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Question DetailsAsked on 6/21/2013

how to write a letter to contractor saying you are not selecting him for job. Contractor bid a complicated job and I want to be polite.

I invited three contractors to bid my job. Bidding is time consuming and when the contractor does not get the work it can cause hard feelings.

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3 Answers


Many customers don't take the time to do this and it's always appreciated by contractors. Quite simply just be polite and briefly explain why you did not select the contractor. We never like losing a bid but it happens and is part of the business. He should take the letter as an opportunity to look at ways to improve how he does things. If it is because of price there is likely very little he can do.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 6 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Todd's answer is good - the best you can do to show appreciation for his effort and time with you is let him know:

1) your appreciation for his time

2) what SPECIFIC item or cost caused you to choose another contractor - whether something another contractor offered that he did not, or something you did not like about his bid, a single item that was priced out of whack, or just overall price. Escept on government jobs, contractors rarely get the opportunity to know exactly WHY the other guy got the job, even though that is the only way they can improve thier customer realtions or bidding process. Do not feel obligated to tell him the other contractor's prices, but unless they put on their bids that they are confidential, if overall price was the deciding factor then you could tell him how his bid compared overall to the other contractor's. IT is NOT fair to give him the detailed competing bids.

3) also let him know if there was anything you specifically LIKED about his bid even though he did not get the job - either a customer service appraoch, specific itemization, computer generated bid sheet or conceptual pictures he showed you, or whatever

4) assuming this is true, tell him you will remember him if you have a future job to be bid, and will refer him to neighbors and friends if they are doing similar jobs

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Before I retired I had a job that involved dealing with bids and contracts. I can usually be very specific on the elements of the job I want. I tell contractors which factors will most influence my decision. Then I tell them when I will make a decision. I tell them they will hear from me whether they get the job or not. Then I make the decision when I said I would.

When talking to the contractors that didn't get the job I just say "I have selected another contractor for the job. Thank you for taking the time to give me a proposal." If they ask why I say "I went with the contractor I felt would best meet my needs". Some contrators really don't like it, but I don't get into specifics. Getting into specifics might help the contractor in the future, but future customers might not have the same priorities I did. They might have been the winner in a very similar situation. Getting into specifics just opens the potential for an argument I don't want to have.

But I have found that most contractors don't ask for information after they have been told they weren't selected. If fearing an unpleasant conversation keeps you from communicating with unsuccesful bidders, just be aware that is very rare. Telling them they didn't get the job after they have taken the time to prepare a bid is simply polite.

Answered 5 years ago by me711

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