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Is there anyway to make bids confidential?

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    Is there anyway to make bids confidential?

    Long story short. I bid a job a while back. Got the job. And then after an electrician that previously worked for the business found out that I got the job, he showed up and cried and demanded that he do the job.. They didn't want drama, so they gave him the job... Needless to say, I'm never doing anything for this business again..

    However, before the contractor began the job, I heard from the GC that an employee handed the other electrician my bid.

    If I wasn't already unhappy, that was kind of my tipping point. Anyways the whole thing was ridiculous and it made me wonder if there was any way to prevent any outside entity from viewing your estimate?

    Any legal, or seemingly so, way of making your bid viewable by the intended recipients only?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk

    #2
    Originally posted by Bobby08 View Post
    Long story short. I bid a job a while back. Got the job. And then after an electrician that previously worked for the business found out that I got the job, he showed up and cried and demanded that he do the job.. They didn't want drama, so they gave him the job... Needless to say, I'm never doing anything for this business again..

    However, before the contractor began the job, I heard from the GC that an employee handed the other electrician my bid.

    If I wasn't already unhappy, that was kind of my tipping point. Anyways the whole thing was ridiculous and it made me wonder if there was any way to prevent any outside entity from viewing your estimate?

    Any legal, or seemingly so, way of making your bid viewable by the intended recipients only?

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
    None that I can think of. Did you give the customer a complete set of drawings, too? When you walk into the building and see everything lain out as you drew it, that’s extra frosting.
    Tom
    TBLO

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      #3
      Might as well have. It was commercial offices, kitchen, and bath.. I had already demoed all of the old wiring and marked out lighting and all of my boxes on the ceilings and walls respectively...

      Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk

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        #4
        Originally posted by Bobby08 View Post
        Might as well have. It was commercial offices, kitchen, and bath.. I had already demoed all of the old wiring and marked out lighting and all of my boxes on the ceilings and walls respectively...

        Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
        Even better.
        Tom
        TBLO

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          #5
          This has been going on since the beginning of time in construction trades. It's disgusting, unfair and reprehensible. That said, there's not much you can do about it. If the GC or one of his employees wants to give your estimate to another EC to see if he can get a better price there's nothing you can do about it. The part that stinks is that you've spun your wheels to to put the estimate together and all the next EC has to do is beat your price by a few $$$. IMHO, I wouldn't bid to this GC anymore.

          Just a side bar (it's not my intention to pirate this thread but I want to make a point), I have a very dear friend that is a GC. He builds mega-mansions. He did this "beat the other guy's price" routine with me years ago. I looked at the other guy's bid and realized that a) he left half the material off the bid, and b) he was using the very cheapest stuff on the market. Since I was just starting out in the trade I figured I'd take the job and do the best I can. After all, you have to pay for your education. Once on the job I realized that he hired the worst trades people on the face if the earth. Sheet-rockers cut my wires with the roto-zip, missed cut-outs for receptacles, etc. Plumbers had pipes and waste lines running all over the place, cut large holes through joists and support beams, etc. I stopped working for this GC because I felt like I became part of a group of bottom feeders.

          BTW, this GC has his own mega-mansion, several trucks, a back-hoe, a Jaguar for his wife, a Ferrari, two HD motor cycles, a house in VT, a 40' sail boat in CT and sent his son to Cornell. Should I feel sorry for him ? I didn't make that much on the job !!!

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            #6
            I've seen companies put confidentiality notices on their bids and quotes but it doesn't seem to me that they are at all enforceable.

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              #7
              Originally posted by jaggedben View Post
              I've seen companies put confidentiality notices on their bids and quotes but it doesn't seem to me that they are at all enforceable.
              Yes that, plus it would be difficult prove that your bid was leaked.

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                #8
                The simplest is to choose not to do business with them again. It's not unreasonable to think if they asked you for a price, you should get a fair shake at actually getting the project if you're the low. There is too much work out there to deal with companies that are unethical. It's just not worth the aggravation.

                Next.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bobby08 View Post
                  I had already demoed all of the old wiring and marked out lighting and all of my boxes on the ceilings and walls respectively...
                  You should bill for the time and materials at a premium rate, as well as for loss of profit on the remainder of the accepted contract.

                  They would have to admit breach of contract to claim you agreed to do the demo and rough-in at a lesser price than you want now.
                  Master Electrician
                  Electrical Contractor
                  Richmond, VA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If there is any kind of bid deadline, maybe you can wait until deadline is very close before submitting the bid. Won't guarantee anything, but at least has potential to reduce such activity.

                    Be clear in proposals what it covers but keep details as minimal as possible so that your designs aren't as easily used by others. If there is third party designer then everyone bidding should be bidding on same design.
                    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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                      #11
                      A good lawyer may be able to write something up for you to include in your bid to scare the customer.
                      Also, you can start with just a lump sum figure texted to the customer to feel them out. If they like your price then you give them a more detailed bid.
                      Ravenvalor
                      Electrical Contractor
                      Piedmont Region of NC

                      "Good day and good premises." (Ayn Rand)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        It's not illegal to show another EC my bid, but it's very unethical. I would let the GC know how I felt about it. How he reacts would tell me if I want to continue bidding his work.

                        I had already demoed all of the old wiring and marked out lighting and all of my boxes on the ceilings and walls respectively...
                        Now this.....makes it more interesting...

                        Did you have a contract for this exact scope of work?

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by jaggedben View Post
                          I've seen companies put confidentiality notices on their bids and quotes but it doesn't seem to me that they are at all enforceable.
                          I doubt you can enforce such a notice.

                          It is like putting up a notice in your parking lot that you are not responsible for damage to vehicles. You might or might not be responsible but the sign doesn't change it one way or the other.

                          I would not get real worried about. just move on.
                          Bob

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by jaggedben View Post
                            I've seen companies put confidentiality notices on their bids and quotes but it doesn't seem to me that they are at all enforceable.
                            Enforceable only by a $ucce$$ful lawsuit.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Who's name is on the permit? If you had one for the job and they have someone else doing the work...... make a couple of phone calls, quick.

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