Request Estimates or Bids • Letter Templates and Guide

Guide

1Invite the contractor to submit a bid or estimate.
2State clearly and completely the bid or estimate's specifications, including whether you will accept "in lieu of" substitutions. The more exact you make your request, the easier it will be to compare offers later.
3Clearly state the deadline for submitting the bid or estimate, and the deadline for completing the work or delivering the product. Finally, tell specifically how the bid should be packaged.

Tips

If the anticipated contract is relatively small, state the requirements in the body of a letter. If you expect the contract to be extensive, write a cover letter to accompany your complete list of needs or requirements. Sometimes requests for bids and estimates are referred to as "Requests for Proposals" and "Requests for Quotations."
Regardless of the size of your anticipated contract, describe in precise detail everything that will be involved in your total cost: all materials, specifications, quantities, types, colors, and model numbers. To ensure that you do not overlook anything, use the eventual contract as your guide in writing the letter.
To avoid future misunderstandings, be sure that all agreements are written. If a bid is made by telephone, secure written confirmation as soon as possible.

Example Letter #1

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On behalf of the Doe Corporation, I invite you to submit an estimate for an alarm system for our new headquarters which will be located in Springfield, Kansas.

Enclosed is a packet which outlines the specifications for our request and the layout of the buildings. We want a complete estimate for your deluxe security system by December 1, along with a guarantee that you can finish the system within two weeks of signing the contract.

Thank you for your help.

Example Letter #2

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We are currently accepting bids for replacing the rail fence that borders three sides of the Doe property. The job will include dismantling the present fence, cleaning the area, and hauling away the debris. We want to build a new five-foot high cedar fence in its place.

Attached to this letter is a detailed sketch of the property. We will secure all formal approvals in advance, so your estimate need not include city building clearances.

If you are interested in bidding, we would appreciate your quotation on or before 3:00 p.m. Friday, March 15. Send or deliver your bid to Doe Designs, 1600 Main Street, Springfield, Kansas 12345. We hope to hear from you soon.

Example Letter #3

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I am writing to request your bid for the purchase and installation of three Doe bicycle vaults in the parking lot adjacent to our building. This is to be a comprehensive bid for installation, following Doe's specifications as shown on the enclosed pamphlet. Enclosed you will find documentation that there are no underground utilities in the area of the installation. The contractor will be required to secure the necessary permits.

Your signed and sealed bid must be returned to my office by 5:00 p.m. on October 1. Thank you.

Example Letter #4

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As a Springfield contractor, you are invited to submit a bid on the Doe Mansion. We are seeking bids on construction of the entire mansion, including all subcontracted work. The complete plans and specifications are available at Doe Industries, 1600 Main Street, Springfield.

We will be accepting bids until January 4, 2019 at our offices on our standard contractor's forms.

Example Letter #5

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Doe Company is currently seeking bids on setting up and maintaining a web page that will showcase our new software products. Bids must include a sample page that incorporates the company logo, descriptions of the four sample products described on the attached pages, proposed icons for each products, and sample "hot buttons" for further information, downloading software samples, and ordering each product. Please see the attached specifications for further details about our requirements.

Doe Company looks forward to receiving your bid by Friday, December 30. The web site must be ready for testing by January 31 and fully operational by February 27. We look forward to your response.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1

Invite the contractor to submit a bid or estimate.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

2

State clearly and completely the bid or estimate's specifications, including whether you will accept "in lieu of" substitutions. The more exact you make your request, the easier it will be to compare offers later.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

3

Clearly state the deadline for submitting the bid or estimate, and the deadline for completing the work or delivering the product. Finally, tell specifically how the bid should be packaged.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases