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Old 03-01-2018, 04:31 PM
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,682 posts, read 2,178,988 times
Reputation: 5170


We recently got 3 estimates to move from VA to FL. The first two movers gave us binding estimates. The third mover, affiliated with a big national company, gave us the option to either go with a binding estimate, or a non-binding estimate which is subject to weighing the truck after it is loaded.

Which makes more sense? We think the binding estimate is going to be on the high side compared to the non-binding, but there is something uncomfortable about not knowing exactly what you are going to pay until after the truck is loaded. Also, a number of websites urge people who are moving to get only binding estimates, apparently so they are not overcharged in the end. Still, if there is weighing involved, I don't see how they could easily cheat? Thoughts?
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:28 PM
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I had a binding estimate from North FL to CT,the load was weighed along the way.The load was more than estimate but charge was locked in,North American Van Line,excellent job.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:00 PM
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We just got our first estimate to move from NJ to NC. The estimate is binding unless the weight is less than estimated then we get credited. If the weight is more the estimated cost stands.

We have 2 more estimates scheduled.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:52 AM
73 posts, read 113,670 times
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United Van Lines does estimates similar to that. With these Straight Talk Price Assurance estimates however, You only get a Portion of what your refund should have been if it were just Non-Binding.


As far as Non-Binding vs Binding Estimates go, Both have pro's and cons.

With Binding, if your actual weight goes under what was estimated, you're still paying the estimated price.

With non-binding, if your weight goes over, You're paying for what the actual weight was.

As far as Weights being manipulated, it's possible - but you can request re-weighs if your believe your actual weight to be less than what the mover is telling you. They cannot tell you "No", as this request is a right. You have the option of being present when the driver gets the weights as well, but you'll need to travel to the truckstops and either follow the driver there, or meet with them.

Personally, I prefer to give customers Non-Binding Estimates, as I usually estimate on the higher end just to avoid any potential surprise charges. This is the most fair to both you and the van line, as you're only paying for actual services rendered.

With binding estimates, Sometimes the customer gets a better deal, Sometimes the Van Line gets a better deal.

If you do decide to go with a Non-Binding Estimate, and your estimated weight is significantly more than what was estimated, There is a 110% collection clause.

Say for instance, your estimated weight was 10,000lbs, but the actual weight was 15,000lbs. In order to deliver this shipment, you must pay at minimum 110% of the quote (the cost for 11,000lbs) - but you will still owe the remaining debt. This is to be collected within 30 days. This protection is put in place FOR YOU by the government. This prevents "Hijacking" someones possessions.

It all depends on your personal preference. If you're on a tight budget, I would suggest a Binding Estimate. You might end up paying more than what you would have - but you'll know exactly what your figure would be at the end of the move - as long as nothing changes with your move.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:05 AM
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,682 posts, read 2,178,988 times
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Thank you all for the responses.

We've asked the third mover to give us both kinds of estimates. We're thinking that the non-binding estimate makes more sense, as it is fair to both parties. Given the 110% clause, if a mover is determined to cheat, they can do so with either kind of estimate.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:48 PM
Location: San Diego
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I would get binding estimates and try and negotiate to where you are comfortable.
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Old 03-25-2023, 10:02 AM
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I'd lean toward the binding estimate if I were in your position. A nonbinding estimate leaves the door open for unexpected price hikes, which are something of a problem in the moving industry as I understand. I always prefer to know what I'll be paying without leaving any room for surprises even if it means paying a little more. If you want to know more about how they work, this article has some info about the different types of quotes https://threemovers.com/understandin...-moving-quote/
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