrete number that the moving company must adhere to. This places a burden on the estimator to accurately appraise the cost of the move. Often, a moving company will overestimate slightly, allowing some fudge room to cover those impossible-to-predict moving scenarios. It’s important to remember that a binding assessment is binding to both parties: if the move is less expensive than the estimator predicted, you still pay the same price.
By far the best option, a binding not-to-exceed estimate gives you the most flexibility when it comes to cost. This estimate puts a cap on the price of the move: the mover sets a price, and will not exceed it. However, if the move ends up being cheaper than they originally thought, you pay less. It’s a win-win. If a moving company offers you a binding not-to-exceed estimate, then it’s likely you’re working with a reputable company.
As you interview interstate moving companies, it’s important to be selective. Remember that you’re offering them your business. You don’t need them; they need you. If you come to a mover with a specific set of requirements, you’re more likely to get what you need from your moving experience.