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  1. #1
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    Difference between a Quote and a Proposal?

    Just for general knowledge I'd like to ask:
    What's the difference between Quote and a Proposal? How do you look at it? As the same or some different?

    Opinions please...
    Last edited by depthskins; Nov 16, 2005 at 17:07.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Doesn't matter what you think the difference is, it's what the person asking for it thinks it is.

    Hence, when someone asks for a 'proposal', I always ask them what they are actually looking for; the response varies from 'a simple quote, nothing fancy, don't put yourself out' to 'We want something really detailed, complete technical specifications with exact costing and time scales'

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot chihpih's Avatar
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    A quote gives an approximate price while a proposal gives an exact price.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chihpih
    A quote gives an approximate price while a proposal gives an exact price.
    I've yet to meet anyone who considered a quote to be an approximate price. That is called an 'estimate'.

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    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    I've yet to meet anyone who considered a quote to be an approximate price. That is called an 'estimate'.
    That is the term I would use as well: "estimate". If someone wants me to give them a price on something based on some information they provided (in our initial consultation), that would be an estimate (since it is only based on limited information provided at that time). After all the definite information is provided, then a proposal is created ... including a quote.

    I believe a quote and proposal are fairly similar. I think most of the time a "quote" is an exact number, but only includes the price you are offering and not much else. A "proposal" is a complete run-down of the project, what it includes, etc. My quotes are usually a 1-page sheet while my proposals are a few more because of the details.
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  6. #6
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    In my mind, you get a quote for a specific service. I'd want a quote for work done on my car. I don't really care to know HOW they do the work, or the thought process behind it. I just want the price and what they're doing. Most quotes are small (1-2 pages) and just list the price and what is included.

    On the other hand, a proposal seems to me to be a much more detailed document. Personally, my proposals are sometimes 20 pages and I go into the company background, problems they face, how we can help them solve them, our solution, price, references, and even descriptions of the process itself so they know what to expect.

    I get people that actually just ask for a quote - they tell me they *just* want a price. I tell them to go somewhere else... because of the amount of time involved in really understanding someone's situation and developing a solution to their problems. I'm not going to spend that much time just to end up competing on price.

  7. #7
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    so do any of you like include different prices in your proposal?

    I also think that the quote is more specific.
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  8. #8
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    When I do a proposal, this is the format I use:
    An overview of the project as I see it.
    Detailed Description of the Work Involved
    Project Cost
    Methodry and Resources (How I work)
    Turn Around and Delivery

    I got the idea from an Article here at Site Point - Freelance Pricing Quoting to Win
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depthskins
    so do any of you like include different prices in your proposal?
    Not sure what you mean by "different prices"? If I have the project specs and I figure out what the price would be, that's the one and only price. Obviously it may be broken down into parts (domain fees, hosting fees, design cost, etc). I don't know what different prices other than which you'd provide unless you were giving them discounts or something (show original price and their discounted price).
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depthskins
    so do any of you like include different prices in your proposal?

    I also think that the quote is more specific.
    - An estimate is an educated guess about how much a project will cost.

    - A quote is a definitive price for a service or item.

    - A proposal is a document outlining a possible solution or solutions to a client problem or goal. It may or may not discuss price.

    Most people, even most business people don't know the difference in the terms 'quote' and 'estimate', use the terms interchangeably and will tend to take any proposed price as a quote unless you educate them.

    If someone insists on a quote (not an estimate), I go through a much more detailed spec for the project and charge more, to cover the risk of future changes in circumstance or vendor prices that may affect my profitability.

    Do I include different prices in a proposal? Sure. There's usually more than one way to skin a cat. I often give an estimate (not a quote - even in a proposal) for a least cost, moderate cost and all-inclusive effort, listing the features and benefits at each level of service. Few people will pick the least cost scenario.

  11. #11
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    a proposal can quote the price of a project in addition to many other things. where as a quote contains a price. there is not much detail on other aspects of the project.

    ...jes the way i c it...

  12. #12
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    As many of the above said: Quotes are usually barebone prices, while Proposals (and RFP responses) are detailed documents including process, requirements, standards, delivery, etc.

    I just finished my section of a Proposal (RFP response) that's 22 pages long, and I'm only 1/3rd of the total proposal. And at the same time I did a quote for almost the same thing that the proposal was for and it was less than a page.
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