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Lost a bid, what questions can I ask?


LawnSite Senior Member
I got word today that I lost a bid on a fairly large mowing/maintenance contract to another firm. There company requesting the bids moved into a vacant commercial space this winter and asked for bids/proposals on the maintenance earlier this spring. There were no set specs to go by. I plan to call this week to find out among other things, whether to contract they awarded was a multi-year or just this season. I would also like to find out exactly what services the winning contractor included in their bid. What other questions can I ask? What information would a firm customarily give out to other bidders. I would think that asking what the winning bid price was would be a bit much but what about how many firms bid and where my price was in regards to the winning bid and were they the low bid.


LawnSite Member
Northern IL
Those are all fine questions and perfectly reasonable to ask. I wouldn't ask what the winning bids was, but you could ask if you were in the ball park or where you stood. I'd also ask if there was a particular reason they chose to go with the company they did and if there was something about your company that made them decide to not go with you (othe than price).

I wouldn't be too concerned about what the winning bid was if you know your rates and what it would take to do a property that size. It's one thing if you're way out of the market and you don't know it. It's another to try to cut your prices because the other guy was $50 lower than you. Know your costs and stick to them.

Information is key! Do find out if you were bidding apples to apples. Sometimes lack of information can destroy your bid because you bid on something that wasnt' meant to be bid on.

Fantasy Lawns

LawnSite Bronze Member
Space Coast
I learned long time ago .... if there were no spec's too go by ... they either had no clue what they wanted or were looking fore the lowest price

In these types of bid it's best to just bid it at mowing only ... include nothing else OR include in the bid a tier or menu type of pricing .... price fore mowing, price which included hedging .... price with weeding ... price with fert

Either way it has no value what the winning bid was or what the scope of work awarded .... the phone call ...if made ... should include the fact that if the other LCO fails .... please give you a call


LawnSite Senior Member
As I said in my original post, the company just opened up this winter, this spring actually. They have facilities in other states but I think they were under pressure to get things going here, thus no specs. Then again, they may not be that organized and were looking for a low bid. I am almost positive that is what they got. The package I put together include a full range of services from mowing to weekly maintenance, fert, lawn repair, etc. I had hoped this would set me apart from the others bidding and show that we were serious about maintaining the property.

I am quite familiar with the company that did get the bid. They get alot of the bids in this area because they are generally "significantly" less than anyone else. I quote significantly because that is what people often say when the call to inform us that we didn't get it. I am sure that the other company will not be around to long. They have expanded rapidly in the past two years, work cheap and do substandard work.

My greatest curiosity in losing the bid is not so much price since I know they underbid me and as mirrorlandscapes said, I know my prices and know that my bid for the work I described was accurate and fair. I would like to know what they said they would do and if they made bold references to quality.

should include the fact that if the other LCO fails .... please give you a call
Excellent idea. I will definetly end the conversation (or maybe begin) with it.