Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

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movingtoemeraldcity
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 pm

Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby movingtoemeraldcity » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:46 pm

Hi all,
I've found this site very helpful, thank you for setting it up!

I'm moving from Brooklyn, NY to Seattle, WA at the end of December. I initially got a quote from RMR (rmronline.com) because of a recommendation from a friend of a friend. They brought in an estimator from Continuum (www.continuumrelo.com). He was professional and helpful, and wrote out a cube sheet. Later RMR emailed me a non-binding estimate for 8792 lbs, w 3 months storage, crating for an electric piano and marble tabletop and shuttle for $15k, which must be pre-paid. The move would be done by allied van lines.

After looking at your lists, I contacted Dahill moving in Brooklyn, and Chris Blank came by. He was very friendly and helpful and spent much more time with us. He used a laptop to record our items and gave us a non-binding estimate on the spot for 7600 lbs, and 2 months storage for $10.4k. He also gave us an on-point price certainty estimate of $10.9k. He didn't think we'd need a shuttle if we could do the move during street cleaning for the nearby 2way street, and he also thought the crating was totally unnecessary. If you remove the crating and shuttle from the other estimate and make it 2 months storage it comes down to around $11.5k.

It seems clear to us that we should go with Dahill, given the recommendations here and the fact that they're a brooklyn company and know the area. I'm just not sure about whether to go with the non-binding or the on-point price certainty quote. The on-point quote says that $45 per hundred weight is refunded for weights less than the estimate. This is apparently a lot less that we'd get from the non-binding estimate being lower. However, the other estimator had a much higher weight. So I like the idea of a binding quote. Any advice?

I'm also concerned about the weighings. I doubt I'll be able to witness them, but I will request the weight certificates. Any idea how often movers scam the weighings or is it hard to do?

I will write back to post the results of the move.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby Diane » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:00 pm

For the $500 difference in price, I personally would choose the Binding Not to Exceed estimate. Note that the On Point Price Certainty quote should say that it comes with weight allowance credit. These are the estimate terms currently in use by Mayflower:
For Mayflower Transit

Nonbinding - Nonbinding

Binding - On Point Price Certainty

Binding Not to Exceed - On Point Price Certainty with weight allowance credit (also known as an Option W estimate)

I don't think you have anything to worry about with regard to the weighings being honest. In all the 5-6 years I've been following this messageboard, I think I read about ONE CASE where the weighing was questionable with a major van line like Mayflower. And if you get a United driver, which you might because they occasionally share loads, United is probably even more reliable than Mayflower.

I looked at the RMR and Continuum websites and it seemed to me that both are third-party relocation services specializing in booking executive or corporate moves. So you would have not only one but TWO such services interposed before Allied Van Lines got into it. There is no point in doing this when you can deal directly with a reputable local van line agent that is familiar with the area (street cleaning, etc.).
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

movingtoemeraldcity
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby movingtoemeraldcity » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:37 pm

Thank you for your help Diane.
I'm a little confused because the on-point price certainty quote does not mention option w, but it does say that
"If actual weight is less than the bound weight shown above, an allowance equal to $45.00 per hundredweight will be paid (or credited) to shipper based on the difference between the actual weight or 2100 pounds (whichever is greater) and the bound weight."

My concern is that if we are under 7600 lbs, we would get only $0.45/lb back, but the rate per pound is closer to $1.00/lb, and we'd save more under the non-binding if our actual weight was lighter than the estimate. My feeling is we should probably go with the binding not to exceed since our other estimate was heavier. I just wanted to make sure these numbers looked reasonable.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby Diane » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:30 pm

movingtoemeraldcity wrote:My concern is that if we are under 7600 lbs, we would get only $0.45/lb back, but the rate per pound is closer to $1.00/lb, and we'd save more under the non-binding if our actual weight was lighter than the estimate.

How are you figuring the $1.00/lb . . . where does that number come from? It's hard to compare because you've included the cost of storage in the total. How much are the Dahill Nonbinding and Binding Not to Exceed quotes excluding the storage?

As for the wording of the estimate, it's OK. Each Mayflower agent will probably word it somewhat differently, but it's clear that it means a Binding Not to Exceed estimate, even without the words "Option W."

movingtoemeraldcity
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby movingtoemeraldcity » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:00 pm

Well, that's true. It may be less than $1/lb when you consider overhead costs. The estimate doesn't break down the transportation charges, but the total transportation is $7019 for 7600lbs (no shuttle, valuation is separate).

EastCoastMover
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:48 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby EastCoastMover » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:24 pm

if the marble table top is in fact marble....crate it...that is the only way to ensure it will be protected.. if it is shipped cross country wrapped in a pad and damage occurs there isnt a vanline out there that will cover the damage...also if they are going to move you on street cleaning day to save a shuttle you had better get a 1 day load date in writing...sorry to sound negative just makin sure you cover your bases..good luck

rydog444
Posts: 1022
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:44 pm

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby rydog444 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:31 pm

Read the very top of the estimate. I believe that you are reading the fine print below the actual cost. On the top of the estimate, it should say something like "Binding estimate with weight allowance credit" or something to that effect.

How big is the marble top? If it is roughly the size on a nightstand table top or smaller, I personally wouldn't worry about it at all if they planned on packing it in a mirror carton. If it is much larger than that, then yes, it definately should be crated.
My job is to give the best domestic and international moving services to my corporate clients by using the best movers in the world, regardless of vanline affiliation.

BillAdams
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: Choosing between binding and non-binding estimates

Postby BillAdams » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:36 am

Nice work. $45/100 lbs is not a good value, considering it should be around $78/100lbs in that weight range (7600-8800lbs).

Are you planning to do more purging to get your weight down, or is the cube sheet very accurate?

Definately crate the marble, and be prepared for the shuttle in case it is performed. If it is needed, it will be on your bill regardless of conversations with anyone prior to load day.

Not to sound negative, but my initial reaction to your experience is that you had two very different people come to your home to give you estimates:

One who wanted you to have a good move, and one who wanted to book a move to earn a commission.

To compare pricing (just pricing - not service capability or the other intangibles), ask each company to provide you with two estimates on identical weights and packing counts, including the crate, and showing the shuttle seperately. Perhaps 7000 lbs and 9000 lbs.

Not to exceed vs non-binding may not even be your decision maker.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
-Mark Twain


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