An invitation to bid, also called an invitation for bid or sealed bid, is a call to contractors to submit a proposal on a project for a specific product or service. It is usually for requirements over $100,000. While an ITB is very similar to an RFP (request for proposal), it is concerned with the pricing more so than the conceptual ideas of the project. Similar to all other types of bids, an invitation to bid is generally awarded to the contractor who submits the lowest bid. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t always the case. There are other factors that come into play, such as the quality of products or expertise needed to carry out a certain project.
So how can a vendor determine if a bid is an RFP, RFQ, RFI or an ITB? More times than none, the agency issuing the bid will indicate this on their website or web portal. If not there, it will be listed within the bid documents, usually in the title or the first few paragraphs. Bids come in various forms, so knowing the difference between each will help determine whether or not the project is a good fit for you and, ultimately, whether it is worth pursuing.