What is a Ballpark Figure?

A ballpark figure is an estimate.

How Does a Ballpark Figure Work?

Let's say John Doe is at a cocktail party and meets Jane Smith, who runs a contracting company. John mentions that he wants to have his driveway repaved but doesn't know whether that sort of work costs $100 or $10,000. He asks Jane Smith for a ballpark figure, knowing that she hasn't seen the driveway and isn't under pressure to commit to the price. She tells John that driveways generally cost $5,000 or $6,000.

A ballpark figure is not the same as a written estimate or a good faith estimate, which provides detailed costs and is meant to provide reliable disclosure to a customer.

Why Does a Ballpark Figure Matter?

Ballpark figures help people get a sense of what things cost. In turn, they allow people to shop around, avoid surprises and get a sense for what is appropriate.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

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