Moving Estimate vs. Quote? What’s The Difference?

Moving Estimate vs. Quote? What’s The Difference?

So, you’re looking to hire a moving company. You’ve invited a few reputable Portland local movers to conduct a thorough survey of your house and your belongings. Your move is looking good. But did you know there are different types of proposed moving fees/ pricing?

It’s paramount that you know the difference between moving estimates and quotes, and know which works best for your move.

Moving Estimate

A non-binding moving estimate is widely used for long-distance or interstate moves. It implies that the price the movers presented to you is the proposed cost for your move. It’s often provided to customers so that they anticipate the total cost, choose the best company, and draft a moving budget.

At no point should this price be construed as the guaranteed or contracted price. It’s just what the moving company in Portland thinks the move will cost you. In principle, the final price – what you’ll actually pay – will depend on the actual weight of your stuff and inventory.

Therefore, if the actual services become more than the estimate, then you will pay more than the estimated price. If the actual services/weight end up totaling a little less than the estimate you received, then you will end up paying a little less than the estimated price. It’s that straightforward.

Naturally, if you’re on a tight budget and looking for the lowest price, a moving estimate is your best shot, as your final price can potentially be much lower than the estimated price. It’s not always the case, though.

How are moving estimates calculated? Good question. You see, most interstate prices are delivered in the form of a non-binding moving estimate. And they are calculated based on the number of packing materials and the weight of your stuff. The movers often estimate the total weight of your move based on the inventory. Once the truck is loaded, however, the actual weight can be determined. Same goes for the packing materials.


Also called binding estimate, a quote implies that you’ll pay what the moving company presents to you, regardless of whether the actual weight ends up being more or less than the estimated weight.

The beauty of a quote is that the transportation price is contracted and guaranteed. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’ll pay, making budgeting and planning effortless.

However, Portland local movers have the right to revise, turn it into a moving estimate, or reject the quote altogether if they feel that there are more items to load and unload than the inventory.