Manage Your Moving Company Convos Like a Pro Manage Your Moving Company Convos Like a Pro

Manage Your Moving Company Convos Like a Pro

When you contact a Moving Company to discuss your Upcoming Move, speaking to someone who uses proper industry terminology adds an element of credibility that puts you at ease, right? Speaking to a qualified professional is impressive and reassuring. But, when you finish the call, are you left scratching your head wondering if you actually know what they’re talking about? You’re not alone! Jargon can be confusing no matter what industry you’re working with. And a miscommunication or misunderstanding can sometimes lead to additional charges or costs that you weren’t anticipating.



We’ve taken the most commonly used Words, Phrases and Terminology 

and translated them into an Easy-To-Use Glossary to help you… 


**Manage Your Moving Company Convos Like a Pro**


  • Shipper: The customer, or the person having the items shipped.
  • Carrier: The company, or the entity responsible for carrying the items.
  • HHG: Household Goods = your belongings. 


  • Quote/ Estimate: The approximate cost to handle your move.The initial estimate is made by gathering information over the phone or through a questionnaire filled out on a company’s website (a Quote Request or Estimate Request form). 


  • Onsite/ In-Home Evaluation or Walk-Through: Once an initial estimate has been obtained, prior to proceeding with the booking, a customer may want the company (or companies) to do an in-person audit of the home. During the walk-through (which most companies will handle remotely at this time), the company representative will take an inventory of all items to be moved and then a more precise estimate will be generated.


  • Non-Binding: A non-binding estimate is the initial amount quoted. The company has estimated an approximate cost based on the information you provided and their experience with similar-sized moves. If this is the only estimate you receive (which is common with smaller or more standard moves), the final bill will be calculated based on the rates and additional charges listed on your contract. The final cost may vary (sometimes greatly) from the estimated cost.


  • Binding: A binding estimate (or binding cost) means the final cost is agreed upon and will not change. A binding estimate is the precise cost generated as the result of a walk-through, or through another method of verifying the accuracy of the pricing (like a virtual tour or a comprehensive inventory provided by the customer).


  • Not-To-Exceed: Similar to a binding cost, this is the maximum amount that you will pay. Often with a job that is billed hourly, getting a Not-To-Exceed cost is the way to go because if it goes faster than expected, you may end up paying less (whereas a binding cost is essentially a flat rate).


  • BOL=Bill of Lading: The bill or invoice. The customer should look this over at the start of the move prior to signing, it will contain pricing info (make sure it matches the info on your contract); you should also be asked to sign this form at the completion of the move.


  • Order For Service: The industry name for your Contract


  • COI = Certificate of Insurance: Some Condo Associations, building/ property management companies require the movers to present their certificate of insurance prior to the move. The COI will list the company’s Workers Comp, General Liability, Cargo and Auto policies. If a company can’t give you a COI, do not use them.


  • Parking Permits (Street Occupancy Permits): In most Boston neighborhoods, parking is hard to come by–especially for a 40 foot truck. Permits reserve space for the moving truck and enable you to have vehicles towed from the reserved space, if necessary. [MORE INFO ON PERMITS]


  • Intrastate: Within the same state
  • Interstate: Going out of the state or crossing state lines.


  • Basic Valuation: The federal standard for how much your movers will need to reimburse you if one of your belongings is broken in the process of moving. Basic Valuation = $0.60 per pound, per item, meaning the reimbursement amount is based on the weight of the item multiplied by .60. If the item weighs 1 pound, regardless of its value, you will be paid $0.60 (sixty cents).


  • Items of Extraordinary Value: These are items that have a value greater than $100.00 per pound. The moving company will have you identify such articles (on a separate inventory sheet) prior to the move so they can be handled properly. This does not increase the reimbursement amount (see above).


  • Long Walk/ Long Carry: If you live in an elevator building, is there a long hallway from your door to the door of the elevator (used for moving)? Is there a long walk from the elevator to the loading dock/ truck? This is an important question often asked in advance, but not always understood by the customer. If you incorrectly answer “No” you may end up with a longer-than-expected move (that you are billed hourly for), or you could be hit with an additional fee. 


  • Flights of Stairs: Count from the sidewalk to the door of your residence. Similar to the Long Walk/ Long Carry, if you miscount the number of flights, you may end up with a smaller crew than necessary or an additional fee that you weren’t expecting. If there are exterior stairs, count those too. 


  • Oversized Items: An additional charge for oversized items is industry standard, but what constitutes an oversize item is somewhat subjective, so if you have an extra large piece of furniture/ artwork etc, ASK about it! 


Now that you’ve got your head in the moving jargon game, you can discuss your move with confidence and make an informed decision regarding the best fit for your needs. 


Did we miss anything? If there’s a Moving-Related Word, Term, Phrase, Etc that you don’t understand, shoot us an email and we will be happy to explain!


Thinking about Moving? Get a Free Estimate from Exela Movers!


Additional info from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:


Manage Your Moving Company Convos Like A Pro

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