Request Estimates or Bids — Letter-Writing Tutorial


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."<br>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.<br>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.


1. Invite the contractor to submit a bid or estimate.


  • We are pleased to invite you to submit a bid to supply the office furniture for our new headquarters in Dallas.
  • We are soliciting bids for janitorial services for the new county building.
  • Springfield City invites bids for the construction of its proposed municipal swimming pool.
  • We have attached a list of computer software that we plan to purchase in the next few months. If you are interested in bidding on any of these items, please return the list with your bids marked by May 15.
  • We would like you to submit an estimate of the cost of resurfacing our parking area.
  • Please send us your quotations for the items listed on the attached page. We anticipate making these purchases before August 31.
  • Attached is a list of our requirements for the construction of a condominium complex in North Hampton. We invite you to submit a proposal for this construction.


  • an estimate of your fees
  • an estimate of the cost of
  • are currently accepting bids for
  • are happy to open a bid to you for
  • are requesting proposals from several
  • are making plans to expand our
  • are seeking a source of
  • are planning to upgrade our
  • are pleased to invite you to
  • are soliciting price quotations on
  • are currently seeking bids on
  • attached is a detailed description of
  • attached is a list of
  • details are outlined in
  • if you are interested in bidding
  • in view of your company's
  • invite you to bid on
  • look over our requirements and
  • plan to make extensive changes to
  • plan to purchase
  • please let us know what the costs would be
  • please let us know what you would charge
  • submit a bid for
  • submit a bid and detailed proposal for
  • the bid number is
  • want to put together a comprehensive
  • wish to contract with an independent firm to
  • would appreciate a quotation from you on

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.


  • The attached list identifies the specific pieces that we will need to complement our existing furniture. If you do not have a particular item, please send a picture and catalog description of any proposed substitution.
  • For your bid I have attached a list of the materials and specifications that we used on the last project. We plan to follow the same plans for this one.
  • I have listed below the sizes and colors of sweaters that we plan to purchase for our fall inventory. No substitutions, please.<br />Include in your bid any cost for shipping and handling.
  • Please do not quote prices for items that you cannot supply. We will not accept substitutions for items 10 through 12.
  • If you do not handle a specific item, but can provide us with a comparable item of similar quality and color, please give us a quote on the substitution and send us a picture and catalog description of it.
  • If, for some reason, you do not have some of the items listed, we will welcome your suggestions for substitutions.
  • Attached is a list of the models we are requesting bids on. If you have newer models in stock, please indicate their prices, too.
  • Please let us know whether you have enough information to proceed with this request by Labor Day.


  • a summary of additional conditions
  • accompanying technical proposals
  • are available for study
  • attached list identifies
  • be sure to include the cost of all
  • cannot accept substitutions for
  • consider the following
  • details are outlined in
  • if you can provide a comparable
  • if you need additional information
  • important considerations include
  • include your shipping and handling costs
  • including installation costs
  • must be delivered within
  • must conform to the conditions of
  • no substitutions, please
  • please include separate quotes for
  • potential for further
  • price should include freight to
  • project will require extensive
  • require a quantity of
  • requirements include
  • specifically, we want a
  • to avoid delays
  • under the following conditions
  • welcome suggestions for substitutions
  • will need to include a

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.


  • We will need your estimate by July 1.
  • Please submit your proposal and quotation as soon as possible. We must make our decision by the end of the month.
  • We would like to make our purchase within the next three weeks, so the sooner you can contact us, the better.
  • Please submit your bid in an envelope marked "Sealed bid for Doe Condominium," sign across the seal, and send the bid to our main office before May 25.
  • Please submit your bid in a sealed envelope to the treasurer before 5:00 p.m. on June 21.
  • Each bid received in our office before September 1 will be considered a bona fide offer to provide the stated service, and shall be binding on the bidder.
  • Thank you for your timely response to our request. We will need your quotation by June 30.
  • If you choose to bid on this project, please have your bid in our office by Wednesday, August 4.
  • If you want to submit a bid, please detail your costs on the form we have provided, and submit the entire bid in a single, sealed envelope by December 5.
  • Please submit your proposal as soon as possible. We need to make our decision by May 1.


  • at your earliest convenience
  • call for an appointment to talk about
  • contractor will be selected on
  • deadline for receipt of your
  • have your bid in our office by
  • if you have any questions
  • if you choose to bid
  • in a sealed envelope
  • invite you to respond by
  • look forward to hearing from you soon
  • look forward to receiving
  • must make our decision by
  • need your estimate by
  • need your bid in writing no later than
  • please submit these as soon as possible
  • please call me at
  • submit your bid in an envelope marked
  • thank you for your timely response to
  • will announce their decision on
  • will review each bid and
  • will make our purchase within

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