What is a Bid?

A bid is an offer made by an individual or business to purchase a product or service. Bids are usually made in response to an invitation to tender, which is an invitation to potential suppliers to submit a bid. The invitation to tender outlines the requirements of the product or service and the process by which the supplier will be selected. A successful bid is the one that best meets the requirements of the invitation to tender and is accepted by the buyer. The buyer has the discretion to accept or reject any bid and will usually consider factors such as price, quality, delivery time and payment terms.

Examples of Bids

Bids can be used in many different scenarios. Here are some examples:

  • Government contracts – Government tenders are issued for the supply of goods and services and potential suppliers must submit a bid to be considered for the contract.
  • Auctions – Bids are made by potential buyers to purchase items at auction.
  • Retail – Customers make bids to purchase products or services from retailers.
  • Real estate – Property buyers make bid offers to purchase properties.


Bids are a common way to purchase products and services. They can be used in many different scenarios and often involve a competitive bidding process. For more information, please see the following articles: Invitation to tenderGovernment procurementAuction