How to prepare Price list, quotation, estimate and tender?

prepare quotation

One of the crucial part of running any business organization is to give its customers the pricelist of the products and services they are offering. The way of providing the prices of the products and services is not static, it varies from business to business.

In case of of garment business the price quotation remains the same for every customer. Price quotation does not change. This means do use the standardized pricelist. In case of automobile repair services, the prepare quotations are altered according to the type of the services demanded by the customer. For example- car service, changing the color or application of window sticker, etc. So, the prices are subject to the services required. This type of prepare quotations is done with an estimate or a quotation. These are for the medium scale businesses then there comes large business firms and companies, they have different way of pricing. Pricing of the firms operating on a large scale which handles the sinuous tasks is based on the tender document prepared by the customers.

As you read along, you will get a detailed idea about prepare quotations practices involved in the business. All your questions will be answered as to what to do and how to do it.

What is price listing and how to prepare a price list?

It is the list of price quotation of the offered goods and services prepared for the customers. Businesses who deals in definite products maintains the standardized price list. It remains same for all the customers.

You own a dry cleaners shop and you prepare a price list mentioning different type of clothes, like military clothing, civilian clothing, household items and other type of comforter and provide laundry services, and their price with estimate disclaimer. These will remain the same for each and every customer.

You should focus on the details which need to be cleared to your customers like some special offers, mention the expiry date of those special offers, offers like Buy 2 get 1 free or 10% discount on bulk purchase and the period of such offering needs to be mentioned, whether the price listed are inclusive of packaging costs and delivery charges. It is important to mention the terms and condition about the same and put a clause saying prices with estimate disclaimer are subject to changes.

What is price quotation and how to prepare quotation?

When it is not viable to work from a standard price, you have to give price quotation to give quotation. Price quotation is the statement provided to the interested customers detailing the exact price of goods and services but yes prices subject to change.

For Example you are a painter and your customer asked you to paint his two bedroom house and gives you the definite dimensions of the rooms and told you about the polishing work she requires on almirahs and sofa sets. You have the full knowledge of the work demanded then you can prepare an accurate list of things required and price them accordingly and tell the customer in case of GST/QST involved. Both the painter and the customer have full knowledge of the work and price charged.

To prepare Quotation, the document should comprise of price, you are charging for the goods and services. It should also include the bifurcation prices leading to the final price. This includes the details of raw materials, production cost, labour cost, packaging, transportation, etc. It needs mentioning that what are the tasked will be done by you, time period till when the project continue to exist and when the project closes for you after delivery of the promised services.

Also indicate in case of any changes requested in the middle of the project, how much will it affect the pricing when you give quotation. This reduces the chance of conflict between them as the exact price when you give quotation which has already  been given in the beginning  to which the customer agreed and now that cannot be changed until and unless there is some change in work and customer is willing to pay for that changed work. Give a written quotation to the customer and keep a copy of it to yourself.


Estimate is roughly calculated approximation of the cost of the goods and services offered. While preparing an estimate on should be aware of the fixed and variable cost. Estimate is a document consist of rough estimate of own much a business is going to charge for goods and services. When you provide the estimate, you can charge the customers even more than the price estimates in the document. This is done to safeguard the business from the unforeseen circumstances and to prepare the customer not to get surprise with the rise in prices charged.

For example, you are a painter and a customer has asked you to paint two bedroom house but he does not have exact details like the dimensions of the room or any other thing then in such a scenario where you are not sure of the details, you prepare a rough estimates of the cost which can be expected when you complete the job. The prepared estimate is only an informal pricing of the work based on the incomplete information. When you actually deliver the services, then the estimated cost can go up as well as down depending on the work. The estimates are not legally binding, they only provide roughly calculated cost to prices subject to change wording.

Also if you already think that uncertainties are huge, then supply number of estimates based on likelihood of different circumstances. This will avoid disputes between you and your customer.

Estimate preparation

To prepare estimate, your estimate should include the details of business, details of receiver of the estimate, specify the goods and services offered, estimate price of each good or service, the totals of estimated price, mention about the GST/QST applicability, the date of estimate, validity of the estimate by giving time period, how the payment will be made and related issues and terms and conditions of prices subject to change wording.

In order to avoid any conflicts and chaos in the future, it is advisable to get the prepared estimate signed by the customers and thereby acknowledging to have full knowledge of the estimate and agreeing upon the same.

Price quotation v/s Estimate

Are you confused as to what you should use? Give quotations or send Estimate?

It’s critically important to know the difference between estimates and price quotation.

After knowing the difference, your confusion will vanish.

  • Quotation indicate the exact price of goods and services while estimates are sketchy idea about the futuristic cost involved.
  • In case of dispute, price quotation can be used as a legal standpoint while Estimates is an informal document and can’t be used in a court of law.

Estimates and price quotation should always be given in writing. This make it easier to solve the futuristic problems. Keep copies of the same.

Also make sure that the customer understands whether he is getting an Estimate or Price quotation.

What is Tender and how to prepare Tender?

Tender is a formal proposal to supply a particular goods and services, send in the specifications and stating the prices the company is going to charge. It is done when the large businesses and public sector is involved. Business compete with each other by submitting tender.

If the company wins the tender, their offer is accepted. How you price your bid makes a huge difference and make you win the contract.

When the contract is put out for the tender, you are provided with the instructions of client’s specifications.

You need to provide bifurcation of the costs involved at every successive stage of the project. It could be weekly, fortnight or monthly.  Even if detailed breakdown is not requested, do provide it. It gives good impression on your client that you are giving comprehensive presentation of your service.  Also, Variable cost, management, administration cost and time duration. Specify the price both in numbers and words, mention whether the prices are inclusive of GST/QST, in which currency you are dealing it also include the estimate of reimbursable expenses that you will incur on behalf of the customer.

Pricing play a crucial role in winning a bid.

As a new comer initially you might face difficulties as you are unaware about the pricing practices, how much to bid and with no idea about what your competitors are biding.

Despite lacking experience, you still have a chance of winning. Few things needs to be kept in mind that are : Don’t price too low that the client become suspicious of the quality for the goods and services you are offering  and also it will  become difficult for you to increase your price in future with this client . Also don’t bid way too higher than the actual bid you should actually be making, that you are not even considered. Think wisely and price.

Pricing of your tender should be done keeping in mind the viability of operation with a realistic approach. Focus on providing the good quality produce and the various benefits which you can offer. In the race to win, never compromise on your quality services. Because this quality service will attract clients even if you are charging a little higher.