Asked by two different teams to bid on the same project

A couple years ago I built a site with a designer. The client asked for some revisions but thought our bid was too high. So he went to other developers to get quotes. One of the companies he asked for a quote asked me to bid on it with them without knowing I had built the site originally.

There has been some bad blood with this client in the payment department. They have nickel and dimed every little half hour project.

At any rate, is it a conflict of interest being part of two different companies bids if I quote the same price?


I would decline the project on the basis of what you know about the clients history (and I would tell this to the other business who is asking you to bid on it). There does seem to be a conflict of interest because you’ve been burned in the past by the client effectively dumping you on price (thereby resulting in you having issues with the projects future scope for improvement). All that could come of taking up the project would be having to deal with the same person again, knowing what their likely to-do (and how their likely to behave) which will just result in stress and additional problems which may be passed onto the place you’re working with. :slight_smile:

Are you in a position to ask the second team to simply back down?

I tried but they wouldn’t

He he, what an interesting case. Sure, if you’re the adventurous type, that love watching things blow up in your face, bid through both teams.

To be more serious I think your answer lies in wether you’re prepared to tell the first team about you bidding though the second team as well.

Are you in a position to ask the second team to simply back down?

When Team A finds out they will surely think that you would also tell Team B all the clients of Team A to bid on them as well.

Thats why I wouldn’t do it in any case.

Proper channel management works like this:

  • Client A wants a quote for end user X

  • Client A is now locked in with this quote until they release it as lost

  • If Client B comes along and wants a quote for end user X, you say: I’m working with someone else on them already. That someone else could even be you yourself

  • If a client doesn’t want to disclose the end user, you can’t protect them

HTH, Jochen

Good thinking trying, atleast.

You don’t seem too eager getting the project, because of the bad payment history and the client being cheap. I would keep the potential trouble to a minimum and stick to the first team with this one, unless it really damages your relationship with the second one (they should understand your position, though).

I don’t know what standards you set for your business. Each person has to decide their own ways. However as I said, if you disclosing the information of bidding through both teams doesn’t feel comfortable for you, it probably means that a company playing with integrity, wouldn’t do it.

It’s difficult to give better advice, given that I really don’t know the details regarding history, relationships and arrangements with the different teams, your situation and acceptable conduct where you’re located.

Good luck. :slight_smile: