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Understanding Your Moving Quote

Published by Chris Townsend

Understanding Your Moving Quote

Moves are complicated, and that’s before you get into all the terms and calculations that come with your moving estimate. In order to ensure that you know what you are getting charged for, you should familiarize yourself with how moving estimates work and what is included in them.

To that end, we have compiled all the important information about them to help you out. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Moving Estimate Basics

Moving estimates provide you a precise estimate of how much it will cost to relocate. After submitting basic information, such as the items you're relocating, if you need the items packed, and where your belongings are going, you'll usually get one.

Some moving firms provide quotes over the phone, while others allow you to request a quote via the internet. An in-person consultation is usually required for the most accurate moving business estimate. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, some companies have curtailed in-person moving company quotes. To limit public interactions and adhere to social distance norms, several organizations are conducting move cost estimates digitally.

Regardless of how the moving quote is delivered, one thing remains constant: reading through a moving business estimate might seem a lot like doing rocket science.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. Knowing some of the most often used moving business estimate words and acronyms may help you negotiate more effectively.

Here are some of the terminology you'll notice on your moving company's cost quote paperwork, along with their definitions.

Different types of estimates

Different Types of Estimates

  1. Binding

When it comes to choosing a mover, it is best to go with a binding estimate for your quotes as opposed to a non-binding one. With a binding estimate, the amount quoted by the moving company isn’t supposed to change once the job is completed, regardless of how much over the weight or volume estimate is. You should know that this also works the other way around, which means if your initial quote was over estimated you won’t get a refund.

If you need to add more things to your move, you'll need to either negotiate a new binding quote or arrange with the moving company ahead of time to accept the new items for no additional price.

  1. ‘Binding not to exceed’

The most popular moving business estimate is a 'binding not to exceed' estimate because you'll know the maximum you'll have to pay. You won't have to pay anything extra if your shipment is heavier than the business originally estimated. However, if your things are lighter than estimated, you will only be charged for the real cost, which will save you money.

  1. Non-binding

Non-binding moving estimates should be approached with caution (or avoid them altogether). The term 'non-binding' can imply that the movers are not obligated to follow the quote.

This frequently happens because the moving company gave you a volume or weight estimate. This strategy may be used by a moving company to give you a lesser quotation and win your business. However, if your products are substantially heavier than the non-binding price you were provided, you will pay significantly more than you expected after you agree.

Movers will overestimate weight or volume

Weight or Volume, Which One Matters More?

There are more significant elements to consider if you're deciding whether to receive a moving company quotation based on volume or weight. Untrustworthy movers will overestimate weight or volume in order to get your business with a non-binding quote, knowing well that you'll wind up paying more in the end.

Working with reliable moving firms that provide binding or binding not to exceed moving quotations is the only way to go. Whether the bound moving quotations are based on weight or volume, you'll know exactly what to expect and won't be surprised by unexpected expenses after delivery.

Different Terms in Moving Estimates

Brush up on the following ten moving quote terminology before signing on the dotted line. When you're comparing moving company quotes, they'll come in helpful.

  1. COD

You'll have to pay for the shipment when it arrives at your new house, which is known as "cash on delivery." Inquire about payment options, such as credit card, check, or cash, with the moving company ahead of time. If you paid cash for the shipping, make sure you get a signed receipt for the amount you paid.

Carrier packed
  1. CP

You may notice the term "CP" on your bid or mover's quote contract if you have your movers undertake some of your packing. CP means "Carrier Packed". It’s used to specify how many items and boxes were moved by the crew.

There will be an additional charge for this service, as expected. If you combine self-packing and moving services during your relocation, keep track of the boxes that are marked as "CP" on your estimate and on the final invoice to avoid overpaying.

  1. Bill of lading

The bill of lading, often known as the BOL, is the most significant document you'll receive. It's the official contract between you and the movers. Before you sign it, double-check that the moving goods are listed correctly, as well as the pick-up and delivery addresses. If something goes wrong, you'll need to refer to your BOL, so make a copy and keep it safe.

  1. Inventory

The inventory is a catalog of all of your personal belongings. It's long and detailed, with quantities listed and descriptions of each item's condition. It's all too simple to overlook the inventory, yet doing so could end up costing you money. If something is missing or broken when it arrives, check your inventory list to be sure it was included in the shipment and wasn't already listed as damaged.

Transporting your furniture and boxes
  1. Flight charge

Isn't it true that you paid for a truck rather than an airplane? This term does not apply to the expense of shipping your belongings by airline; rather, it refers to the number of flights of steps your movers must negotiate when transporting your furniture and boxes. If you're moving from a bottom-floor apartment to a single-story home, make sure this number is zero on your quote.

  1. Cube sheet

If your moving quote mentions the "cube sheet," that's the vendor's way of referring to the document they use to estimate your cargo's weight. To create your moving bid, movers calculate the number of cubic feet your goods will take up in the truck, then convert that to a weight estimate.

  1. PAD

While the movers will use foam and bubble wrap to protect your furniture and other belongings during the relocation, the abbreviation "PAD" really stands for "Preferred Arrival Date." Enter the date you want your goods to arrive at your new house if you're requested to fill out a form with this word.

  1. PBO

"Packed By Owner" is the abbreviation. Instead of having your movers pack your belongings for you, you may usually save a few dollars by doing it yourself. Your final bill should not reflect any packing service if your contract states "PBO" and you pack all of your own stuff.

Mover estimates your items
  1. Valuation

Moving coverage and valuation go hand in hand. It's the amount the mover estimates your items are worth, as well as the maximum amount they'll accept liable for, based on their weight. Consider getting additional coverage to protect yourself if the mover misplaces or destroys your items, as previously suggested.

  1. Standard coverage

Free insurance is included as part of every moving estimate. If it’s not, be wary. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t cover lot: if your items are damaged, you'll be compensated based on the item's weight. In most cases, standard coverage is limited to $0.60 per pound of damaged items.

Consider this: A laptop is only a few of pounds. If it is lost or destroyed during the transport, you will be compensated around $1.20 to $2.40. As a result, think about getting extra insurance to cover the expense of higher-value products. The cost of replacing any lost or damaged products will be covered by full value protection.

Things to Consider Before Signing an Estimate

It’s not a good idea to sign an estimate until you're certain that the one option you are going for is the right one for you. Examined the moving company's references and check reviews from previous customers about them online before making a choice. Also, examine all of the quote's specifics to ensure that the information provided is accurate and full.

You should avoid signing non-binding estimates if possible because you'll almost certainly end up paying more than you anticipated. And if there's anything that you don't understand about the estimate, ask them to clarify for you and perform a fast fact check on Google to make sure their explanation is correct.

Moving estimates work

Final Thoughts

We believe that it is critical for the customer to understand how their move is calculated, and what is written in their estimate, in order for them to make an informed decision that benefits them. This is why we considered it was a good idea to write an article on the topic.

Now that you know how moving estimates work, you are in a better position to determine whether one is good for you or not. Start by getting an estimate from a reliable company, like Three Movers. Contact us today for a free estimate on your next move.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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