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May 01, 00:22
Question by Esther (Esther)

Would it be safe to have binding estimate based on cubic feet?

I understand that it's more reliable to use weight measurements for pricing (for my move interstate) than cubic feet. However, what if: a) the company with the cubic feet is giving me a BINDING quote - so I know it's fair and b) I have a large library and heavy dining/conference table to move, so the weight can be a tremendous amount.

May 01, 20:16
Answer by julie (Julie Owens)

It is a very interesting case.

Basically, although it is not OK for the company to offer you any deals based on cubic feet, there are no laws or rules that limit you as a customer to offer this option to the company, especially when it comes to binding deals.

Earlier I explained to Jeanette why it is always safer to close any kind of deals based on weight and not volume (read Does it matter if my flat price is based on weight or volume?). Your case is a bit different since you know for sure that your shipment is heavy.

Here it is important to understand how you should safely close your flat deal based on cubic feet:
  1. First, you should only close a deal with a company that sends visual estimator to your house (therefore moving brokers are out).

  2. Second, the estimator should list all your items on the standard item sheet, and not just on a piece of paper. Those sheets have cubic feet values for each item that are later translated to pounds based on a 1:7 rule (1 cubic foot of household goods = 7 lbs.)

  3. In your case offer the estimator not to translate the cubic feet to pounds but to give you a flat price based on the company's price per cu/ft.

  4. Then it is time to protect yourself. Make sure you specify on the estimate that this volume is not to be challenged on the day of the move if the actual list of items matches the one taken by the estimator. Make sure the estimator signs this document and writes clearly that it is FLAT BINDING PRICE.

  5. Finally, on the day of the move before the movers touch your items you will sign more documents (read here what types of documents are signed on the day of the move) - make sure that on the Order For Service it is clearly written that the price if final and not subject to change - and signed by the foreman.
Then you can proceed with your move.

Good luck with your move,

Julie Owens @

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May 01, 21:11
Comment by Esther (Esther)

"although it is not OK for the company to offer you any deals based on cubic feet,"

Does that mean that if a company offers to use cubic feet, I should automatically refuse to use them? Are they actually doing something illegal?

May 01, 22:32
Comment by julie (Julie Owens)

Starting from July 2005 offering estimates based on cubic feet is illegal.


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