Government bids

AP90

Well-known member
So I’ve seen some people on here comment that government bids are a race to the bottom. Why do you think that way. I can see that for something like a simple 100,000 postcard run, but for other jobs it seems like there is definitely some margin in there.

why do you say they’re a race to the bottom? And what’s your experience with them?
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
My experience with government bids about the same as corporate- you win some, you lose some. You can build relationships with government buyers and designers too. Some government agencies are extremely flexible, some plan months ahead, some are last minute. Some pay by credit card, some electronically for via paper check. DoD bids can have unusual specifications like flame retardant ratings for signage. Definitely bid if you think a job is a good fit for your equipment and team. You can always ask later what the low bid was when you lose, and ask before bidding what the low bid was last time they offered the job (some will share this information, some won't).
 

keith1

Well-known member
My experience with government contracts - both levels of government - is don't expect a windfall. Those that make money are those that wine & dine or otherwise pander to the purchasing agent and therefore land the nicer orders. It happens. Not much different than dealing with a large company/corporation. Overall, as SoggyWinter states; win some, lose some.
What it can do however, provided the volume is there, is perhaps boost your purchasing power with paper wholesalers & whoever. You'll be buying substantially more than previous. This can be a good thing.
Above all, proceed with caution and don't rely on government contracts to pave the way to gold. It's the smaller accounts that will get you there.
 

Puch

Well-known member
In the EU, it's a race to the bottom, really. The more type of jobs in the basket, the more possibilities to cheat. The winner is the bidder who gives the lowest offer on all (summa) jobs in the basket. The most used cheat is that you give a relatively high offer on common, often needed jobs, and give an extreme cheap offer on unneeded, 'must-be-there' jobs.

Imagine that there is a basket with color leaflets, color visit cards, color books and a visit card with embossing, foil stamping, spot varnishing. If you give a real-world offer on all of the jobs, you'll surely loose, since the VIP visit card will make your offer (the calculated sum of all the offers on the jobs) too high. There will be another bidder who will offer the VIP card for pennies, 'somehow' knowing that there will be no such visit cards ordered. So the cheater's bid will be lower (and winner), even if the price offered on common jobs is higher.

The only fair game is where they ask for offers on only one kind of job, and they state the copies that will be ordered, for sure. 'Open top' baskets are only up to the industry hawks.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
Imagine that there is a basket with color leaflets, color visit cards, color books and a visit card with embossing, foil stamping, spot varnishing. If you give a real-world offer on all of the jobs, you'll surely loose, since the VIP visit card will make your offer (the calculated sum of all the offers on the jobs) too high. There will be another bidder who will offer the VIP card for pennies, 'somehow' knowing that there will be no such visit cards ordered. So the cheater's bid will be lower (and winner), even if the price offered on common jobs is higher.
This guy bids.
 

gordo

Well-known member
Government Contract.jpg
 

keith1

Well-known member
Company policy. I love when that term is bandied about. Like it's some law that's been carved in concrete and is absolutely not negotiable. An underpaid lackey looks down their nose . . ."but it's our policy." End of discussion.
I take immeasurable pleasure in pointing out that whatever this policy of yours is, it isn't my policy, so if we're to do this you will shove your policy up . . .
Naturally it also helps to know where you stand in terms of negotiating power as well.
My last triumph was a dentist who wanted a cheque for several thousand dollars certified. You guessed - certified cheques was their policy. I pointed to 2 options.
1. I will deduct $100. for the time & trouble it takes to go to the bank & have cheque certified.
2. You will accept a regular cheque (like anyone else).
The 3rd option was F_ You, I'll go elsewhere. But it didn't come to that.
How did we get from government contracts to dentists? The similarity. Both cost too much.
 

Controlling the Purse Strings

Avanti
CONTROLLING THE
PURSE STRINGS

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large
What did you buy for your
business last week?
And how are you making sure everything you purchase is properly managed and accounted for?

Read the Article

   
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