Invitation to tender Vs. Call for tender

Marcewa

Senior Member
France / French
Hi,

What is the difference between "Invitation to tender" and "Call for tender" ?

Thanks a lot.

Marc.
 
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  • vanes

    Member
    English
    Hi
    I understand the two sentences to mean roughly the same thing. Invitation to tender seems like a tentative attempt to attract bidders, whilst call for tender seems more insistent and might refer to a letter sent directly to potential bidders.
     

    clairet

    Senior Member
    England & English (UK version)
    Hi
    I understand the two sentences to mean roughly the same thing. Invitation to tender seems like a tentative attempt to attract bidders, whilst call for tender seems more insistent and might refer to a letter sent directly to potential bidders.
    I agree they are pretty much the same thing - but their actual use may vary. I have seen the "call" and the "invitation" used in exactly the opposite way to what you have seen (i.e. call is general, invitation is to selected responders to the call).
     

    gibs

    Member
    french
    and is there a difference between "call for tender", "call for proposals" and "tenders"?

    thanks a lot for your lights!
     

    clairet

    Senior Member
    England & English (UK version)
    As the previous discussion notes, use of these terms can be rather loose. I can only tell you what I would have understood in my old job as someone responsible for responding to these things (of course, you've usually got much more to go on than the simple terms - there should always be some documentation saying how your response is going to be treated, which should make things clear). However, in my experience, a "call for proposals" is probably only a loose way of describing a call for tenders; it's just possible it's a preliminary stage, without costings, seeking ideas for a project. A call for tenders is a call for costed proposals in response to a precise specification (though your own additional, costed ideas are usually welcomed). A tender is what I've just described.
     

    Notafrog

    Member
    English UK
    I've translated a lot of these. A Call for Tenders (<< --->>) is an announcement published in the press or any other medium to determine potential bidders. An Invitation to Tender (<< --->>) is a direct invitation to a company to submit a full tender in compliance with specifications, usually following a reply to a Call for Tenders.
    This of course roughly confirms what everyone else has said.

    Moderator note: Second language removed.
     
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    ladybugEnglishFan

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Do "make a call for tenders for the product", "put out a tender" and "invite to make a tender" mean all that a purchaser wants to find a salesperson who would supply him?
    One more thing- Can I just say " The purchaser made a tender" to simplify the sentence but only if it's correct?
     
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    clairet

    Senior Member
    England & English (UK version)
    Asking for tenders with any of the phrases you mention means that the asker is seeking bids from suppliers to provide something that the asker has specified. It is a supplier, not a purchaser, who makes a tender.
     

    Lester

    New Member
    USA Latino English/Spanish
    I agree with all the explanations given below for calls for or invitations to tender. I'll just add another form, namely Request for Proposals (RFP) which I have found on a number of occasions and which roughly corresponds to Appel d'offres. Check Google for examples.
     

    Notafrog

    Member
    English UK
    The thing is not all tenders are equal.

    If, say, a town council wants to buy tar to resurface its roads, that's not very complicated and they could put an advertisement in the local newspaper inviting companies to submit a tender for the supply of 150 tonnes of tar per year. The tender specification (place, rough schedule, etc.) would feature in the advertisement. In this case "call to/for tender" and "invitation to tender" are one in the same.

    If however a government wants to build a hydroelectric power station with dams and tunnels, that's a different kettle of fish. They're not going to invite companies to submit tenders willy nilly without first sending them an extensive tender specification that would take the whole newspaper up. They will call for interested companies to express their interest and provide certain references, capacities, etc. They will then invite companies whose answers they like to submit a tender, which could even be a preliminary tender as part of a shortlisting process.
     
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