Moving tips NYC
December 6, 2022

What are the different types of moving estimates?

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What are the types of moving estimates?

A company can provide one of three different relocation estimates. The distance of your move and your budget are the key factors influencing these estimations. Moving involves a lot of stuff, so it's crucial to plan everything out as soon as you know when you're moving.

Ensure you agree with the terms of the estimate before signing

We understand that you cannot approach a moving business with a moving request on the day of the move or a few days prior. In particular, if you are relocating long distance, have numerous items to move, and need full-service moving as well as other moving services, moving companies may be completely booked and may need some time to prepare an estimate.

For you to decide which sort of moving estimate is ideal or which one you prefer, we will explain the three main types.

The three different estimates are:

  • Binding
  • Non-binding
  • Binding not to exceed

Let's explain an estimate first before discussing the various kinds.

It is an estimate of the cost that the moving company will charge you to transport all of your belongings to your new residence or storage facility. A moving quotation is crucial because it can serve as a legally binding contract between two parties. It also gives you a ballpark figure for the expense of moving your possessions. This will enable you to appropriately plan your moving budget.

What is a binding estimate?

A contractual estimate guarantees that the amount stated will be the price you pay, even if additional expenses arise. This estimate depends on the dimensions and weight of your possessions. You should be aware that, depending on the circumstances, this may or may not be good. Naturally, there are advantages and disadvantages to a binding estimate.

Pros summarized:

  • Won’t pay for extra expenses
  • Fixed price

What is a “binding not to exceed” estimate?

This is probably the most common and popular estimate among those moving long distances. It is because, with this estimate, you pay what you are quoted, and even if the weight exceeds the amount quoted, you won’t pay more. Another benefit to this is that a “binding not to exceed” estimate means; if the items cost less than what’s originally quoted, you’ll pay less. So, ask for this quote if the moving company offers it.

Pros summarized:

  • Pay less if the items weigh less than what was initially quoted.
  • Won’t pay extra expenses

What is a non-binding estimate?

A non-binding estimate will change depending on the weight of your items. This means that you may not pay what was originally quoted. If your items exceed the weight quoted, you’ll have to pay the amount quoted plus an extra 10 percent when your items get delivered.

Don't feel pressured to chose an estimate you're not happy with

If a moving company only offers this type of estimate, they are probably going to scam you. They’ll charge you more than what the actual weight of the items is for their gain, and because you don’t know how the system works, you won’t know you’ve been scammed.

TIP: Be very careful of companies that only offer this type of quote, as it can be a drawback to you.

What happens after an agreement is reached?

You may begin preparing for your move once you have chosen the estimate that is best for you. Get all the packing materials you require, and choose your boxes carefully because some are heavy and may add to the weight. If you have a non-binding estimate, be cautious here. You might always hire expert packers to perform the work for you if you don't have enough time or help to organize and pack things.

Maintain a presence at all times so you can supervise the packers. Prepare a floor plan or packing plan for them to help with packing. Be humble, keep in mind that you hired experts who are skilled in their field, and keep in mind that you are only there to supervise.

Once everything is done and you’re all packed, it’s time to move. Have a moving day checklist so you don't forget any essentials. Remember to do a final walkthrough and ensure you’ve reserved an elevator if you live in an apartment building that requires you to do so.


Choosing from the three estimates you have the option of receiving (the majority of businesses do this) might be challenging. Asking your moving company and doing some research are the best ways to understand the estimates. Even if the weight is greater than what was first quoted, a binding estimate is a price you pay that is fixed.

A binding not to exceed estimate ensures that even if your things weigh more than what was first estimated, you won't be charged for the difference.

The non-binding estimate changes depending on the weight; if your belongings exceed the weight quoted, you’ll be responsible for paying an extra 10 percent of what was quoted. Be careful with this type of estimate.

Moving isn’t cheap, and understanding what estimate you need will help with your budget.

Ready to relocate?

Capital City Movers offer the best full-service move in NYC, so you don't have to stress about the process. Let us take care of all the demands of moving. Contact us for a free estimate at (718) 619-4881 or visit our website for more information. We always put our customers first, and you can rest assured that your belongings will be well taken care of.


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