How to Compare Moving Estimates


For many customers, the idea of shopping around is not new, however if you’re comparing moving estimates, it is important to look at the different types of moving estimates and other factors that can influence their costs. You always want to make sure you are comparing comparable estimates when trying to find your best-fit service provider. Below we have broken down the types of moving estimates along with other factors that can contribute to the differences in estimates. 

Types of Moving Estimates

Binding Estimate

A binding estimate determines a guaranteed total payment for your move based on the quantity of items and services rendered. This prevents the possibility of overages if your move is more than originally estimated, but also means that there are no reimbursements for shipments that are less than originally estimated. 

Non-binding Estimate

A non-binding estimate is an approximation of the cost for your move based on the estimated weight and services you have requested. Unlike a binding estimate, non-binding estimates are subject to change based on the actual shipment weight and services provided on moving day. 

Binding not-to-exceed Estimate

One of the most popular moving estimates for customers is a binding not-to-exceed estimate. This estimate guarantees that the price given is the maximum amount that can be charged even if the final shipping weight is greater than expected. In a binding not-to-exceed estimate, if the final shipment weight is less than anticipated, the customer will only be charged for the actual shipment weight. 

When pricing your moving options, always be sure to clarify which type of estimate your mover is providing. 

Factors That Contribute to your Moving Estimate


There are three standard types of moves that can impact  your moving estimate: local moves, intrastate moves, and interstate moves. Since distance is a consideration when pricing your relocation, it’s important to know which category your move falls into. 

Local moves are typically under 50 miles between your two locations. These are typically estimated using hourly rates for the number of movers your relocation requires. These estimates will depend on how long it actually takes on moving day. 

Intrastate moves are moves that stay within your state but are further than 50 miles apart. These estimates can be based on either hourly rates for your movers or based on the weight and miles of your relocation. To best understand your moving estimate, ask how your move was quoted. 

Interstate or long distance moves are any movies that cross state lines. This moving estimate is based on the miles traveled and the weight of your shipment. This type of move typically costs more due to additional fuel and labor requirements. 


For moves that quote based on shipment weight, the larger your shipment, the greater the cost. Any shipment greater than 10,000 lbs will typically require multiple days of services, often resulting in higher fees. 

Move dates

The dates you choose to move can also impact your moving estimate. Weekdays will typically be the cheapest options for move dates compared to weekends. If you are moving on or around a holiday, there may be additional charges to your estimate. 

For customers considering a move during peak season (May – September), we always recommend booking early, as summer months can often see blackout dates due to lack of availability.

Additional services

Other services that your moving company completes can add to your moving estimate price. These services can include packing and unpacking, storage, and more. More information about making sense of what goes into your moving estimate can be found here

For more information on what is included in your moving contract, read here. If you are looking to schedule a move, or have any questions about your moving estimate, contact us today! Contact our team today to schedule your virtual or in-home estimate for your upcoming relocation.